Evening Update Tuesday 28 July 2020

Meteo France is warning of intense heat affecting much of the country at the end of this week. Temperatures of about 39 degrees are expected in the Var on Friday and 30-35 in the Alpes Maritimes. The rise in temperatures is expected to begin on Thursday in the South-West of France, with maximum temperatures of between 36 and 40 degrees, locally 41 degrees, and also along the Rhône valley going up towards the south of Burgundy, with maximums between 34 and 38 degrees, locally 39 degrees. Meteo France say that Friday will see the high temperatures extending to cover more of the country with hot and muggy conditions also expected on Friday. For the weekend, a stormy degradation is expected. Temperatures should then drop sharply.

At the moment, four departments in the Centre-East region are currently under a Meteo France Yellow alert for very hot weather. There's also a risk of strong thunderstorms, wind, hail and heavy rain in the Drome, Isere, Ardeche and Rhone departments. Temperatures of 37 degrees are expected inland in the Var tomorrow, Wednesday.

A fire broke out in undergrowth in Hyeres this afternoon. The blaze affected an area in the west of the town, not far from the Centr'Azur shopping centre and the nearby A570 autoroute was closed for a time in both directions. About seventy firefighters and several water bombing aircraft rapidly brought the fire under control and the blaze has now been extinguished.

A man has died in Toulon after being shot multiple times. The 18 year old who was originally from Tunisia died in a district in the east of the city. It's believed his death may be a settling of accounts in a turf war between drug gangs. Last week a 35 year old man died in a nearby area after being shot whilst driving his car.

Four people have been injured after a head-on collision near Brignols in the Var this afternoon. Two of those have suffered serious injuries and a civil security helicopter has been sent to the scene. The accident happened on the RD562 in the village of Val. The road has been closed and traffic diversions are in place.

Two people have been seriously injured following a collision between a motor scooter and a bicycle in Antibes. Police say that the accident took place in the early hours of this morning and that two 18 year olds  were taken to hospital in a serious condition. An enquiry is underway into the cause of the accident.

According to reports, construction workers at the site of the new Ikea store on the plaine du Var in Nice have gone on strike. They are reportedly protesting at potential job cuts and the possible introduction of a new social plan. The new store next to the Allianz Riviera stadium is scheduled to open in early 2022. Ikea is opening a separate design shop in the centre of Nice on 1 September where it will be possible to place orders on certain products for home delivery.

Authorities in Brittany have ordered night-time curfews in the resort town of Quiberon after a new cluster of Covid-19 cases emerged last week. Parks and gardens in the town will also be closed at night in an attempt to prevent large gatherings of young people. Quiberon reported its first case of coronavirus a week ago and the number of infections has since grown to 54.

The concert by former Genesis member Steve Hackett, due to take place in Monaco on the 18 September, has been postponed. Ticket holders for the concert should contact the place where they bought their ticket for more information.

 

BUSINESS

Department store operator Selfridges has announced plans to cut about 450 jobs which is about 16% of its total workforce. It also forecast that sales will be "significantly less" this year than last year. Anne Pitcher, the managing director of Selfridges, said that high streets were changing even before coronavirus pandemic and the business has now been forced to make "fundamental changes".

Google has announced plans to build a new undersea network cable connecting the US, UK and Spain. The project is expected to be completed by 2022. The cable will run from New York to Bude in Cornwall and then to Bilbao in Spain. Google says that the cable will be a "significant upgrade" to the internet infrastructure between the United States and Europe.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research in the UK has said that the world economy is likely to contract by 5% this year. It said that it expects growth next year of 6.25%.

The former head of Renault, Thierry Bollore has been appointed Chief Executive of Jaguar Land Rover. He replaces Ralf Speth who will become non-executive Vice-Chairman. Mr. Bollore will begin his new job on 10 September.

UK bakery retailer Greggs has reported a loss of 65.2 million pounds for the first half of this year. Sales were down by 49%. All Greggs shops were closed for a time during lockdown but the company said that it was encouraged by performance since its stores reopened. However, it also said that it doesn't expect the level of sales to reach pre-pandemic levels as long as social distancing remains in place.


SPORT

Cricket....England have beaten the West Indies on the final day of the third Test at the Emirates Old Trafford stadium today. Chris Woakes claimed 5-50 and the West Indies were out for 129, meaning that England won by 269 runs to take the series 2-1. Stuart Broad took his 500th Test wicket during the match today. He's only the second England bowler to reach the landmark, the other being James Anderson.

Football.... Real Madrid player Mariano Diaz has tested positive for the coronavirus. The club said that he is isolating at home. Real Madrid are due to play Manchester City in the Champions League on 7 August.

Rugby League... The 6th round of the Challenge Cup is to be redrawn after the withdrawal of six clubs. The other six teams will receive byes into the quarter-finals, with both draws taking place later this week. The final is scheduled to take place on 17 October. Newcastle Thunder, Featherstone Rovers, Widnes Vikings, Sheffield, York and also Toronto Wolfpack are not taking part in the remainder of the tournament.

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