Evening Update Wednesday 3 September 2020

A mosquito control operation is underway in areas of central Nice today after a suspected case of Dengue fever. The Regional Health Agency ordered the operation to control tiger mosquitos, which are known to carry Dengue fever as well as other diseases such as Yellow fever. Areas around Avenue de Pessicart and Boulevard Mantega-Righi have been sprayed with insecticide to try to control the mosquitos.

Two students have suffered injuries after apparently being attacked on a campus of the Nice Cote d'Azur University. The university said that the students, who were running an information stand at the Carlone campus, were attacked by six people who had their faces covered. The attackers quickly left the scene. Inquiries are continuing.

A man has been taken to the Sainte Anne military hospital in Toulon after a diving accident near the Île de Porquerolles. The 54 year old had reportedly been diving on the wreck of a ship at a depth of 48 metres. On returning to the surface he appeared to be suffering from decompression sickness and was airlifted to hospital.

Eighteen players at the CARF Rugby Club in Frejus - Saint Raphael have tested positive for the coronavirus. The team members had been on an away match in Nimes on 21 August. The club said that the virus is not circulating within the club for the moment but only within the collective which participated in the internship in Nimes. It said that a further series of tests, which will include all supervisory staff, educators and coaches, will take place this Friday.

French Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti has announced that insults against local mayors will be classified as contempt. The announcement came afer a meeting of ministers this morning. Violence and verbal insults against mayors has become an increasing problem across France with 233 mayors being assaulted in the period from January to July, according to figures from the Association of Mayors of France.

More details have emerged about the possible cause of a fire onboard a nuclear submarine in Toulon. The submarine was undergoing works at the naval base in June when a fire broke out leading to extensive damage. The newly appointed naval chief of staff, Pierre Vandier, has said that initial technical investigations suggest the fire was caused by a lightning strike. It's believed that lightning caused a plastic sheet in a wooden cabinet to ignite. Investigations into the fire are still continuing.

An anti-drugs control has been carried out by authorities in Toulon as part of a nationwide operation. The French Interior Ministry said that 33 people were arrested nationally in the large-scale operation against drug trafficking. Twelve weapons and about 4kg of drugs were also seized in the operations which took place in about 20 departments across France. The Var Prefecture said that seven people were taken into custody in the department.

Another violent incident has occurred at the petanque world championships which are underway in Marseille. Reports say that a member of one of the teams taking part in the event attacked a spectator. Security staff intervened and the team was subsequently disqualified. The incident follows a fight between two teams on Sunday in a dispute over the correct recording of scores.

 

BUSINESS

The Austrailan economy contracted by 7% in the April to June quarter compared to the previous three months. It's the largest fall in GDP since comparable records began in 1959. GDP fell by 0.3% in the first quarter, meaning that Australia has experienced two successive quarters of negative growth, which is the usual definition of a recession. It's Australia's first recession in almost thirty years.

The Chief Executive of car maker Rolls Royce has said that global demand for luxury vehicles is rebounding. In an interview with the BBC, Torsten Müller-Ötvös said that "times are starting to become better and better" after the company experienced a drop in sales of 30% in the first half of this year. Rolls-Royce has just launched the latest version of the Ghost, which has been one of the most successful vehicles in the company's history.

Nationwide Building Society has said that UK house prices rose by 2% in August. It said the increase in August was the largest increase since February 2004 and that the recovery in housing market activity in the UK had been "unexpectedly rapid".

 

SPORT

Tour de France.... Wout van Aert has won the Fifth Stage of the Tour today.  Cees Bol was in second and Sam Bennett in third. The stage was a 183km route from Gap to Privas in the Ardèche department. 

Rugby Union... Exceptional arrangements have been announced for the Heineken Champions Cup 2020-21 season. It will feature 24 teams and home and away quarter-finals for the first time. The teams will be split into two pools of 12. Four rounds of pool matches will take place. The final is still due to take place in Marseille on 22 May next year.

In England, the Rugby Football Union has said that up to 20,000 fans could be allowed into Twickenham stadium when England play Barbarians on 25 October. The number is just under a quarter of the stadium's total capacity and the plans would be subject to the obtaining of the relevant licence and approvals.

Football... Three players at Paris Saint Germain have tested positive for the coronavirus. The players haven't been named by the club. It's expected that they won't be taking part in the club's first League 1 match of the season against Lens next Thursday. The club said that all players and staff would continue to be tested during the coming days.

German striker Kevin Volland has signed a four year deal with AS Monaco. The 28 year old was most recently with Bayer Leverkusen.

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