French and Riviera News.Thursday August 1st 2019

Ammunition-Two hunting rifle cartridges have been found in the cell of an inmate at Nice jail.

The ammunition was found concealed in a bag of clean laundry that had been delivered to the inmate by his mother and brother.The rifle that holds the cartridges has not been found despite an extensive search.A mobile phone was also found during a cell search.

The prison officers union has called for the inmate to be placed in isolation and for a search of the entire prison to be organised.

Reports say that the inmate may have been acting as a courier for another prisoner.

 

 

Arson-The Mayor of Saint-Mandrier in the Var says that a fire that ravaged 30 hectares of forest land on Monday was a criminal act.

Firemen are still patrolling the area around the domaine de l’Ermitage in today in case the fire reignites and Gilles Vincent says that it’s the fifth time that such an incident has happened in the area.

Investigators say that the fire was lit in three separate areas and that there’s no doubt that an act of arson has been committed.

The Mayor has also criticised some local residents who he’s described as ‘environmental Ayatollahs’ because they refused requests to thin out scrub and woodland on the property which he said had helped the fire to spread.

He also expressed alarm that there was clearly someone “unhinged” frequenting the area and called on local residents to be vigilant.

 

Var triple murder-Police investigating Sunday night’s triple murder at Ollioules in the Var have revealed that a total of 46 gunshots ,30 of them from a Kalashnikov were fired during the incident.

Ballistics evidence shoes that the killer or killers opened fire probably from under cover at a distance of 50 meters from the two men targeted outside a petrol station.A 56 year old woman died after being caught in the crossfire and her 57 year old husband was seriously injured.

Authorities believe the killings were part of a settling of scores between rival drug dealers.Investigations continue.

 

Illegal apartments-Firefighters who took part in extinguishing a fire in an underground carpark in St Tropez say that they have discovered a number of illegal living quarters in the basement of the building.

27 people were evacuated from the Eden Residence on the avenue General Leclerc on Tuesday after an electrical fault in the carpark started the blaze.

Firefighters forced all the doors in the basement open as part of the operation and found that a number of cellars and other closed spaces had been converted into living quarters.

Police have launched an investigation.

 

Fire risks-Walking and motorised access to 9 forested areas of the Var has been banned today because of a severe risk of fires.

Woodland is still tinder dry despite the heavy rain last weekend  and most of the forest land in the department is on the red second highest alert.

Smoking anywhere in the affected zones is strictly forbidden and authorities again warn motorists not to toss cigarette ends out of car windows.

Last week ,two fires in the central reservation of the A8 motorway were started by discarded cigarettes.

 

Power cut-A number of stores including the FNAC had to close on Wednesday after a power cut hit central Nice.

Some 1600 Enedis customers were affected by the outage which hit part of the avenue Jean Medecin as well as the rue de Suisse and the avenue Durante.

Power was restored later afternoon resulting in an important drop in commerce for several large stores.

 

 

Mosquitoes- Health authorities have offered updated advice about mosquitoes and who is more likely to  be bitten.

There are more than 3,000 species of Mosquito and the most common type in France the Culex is active at night.

The more recent invasive Tiger Mosquito bites during the day and is particularly active at dawn and dusk but can cause problems 24 hours a day especially in shady ,humid areas.

Scientists say that all mosquitoes seem to be attracted by dark coloured clothing especially blue  and that the insects tend to favour  certain chemicals contained in human sweat especially lactic acid and ammonia.

 

In National news.

 

Cannabis sweets-French authorities are warning about increasing amounts of cannabis sweets being brought into the country and the dangers that they present to young children.

The sweets which look like ordinary jellies or other common treats are being bought illegally online and shipped into France using the postal service.

Several adults have complained of feeling unwell after eating the sweets which contain varying amounts of THC -the active ingredient in cannabis.

Authorities say that people buying the sweets are playing “Russian roulette” with their health as they can’t be certain what they contain and have warned that they could be deadly if a young child gets hold of them.

 

Huge fire-300 firefighters aided by water bombing aircraft have now managed to contain a huge fire that’s  destroyed 500 hectares of trees and other vegetation in the Gard department in the south of France.

Strong winds and the presence of livestock in the affected area  hampered efforts to put the flames out.

The fire ,near Generac close to Nimes is reported to have started on Tuesday afternoon in a vineyard.130 people have been moved out of their homes as the blaze threatened property and farm buildings.

 

Black Saturday-The French road monitor Bison Fute has classed the weekend as black on the roads as the annual July to August holiday crossover period takes place.

