French and Riviera News.Wednesday July 31st 2019

Ollioules-A settling of accounts between rival drug dealers is the main line of enquiry into Sunday’s triple murder in Ollioules in the Var.

Two men were gunned down outside a petrol station in the Var and an innocent 56 year old woman who was on holiday with her husband was shot dead in the crossfire.

Interdepartmental judicial police who are leading the investigation have confirmed that a small bag found on one of the dead men contained 200 grams of cannabis resin and a quantity of cash.Both the murdered men had previous convictions for drugs offences.

Authorities  in the region are currently investigating a number of similar cases and the Mayor of Ollioules as well as unions representing police are calling for reinforcements to be sent to the area.

 

Sardines-Commuters on rush hour trains are complaining after the SNCF rail operator introduced its summer schedule.

Some trains have been cancelled for the next month and TER express services have had their carriages cut meaning that travellers at peak times are unable to find seats and have been complaining of cramped conditions.

The rail operator is also carrying out essential maintenance which is resulting in some delays.

 

Watch out ! -Beach goers are being warned that gangs of thieves are operating up and down the coast looking for easy pickings.

The public is warned not to take valuables or large amounts of cash to the beach and to make sure that mobile phones are in a safe place.

It’s also advised to leave someone on the beach to keep an eye on belongings when going for a dip or to ask a neighbouring group to keep a look out.

Thieves are looking for anything that they can take easily and there have been dozens of cases of theft on beaches since the start of the summer holidays.

 

Hot Chip-A house at Montmeyan in the Var has been completely destroyed by fire after a deep fat fryer exploded in the kitchen.

Firefighters were called to the house on the chemin de Mourrefrey on Tuesday afternoon but were unable to prevent the property from being gutted.

Fortunately no one was seriously injured but the 85 year old man who lived there was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

 

Fire-Large numbers of firefighters have been attending a blaze that started in an underground car-park in St Tropez on Tuesday.

Authorities sealed off the town centre after the fire started underneath the Eden Residence apartment building on the avenue General Leclerc.

The fire is reported to have been caused by an electrical fault.

23 people were moved out of the building and two have required hospital treatment as a result of smoke inhalation.

 

Fire risk-Three forested areas of the Var remain on high alert for fires today despite last weekend’s torrential rain.

Authorities say that although the situation has improved from last week’s heatwave conditions ,forest land is still very dry and fires could easily start.

Restrictions are in force on walkers and motorised vehicles in the Monts Toulonnais ,Corniche des Maures and Sainte-Baume.

 

Boom-Police in Nice say that it’s a miracle that no one was hurt after a large piece of an apartment facade came off the top of an apartment block in the busy pedestrian zone and crashed to the ground as the street below was crowded with people.

The incident happened in the rue Massena at lunchtime on Tuesday with firefighters rushing to the scene to prevent any more masonry falling off.

A thorough check was made on neighbouring buildings on the block and two restaurants in the street below were forced to close for the day.

 

In National news.

 

Paris accident-A workman has been killed and three people have been injured after scaffolding collapsed near the place d’Italie in the 13th arrondisement of Paris on Tuesday afternoon.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud crash as the scaffolding which had been erected on the exterior of a building came down.

20 workers were on the site at the time of the accident.

The scaffolding was some 20 meters high and an enquiry is underway to establish why it collapsed.

 

Lead- A French environmental group has filed a lawsuit alleging that lead pollution as a result of the April fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is endangering the health of local residents.

The spire of the Cathedral collapsed in the fire on the 15th of August and the roof was damaged  and the Robin des Bois  environmental NGO has now backed up a previous warning about dangerous lead levels in the air with a lawsuit against the French government for what it describes as “wrongful failure”.

At the start of the week ,two local schools were closed as a precaution and work on the Cathedral was halted in order to protect workers from being exposed to hazardous levels of lead.

Several organisations say that the government has been covering up the danger posed by the fire  after as much as 400 tonnes of lead  went up in flames and then turned to dust  which settled on and around the site.

Last week the government insisted that there was no risk to public health  but later conceded that anti-contamination measures had not been “tight enough” and were not being “sufficiently applied”.

 

Care crisis-A new report by the French National Statistics Office INSEE has estimated that by 2050 the country will have 4 million elderly people who require long-term care.

The report suggests that residential care requirements will shoot up by 60 percent from the last available data which was measured in 2015.

INSEE says that by 2050 , numbers of residents over the age of 60 will top 24 million and 16 percent of them will not be able to manage on their own.

