Evening Update Wednesday 1 July 2020

One person has been detained by RAID officers in central Nice today. The departmental public security directorate reportedly confirmed that an operation had taken place but didn't give any further details. The individual was apparently detained in the area of Rue Paganini near the main railway station. Reports say that a drone was used in the operation. RAID forces are an elite tactical unit of the French National Police and their duties include areas such as counter-terrorism operations, the control of serious crime and hostage situations.

The Nice Prosecutor has said that the couple accused of attacking police officers in Nice yesterday will have their detention in custody extended. Speaking at midday today, Xavier Bonhomme said that the two will continue to be detained by the police following the attack yesterday afternoon during  a vehicle check on avenue de la Californie. Three police officers suffered minor injuries but one officer was taken to the Pasteur 2 hospital suffering from trauma to the head.

The French minister in charge of transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, has confirmed the first two stages of a major upgrade project to our region's rail services. The first phase includes the construction of a TGV station at Nice Cote d'Azur airport and redevelopment of the Saint-Charles station in Marseille. Phase two includes the improvement of rail services between Nice and Cannes and construction of a railway tunnel in Marseille.

The Alpes Maritimes has launched its fire prevention programme for the summer as the weather heats up and the risk of forest fires increases. 17 extra fire trucks have been brought into service and there will be additional air support available. A similar progamme is underway in the Var.

A serious accident involving a van and a heavy goods vehicle has blocked traffic on a main road between Brignoles and Toulon this afternoon. The accident happened around lunchtime on the RD43 in Rocbaron. Firefighters and a rescue helicopter have been at the scene.

The Cannes town hall has announced that it's collected over 140,000 euros in pledges for its Help Commerces initiative. The scheme aims to help local merchants as well as those in need. Donations are used to purchase goods from local businesses which are then distributed to local residents in need. Purchases made so far include basic clothing to the value of 35,700 euros which was purchased from 11 local businesses and given to homeless people and 300 people in precarious circumstances.

In national news, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari has said that aid from the French state should make it possible to save some of the planned job losses announced by Airbus. Yesterday the plane maker said it plans to cut 15,000 jobs worldwide by next summer, including 5,000 in France. The minister said that calculations had been made by the government which suggested that 2,000 jobs could be saved through a combination of long-term partial activity and by investment in environmentally friendly plane production.

Nine departments in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region have been placed on a Meteo France Orange alert for thundesrtorms. An orange alert is level three out of the four alert levels used by Meteo France. Meteo France also have a Yellow weather alert, that's a level two warning, in operation for storms in the Var until about 7pm this evening and the Alpes Maritimes until about 10pm. Most of those storms are expected to be inland.


BUSINESS

Ryanair has said that it's engaged in "extensive negotiations" with its employees about pay cuts. In an interview with the BBC, Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said that many job losses could be avoided if staff agree to pay cuts. The airline has previously said that about 3,500 jobs may be lost. Mr O'Leary said that the airline was seeking a 20% pay reduction from what he called "the best paid captains" and 5% from "the lowest paid flight attendants".  

German unemployment increased by 69,000 in June compared to May. It brings the jobless rate to 6.4%, up from 6.3%. However, the figure was better than many analysts had expected.

UK house prices have fallen by 1.4% in June compared to May according to Nationwide Building Society. They were 0.1% lower in June than in June 2019. Nationwide, which bases its figures on its own mortgage lending, said that the typical home was now worth £216,403. It said the outlook for the UK housing market was "highly uncertain" over the coming months.

UK clothing retailer TM Lewin has announced that it will close all its UK stores and will now operate solely online. The shirt retailer has 66 stores and 600 employees are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the move. TM Lewin was recently acquired by a private equity company which plans a restructuring of the business.

 

SPORT

Cricket... Six Pakistan players are set to travel to England on Friday after testing negative for the coronavirus. The six are part of a group of ten players who recently tested positive. Pakistan are scheduled to play three Test matches against England starting on 30 July followed by three Twenty20 internationals.

Football.... The president of Olympique Lyonnais has described the decision to finish the French Ligue 1 season early as a "massive error" and one that showed "an obvious lack of leadership". Speaking to the BBC, Jean-Michel Aulas said that we're "going to go through a dramatic period for French football that will be deprived of its revenue." Paris St-Germain were declared champions in April, with Toulouse and Amiens controversially relegated to Ligue 2. Meanwhile top flight football has resumed in Germany, Spain, Italy and England.

There are 4 games in the English Premier League tonight. Arsenal play Norwich. Bournemouth host Newcastle. Everton play Leicester and West Ham host Chelsea.

Motorsports... Formula E driver Daniel Abt is joining the Chinese Nio 333 team for the six end of season races in Berlin in August. Abt was fired by Audi Sport after allowing an e-racing driver to take his place during the Race At Home Challenge in May.
 

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