Evening Update Wednesday 4 September

The body of a man from the Var who had been missing for several weeks has been found in a hospital in Marseille. Jean Ligonnet, who lived in La Seyne and who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, had gone to the hospital to receive chemotheraphy on the 19th of August but had not been heard from since. His body was found last night in what has been described as “an abandoned” wing of the hospital.

The Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castener, has said that it’s “a failure” to not have been able to protect Salome, the woman whose body was discovered in Cagnes-sur-Mer on Saturday. Monsieur Castaner made his remarks while commenting on the actions of the police in the case on French television last night. Yesterday evening, about one hundred people gathered in front of the Cagnes-sur-Mer train station and several dozen on the Place Massena in Nice to pay tribute to Salome. Other gatherings are being planned, including on Thursday at noon at Cagnes-sur-Mer and Place Garibaldi in Nice on Saturday.

Two people have been arrested suspected of burglaries in Antibes. It’s alleged that the suspects carried out the burglaries on boats in Port Vauban.

An agreement has been signed that will mean firefighters in the Var will no longer pay motorway tolls when attending an incident. The agreement was signed in Draugignan yesterday by Escota and the departmental fire service.

A poll published today has shown that only a quarter of French people judge Emmanuel Macron's record as positive, with 51% of respondents saying that his record is not good. The poll shows that purchasing power is the main concern of French people. Then comes the issue of protecting the environment, which at 38% is up almost 10 points from last year, and taxes and charges, also at 38%.

 

BUSINESS

Huawei has accused the US government of "using every tool at its disposal" to disrupt its business. In a press release, the company said the US had launched cyber-attacks to infiltrate its networks and was threatening its employees. The firm, which was put on a US trade blacklist this year, didn’t offer evidence for the allegations.

Marks and Spencer has been relegated from the FTSE 100 index of Britain's biggest listed companies. The company had been a FTSE 100 member since the index was launched in 1984. Based on the closing price of its shares yesterday, its market value has fallen below the threshold for inclusion in the index.

The UK services sector, which accounts for about 80 per cent of the economy, appears to have grown only slightly in August, according to the latest purchasing managers' index from IHS Markit/CIPS. The survey score was 50.6, down from 51.4 in July. Anything above 50 marks growth, below 50 indicates contraction.

 

SPORT

Cricket… The 4th Ashes Test is underway at Old Trafford but was halted because of rain mid-afternoon. Before the rain, Australia were 98 for 2 wickets after 26.0 overs.

Motorsports…Red Bull's Max Verstappen will start Sunday's Italian Grand Prix from the back of the grid as a result of a penalty for excessive engine usage. Verstappen will use Honda's latest 'Spec Four' engine at Monza, which will take him over the permitted number of engine components for a season. Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly will also run the engine with the same punishment.

Formula 2 driver Juan Manuel Correa, who was injured in the accident that killed French driver Anthoine Hubert last Saturday, has been moved to intensive care in the UK. Correa suffered serious injuries during the support race for the Belgian Formula 1 race when his car collided with Hubert’s car at 170mph.

Rugby Union… Harlequins centre Joe Marchant will start England's final warm-up match against Italy on Friday despite not being part of the World Cup squad. Marchant is alongside Piers Francis in the midfield in what is described as a "mix and match selection strategy".

 

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