French and Riviera News.Thursday July 18th 2019

New Heatwave-Météo France has warned that a new heatwave is set to grip the country next week with a mass of hot air from the African continent blocked over Spain.

Temperatures are set to start climbing from this weekend with highs of between 35 and 40 degrees expected by the middle of next week.

The extreme heat is set to last for several days.

 

Missing girl-Police in Draguignan are appealing for help in finding a 13 year old girl who’s been missing since yesterday.

Halima Said who comes from Mayotte ,a French overseas department in the Indian Ocean has been staying with her aunt for the past three months and speaks with a strong accent.

She was last seen leaving her aunt’s home on the chemin Saints-Barbe in Draguignan on Wednesday morning and was wearing a grey skirt and floral blouse with short sleeves.

She’s 1 meter 60 tall and has black ,wavy hair.

She does not have a mobile phone and was only carrying her passport at the time she went missing.It’s thought that she may be trying to reach her uncle who lives in Marseilles.

Anyone with information is asked to call Draguignan police on 04 94 39 44 00.

 

Quick action-Emergency services have been praised for saving the lives of two bathers in separate incidents on the Côte d’Azur on Wednesday.

In the first, a 70 year old man was pulled from the water  by other bathers and lifeguards while suffering a cardiac arrest off Salis Beach.

Paramedics performed CPR on the shore and the victim was taken to the Fontonne Hospital for further treatment.

In Nice ,a 70 year old woman was pulled from the water after suffering a cardiac arrest off the Beau Rivage.

Attentive staff from the beach-restaurant went to the woman’s aid after she was spotted face down and not moving in the water.

Paramedics revived her at shore and she was taken to hospital.

 

Turn,turn turn-Residents in Saint-Laurent-du-Var have started a petition to have the giant carousel wheel on the port removed.

There have been numerous complaints since the wheel was installed in May with residents complaining that it’s an eyesore and causes light pollution at night.

A letter has been sent to the Environment Ministry calling for the carousel to be taken down but so far the demands have been to no avail.

 

Voie Rapide-Work is continuing on a new westbound exit to the Voie Rapide in Nice which will link the dual carriageway to the Route de Grenoble.

The new section is due to be completed in 2024 and should help to relieve congestion in the area.

The total cost of the project is estimated at 72 million euros and a further extension linking the road to the A8 motorway is set to follow at a cost of 36 million euros.

 

Repeat offender-A 32 year old man from Vence has been jailed for 18 months with 6 months suspended after being caught riding his motor scooter under the influence of cannabis.

The man,who had only been released from jail a few days ago for a similar offence was spotted riding erratically by police in Cannes-sur-Mer and failed a drugs test.

The judge at Grasse criminal court also ordered him to undergo treatment for substance abuse and directed for his scooter to be confiscated and his driving license to be suspended for 4 years.

 

Integrated coding-A new product in the fight against crime is being rolled out in the Var with authorities hoping that it will lead to more criminal convictions.

Integrated coding is being introduced in shops and business premises across the department and is used to track down goods after they’ve been stolen or link suspects to a crime scene.

Goods will be coded using a unique varnish which provides better traceability while businesses can opt to have their premises coded with a special spray.

Experts from the National Gendarmery Criminal Research Bureau are visiting police stations across the Var to familiarise officers with how to use the new products.

 

More police-Residents in the Port area of Nice are calling for more police to be drafted into the city to fight crime.

A committee of residents in the area has highlighted growing criminal activity from break-ins to violent assaults and has called on the Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes to send extra officers.

The committee estimates that Nice is short of some 200 National Police officers.A petition calling for reinforcements has so far gathered 1300 signatures.

 

In National News.

 

Drought-64 French departments are currently on drought alert with the Isere region among the worst affected.

The recent heatwave and absence of rainfall has left many reservoirs dangerously low  and agriculture is suffering as well as the local freshwater fishing industry.

Further to the east ,the Haut Savoie department has introduced restrictions on water use as the dry weather continues and areas in the west of the country such as the Vendee have also restricted use including for agriculture.

 

Fires-60 hectares of pines have been destroyed in forest fires which have hit the south west of France between the Landes and Gironde departments.

130 firefighters have attended the blazes which are now said to be under control.

The fires,which broke out between Salles en Gironde and Sangiunet in Les Landes destroyed plantations of 15 year old pine trees.

The area is popular with French holidaymakers.

An enquiry is underway to discover the cause of the fires.

