Evening Update Friday 19 August 2022

A sound resembling a loud explosion was heard in many parts of the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes this lunchtime. Firefighters confirmed that the source of the noise was a military jet which broke the sound barrier while flying over Grasse. The resulting sonic boom was heard over a wide area, including as far afield as the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The jet had been scrambled to intercept a private plane which had lost radio contact. The private plane later landed in Corsica without incident.

There's been an increase in road deaths in July compared to the same month in 2021 and 2019. According to estimates by the National Interministerial Road Safety Observatory, 354 people died on the roads of mainland France in July this year, compared to 316 in July last year. The figure is also up by 8% compared to July 2019, before traffic restrictions linked to the health crisis.

Locally, two people have lost their lives in twenty four hours in separate road accidents in the Var. A twenty year old woman died after a van and car collided in Fayence this morning. A man in his thirties died in a crash involving two cars in Aups last night.

Clean up and repair operations have begun in Corsica afer yesterday's severe storms. Over 10,000 people, mostly from campsites, spent last night in various public buildings and gymnasiums as a precaution.

A man has turned himself into police in Toulon in connection with a fatal attack on his neightbour in Marseille. The man, who the prosecutor said is suffering from psychological disorders, was taken into custody.

French roads monitor Bison Fute has warned of another busy weekend on French roads. Today, Saturday and Sunday are all red in the direction of returns. The south-east of the country is red for the direction of departures tomorrow and yellow on Sunday.

After the rain of the past couple of days, the Var prefecture has reminded locals to remember to remove stagnant water near their home to destroy the larvae of the tiger mosquito. The tiger mosquito is present throughout our region and can transmit diseases including dengue fever.

The French government is stepping up its support for the purchase of mechanical and electrical cycles. A decree published on August 13 provides for new aid which is in effect from August 15 to December 31 this year. Details can be found on the government website https://www.economie.gouv.fr/renforcement-aides-nationales-achat-velo

 

BUSINESS

UK consumer confidence in the future hit a record low in August due to rising prices and economic prospects. It reached it's lowest level since comparable data began being collected in the mid-1970's. GfK which carried out the research said that a "sense of exasperation" about the economy was the biggest driver behind the fall.

Retail sales volumes in the UK rose by 0.3% in July and were still above their pre-pandemic February 2020 levels. However, looking more broadly, in the three months to July, sales volumes fell by 1.2% when compared with the previous three months, continuing a downward trend seen since the summer of 2021.

There's been severe disruption to London underground services today because of industrial action. This afternoon Transport for London's website was showing virtually all underground lines as suffering from disruption or partial disruption. It follows a day of industrial action by rail workers yesterday which disrupted train services in many parts of the UK.

 

SPORT

Cricket... South Africa have won the first Test against England at Lords by an innings and twelve runs.  

England women's team captain Heather Knight will miss next month's series against India after undergoing hip surgery. She will also miss the Women's Big Bash League in Australia.

Athletics.... Great Britain's Keely Hodgkinson has qualified for the women's 800m final at the European Championships in Munich. Others through to Saturday's final include  Alex Bell, Jemma Reekie and Ireland's Louise Shanahan.

Football...Nottingham Forest have signed Morgan Gibbs-White from Wolverhampton Wanderers for a club-record fee of £25m plus add-ons. He's joining on a five-year contract.

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