French and Riviera News.Tuesday July 16th 2019

Hail-Parts of the Var have been hit by violent storms with hail stones the size of golf balls reported in some areas.

The worst affected areas were La Croix Valmer and Ramatuelle.

Several shops were forced to close because of flooding at the industrial zone in Frejus.

Part of the roof collapsed at the Lidl supermarket at Le Capitou.There are no reports of any injuries.

Some snow fell on the peaks of the Mercantour on Monday afternoon as rain affected many coastal areas of the region.

 

 

Hospital strikes-Accident and emergency staff at several hospitals around the region have started strike action in protest over a lack of personnel.

Staff at hospitals in Nice ,Grasse ,Frejus ,Cannes and St Tropez are providing only essential services as part of national strike action which has been called by the CGT union in protest over insufficient numbers of doctors and nurses in accident and emergency services and also a reduction in the number of beds available.

Staff at some 200 hospitals nationwide are taking part in the protests.

 

Fire-A man is in a critical condition in hospital after jumping from a 4th floor window to escape a fire that broke out at an apartment block in the Parc Imperial area of Nice in the early hours of Monday.

Several apartments in the block were damaged during the fire which was brought under control by emergency services.

The injured man was rushed to Pasteur hospital in Nice and is reported to be suffering from multiple injuries.

5 people had to be rehoused as a result of the fire.

 

Gun control-Police in Cannes have arrested a man who left a bag containing a gun and 20 cartridges in a local restaurant.

The man ,who has previous convictions had finished his meal and left the restaurant but forgot his bag.

Staff found the gun and the ammunition inside and called police.He was arrested shortly afterwards.

 

 

Wheelie-A 16 year old youth has been seriously injured while attempting to “pull a wheelie” on a motor scooter near Six-Fours in the Var.

The 16 year old lost control of the 50cc machine while attempting to balance on the back wheel on the Corniche de la Coudouliere and was taken to hospital in Toulon suffering from multiple injuries.

Police in the south of France have issued a warning to motorcyclists following a series of accidents involving two wheeled vehicles across the region over the past few days and have called on people to act responsibly and to wear the correct protective clothing.

 

 

Cameras-Municipal police officers in Antibes will soon be equipped with body cameras to record all incidents.

The measure has been approved by the town council and is part of a national rollout of the scheme.

Officers in Nice are already using body cameras.

 

Less tax-The French Minister for Public Accounts has said that 95 percent of people will pay less income tax from next year.

Gerald Darmanin has been visiting the Alpes-Maritimes where he met customs officers as part of the government’s drive to crack down on counterfeit goods.

The Minister visited Cannes and Vence during his trip and said that 35 percent of French consumers have unknowingly purchased a counterfeit product on the internet and that the government was determined to stamp out the problem.

Customs officers have seized 5.4 million counterfeit products over the past year and Mr Darmanin said that consumers were in some cases unknowingly helping to support drug traffickers and terrorists.

He also said that the vast majority of people paying income tax would see their bills reduced next year as part of the government’s fiscal policies.

 

Tourism-The summer holiday season has got off to a slow start in the Var with officials reporting only 60 percent occupancy at campsites across the region.

Restaurants are also reporting sluggish business although things appear to have picked up somewhat over the Bastille Day weekend.

A number of factors are thought to be responsible including the recent heatwave.

 

In National News.

 

Level crossing deaths-A woman and three children have been killed after their car was hit by a train at a level crossing in North-Eastern France.

Authorities say that the collision happened near the village of Avenay-Val-d’Or in the Marne department

12 emergency service vehicle and 28 firefighters attended the scene  and rail traffic was suspended for the whole of Monday.

A further four people were injured and passengers on the train were taken the local town hall.

It’s not yet clear why the car was on the level crossing.Police have launched an investigation.

The local Mayor said that the crossing was “well maintained” and did not present exceptional danger.

The dead woman was in her 30’s and two of the children were toddlers with the other a 10 year old girl.

 

 

PSA-The Peugeot Citroen Group has announced a 12.8 percent fall in first quarter sales.

PSA says that it sold 1.9 million vehicles in the quarter with the decline provoked by restricted sales to Iran  and commercial difficulties in China.