Hundreds of thousands of motorists will be on the roads with long jams forecast in the Rhône Valley and across Mediterranean resorts.

The worst day is forecast to be Saturday but Sunday is also expected to be very busy across the French road network.

Motorists are advised to put off long journeys until Monday if possible or to drive overnight.Plenty of water and snacks should also be carried in cars to take into account the possibility of being stuck in a long traffic jam.

 

Business.

 

US markets fell sharply on Wednesday despite an interest rate cut from the central bank as Fed chairman Jerome Powell  ruled out any further significant easing.

At the close the S&P 500 was down by  1.1 percent to 29 80 with the Dow Jones Industrials off 1.2 percent at 26 ,864 and the Nasdaq down 1.2 percent at 81 75.

 

The US Federal Reserve has cut interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis of 2008.

The Fed cut rates by a quarter of one percent to a target range of between two and two and a quarter percent with the central bank citing concerns about both US and global growth.

Supporters of the rate cut say that it will help to spur the US economy which has been showing signs of needing a boost while critics say that it will fuel a stock market boom and encourage risky lending.

While the Fed said that the US economy is in good shape ,it cited downside risks  and inflation running lower than the target rate.

The cut has failed to  impress US President Donald Trump who has been a constant critic of the Fed in recent months and was looking for a bigger reduction.

Some analysts say that the quarter of one percent cut won’t have much effect on the economy.

 

The former boss of Audi has been charged with fraud in connection with the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal.

Rupert Stadler has also been accused by German authorities of false certification and criminal advertising practices.

Prosecutors say that Mr Stadler knew that hundreds of thousands of Audi ,Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles were fitted with software designed to cheat pollution tests but that he turned a blind eye.

Mr Stadler has denied any wrongdoing.

 

And-Thousands of passengers could have their travel plans disrupted from next month after British Airways lost an appeal aimed at halting planned strike action by pilots.

The BA Pilots’s Association Balpa voted in favour of industrial action in July following three days of negotiations with management failed to resolve a dispute over pay.

The owners of British Airways ,IAG sought an injunction in the High Court in London in a bid to prevent the strike but it was overturned by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.

Balpa says that the window for negotiating a settlement is closing fast and that management need to wake up to reality.

BA says that it’s 11.5 percent pay offer over 3 years is fair but pilots say that they took a wage hit during the financial crisis and now that the airline is back in healthy profit they deserve to share in the spoils.

The union will have to give BA two weeks notice before any strike action is held but unless a solution is found it’s going to cause major headaches for passengers at the busiest time of year.

 

Sport.

 

Cricket-The Ashes series between England and Australia starts at Edgebaston today with England looking to regain the urn that they lost in the last series down under.

Joffra Archer has been left out by England with the bowling attack led by James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

David Warner is fit for Australia and he returns to the side alongside former skipper Steve Smith for the first time since the ball tampering scandal in South Africa.

The sides look pretty well matched but England haven’t lost a home series since 2001 and they’ve been particularly strong at Edgebaston.

 

Football-The Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has responded to reports that Gareth Bale was playing golf while his team-mates were competing in the Audi Cup in Munich by saying that he hoped that he had been training.

The Bale saga still appears to be nowhere near a resolution with the club wanting him to leave but not without a transfer fee.

Many clubs have been put off signing the 30 year old Wales international because of his wage demands.

Zidane said that he would speak to Bale when he returned from Munich.

 

Racing-Frankie Dettori did it again by winning the feature race at Glorious Goodwood on Wednesday as he romped home on Too Darn Hot to win the Sussex Stakes.

The victory is the 48 year old’s 11th Group 1 win in 62 days and he could make it 12 if he wins the big race today.

The Nassau Stakes is off at 4.35 and Dettori will be riding the 7-2 John Gosden trained Mehdaayih.

 

Rugby Union-The England full back Mike Brown says that the players are loosing a lot of weight in high humidity at the Treviso World Cup training camp in Italy.

Brown said  that as soon as you step outside ,everyone starts sweating.Humidity in the region was registered at 80-90 percent on Wednesday.

33 year old Brown who was a regular starter for England until recently was left out of the initial training squad but has been given a chance to stake his claim for a place in the 31 man World Cup squad which will be announced on the 12th of August.

 

Weather.

 

Fine in coastal areas , occasional showers inland later and light south easterly winds.

Top temperatures 27-30 degrees.

Overnight lows of 22 degrees on the coast and 19 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 27-33 degrees.

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