French and Riviera News.Monday July 29th 2019

Triple murder-Police are searching for the perpetrator or perpetrators of a triple murder last night near the centre of Ollioules in the Var.

The killings happened outside a petrol station on the RD 11 road just next to the La Baume apartment building shortly before 8pm last night.

Details are sketchy but it appears that three people were shot dead and another was seriously injured.

The French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has said that everything is being done to catch those responsible.

It’s known that at least one of those shot dead  was a holidaymaker.

 

Road crackdown-The prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has ordered police to increase road checks following shocking accident statistics for the first six months of the year.

31 people were killed on the roads in the period between January and June and the prefect has ordered police and Gendarmes to better coordinate operations with a particular focus on two wheeled vehicles.

Road checks at Villeneuve Loubet over the weekend resulted in a host of offences being registered from use of a mobile phone behind the wheel, speeding ,drink driving and motorcyclists overtaking on the inside lane.A number of motorcycle riders were also fined for not wearing protective gloves.

10 people have died on the roads in the past three weeks-half of them motorcyclists and the prefect Bernard Gonzalez says it’s got to stop.

 

Speed cameras-A number of speed cameras damaged during the yellow vest protests are still out of service.

Authorities have expressed alarm at the delay in replacing or repairing the damaged machines and say its giving carte blanche to those motorists who want to break the speed limit to abandon any sort of responsibility.

The government has promised that all damaged speed cameras will be replaced by new generation devices which will be able to detect a range of offences from illegal manoeuvres to using a mobile phone.

 

Accident-5 people have been injured after two cars collided on the avenue des Plans in Villeneuve Loubet.

Police say that two occupants of the vehicles were seriously injured in the head on crash while 3 others sustained light injuries.

The two most seriously injured were rushed to the Pasteur 2 Hospital in Nice while the three others were taken for treatment in Antibes.

 

Macron-President Macron has been out and about meeting the public in Bormes les Mimosas over the weekend.

Mr Macron signed autographs and had a meeting with the local Mayor before returning to his summer residence at Fort Bregancon.

Mr Macron had earlier been in Tunisia to attend the funeral of the country’s leader Caid Essebsi.

The President has also announced that he’ll receive the Russian leader Vladimir Putin at Fort Bregancon on the 19th of August.

France is due to hold the G7 Summit in Biarritz from the 24th to the 26th of August but Russia is no longer invited to the meetings after being excluded for its annexation of Crimea.

 

In National News.

 

Iran-Envoys from the remaining signatories to the 2015 Iran Nuclear Accord including France have been meeting for crisis talks in Vienna.

The meeting comes as tensions in the Gulf continue to mount following the decision by the United States to withdraw from the Accord and Iran’s breach of uranium enrichment protocols.

Envoys from Russia and Iran as well as France ,Great Britain ,Germany and China all attended the meeting.

France , Britain and Germany have set up a special EU trade mechanism to help members trade with Iran but Tehran says it does not meet the country’s requirements as it doesn’t facilitate oil exports.

On Sunday ,the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced a British move for a European-led naval mission to ensure the safe passage of shipping through the Strait of Hormuz.

 

Air pollution-More and more French cities and towns are introducing the use of the Crit’Air car sticker which shows authorities which vehicles are the most polluting.

The system was introduced in 2017 and is not yet compulsory in all parts of the country but it is required in several large cities including the capital Paris.

When the air is polluted only vehicles with the cleanest emissions are allowed on the roads so recently during air pollution in Paris cars with stickers numbered 3,4 or 5 were banned.

Some towns are now introducing permanent restrictions with only the cleanest vehicles allowed in certain areas.

Any car can be registered for the scheme not just French vehicles and as the system becomes more prevalent it makes sense to get one.

Go to the French government website  www.certificat-air.gouv.fr and fill in the forms.It costs 3 euros 62 including postage.

 

Mobiles-A Harris poll carried out for the Society of French Motorway Operators ASFA has found that 76 percent of people think that sanctions for using a mobile phone while driving should be toughened.

Asked to judge how dangerous the practice was on a scale of 1-10 ,respondents gave a score of 8.4 -just behind the 8.5 given for drink driving.

The poll also found that 37 percent of French drivers admitted to using a mobile phone on the motorway with the figure rising to 61 percent for the under 35’s.

The ASFA says that the results of the poll are alarming ,pointing to the fact that young drivers make up 18 percent of all people using the country’s motorways.

