Evening Update Tuesday 4 June

Police in Marseille have dismantled a large burglary network. The local prosecutor said that the gang, from Eastern Europe, stole cash and jewellery throughout a wide area of the Mediterranean. 

Pompiers in the Bouche du Rhone have been fighting a major industrial fire this afternoon. Stacks of wooden pallets covering an area of about 500 square metres caught fire at Châteauneuf-les-Martigues near Marseilles at lunchtime today.  Sixty firefighters and fifteen fire appliances are involved in fighting the blaze. Firefighters were aiming to protect a nearby petrol station, warehouses and vehicles from the flames.  The fire is now under control.

One carriageway of the A8 motorway was closed to traffic this afternoon because of a vehicle fire.  A truck and a car collided just after the Brignoles interchange in the direction of Aix-en-Provence. The car burst into flames but pompiers brought the blaze under control and traffic is now flowing again.

Trains are due to be disrupted this weekend once again because of engineering works.  No trains will run between Aubagne and Cannes La Bocca from this coming Saturday at 1.20pm until next Monday afternoon at 2pm. Trains will run between Cannes and Ventimiglia and will also run between Marseille and Aubagne. You can get more details at local stations or at www.sncf.com

In Paris, pregnant women and children living near Notre-Dame cathedral have been advised to take blood tests over fears of lead contamination. The warning has been issued after tests showed a child from the Île de la Cité area of Paris had been exposed to lead. Authorities say that the blaze that broke out at the cathedral on April 15 released toxic substances into the air.

 

BUSINESS

South Africa's economy contracted by a worse than expected 3.2% in the first quarter, compared with the previous quarter. It was the worst contraction in growth in a decade.

Hungarian-based airline Wizz Air has reported a 4.5 per cent increase in profits to 300 million euros. Passenger numbers rose over the year by 17.1 per cent to 35.7 million.

Australia's central bank has cut interest rates to an historic low. The Reserve Bank of Australia cut its cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.25%. It's the first time the Bank has lowered rates in three years.

Activity in the UK’s construction sector shrank in May according to a widely watched survey of purchasing managers in the sector.  Its index fell to 48.6 in May. A figure lower than 50 indicates contraction.

Royal Dutch Shell is set to hand out $125bn in dividend payments to shareholders over five years. The company also said that it has made $30bn from selling non-core businesses and is expected to complete a $25bn share buyback by the end of next year.


SPORT

Cricket… Afghanistan are playing Sri Lanka in the latest World Cup match.  After rain delayed play Sri Lanka were 201 all out.

Also in cricket news, England's Jason Roy and Jofra Archer have been fined 15% of their match fee by the ICC for their behaviour during yesterday’s defeat by Pakistan. The ICC said that Roy made an "audible obscenity" and Archer showed "obvious dissent" to the umpire. Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was fined 20% for a slow over rate.

South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the remainder of the World Cup by a shoulder injury.

Tennis… Johanna Konta has reached the French Open semi-finals after defeating American Sloane Stephens 6-1  6-4. She becomes the first British woman since 1983 to reach the semi-finals at Roland Garros.

Football… Real Madrid have signed striker Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt for an undisclosed fee, subject to a medical. He’s agreed a six-year deal with the club.

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