Evening News Update Wednesday 10 October

Meteo France has issued severe weather alerts for the Var and the Alpes Maritimes.  They are level 3 warnings, that’s out of the 4 levels of weather alert issued by Meteo France, for storms with lightning, heavy rain and possible flooding.  Hail is also possible in places and gusts of about 60 km per hour are expected.  The weather alert for the Var has already started and is in operation until midday tomorrow. The alert for the Alpes Maritimes is from 10.00 tonight and also ends at midday tomorrow. Further details of the weather alerts are available on the Meteo France website at www.meteo.fr

A lorry driver has died after a serious accident on the A8 motorway in the Var this morning.  The truck he was driving crossed the central reservation in the area between the Puget-sur-Argens and Le Muy junctions and hit several vehicles on the opposite carriageway. Two other people involved in the accident were airlifted to hospitals in Toulon.

The maritime prefect overseeing the separation of the two ships which collided off Corsica has given further details of the operation at a press conference in Toulon this morning.  He said that two attempts had been made to separate the ships in a very measured way because authorities didn’t want to risk exacerbating the situation.  Currently there are five areas, each 25 kilometres long, of what the prefect described as “quite heavy and viscous” fuel on the sea.  Reports say that in total, about two hundred and fifty people are involved in the operation to separate the two vessels and contain the fuel leaks.

An online petition launched by local MP Eric Ciotti to make part of the A8 motorway toll-free has reached over 25,000 signatures in the week since its launch. The speed limit between Cagnes-sur-Mer and Saint Laurent-du-Var has been reduced to 90 km per hour since last week.  The petition, at www.change.org says that Nice is the only city in France where it is necessary to pay a toll to pass from one area of the city to another and that the toll at St Isadore should therefore be removed.

Following a report published today France’s National Health Security Agency has requested that “public authorities take measures to stop the exposure of the population to artificial UV”. According to figures those who have used tanning booths at least once before the age of 35 increase the risk of developing skin cancer by 59%", estimating that 43% of skin cancer in young people could be attributed to the use of tanning booths before the age of 30. According to the National Union of tanning professionals, "their activity has been halved since 2009 due to the controversy on the risks of UV". There are currently 4,500 establishments in France, including 300 specialized tanning centers.



The Italian government has said that it plans to continue with its spending plans despite an increase in borrowing costs sparked by nervous bond investors and concerns over the government’s budget numbers. The Italian government is basing its budget on 1.5% growth in the economy, while the International Monetary Fund expects it to be just 1%.


IKEA has reported a 4.5% rise in sales to €38.8bn for the full year to August, buoyed by new shops and online revenue. Excluding new stores, like-for-like sales were flat but online revenue rose by  31%.


In the UK, Gross Domestic Product grew by 0.7% in the three months to August according to the Office for National Statistics. However, the month-on-month figures show that there was no growth in GDP during the month of August.


FOOTBALL.. Several of Belgium's top football clubs have been raided as part of a police investigation into alleged fraud involving the transfer of players. More than 200 police officers are reported to have taken part in raids across several countries, including properties in France.

CRICKET… It’s been Day 4 out of the 5 day Pakistan against Australia Test Match. At the close of play Australia were on 136 for 3 in their second innings and needed 326 runs to win. Meanwhile the One Day International in Dambulla has been abandoned due to bad weather. England were 92 for 2 when rain stopped play, with Sri Lanka yet to bat.

CYCLING…Geraint Thomas is appealing for thieves to return his Tour de France trophy. Police are investigating the theft which took place while the Coupe Omnisports was on display at The Cycle Show in Birmingham.

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