Evening Update Thursday 22 August

In the Var, a decree has been announced by the Prefect restricting water consumption in various municipalities close to the Argens river. Amongst many other measures, the decree prohibits the watering of lawns and green spaces from 9:00am to 7.00pm, the washing of motor vehicles and the filling of pools, private spas and ponds. Meanwhile, six forest massifs in the Var are still classed as being at a “Severe” level of fire risk.  The other three massifs are at “Moderate” risk. The Prefect of the Var has also prohibited access to the Gorges du Verdon by boat because of a westerly wind greater than 20 km per hour on the lac de Sainte-Croix. Full details of those decrees and the fire risk levels can be found at the Prefecture’s website http://www.var.gouv.fr 

French traffic agency Bison Fute are warning of very heavy traffic this coming weekend. They’ve classified Saturday as a “Red” day nationally in the direction of people returning from their holidays. Tomorrow is “Red” for returning holiday makers in the south of the country. Traffic is expected to be especially heavy near the major cities such as Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Montpellier, Nice and Toulouse. 

An elderly man has been saved from drowning at Carnoles, between Menton and Roquebrune-cap-Martin, this morning. He had apparently suffered a heart attack and was taken to the Princesse Grace Hospital in Monaco. 

A group of residents from Sainte-Agnès have staged a protest in the village. They were protesting against the conversion of a former holiday camp into a centre for young migrants. Authorities requisitioned the site earlier this year and work on the buildings, which will house 56 migrants, is already underway.

One person has died and several have been injured after a major fire at a well known hospital in the Paris region. Fire broke out late last night in a building adjoining Henri-Mondor hospital in the Val-de-Marne. According to reports, the building is used to house hospital employees. About one hundred firefighters were involved in fighting the blaze, which took about two hours to extinguish.

 

BUSINESS

Ryanair has said that its flights in and out of UK airports took off as normal this morning despite strikes by pilots. The airline said that 97% of its flights took off on time this morning, blaming the few delays on air traffic control. Ryanair has said it does not expect any disruption for passengers taking off from or landing at UK airports today. The airline said it had drafted in pilots from elsewhere in Europe to fill in during strike action.

The UK has signed a "continuity" trade agreement with South Korea, allowing businesses to keep trading freely after Brexit. Trade between the UK and South Korea totalled £14.6bn in 2018. The agreement is broadly in line with the terms of the existing Korea-EU free trade agreement.

The CBI says that UK retail sales in August dropped at the fastest pace since December 2008. The organization said that its monthly gauge of retailers fell to -49 in August from -16 which is the second weakest reading since records began in 1983.

A fall in new orders and waning business confidence appear to be still weighing on the German economy. IHS Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index said that activity in Germany's manufacturing sector continued to contact in August to give a reading of 43.6. A number below 50 denotes contraction. Meanwhile, the services sector showed growth of 54.4, which is a seven-month low.


SPORT

Cricket… It’s Australia against England at Headingley in the Ashes. Australia lead 1-0 in five-match series

Tennis… Andy Murray will continue his singles comeback by playing in the Rafa Nadal Open in Mallorca starting on Monday. Murray will now compete on the second tier Challenger Tour for the first time since 2005. Nadal will not be present at his own event as it clashes with the US Open.

Rugby Union… George Ford and Owen Farrell are included in the line up for England against Ireland on Saturday. Flankers Sam Underhill and Tom Curry are both named in the back row.

Football…Former Ghana, Nottingham Forest and Bristol Rovers striker Junior Agogo has died at the age of 40.  Agogo began his career at Sheffield Wednesday. He finished his career at Hibernian in 2012 having also had spells in the United States, Cyprus and Egypt. He suffered a stroke in 2015.

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