Evening Update Thursday 5 September

The A8 motorway was closed to traffic for an hour this afternoon because of a vehicle fire. The carriageway towards Italy was closed from Junction 57, La Turbie, to Junction 59, Menton. Traffic from Nice was taken off the motorway at La Turbie. The motorway has now been fully reopened.

There’s been a major power outage affecting businesses and homes in Cannes this afternoon. At its height, at 3.15 this afternoon, about 18,000 customers of Enedis were affected by the outage, which was caused by a problem with a transformer. Supplies have gradually been restored during the late afternoon.

An investigation for manslaughter has been opened after the discovery of the body of a man in a disused wing of a hospital in Marseille yesterday. Jean Ligonnet, who was 73 years old and from La Seyne in the Var, had attended the hospital for treatment 15 days ago but hadn’t been seen since.

About 1,500 square metres of undergrowth was destroyed by a fire in Grasse this afternoon. The blaze broke out near an agricultural nursery. It was brought under control by two water bombing helicopters and about 45 firefighters. Meanwhile, in the Var, 6 forest massifs have been placed on a “very severe” fire risk for today, meaning that they are totally closed to access. The 3 other massifs in the department are at a “Severe” risk level.

Unions have said that another assault has occurred in the emergency department of the Pasteur 2 Hospital in Nice. A patient admitted for psychiatric reasons yesterday evening assaulted 3 people, according to a union representative. The latest incident comes as staff are calling for more resources and increased security at the hospital.

A man has died in Tarascon in the Bouches-du-Rhône after being shot with an electric impulse weapon by police. The man suffered a cardiac arrest and couldn’t be revived. The General Inspectorate of the National Police have launched an investigation.

French investigating magistrates have ordered that charges against Air France and Airbus be dropped in respect of the Air France crash over the Atlantic in 2009. 228 people lost their lives when the Air France flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed into the sea. The magistrates said that an equipment malfunction had occurred, but the direct cause of the accident was the crew’s loss of control of the trajectory of the aircraft.

One of the main streets in the centre of Cannes is going to be pedestrianised for a few hours this Saturday. The local merchant’s association and the town hall of Cannes have arranged for the Rue d'Antibes to be closed to all traffic from 2pm to 6pm this Saturday. Three hours of free parking for motorists is also being offered in eight local car parks.



The European Aviation Safety Agency has said that it will not accept a US verdict on whether Boeing's 737 Max aeroplane is safe but will instead run its own tests before approving a return to commercial flights. The 737 Max has been grounded since March after two fatal crashes.

The US and China have announced that they intend to restart trade talks. China's commerce ministry said that a phone call today with US trade negotiators went well. Talks are expected to be held in Washington in the coming weeks.

In the UK, William Hill has announced that its Chief Executive Philip Bowcock is leaving the company. His departure comes after the company said 700 betting shops would close because of the reduction of the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals to £2. William Hill said Mr Bowcock's departure was "part of William Hill's succession planning and consistent with the group's strategy of becoming a digitally-led and internationally diverse gambling company".

Online retailer Boohoo says its trading in the first half was "ahead of expectations with strong revenue growth driving operating leverage across key brands". The company said that it expects sales to increase by between 33% and 38%. It had previously given guidance for a sales rise of between 25% to 30%. Last month the business bought the brands and intellectual property of Karen Millen and Coast.

Samsung has announced that its first foldable phone will go on sale tomorrow after problems delayed its initial release. The Galaxy Fold will initially be available in South Korea, followed by select countries including the US, the UK and Singapore. The release of the device in April was postponed after early reviewers reported broken screens.



Cricket… It’s day 2 of the 4th Ashes Test at Old Trafford. Late this afternoon Australia were 325 for 5 wickets after 89.3 overs, with England yest to bat.

Rugby Union… Wales have announced their squad for the World Cup warm-up match against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday. Rhys Patchell will start at fly-half. Captain and lock Alun Wyn Jones is among those who return. Tomos Williams partners Patchell at half-back with Leigh Halfpenny at full-back and George North and Josh Adams on the wings.

Tennis… Rafael Nadal beat Diego Schwartzman to reach the semi-finals of the US Open. Nadal won 6-4  7-5  6-2. He’ll now meet Matteo Berrettini, who beat Gael Monfils in their last-eight match.

Winter Sports… The body of former Spanish alpine skier Blanca Fernández Ochoa has been found after days of searches involving hundreds of police and volunteers. Her body was discovered in a mountainous area near Madrid. The authorities are now investigating the cause of her death. She was the first Spanish woman to win a medal at the Winter Olympics, winning bronze in Albertville in France in 1992.


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