Evening Update Monday 15 October

The death toll in the floods in the Aude department of south-western France has been revised down by the interior ministry this evening.  Previously, at least 13 people were thought to have lost their lives in the floods, but that total has now been revised down to 10 people. Officials explained that the death toll was revised when it was realised that several of the deceased had been counted twice in the official figures. Local authorities say several months' worth of rain fell in just a few hours overnight.  Alain Thirion, the prefect of Aude, said people were stranded on rooftops and would have to be evacuated from buildings by air because it was too dangerous by boat.  Residents of the worst-hit areas have been urged to stay inside their homes by emergency services. In Trèbes near Carcassonne, the floodwater has reached a height of seven metres. The floods are apparently the worst the Aude river has seen in more than 100 years. A Meteo France red weather alert, the highest level of alert, is still in operation early this evening for river flooding in parts of the department.

The clean-up operation after the collision of the two ships off Corsica appears to have been a success.  The prefect in Toulon has stated that only about two per cent of the fuel oil which escaped from the ships now remains in the water. Over a dozen anti-pollution ships are reported to have collected over one thousand cubic metres of mixed oil and seawater since the collision just over a week ago. According to the prefect, pumping of the oil will now stop and be replaced by a trawling system dragged behind several vessels to mop up the small amount of pollutant remaining in the sea. 

Firefighters were called to a blaze in the kitchen of a restaurant in Juan-les-Pins this morning. The fire, at the Pirates private beach, was believed to have started in the kitchen and was quickly extinguished.  About twenty firefighters tackled the fire, according to local reports.  There were no injuries.

An injured climber has been rescued after spending the night in freezing conditions on a mountain in the Haut-Alpes. The 29 year old mountaineer had fallen 15 metres on Saturday afternoon on la Barre Noir mountain in Pelvoux.  He was rescued on Sunday afternoon after making contact with another climber on the mountain who raised the alarm.

Representatives of many of the world’s largest media companies are in Cannes this week for the MIPCOM trade show. The event concentrates on the sale, financing and distribution of audiovisual content but also features many presentations and panel discussions about the latest trends in the industry. About 14,000 attendees are expected at the Palais des Festivals this week, including some famous names such as Richard Gere and Ben Stiller.

France’s education minister has this morning presented plans to the Higher Council of Education for several reforms. Amongst them is a new measure making education compulsory from the age of three instead of six and the financing of private nursery schools by local councils. Nursery education in France is currently financed by the state.

Authorities have stepped up patrols to protect endangered fish in the Calanques National Park. The park which stretches from Marseille to La Ciotat has fallen prey to an organised crime gang who have been selling fish to smart restaurants. So far this year, four men – including champion free divers have been convicted over a major poaching operation. For years, they had crept into the park’s protected sea zones and stolen huge quantities of often endangered fish to sell illegally to restaurants in Marseille.




British Prime Minister Theresa May has said a Brexit deal is "still achievable" despite differences with the EU on how to guarantee no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Giving a statement to MPs this afternoon, she said the EU had "responded positively" to her proposal for a UK-wide arrangement, but that it was insisting on keeping a specific arrangement for Northern Ireland on the table. Meanwhile, Ford's European boss has said a no-deal Brexit "would be pretty disastrous" for British industry and could affect the company's future in the UK. Steven Armstrong told the BBC that a no-deal outcome would force the company to think about what its future investment strategy for the UK would be. He said a deal based on the EU-Canada deal would not work for Ford because it would involve border checks and would upset the just-in-time manufacturing model used by the company in Europe.



US retailer Sears Holdings has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company also owns Kmart. Sears has been closing stores, selling properties and reducing its workforce in recent years. The company employs nearly 90,000 people in the US, down from 246,000 five years ago and has debts of more than $5bn.

Shares in the clothing retailer Superdry have fallen sharply after the company warned that profits for its current financial year will be £10m less than expected. It said the lower than expected profits are the result of the recent heatwave hurting sales of winter clothes. The company also said it faced £8m in additional foreign exchange costs.

US President Donald Trump has once again warned fresh tariffs on Chinese goods could be on the way.  In a television interview he said he "might" look to impose more tariffs on Beijing. The trade row between the two countries has already seen the US impose tariffs on goods worth $250bn.


Football…The Football Association has said that the behaviour of some England fans before tonight’s Nations League match against Spain has been unacceptable. A group of supporters were dispersed by riot police in Seville on Sunday night. Bosnia Herzegovina host Northern Ireland in the other Nations League match tonight.

Former Arsenal and France football star Thierry Henry was already at work on Saturday having just been appointed as the new coach of ASM Monaco. Henry was in the stands at the Stade Maurice Chevalier in Cannes as Monaco’s U19 played AC Ajaccio. The former Arsenal striker is leading his first training session with Monaco this afternoon in La Turbie. 

Cricket… Umesh Yadav claimed a 10-wicket haul as India again beat the West Indies inside three days to win their two-test series 2-0. This was the Windies' fourth straight three-day defeat in India.

Rugby Union… New Zealand have called up uncapped Auckland flanker Dalton Papalii to their squad for their tour to Japan and Europe.  He’s the only uncapped player in the squad, although seven others are among an additional list of 19 players selected for the Japan Test.


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