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Evening Update 4 January

Much of France is recovering from the effects of the recent storms.  The Meteo France Orange alert for the Var and the Alpes Maritimes ended this morning but the Alpes Maritimes is still under a less severe yellow alert.  Several departments in eastern parts of France are still under Orange weather alerts for flooding and also for avalanches in mountainous areas.  A woman in her nineties has lost her life in floods in the Isere department.  The woman apparently lived near a stream which flooded her house.  Rescue services were unable to revive her.

In Marseille, a driver has been arrested after police allegedly discovered 50kg of cannabis in the boot of his car. Officers had tried to stop the car at a roadside check this morning but the 30 year old man reportedly refused to stop. After being chased by police the man was arrested in the Saint-Henri area of the city.

A fire broke out in a field near Grasse this afternoon.  Reports say that about 5,000 square metres were affected but the fire was quickly brought under control by firefighters.

It’s the 19th edition of the Prom Classic race in Nice this Sunday.  As a result, there’ll be road closures and traffic diversions in the centre of Nice from early Sunday morning to about 2pm.  The race is run along the Promenade des Anglais from near the Avenue de Verdun to near Nice Cote d’Azur Airport and back again, covering a distance of 10km.

Twenty two people have been evacuated in La Trinité in Nice after a fire broke out yesterday evening. Two hectares of woodland were destroyed in the blaze which threatened several houses in the area and saw 131 firefighters deployed.

It’s been announced that the Australian actress Cate Blanchett will head the jury of this years Cannes Film Festival, which will take place from the 9th to the 20th May. Blanchett, winner of two Oscars, will chair the jury of the 71st Cannes Film Festival. The actress is the twelfth woman to be appointed, four years after the New Zealand director Jane Campion.


BUSINESS


Technology companies are working to fix two major bugs in computer chips that could allow hackers to steal sensitive data.  According to Google researchers, one bug was found in chips made by Intel, AMD and ARM. The other, known as "Meltdown" apparently affects Intel-made chips alone. The UK's National Cyber Security Centre has reportedly said there was no evidence that the vulnerability had been exploited. According to Intel, software updates have been introduced or will be available in the next few days aimed at fixing the problem.

EasyJet has announced that it’s increasing its fleet from 280 to about 330 planes by the end of this year. The airline plans to add at least ten Airbus A320 aircraft, as well as twenty eight A321neo aircraft. EasyJet is also going to trial a hybrid all-electric nine-seater commercial aircraft.

In the UK, shares in Debenhams have fallen heavily today after the company issued a profits warning following disappointing Christmas sales.  Meanwhile, German discount supermarket chain Aldi has announced that its sales in the UK rose by more than 15% in December compared with a year earlier.


SPORT


CRICKET…At the end of the first day of the Fifth Ashes Test in Sydney, England were 233 for 5.  Joe Root scored 83 before being caught by Mitchell Marsh.  Alastair Cook was bowled out LBW by Josh Hazlewood for 39.

TENNIS…Former world number one Andy Murray has pulled out of the Australian Open because of his ongoing hip injury.  Murray hasn’t played a competitive match since Wimbledon and said earlier this week that he may have to have surgery to correct his hip injury.

FOOTBALL…Everton boss Sam Allardyce says that the club have agreed a deal with Besiktas for striker Cenk Tosun and are now working to agree personal terms. Reports say the deal is expected to be worth £27m.  Allardyce said he was hopeful Tosun would be registered in time to play against Liverpool in Everton’s FA Cup third round match tomorrow.

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