Evening Update Monday 31 August 2020

A man has died after apparently setting himself on fire in Gonfaron in the Var. Firefighters were called to a railway tunnel near the departmental road 97 this afternoon but the man's life couldn't be saved. An investigation has been opened but it's believed at this stage that he may have taken his own life.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi has received an award for his work in organizing the start of this year's Tour de France. The Mayor was awarded the Antargaz Combat-ivity Prize which is given at the end of each in-line stage of the Tour to the participant who has distinguished themselves by courage, spirit of initiative and "attacking role". On receiving the award at the start of the Third Stage today, the Mayor said that Nice is lucky to have a very good administration and the prize is to be shared with his teams, collaborators and the entire municipal and metropolitan administration.

An investigation is underway after severe disruption to train services in south-west France. Several hundred train passangers were stranded on trains overnight last night as trains were apparently affected by power problems with electrified lines. Passangers on a TGV from Hendaye in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department to Paris were stranded all night. They were eventually transferred to another train to Bordeaux, where they connected to a Paris train, arriving this lunchtime, some 20 hours behind schedule. Passangers on two other trains in the south-west were also stranded overnight. Reports say that about a dozen TGVs in the south-west have been affected since yesterday. French transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said that 60km of electrified track had been damaged and the repair work was "quite substantial".

Another event in our area has been cancelled because of the pandemic. The Biot International Glass Festival has been called off because of coronavirus resrictions, with several artists being unable to travel to the venue. The event was due to be held from 25 to 27 September.

A 55 year old man is in hospital after suffering from cardiac arrest whilst windsurfing off Saint Raphael. A witness saw the man collapse into the sea early this afternoon and alerted lifeguards who managed to get him back to the beach and rescusitate him. His life isn't thought to be in danger.

Residents of Biot have been advised not to be concerned if they see a number of very low altitude helicopter flights over the town in the coming weeks. ENEDIS is inspecting the 20,000 volt overhead electrical networks in the area by helicopter from today until 28 September.

Two people have died today in the Isere department in what's believed to be a dispute between neighbours. It's believed that an 82 year old man shot his 71 year old neighbour before probably turning the weapon on himself.

Air France has restarted flights to several destinations in the Outre-Mer from from Nice via Paris-Orly Airport.  Paris-Orly airport reopened at the end of June and Air France is gradually adding more flights to its schedule. As of today, Air France is operating connections from Nice via Paris-Orly to Cayenne, Fort-de-France, Pointe-a-Pitre and Saint-Denis de La Réunion. The following domestic destinations are also accessible by correspondence via Paris-Orly: Ajaccio, Aurillac, Bastia, Biarritz, Brest, Brive, Calvi, Castres, Figari, Marseille, Montpellier, Pau, Perpignan, Tarbes-Lourdes, Toulon and Toulouse.



Turkey's GDP declined by 11% in the second quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter. It's the largest contraction in the country's economy since comparable records began in 1998. The decline from the same period last year was 9.9%.

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has encouraged diners to continue eating out in restaurants after special subsidies end today. The Eat Out To Help Out scheme offered a 50% discount in restaurants up to a maximum of 10 pounds per person from Mondays to Wednesdays. The scheme was designed to help the hospitality sector during the coronavirus crisis. Over 64 million claims have been made by diners.

The use of renewable energy in the UK's electricity network grew significantly according to a new report. Research carried out by academics at Imperial College London for power producer Drax showed that in the second quarter of this year the use of renewables was up 32% year-on-year as biomass, wind and solar set new generation records in the quarter. May was Britain’s first coal-free calendar month since the Industrial Revolution as the country went an unprecedented 67 days without electricity from coal fired plants being used on the grid.


Cycling... Australian rider Caleb Ewan has won the Third Stage of the Tour de France today. Ewan won three stages in last year's race. Sam Bennett took second place today.

Cricket... Joe Root has been left out of England's Twenty20 squad for the three-game series against Australia. However, he is in the one-day squad.  Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Sam Curran and Mark Wood are all included in both squads.

Thirteen participants in the Indian Premier League have tested positive for the coronavirus. The League is scheduled to start on 19 September in the United Arab Emirates, where it's being held because of the high levels of coronavirus cases in India. India reported that 79,500 coronavirus cases had been detected on Sunday.

Football... Its been announced that England Women are to play a friendly match against Germany. The match, scheduled to take place in Germany on 27 October will be the team's first game since Phil Neville confirmed his exit as manger. He'll continue to manage the side until July next year. The match will be played behind closed doors because of coronavirus restrictions.

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