Several forested areas of the country are on high alert for fires owing to the continuing dry weather.

 

Super Ministry-The woman chosen to replace Francois de Rugy at the Department of the Environment is to be in charge of a new Super Ministry which will also encompass her existing job as Transport Minister.

Elisabeth  Borne was named as de Rugy’s replacement after his position became untenable following accusations that he’d used public money to hold lavish dinners and redecorate his official residence while he was speaker of the French Parliament.

Borne will face a massive challenge with the two Ministries rolled into one as environmental matters attract increasing focus given the dangers posed by climate change and the government  under pressure to improve and reform the public transport system.

 

Business.

 

European Union anti-trust regulators have opened an investigation following allegations that Amazon misuses sensitive data from independent retailers who offer their products on the online giant’s platform.

The EU anti-trust commissioner Margrethe Vestager says that she will be taking a “very close look” at Amazon’s business practices.

The European Commission has said that as part of the investigation it would be examining Amazon’s standard contracts with marketplace sellers.

It will also look at how data is used to allocate prominent positions on pages.

Amazon has denied any wrongdoing.

 

The internet search giant Google  has suspended the secondary ticket website Viagogo as an advertiser following claims that touts are reselling tickets at inflated prices.

The decision comes after the UK Competition and Market Authority announced that it was taking Viagogo to court after alleging that it has not enough to change its business practices.

Last year ,several large organisations including the Football Association and the trade body UK music signed an open letter to senior Google executives urging it to stop allowing Viagogo from advertising.

Viagogo says that it is cooperating fully with the CMA

 

And-Seaworld has hit back at Virgin Holidays after the firm said that it had stopped selling tickets to the US theme park chain’s captive whale and dolphin shows.

Seaworld said that it was “disappointing to see Virgin succumb to pressure from animal  rights activists”.

It went on to say that the activists were people who “mislead and manipulate marine mammal science to advance their agendas”.

It went on to say that “no company does more to protect marine mammals and advance cetacean research ,rescue and conservation”.

There’s growing public opposition across the developed world to animals kept in captivity but in some cases it’s become the only option to prevent extinction of species.

 

Sport.

 

Golf-The Open Championship is underway at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland-the first time that the tournament has been held at the course since 1951.

All eyes will be on the Northern Irish players competing including Rory McIlroy who set the course record of 61 there at the age of 16.

World number one Brooks Koepka is looking to win his 5th Major while Tiger Woods will be hungry to repeat the success that won him the US Masters at Augusta in April.

 

Football-Manchester United eased to a 4-0 win over historic rivals Leeds United in Perth at the end of their 9 day tour of Australia.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made 11 changes at half time as he continued to run the rule over his squad.Marcus Rashford was on the score sheet for United as was 17 year old Mason Greenwood.

 

The England right back Kieran Trippier has completed a 20 million pound move from Spurs to Athletico Madrid.

The 28 year old has signed a three year deal with the La Liga side.

He’s Athletico’s third major defensive signing of the summer.

 

Cricket-Jason Roy has been named in the England squad for the four day Test match against Ireland at Lords which starts next week.

Roy is not a regular top-order batsman in the red ball form of the game but scored 443 runs as an opener in England’s winning World Cup campaign.

James Anderson is also in the squad despite suffering from a calf injury while Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are being rested.

 

Cycling-Caleb Ewan of Australia has won his first Tour de France stage victory after coming home first in a sprint finish at the end of stage 11 from Albi to Toulouse.

Ewan pipped the favourite Dylan Groenewegen to the line with Elia Viviani finishing third.

The general classification was not greatly affected with Julian Alaphilippe of France holding on to the leader’s yellow jersey and the defending champion Geraint Thomas in second place one minute 12 seconds behind him.

Today’s 12th stage is 209.5 kilometers between Toulouse and Bagneres-de-Bigorre with two sizeable climbs at the end.

 

Netball-England are through to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Liverpool after a 72-46 win over Trinidad and Tobago.

Their place in the last 4 was confirmed last night after South Africa beat Uganda.

Australia and New Zealand are also through to the semi-finals.

 

Weather.

 

Mainly fine in coastal areas,the chance of a shower and possibly a thunderstorm inland in the Alpes-Maritimes later.

Moderate westerly winds in the Var,light to moderate easterlies in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Top temperatures 27-30 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 21 degrees on the coast and 18 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Fine in coastal areas,showers inland.Highs of 26-30 degrees.

 

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