Evening Update Thursday 1 August

Power supplies are back to normal in Frejus after a widespread electricity outage in the early hours of this morning. Supplies were cut at about 2am and at the height of the disruption 2,400 electricity customers were affected. Supplies were gradually brought back to normal by 11am. It’s the second power outage on the Riviera in as many days, with many shops losing power in parts of central Nice yesterday.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi has announced that flights will begin from Nice to two further cities in China. Flights between Nice and Beijing are due to start tomorrow and the new flights, to Shanghai and Canton, are expected to start late this year or early next year.

A woman was saved from drowning by lifeguards at Cros-de-Cagnes this morning. The seventy year old apparently suffered a heart attack while swimming. Pompiers were called and she was taken to L'Archet Hospital in Nice.

Pompiers were called to a suspected fire in an apartment on rue de la Marne in Nice this morning. The suspected fire was found to be a faulty gas boiler which was emitting large amounts of smoke. Two people were treated for smoke inhalation and minor injuries at the scene.

Four forest massifs in the Var are on “Severe” alert for risk of fire today.  They are the Toulon Massif, the Massif des Maures, the Centre-Var and the Haut-Var. The “Severe” level is one level below the “Very Severe” levels seen in many areas of the Var yesterday, but various regulations are still in force to prevent fire and walking in those Massifs is discouraged. 

Traffic was cut in both directions on the Moyenne Corniche this lunchtime after a tourist bus became lodged on the pavement while attempting to manoeuvre. Traffic diversions were set up while police used a tow truck to move the 18 metre long vehicle from the road near Villefranche-sur-Mer.

A collection of highly dangerous snakes has been seized by authorities from an apartment in Antibes. 15 species of snake were detained in the raid by The National Office for Hunting and Wildlife.  The 42 year old owner of the snakes, who had no authorization, faces a fine and possible jail sentence.

The French road monitor Bison Fute has classed the weekend as black on the roads as the annual July to August holiday crossover period takes place. Hundreds of thousands of motorists will be on the roads with long jams forecast in the Rhône Valley and across Mediterranean resorts. The worst day is forecast to be Saturday but Sunday is also expected to be very busy across the French road network. Plenty of water and snacks should also be carried in cars to take into account the possibility of being stuck in a long traffic jam.
 

BUSINESS

The Bank of England has said that there's a one in three chance of a recession in the UK.  The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to leave interest rates unchanged. In its Quarterly Inflation Report published today the Bank said there was a 33% chance of a recession early next year if interest rates are left unchanged. It said the UK economy was expected to grow by 1.3% this year, down from a previous projection of 1.5% in May. 

Oil company Royal Dutch Shell has reported earnings down by 26 per cent in the second quarter, at 3.5 billion dollars. Analysts had been expecting 4.9 billion dollars.

The latest Purchasing Managers Index data for the UK shows that manufacturing continued to contract in July with a reading of 48. That’s a six-and-half year low and the same level as June. The output component of the index fell to 47.0, its lowest since July 2012. A figure below 50 indicates contraction. Meanwhile, the index for the Eurozone shows manufacturing activity contracted in June at the fastest rate since 2012.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority has fined Casio £3.7m for breaking competition law by preventing online discounting for its digital pianos and keyboards. The CMA says Casio has admitted that the company broke competition law by implementing a policy designed to restrict retailer freedom to set prices online, requiring digital pianos and keyboards to be sold at or above a minimum price.

 

SPORT

Cricket...It's the first day of the Ashes today and Australia got off to a disappointing start after losing their first eight wickets for just 122 runs. Rain stopped play late this afternoon, by which time Australia were 154 for 8 after 53 overs, with England yet to bat.

Tennis... Andy and Jamie Murray are through to the doubles Quarter Finals at the Citi Open in Washington.  They beat French players Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4  6-7 10-5. Local player Gilles Simon from Nice was beaten in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 by Australian Nick Kyrgios.

Football... Arsenal have signed Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille for a club record fee of £72m. The 24-year-old has signed a five-year contract. He scored 35 goals in 74 Ligue 1 appearances for Lille.

 

Aston Villa have signed Zimbabwe international Marvelous Nakamba for an undisclosed fee. He’s the second player to join from Belgian side Club Bruges this summer following the signing of Wesley. The deal takes Villa's summer spending past £120m as they prepare for their first season back in the Premier League.

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