Evening News Update Wednesday 12 September

A fire at the side of the A8 motorway in the Var has been extinguished by firefighters.  The fire broke out in the area of Tanneron early this afternoon and reports suggest it covered an area of about 5,000 square metres.  Two water carrying helicopters were used to bring the blaze under control in addition to fire units on the ground.

A woman in her 60s has drowned after apparently suffering an illness while swimming yesterday evening at the Bonnegrâce beach in Six-Fours.  Resuscitation was attempted at the scene but was unsuccessful. Meanwhile, an English holidaymaker is being treated in the intensive care unit at the Pasteur Hospital in Nice after almost drowning in the sea off Antibes this morning.  Other bathers noticed the woman, who is in her seventies, in distress in the water at La Gravette beach.  A cardiologist who happened to be present assisted in the rescue before pompiers arrived on the scene.  Authorities have reminded bathers to be particularly vigilant as beaches are not monitored after September 1st.

The mayor of Cannes David Lisnard has announced new measures for local businesses faced with growing competition from shopping centers in the region. Solutions put forward included a reduced local tax and free parking. The measures were warmly welcomed at a meeting on Tuesday where 65 associations gathered in Cannes representing 50,000 jobs in 21,000 local businesses.

In national news, six people have been detained so far this week over a string of vegan activist attacks in Lille, according to officials. Nine businesses have had windows smashed and fake blood thrown on their walls in recent months. According to reports, five of the six detained people have since been or will now be released. However, the Lille prosecutor's office has set a court date in December for one of the people detained, a detained 21-year-old woman.

A report presented to the French government today suggests that paternity leave in France be extended from 11 days to possibly three or four weeks. The report suggests that paternity leave becomes mandatory securing the care of the mother and her newborn after giving birth. Figures currently show that seven out of ten fathers take paternity leave which is currently 11 consecutive days for a single birth and 18 days for a multiple birth.



European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has said that after 29 March 2019, the date the UK plans to leave the EU, the UK will never be an ordinary third country for the bloc. He said the UK will always be a very close neighbour and partner.  Mr Juncker was delivering his State of the Union address to the European Parliament this morning.  He also said that the EU respects the British decision to leave the union but also asks the British government to understand that someone who leaves the union “cannot be in the same privileged position as a member state”.

Hermès, the luxury brand, has reported a 17% rise in first half profits to €708m on sales up 11% to €2.8bn. Growth was spurred by China while America saw revenues increase by 12% .

Ryan Air cabin staff and pilots in Germany are holding a 24 hour strike today.  The row over pay and conditions follows a series of strikes by Ryan Air staff in other countries over the summer. Chief Executive Michael O'Leary says he is willing to put up with strikes "if it means defending our cost base and our ability to offer low fares”.


TENNIS…Reports say that top tennis umpires are considering forming a union to defend their interests after the treatment of umpire Carlos Ramos in the US Open final.  Serena Williams accused the umpire of sexism after she was given a penalty because of her behaviour in Saturday’s match.  Reports say that leading umpires are concerned that no one is speaking out in their defence after such disputes.

FOOTBALL...The captain of France’s football team, Hugo Lloris, appeared in court in London today after being arrested last month for driving while intoxicated. Lloris had his driving licence suspended for 20 months and was fined 50,000 pounds at Westminster Magistrates Court. The 31-year-old Tottenham goalkeeper was arrested after a routine check at Gloucester Place in London in the early hours of Friday, August 24th after a night out at a restaurant with other players from the French team.

RUGBY UNION…English Premiership clubs have unanimously agreed that the sale of a majority stake in the League to the private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is not a preferred option. CVC is seeking a 51 percent stake but the Premiership chairman Ian Ritchie says that the clubs would prefer a minority holding. Mr Ritchie says that clubs will seek outside investment as a matter of urgency and are happy to work with a partner. He added that there was great interest in what he described as a “fantastic product”.

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