Evening Update Monday 2 December

The Riviera is recovering from the latest storm to hit the area. Last night’s downpour is currently thought to have claimed the lives of six people in the south-east of France. The latest fatality is a woman in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, whose body was found in a river 3km from her car this morning. Firefighters were involved in a large number of call outs yesterday, including rescuing two people from a landslide in Pégomas. A nutrition centre was hit by a landslide in the Fènerie district burying two people who were successfully rescued. As of this morning, three thousand customers in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes were reported to still be without electricity. Rainfall recorded in Cannes exceeded the previous record for a 24 hour period during the month of December, which was set in 1958. Schools in Cannes and Mandelieu as well as Pégomas were closed today as a precautionary measure. Regional bus services have been gradually returning to normal throughout the day. On the roads, the RN7 has been closed until further notice on the Var/Alpes Maritimes border because of the partial collapse of the Saint-Jean bridge near Frejus. The reopening of the southbound Paillon penetrante in Nice has been delayed because of the bad weather over the weekend. The road had been closed for repairs after the floods of the previous weekend and the authorities have said that extra work will now have to be done because of last night’s downpours. The road was originally scheduled to re-open tomorrow but it’s now thought this will be delayed to the end of the week. Meanwhile, road access to Isola2000 has been cut off due to a landslide. At the moment, it’s not known when the RM 97 will reopen.

The body of a man has been found on a beach in Cannes. The corpse was discovered near the Croisette at about 9.00 this morning. It’s thought that the man died some time ago and the death isn’t related to the recent bad weather. It’s expected that an autopsy will be held to determine the cause of death.

A ceremony has been held in Nice in honour of the thirteen French soldiers who lost their lives in a helicopter crash in Mali. Local officials present at the wreath laying ceremony at the Monument aux Morts this morning included the prefect of the Alpes Maritimes, Bernard Gonzalez and Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi. The thirteen soldiers have been honoured at a ceremony in Paris this afternoon, attended by French President Emanuel Macron.

The head of the Alpes Maritimes branch of the CGT union has predicted "a very strong mobilization” and participation at a high level in this Thursday’s national day of strike action. Disruption on Thursday is expected to be widespread, with train and bus drivers, Air France pilots, air traffic controllers, electricity supply workers, truck drivers, oil refineries, teachers, students, police officers, lawyers, judges and street-cleaners all threatening to stay out of work for an indefinite period.

 

BUSINESS

Saudi Aramco has said it has received bids worth $38bn from institutional investors as of earlier today for its IPO. It is selling 1.5% of its shares in a deal that values the company at $1.75 trillion.

President Trump has announced that he’s restored tariffs for US steel imports from Brazil and Argentina. The decision is expected to hurt Brazil in particular. The US imports 12% of its steel from Brazil compared to 0.2% from Argentina.

In the UK, some of the workers at South Western Railway have beguan a 27-day strike today, resulting in disruption to services. The strike began after a breakdown of talks between the RMT union and the company regarding a dispute over guards on trains.

Activity in the UK manufacturing sector shrank in November, according to a widely watched survey of Purchasing Managers. The measure sank to 48.9 in November from 49.6 in October. A reading below 50 denotes contraction.

Clothing retailer Ted Baker has said that the company had overstated its inventory on its balance sheet by £20m to £25m. It claims that the discovery will have "no cash impact" on its business. It’s brought in a top law firm to cinduct and investigation.

 

SPORT

Cricket…Australia have wrapped up a 2-0 series win over Pakistan by winning the second Test by an innings and 48 runs. Meanwhile, England captain Joe Root says the team can still force a victory in the second Test against New Zealand despite the threat of heavy rain on the final day. Root scored 226 to help England build a first-innings lead of 101 on day four but New Zealand reached 96-2 in their second innings to trail by five runs. England must win in Hamilton to draw the two-match series.

Rugby Union… Exeter winger Alex Cuthbert has been ruled out for an extended period after being told he needs hamstring surgery. Meanwhile, Gloucester scrum-half Joe Simpson has extended his contract with the club. The former England international joined from Wasps in the summer on a one-year deal.

Tennis… Roger Federer will become the first living person to be celebrated on a Swiss coin. The Federal Mint, Swissmint, will release a 20 franc silver coin and a 50 franc gold coin. Federer said it was an “incredible honour and privilege".

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