Evening Update Friday 2 August

Authorities have suspended their search for a 45 year old man who went missing at Lac St. Croix in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence yesterday. Reports say that he is from Marseille and had rented a boat on the lake with a companion. Divers from the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Var and three helicopters were mobilised in the search but the man has not been located and no body has been found. The search was suspended late this morning.

Three people have been seriously injured in an accident on the route de Turin in Nice. Two vehicles were involved in the collision in the early hours of this morning.  In total, seven people were treated at the scene and taken to the emergency department of the Pasteur Hospital.

A driver has escaped with his life after his truck fell 30 metres into a ravine near Gourdon. The truck was apparently going downhill when the brakes failed.  The driver in his thirties manged to jump clear of the vehicle before it fell into the ravine. He’s currently undergoing a medical check-up.

Two students have been rescued from a mountain near Saint-Etienne-de-Tinée last night. Reports say that two helicopters and eight rescue mountaineers as well as other rescue personnel were involved in the operation.

A man has been shot dead in Beziers in the Herault department in an apparent dispute over a parking space. The gunman is described as being aged between 20 and 30. A handgun was used in the attack. The gunman is still on the run.

22 forest massifs in the Bouches-du-Rhône have been closed to access today because of the fire risk.  In the Var, 7 massifs are classified as being at “Severe Risk” of fire, one level below the highest risk level. Three new fires broke out in a short space of time in the Gard department this afternoon. Pompiers say that the largest fire has consumed at least 60 hectares. Meanwhile, a fire broke out in a private garage in a forest area near Bargemon today. Thirty pompiers managed to bring the blaze under control quickly and only 100 square metres of brush was consumed by the blaze.  


BUSINESS

European stock indices have fallen today after President Trump announced new tariffs on a further $300bn of Chinese imports. There were similar falls in Asia where the Nikkei closed 2.1% lower and Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended down 2.3%.  The announcement came after the latest round of bilateral talks showed little sign of a breakthrough. A spokeswoman for China's foreign ministry warned the country would retaliate. The tariffs are due to take effect on 1 September.

Energy company Exxon Mobil has reported a 21% drop in quarterly profits to $3.13bn in the second quarter, from a year earlier. The company said the results reflected weaker gas prices and higher maintenance costs.

In the UK, KPMG has been appointed administrator to Laterooms Limited, Superbreak Mini-Holidays and Malvern Travel Teechnology. Customers with future bookings made via LateRooms.com and Super Break are being told to visit www.laterooms.com and www.superbreak.com, for more information.

The latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction sector index stood at 45.3 in July. Any reading below 50 shows contraction and the index has now been below this level for the fifth time in the past six months. The latest reading was up from June's ten-year low of 43.1 but still signalled a marked downturn in total UK construction activity.

The maker of the iconic Australian biscuit Tim Tams has been bought by US private equity firm KKR in a deal valued at $2.2bn. The biscuit maker Arnott's is part of Campbell Soup Company's international business which is being sold to KKR. The biscuit got its name from the winner of the 1958 Kentucky Derby and has been one of Australia's best selling biscuits since its release in the early sixties.

 

SPORT

Cricket…It’s the second day of the Ashes test. Australia were all out for 284. Early this evening, England were 205 for 4 after 71 overs. 

Football...Manchester United have reached an agreement to sign England centre-back Harry Maguire from Leicester for £80m, which is a world record fee for a defender. He’s expected to complete a medical at the club over the weekend.

The English football season gets underway this evening with newly promoted Luton Town hosting Middlesbrough in the Championship. There’s a full programme in the second tier this weekend and also in the Scottish Premiership. The curtain raiser for the English Premier League season, the Community Shield takes place between Liverpool and Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.

Motorsports…. Red Bull's Pierre Gasly was fastest in a rain-affected second practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix this afternoon. He beat Max Verstappen by 0.055 seconds and Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes by 0.141secs. Toro Rosso's Alexander Albon crashed on his first lap. Earlier in the day, Lewis Hamilton had been fastest in the first session, which was mostly dry.

Six-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier has announced that the 2020 season will be his last in the WRC. The driver, who is originally from Gap, recently became an ambassador for the new Extreme Formula E and he’s expected to devote time to developing the car to be used in those races.

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