Of the 2.5 million elderly people who were found to be requiring long-term care in 2015 , 22 percent were living in residential homes  which amounted to some 600,000 people.That figure is expected to rise to 900,000 by the year 2045.

 

Business.

 

US markets closed lower on Tuesday after President Trump raised doubts about a rapid trade deal with China.

At the close the S&P 500 was down by 0.3 percent to 30 13 with the Dow Jones Industrials down 0.1 percent at 27 ,198 and the Nasdaq down 0.2 percent at 82 73.

 

President Trump appears to have scuppered the chances of a rapid trade deal with China following a series of angry tweets.

Mr Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to suggest that China was holding off on a deal until after the 2020 US presidential election in the hope that a Democrat would enter the White House and then they could “get what they want”.

The President went on to speculate that China was doing “very ,very badly and that the USA was doing “much better”.

He said that China “doesn’t come through” and warned that if he did get re-elected in 2020 then the terms of a trade deal would be “much tougher” than the one currently being negotiated.

Markets turned negative on the comments after there had been some optimism last week that a deal could be in sight.

 

The Chinese tech giant Huawei has warned of “difficulties ahead” despite reporting a sharp jump in first half revenue.

In May ,the firm was blacklisted by Washington which has restricted its ability to trade with US firms.

Huawei said that revenue increased by 23 percent in the first 6 months of the year compared to 2018 and that shipments of smartphones had jumped by 24 percent.

The firm is under scrutiny worldwide following claims that it poses a security risk.

 

And-The latest inflation data from Germany could help persuade the European Central Bank to go ahead with a cut in interest rates in September.

The Hamonised index of consumer prices which is used by the Bank fell to 1.1 percent in July-its lowest level since November 2016.

Last month the index was at 1.5 percent which is much closer to the Bank’s 2 percent inflation target.

Economists had expected a drop but to 1.3 percent instead of the bigger fall registered.

The latest data adds to the evidence that the European economy is struggling to maintain momentum.

Problems in the German manufacturing sector have been a major factor in the downturn.

 

Sport.

 

Football-Gareth Bale wasn’t fit to travel to Munich for Real Madrid’s match against Spurs last night according to coach Zinedine Zidane.

Bale’s future is up in the air after his proposed move to China was blocked by the club and Zidane saying last week that it would be “best for everyone” if he left.

Earlier reports had said that the 30 year  old Wales international was not in the right mental state to make the trip but Zidane said it was purely a fitness problem.

Spurs won the match 1-0.

 

Celtic are through to the third and final qualifying round of the European Champions League after a 7-0 aggregate win over Nomme Kalju.

Celtic won 2-0 on the night after having won the first leg 5-0 and will now play Cluj of Romania in the decisive qualifying round.

 

 

Cricket-England captain Joe Root will bat at 3 in the first Ashes Test against Australia which starts at Edgebaston tomorrow.

Joe Denley will drop to 4 with reports saying that Root wants to bat higher up the order given England’s potentially shaky opening partnership between.

For Australia ,David Warner is expected to be fit as is Usman Khawaja.

Bowlers Mitchell Starc ,Peter Siddle and Josh Hazelwood will probably be vying for one spot in the team.

 

Rugby Union-The England flanker Brad Shields is facing a race to be fit for the World Cup after being ruled out with a foot injury.

Shields has a tear in his lower foot and it’s touch and go as to whether he’ll make the trip to Japan.

England play their opening World Cup match against Tonga on September the 22nd.

 

Boxing-The WBC has provisionally suspended Dillian Whyte as interim world heavyweight champion and mandatory challenger to Deontay Wilder.

Whyte tested positive for banned substance three days before he beat Oscar Rivas on the 20th of July.

The 31 year old Briton will be allowed to put his case to the WBC  and he maintains his innocence.

It’s the second time that he’s tested positive for a banned substance.

 

Racing-Frankie Dettori guided Stradivarius to a third Goodwood Cup victory on the opening day of the festival on Tuesday.

The five year old ,trained by John Gosden has now won 8 races on the trot and became only the second horse after Double Trigger to win the two mile event three times.

48 year old Dettori is currently enjoying a hot run of form and he could be on for another winner in today’s feature race.He’ll partner Too Darn Hot which is the 6-5 on favourite in the Sussex Stakes which is off at 4.35.

 

Weather.

 

Partially cloudy with moderate westerly  winds across the Var.

Top temperatures  28-29 degrees in coastal areas,32-33 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 22 degrees on the coast and 20 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Clear skies in coastal areas ,showers inland  with highs of 28-31 degrees.

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