Evening Update Tuesday 29 October

About 3,000 square metres of vegetation have been destroyed by fire near Draguignan this afternoon. The fire, on the slopes of Malmont, appears to have started when fire from a burning of green waste got out of control when fanned by winds. The blaze was extinguished by about 3pm. Firefighters said that even with the recent rains it doesn’t take much to trigger a fire.

Health professionals have been demonstrating in front of Nice hospital once again today. They are protesting against financial measures being debated by the National Assembly which they say will degrade their working conditions and negatively impact the care of patients.

A man has been sentenced to a total of one year in prison for threats made against his ex-girlfriend. The man, in his forties, had made the threats last Friday at the woman's home at Saint-Cyr in the Var.

It’s been announced that proceeds from an online fundraising in aid of police and firefighters injured during the Yellow Vest Protests has been fully distributed to recipients. One million euros of the fund was paid to 1,176 injured agents and amongst other payments, 360,000 euros was paid to the orphanages of the police, fire and gendarmerie services.

A pedestrian has been seriously injured after he was hit by a tram in Avignon this morning. The accident happened just 10 days after the inauguration of the first part of the Avignon tram system. The 50 year old man is suffering from head trauma and reports say he is now conscious and is being treated in Avignon hospital.

A road in the Var was blocked this morning when a truck turned on its side. The accident happened on the departmental road 559 between Cavalaire and Rayol-Canadel at about 9am. Diversions have been put in place.

Greenpeace activists blocked the entrance to a Total refinery near Marseille this morning. The company uses controversial palm oil to produce biofuel at the plant. About 50 Greenpeace activists arrived outside the biorefinery at around 6am this morning.  They placed two large orange containers in front of the entrance and chained themselves to each container. The group said each container holds several weeks' supplies.

There are expected to be delays and cancellations on trains between Nice and Marseille this holiday weekend because of engineering works. A railway bridge in the 11th arrondissement of Marseille is being widened and services will be affected from this Thursday evening until Sunday.

Thales Alenia Space, which has its headquarters in the Cannes Mandelieu Space Centre, has signed a contract to build a new satellite. The agreement with Eutelsat is for the construction of a satellite which will provide internet access on aeroplanes and boats and is expected to be launched in 2022.

New figures suggest that the number of homeless people who died on the streets of France rose 15 per cent last year. The Collectif Les Morts de la Rue said that 612 homeless people lost their lives on the streets. The organization, which aims to draw attention to the plight of the homeless, said that in reality the number could be six times higher than that recorded by the group.

 

BUSINESS

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam has said that the territory is likely to record negative growth for the year. Several months of protests have disrupted businesses, including those in the tourism and retail sectors. The warning comes ahead of preliminary GDP figures due out on Thursday that are expected to show Hong Kong entered a technical recession. - in other words two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Electric vehicle maker Tesla's third-quarter revenue has slumped 39% in the United States, its first drop in more than two years. However, sales in China rose 64%.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics shows that the gender pay gap for full time workers in the UK stands at 8.9%. The data also shows that weekly earnings for women peaked at ages 40 to 49. It's the first time that earnings for full-time women haven't peaked at ages 30 to 39.

The Royal Mint has said that commemorative 50 pence pieces produced to mark Brexit on 31 October will be "recycled".  A Treasury spokesperson said a coin will still be produced to mark Brexit, adding that it will enter circulation after the UK leaves the EU.

 

SPORT

Tennis... World number three Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the WTA Finals in China because of a shoulder injury. Osaka beat Petra Kvitova in three sets in her opening match on Sunday and was due to play world number one Ashleigh Barty today. She'll be replaced in the Red Group by alternate Kiki Bertens, the world number 10.

Cricket... England have lost their second Twenty20 warm-up match against a New Zealand XI. The side lost by eight wickets as Kiwi opener Colin Munro hit an unbeaten century. England's five-match T20 series against New Zealand starts on Friday.

Also in cricket news, Bangladesh Test captain Shakib al Hasan has been given a two-year ban for "failing to report corrupt approaches". He accepted three charges relating to requests for "inside information for betting purposes".

Motorsports... The Hyundai Motorsport team have announced the participation of Sebastien Loeb in the final of the French Rally Championship which takes place from November 21st to the 24th in Sainte-Maxime in the Var. Loeb said he was “delighted by the opportunity".

Football... Two Italian footballers have been given one-match bans for blasphemy. Sassuolo's Francesco Magnanelli and Parma's Matteo Scozzarella were shown on television making blasphemous remarks in separate incidents. There is a strict ban on taking God's name in vain in Italy, and the nation's football association has disciplined players heard doing so since 2010.

 

MA NOLAN'S RUGBY WORLD CUP REPORT

South Africa head coach Ressie Erasmus has said that he expects winger Cheslin Kolbe to be available for Saturday's World Cup final against England. Kolbe missed the semi-final win over Wales with an ankle injury. Erasmus said today that South Africa have all 31 players available and ready to train.

Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde says he is glad their World Cup bronze match is against the All Blacks and that not every team gets the opportunity to face them, especially in a World Cup. Wales will try to match the third-place finish they achieved in the 1987 World Cup. New Zealand are the only opposition Wales haven't beaten under head coach Warren Gatland who takes charge of the side for the last time in Friday's match. If Wales win it will be their first victory against New Zealand since 1953.

 

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