French lawmakers are currently debating a new bill which would allow for the licenses of people caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel to be suspended.

At the moment the punishment is a fine of 135 euros and the loss of 3 points from a license.

 

Business.

 

US markets start the week on the back of a good session last Friday which saw the S&P 500 gain 0.7 percent ,the Dow Jones Industrials up 0.2 percent and the Nasdaq climb 1.1 percent.

 

The London Stock Exchange is planning to buy the financial data analytics provider Refinitiv from the buyout firm Blackstone Group  and Thomson  Reuters in a deal reported to be worth 27 billion dollars.

If completed ,the deal would be part of a recent trend that’s seen exchange operators focus more on data products to increase revenue.

LSE says that a deal would help it to expand its data and distribution capabilities and would allow it to benefit from “future data and technology enabled growth opportunities”.

Refinitiv is based in London and has 40,000 clients who are mostly traders or investment professionals in more than 190 countries.

 

The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has reiterated the country’s determination to go ahead with a new tax on big tech firms and has urged the United States not to bring tariffs into the debate on how to fairly raise levies on digital services.

Mr Le Maire was responding to threats from President Trump to start taxing French wine in retaliation for France’s new levy on the overseas profits of large tech.

He said that Mr Trump should not mix the two subjects up and that consensus was needed for the fair taxation of digital services.

French legislators have approved a 3 percent tax which will apply to revenue from digital services earned in the country by firms with more than 25 million euros in French revenue and 750 million euros worldwide .

President Trump says that the tax unfairly targets US firms.

 

And-The food delivery service Just Eat is in merger talks with Dutch rival Takeaway.com If the deal goes ahead ,the new combined firm would be worth around 11 billion dollars based on current market value.

Just Eat has said that there is no certainty that a deal will go ahead but that a possible combination may be implemented.

Earlier this year ,one of Just Eat’s shareholders put the firm under pressure to merge with a rival.

Last year ,more than 4 million new customers signed up for the delivery service.

 

Sport.

 

Cycling-Egan Bernal of Colombia has become the youngest rider in 110 years to win the Tour de France.

The 22 year old crossed the finish line in Paris hand in hand with his Ineos team-mate and last year’s winner Geraint Thomas who finished overall second.

It was tough luck for longtime yellow jersey holder Julian Alaphilippe who finished overall 5th and had his chances dashed by freak weather in the Alps over the weekend which resulted in Friday’s stage being cut short because of hail on the road and Saturday’s stage being shortened because of a number of rock and landslides.

 

Formula 1-Max Verstappen in the Red Bull won an incident packed German Grand Prix at Hockenheim on Sunday as championship leader Lewis Hamilton could only finish 11th as a result of two mistakes.Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas didn’t finish the race after spinning out  and crashing near the end as he was closing in for a challenge on the lead.

Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari who started at the back of the grid after failing to set a qualifying time battled through the wet conditions to finish second with Danill Kyvat in the Toro Rosso third.

Many of the drivers fell foul of the treacherous conditions at Hockenheim with 6 safety cars called out during the race-two of them virtual and Verstappen making 5 pit stops to change from wet to dry tyres.

After the race ,Hamilton was promoted to 9th  following 30 second time penalties imposed on the two Alfa Romeo drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.

He  leads Valtteri Bottas by 41 points heading into the Hungarian Grand Prix next Sunday.

 

Football-Gareth Bale’s proposed move to China has been called off by his current club Real Madrid.

The 30 year old’s future has been up in the air in recent weeks with the Spanish giants looking to unload him and several clubs reported to be interested.

Last week ,the Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said that Bale was “very close to leaving”  and that his exit would be “best for everyone”.

 

Golf-South Korea’s Ko Jin-young has won her second major of the year with victory in the Evian Championship in France.

Ko finished on 15 under par following a final round of 67 to end 2 shots clear of Jennifer Kupcho of the United States.

 

Cricket-Joffra Archer has been called into the England squad for the first Ashes Test against Australia which starts at Edgebaston on Thursday.

The pace bowler had been an injury doubt but he’s declared himself fit.

James Anderson also returns after nursing a calf injury  while Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler return after being rested for the match against Ireland.

 

Weather.

 

Clear skies with moderate westerly  winds across the Var.

Top temperatures  27 degrees in coastal areas,31 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 21 degrees on the coast and 17 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Clear skies with highs of 27-32 degrees.

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