Evening Update Monday 9th October 2023

More October temperature records have been broken over the weekend around France, according to Météo France. Average peak temperatures nationwide on Sunday reached 28°C, which has never before been seen this late in the year. Aix-en-Provence recorded 31.4°C yesterday and Le Luc in the Var hit 33.9°C.

The City of Nice says it plans to clear a migrant camp that has set up near the demolition site for the Palais des Expositions. About 20 refugees, mostly from East Africa, have been camping on the site, by the Paillon river, for almost a year. Nice deputy mayor Anthony Borré says the city is looking at options to move them. During storm alerts, police are called in to evacuate the camp for safety reasons - but the migrants later return to the same site.

An apartment in the Saint-Roch neighbourhood of Nice has been completely destroyed by fire. The seven-storey apartment block on Rue Acchiardi de Saint-Léger was evacuated early on Sunday morning. Paramedics treated five people for smoke inhalation. The fire was quickly put out and the damage is limited to just the one apartment on the second floor, which is now uninhabitable. Its occupants will be found alternative housing.

A security perimeter was set up outside the Ikea store in Nice after part of the building's facade collapsed. No one was injured in the incident, which happened during shopping hours on Friday.

His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco has been visiting the Roya valley today to mark the third anniversary of the deadly Storm Alex. He visited the destroyed hamlet of Piène-Haute, near Breil-sur-Roya, before crossing over the Italian border to visit the village of Olivette San Michele. In both places, he unveiled a plaque commemorating the villages' historic connections with the prinicipality and the Grimaldi dynasty.

Self-employed mums in Monaco could finally get paid maternity leave thanks to a proposed new law. The bill would also give dads a longer period of paid paternity leave. Monaco's government advisor for social affairs says the draft law would be submitted to the national council in the coming weeks. Exact details of the paid maternity leave for the self-employed are not yet clear. As for paternity leave, fathers can currently take 12 consecutive days when a child is born. That would be increased to 21 days - or 28 if they already have two older children in the household.

Plans for a new international video game festival in Cannes have been delayed by a year. Organisers of the Cannes Gaming Festival want more time to ensure the large-scale event is a success. The five-day festival will now take place sometime next autumn. The gaming festival is being organised by a former president of PSG and ex-manager at TV channel M6. It will include an awards ceremony with an international jury, and various conferences for professionals and the public.

Peymeinade, near Grasse, has announced it will impose a 30 kilometer per hour speed limit throughout the town in the coming weeks. Local officials say the reduced speed limit aims to ensure better road safety and improve traffic flow.

The first Monaco resident in space has safely landed back down on Earth. Namira Salim, a Monegasque resident for 25 years, paid a $200,000 deposit back in 2006 to be on board the Virgin Galactic space flight. She became the first person from Pakistan to go into space. Virgin's fifth commercial sub-orbital flight took off from the New Mexico desert on Friday, flying to an altitude of 87 kilometres.

Nice old town has been busy marking the festival of Sainte-Réparate this weekend. An effigy of the patron saint of Nice is wheeled through the old town's narrow streets on a boat in a colourful procession from the town hall to Sainte-Réparate cathedral itself, where a special mass was held with the Bishop of Nice and the Archbishop of Monaco.

And Mandelieu has broken a world record - for the longest human chain of people paddling in the sea. 792 people formed an orderly line, up to their ankles in the water at 22°C this weekend. In doing so, they broke the previous record of 721 which was held by a seaside resort in Italy. The human chain in the Med was a fundraising initiative for Pink October and the fight against breast cancer.

BUSINESS

Oil prices have continued to rise today amid concerns that the situation in Israel and Gaza could disrupt output from the Middle East. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose more than $3 to $87.68 a barrel, while US prices also rose. Israel and Palestinian territories are not oil producers but the Middle Eastern region accounts for almost a third of global supply.

British high street retailer Wilko has closed its last remaining stores this weekend for the final time after the chain's collapse. The 93-year-old retailer collapsed into administration in August, with almost all of its 12,500 workers being made redundant. The last remaining 41 stores shut down on Sunday. The shelves had already become bare while the firm sold off its last remaining products to recover cash to cover its outstanding debts. Wilko collapsed after being hit hard by inflationary pressures, competition from rivals and supply chain challenges.

Meanwhile, British supermarket Waitrose is reportedly in talks with Amazon to sell groceries online, in an attempt to attract more shoppers and claw back market share. The Sunday Telegraph reported that the upmarket supermarket, part of the John Lewis Partnership, and Amazon were discussing a third-party deal, after the world’s biggest online retailer struck a similar agreement with the supermarket Iceland recently.

SPORT

Rugby Union - England are holding an in-depth debrief today into their lacklustre World Cup victory against Samoa. England trailed 17-8 early in the second half in Lille. The side were minutes away from defeat before finally recovering to win 18-17. England now go on to face Fiji in the quarter final in Marseille next Sunday. Meanwhile, Ireland are excited to face New Zealand. The sides will renew their rivalry in a highly-anticipated quarter-final at the Stade de France on Saturday.

Athletics - The Kenyan runner Kelvin Kiptum has shattered the men's marathon world record. He completed this weekend's Chicago marathon in 2hrs and 35 seconds - taking 34 seconds off the previous record. It is now only a matter of time before the under-two-hours barrier is broken in an official race. Previous record holder Eliud Kipchoge managed it once in a time trial in 2019. That, though, did not count as a record because he used a number of measures not permitted under World Athletics rules.

In local football, Ligue 1 leaders AS Monaco enjoyed a 3-1 away win at Reims on Saturday. OGC Nice are second in the table despite a 1-0 loss away at Metz.

Cycling - About 18,000 spectators lined the route on Sunday for the 39th edition of the Roc d'Azur mountain-biking race in the Var. The 55km race, beginning and ending in Fréjus, saw 3,000 mountain-bikers take part. Frenchman Hugo Drechou was the winner, with a finishing time of 2 hours 18 minutes.

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