Daily Brief 11 July 2013

Latest update 19:00 UK time.

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Travel: Delays and cancellations on P&O Dover-Calais services.

Weather: Fine. Only issues in east Europe, possibly Italy.

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News: Ireland rural roads warning – Introducing SOCAR – WAVE goodbyeRussian crackdown on baseball bats – Mother Theresa bogged down

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Random pic: quite high on the Bernina Pass, east Switzerland

Random pic: Quite High on the Bernina Pass, eastern Switzerland. Bernina is the 31st highest paved road in Europe, the 23rd highest mountain pass. The highest you can go in a car in Europe (and not have to reverse at the top) is Col de l’Iseran in the Savoy, south east France, at 9,090ft.

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TRAVEL/WEATHER:

Meteoalarm weather alerts – Amber warning for storms west Slovenia, east Austria and all Serbia.

Weather in brief – ‘For much of Europe it will be a very warm to hot and dry summers day’, certainly in the north west. Possible heavy showers again in parts of Italy, after yesterday’s flash floods.

Crossing the Channel: P&O Dover-Calais – ‘We are sorry that due to on-going operational problems with two of our vessels all services to and from Calais are subject to delays.’ There are also cancellations but with the high frequency of service passengers are advised to check in as normal. Click this link for more details.

No other operators currently reporting any delays.

From @Port_of_Dover today: ‘Here in Dover sea conditions in the Channel are slight with a North Nor Easterly breeze, force 5  and the visibility is good.’

Latest @CF_travel_news forecast: ‘The current forecast indicates slight conditions during the week ahead.’

See our Traffic/Travel/Weather page for the latest.

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NEWSLOG:

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Ireland – drivers on the Republic’s rural roads have been warned to take extra care during the on-going heat wave. Farmers racing to make hay while the sun shines, literally, mean countryside roads will have more heavy agricultural vehicles on them than usual. The current fine weather is forecast to last until at least next Tuesday (16 July).

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Fuel – get used to the name SOCAR. The state-owned oil company from Azerbaijan is in the process of rebranding the 160 filling stations in Switzerland it bought from ExxonMobil last year. The company is coy about its ambitions in the wider Western European market but hasn’t ruled out the possibility. Yesterday it announced its 34th SOCAR branded filling station in Ukraine.

Fuel – get used to the name SOCAR. The state-owned oil company from Azerbaijan is in the process of rebranding the 160 filling stations in Switzerland it bought last year from ExxonMobil. The company is coy about its ambitions in the wider Western European market but hasn’t ruled out the possibility. Yesterday it announced its 34th SOCAR branded filling station in Ukraine.

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Russia – the baseball bat is the weapon of choice in Russian road rage incidents. We’ve heard of a few incidents recently, the latest being on Tuesday evening. This time though the victim was a high-profile, hard-line member of the Duma, Roman Khudyakov, in/famous for recently calling for gun ownership to be legalised for self-defence. Expect repercussions. Can you have a crackdown on baseball bats?

Meantime, a petition to stop public officials owning cars worth more than $45,500 has gained 100,000 signatures, enough to have the issue formally considered by the govt. The campaign was started by anti-corruption blogger – and Moscow mayor candidate – Alexsei Navalny, currently facing unrelated charges widely considered to be trumped up. A man to watch, if you aren’t already.

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EVs - We didn’t take the WAVE tour seriously: 1,900km in ten days is no great shakes, even if you do cross the Alps. What we didn’t realise is that 388 vehicles too part, including 53 Teslas (don't say that must be everybody who's ever bought an electric car). ook part. The overall winner was Team Phoenix Contact in a Renault Fluence EV. This is turning into a major event.

We didn’t take the WAVE tour seriously: 1,900km in ten days is no great shakes, even if you do cross the Alps. What we didn’t realise is that 388 EVs took part (don’t say that must be everybody who’s ever bought an electric car). The overall winner, based on speed, efficiency, etc, was Team Phoenix Contact in a Renault Fluence (second right). This is turning into a major event.

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UK v EU – These new twenty pages of notes to accompany Theresa May’s recent decision on the 130 Justice and Home Affairs Lisbon Treaty opt-outs – some of which concern the sharing of driving licence and vehicle registration details – is a vast improvement on the 130 pages released alongside her Commons speech on Tuesday, but still impenetrable. We’re still waiting on some expert analysis. BTW, the Home Sec ran into trouble at last night’s backbench 1922 committee according to the Telegraph, many MPs still unhappy about the European Arrest Warrant. Next week’s vote on whether the Coalition can proceed as it wants to could be pushed back to the autumn.

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NOTES:

Luxembourg – more weekend road closures on the A4, between Luxembourg city and the French border south east. Resurfacing works on the Lux city-bound carriageway. Diversions in place.

Turkey – after some time without protests the situation became tense again over the weekend. See latest FCO travel advice.

Bulgaria – continuing anti-govt demonstrations, day twenty eight today. The British Embassy says, ‘There is a small risk of violence. Avoid large gatherings in public spaces and follow local media and the advice of the local authorities.’ For the latest FCO travel advice click here. For Bulgarian news in English see www.Novinite.com or @novinite_com on Twitter.

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