Evening Update Friday 12 June 2020

A fire broke out on board a nuclear submarine in Toulon this morning. The Maritime Prefecture said that the submarine is currently undergoing maintenance in the port with no weapons or nuclear fuel on board. White smoke could be seen coming from the area of the submarine, which the Maritime Prefecture said was not radiactive and reminded the public that France has beacons throughout the country capable of detecting any radioactivity anomaly. Early this evening firefighters were still involved in extinguishing the fire. The Maritime Prefecture said that the blaze was being tackled by a co-ordinated operation involving Navy firefighters and SDIS 83 personnel. It added that specialized reinforcements from Marseille had been brought in, including thirty firefighters and 11 specialized disaster response vehicles on board ships.

A decree has been published today recognizing a state of natural disaster for 31 municipalities in the Alpes-Maritimes which were affected by floods and landslides during heavy rainfall on 23 and 24 November and 1 December last year. David Lisnard, the Mayor of Cannes, who has campaigned for recognition of a state of natural disaster for local municipalities described the publication of the decree as "very good news for the victims". Victims in the localities mentioned in the decree have ten days from today, June 12, to declare their claim to their insurance company and establish a precise list of the damage suffered and any lost or damaged goods.

There was serious disruption to traffic on the A8 motorway this morning after a truck caught fire. Firefighters from Cannes and Mougins brought the blaze under control near Junction 42 in the direction of Nice. The motorway was fully reopened to traffic at about 10am. The driver managed to leave the vehicle quickly and wasn't injured.

A man has died from gunshot wounds at the Court of Appeal building in Nimes this morning. It's thought that he may have taken his own life. The building was evacuated and no further injuries have been reported.

The SNCF is planning a large sale of tickets for local TER trains. Two million tickets will be put on sale from 22 June ranging in price from 1 euro to 10 euros. The SNCF and local TER operators announced a range of intiatives this morning aimed at encouraging people to use local trains this summer. A special pass will be available enabling young people aged between 12 and 25 to travel freely thouroughout the TER network in July and August for a flat fee of 29 euros per month. Holders of annual TER train passes will be able to use the TER trains in other regions free of charge in July and August.

Air France has announced that it will serve nearly 150 destinations this summer amounting to 80% of its regular network destinations. The airline has revealed a list of regional flights which it will operate this summer. From Nice Cote d'Azur airport Air France will fly to Biarritz, Bordeaux, Caen, Lille, Lyon, Metz-Nancy, Nantes, Paris CDG, Rennes, Strasbourg and also to Athens. From June 26, Air France flights will operate to and from Corsica from Paris-Orly airport. In July and August Air France is aiming to serve a large number of international destinations from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

Corsica Ferries services between Nice and Corsica are set to resume on July 1st. The times of the services have yet to be announced. Ferries to and from Corsica have been suspended since March due to the pandemic.

Meteo France have a Yellow alert for storms in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes from about midnight tonight (Friday) until 8am tomorrow (Saturday) and from about midday to at least 4pm tomorrow. There is also a Yellow flooding alert for parts of the Nartuby river.

 

BUSINESS

New figures show that the UK economy contracted by the greatest amount on record during April. The Office for National statistics said that UK GDP fell by 20.4% in the month. The ONS said the "historic" fall affected virtually all areas of activity as the country spent its first full month in lockdown.

Three airlines have started a legal challenge to the UK's fourteen day quarantine policy. British Airways, Ryanair and EasyJet have applied for a judicial review at the High Court. The airlines say the policy is "disproportionate". The UK government has said the quarantine period is a "proportionate and time-limited approach" to protect public health.

Industrial production in the Eurozone fell by 17.1% in April. The EU's statistics agency Eurostat said that the figure was the largest since records began in 1991.

 

SPORT

Motorsports... Three more races in this season's Formula 1 calendar have been cancelled. The Japanese, Singapore and Azerbaijan Grands Prix won't go ahead because of the pandemic. Formula 1 is still aiming to hold a World Championship with 15-18 grand prix taking place this season. A statement from Formula 1 said that it's "made significant progress with existing and new promoters on the revised calendar and been particularly encouraged by the interest that has been shown by new venues".

Football.. English League 1 play-off fixtures have been confirmed. The two-leg semi-finals will be on Friday 3 July and Monday 6 July. The final will be at Wembley on 13 July.

Cricket... Former England player Vikram Solanki has been appointed head coach of Surrey. He replaces Australian Michael di Venuto who's been with the county side for four years, which included their county championship win in 2018.

The Indian cricket team won't be travelling to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe this summer owing to the threat of Covid-19. They were scheduled to play three ODIs and three T20s against Sri Lanka starting in June, followed by three ODIs in Zimbabwe in August.

Olympics... Organizers of the Tokyo Olympic Games have said that 80% of the venues needed to run a successful Olympics next year have been secured so far. Negotiations are continuing for the remianing venues which include the Athletes Village, the International Broadcast Centre and the Main Press Centre.

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