Sales to China and South-East Asia have slumped by more than 60 percent over the past 6 months to 64,000 vehicles as a result of the global economic slowdown.

Sales to emerging markets have also fallen heavily with a 44.8 percent drop in China and a 50.3 percent fall in Argentina.

 

Business.

 

US markets made small gains on Monday as investors kept their powder dry at the start of second quarter earnings season.

At the close ,the S&P 500 was up very slightly to 30 14 with the Dow Jones Industrials up 0.1 percent at 27,359 and the Nasdaq up 0.2 percent at 82 58.

 

 

Thousands of Amazon workers at sites across the world have been staging protests over pay and conditions as the online retail giant started its annual sale.

Amazon started offering discounts to its Prime service members on Monday with workers in Germany working out while in the United States ,workers in Minnesota stopped processing packages for six hours.

A series of week long strikes are planned at many Amazon warehouses across the US.

Amazon says that it offers fair conditions to its workers worldwide and great employment opportunities.

Several reports have suggested that management at Amazon use unfair practices on the shop floor ,penalising workers who absent themselves for a matter of minutes to eat or use the toilet.

 

Shares in Sports Direct have plunged by 15 percent after the firm delayed its results citing uncertainty about trading at its House of Fraser chain.

The firm’s results were due on Thursday and it also indicated that it might not achieve its profits forecast.

Sports Direct,which is owned by the retail billionaire Mike Ashley said that it will now release its results between the 26th of July and the 23rd of August.

The company added that the delay was also due to its auditor Grant Thornton which has been facing increasing scrutiny of its work for the firm.

 

And-Green fuel imports to Europe may inadvertently be increasing deforestation and demand for palm oil according to a new report.

Experts say that the recent boom in the amount of used cooking oil imports from Asia is being replaced across the continent with palm oil from deforested areas.

Waste cooking oil is the basis for biodiesel which produces far less C02 than fossil fuels in cars but the development may be counterproductive as its increasing deforestation.

Environmental groups say that cutting down trees is a lose-lose situation and that rapid replanting of forest land is a vital tool in the fight against Climate change.

 

Sport.

 

Cricket-The England director of cricket Ashley Giles has played down claims that the side were given an extra run in their World Cup Final win over New Zealand on Sunday.

A throw by a New Zealand fielder hit Ben Stokes in the final over of England’s innings as he dived to complete a second run and ended up going to the boundary for four.

England were awarded six runs for the mix-up but Stokes and the other batsman Adil Rashid had not crossed when the throw was released and the laws of the game say that they were given one run too many.

Giles said that it “didn’t really matter” although leading umpires have said that the decision was a clear mistake.

 

Cycling-Wout van Aert has won stage 10 of the Tour de France in a thrilling sprint finish at Albi.

Van Aert just held off Elia Viviani as Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe held on to the leader’s yellow jersey.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas  had a good day and moved up to overall second in the general classification.

Alaphilippe is one minute 12 seconds ahead of Thomas in the overall standings with Egan Bernal in third.

Today is a rest day before the riders tackle stage 11 between Albi and Toulouse.

 

Golf-Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland will hit the opening tee shot at the Open Championship which starts at Portrush on Thursday.

Clarke-the 2011 Open champion will tee off at 7.35 French time on Thursday with Rory McIlroy who set the course record at Portrush at the age of 16 will be off at 11.09.

Tiger Woods tees off at 10 past 4  and will be playing with Patrick Reed and Matt  Wallace.

The world number one Brooks Koepka will tee off at 4 minutes past 2.

 

Football-Everton have signed Fabien Delph from Manchester City on a three year deal.

The midfielder has already linked up with his new team-mates at their training camp in Switzerland.

Delph has made 20 appearances for England and was in last year’s World Cup squad.

 

 

Netball-England have beaten Jamaica at the World Cup in Liverpool to all but secure their place in the semi finals.

England won 56-48 with Jamaica now relying on other results if they’re to make the last 4.

England will be sure of their place in the last 4 if they beat Trinidad and Tobago tomorrow.

 

Weather.

 

Clear skies with light westerly winds.

Top temperatures 27-30 degrees Celsius.

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

Wednesday and Thursday-Hazy sunshine with highs of 27-31 degrees.

 

 

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