The Alpes Maritimes Prefecture has announced that all schools in the department wll be closed tomorrow because of Storm Alex. School transport will also be cancelled.
Meteo France have issued alerts for storms in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes as the storm is set to bring bad weather to much of France.
A Yellow alert for storms is in force from 6am to 8am tomorrow morning, Friday, for both the Var and the Alpes Maritimes, which then becomes an Orange alert from 8am until at least 4pm tomorrow. An Orange alert is level 3 out of the four alert levels used by Meteo France. There's also a yellow alert for storms in the Alpes Maritimes this evening until about midnight.
A yellow alert for heavy rain and flooding is in force from 8am to 10am tomorrow morning for both departments. It then becomes an orange alert until at least 4pm. A yellow alert for high waves is also in force for part of tomorrow afternoon. Yellow alerts are also in force for upper parts of the Var river. You can get full details of the alerts at www.meteofrance.com
Meteo France have said that Storm Alex is expected to make landfall tonight in Brittany and the west of the Pays de Loire. Gusts of the order of 100 to 120 km / h are expected inland, 120 to 140 km / h on the coast, or even more on the exposed caps. The Morbihan department in Brittany has been put on a rare Meteo France Red alert for high winds tonight. On Friday much of France will be affected by the storm with heavy rain in many regions.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex has been meeting with several mayors from major cities regarding coronavirus measures. He is due to give his weekly coronavirus update at 6.00 this evening. Meanwhile, President Macron said today that what he called the "battle against the virus" would be won. Addressing business leaders at forum in Paris today he called on businesses to "relaunch, relaunch, relaunch" and not to give up.
New financial assistance has been announced for traders in Nice by local officials. The new measures, amounting to 140,000 euros aim to support new merchants in the launch or recovery of their business, to respond to new consumption patterns and to help merchants towards digitization. The City of Nice has also decided to make on-street parking free for merchants with a contract until the end of the year. It's expected that 549 businesses will benefit from the parking scheme.
Local elected officials have been meeting in Cannes today at the annual progress report on flood risk prevention in the area. The Agglomeration of Cannes Lérins has already invested 19.7 million euros in flood prevention works and acquired 19,000m² of land to protect the local population from flooding.
Police in Toulon have been carrying out checks on electric scooters. They are reminding the public of the numerous requirements applying to the operation of trottinettes electriques including having lights at the front and back, the prohibition on the wearing of headphones, riding on pavements and speeds of over 25km per hour and also the requirement to wear reflective clothing at night and in conditions of reduced visibility.
Stocks of blood for transfusions have dropped to their lowest level for many years and new donors are being sought. In France over one third of blood donations are used to treat people suffering from cancer. If you'd like to consider giving blood, the Maison du Don in Nice is open at 3 rue Gallean but there are donation centers throughout our region. More details can be found on the website https://dondesang.efs.sante.fr/ or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/dondusangNice/
Authorities have issued a hydroalcoholic gel recall notice. The recall is for the YDBY brand of gel in 100ml bottles, lot number F080/0001 and is because of an insufficient level of enthanol in the gel and insufficient labelling. If you have some of the gel you're advised not to use it and to return it to the place of purchase. More details at https://www.economie.gouv.fr/dgccrf/avis-de-rappel-du-gel-hydroalcoolique-ydby
Aeroplane engine maker Rolls Royce has said that it will seek to raise £2bn from its shareholders through a rights issue. The company will also raise funds by issuing new debt, while the rights issue could potentially lead to additional financing from the UK government.
Fashion retailer H&M is planning to close 250 stores worldwide. It currently has about 5,000 stores. It said that the pandemic had resulted in more customers shopping online.
Stock exchanges in Japan were shut down on Thursday as the result of a technical issue. Japan Exchange Group said that a backup system failed to kick in after a hardware malfunction. It said that it was aiming to resume trading as normal on Friday.
Tennis....Second seed Karolina Pliskova is out of the French Open after being defeated by Jelena Ostapenko. The final score was 6-4 6-2. This afternoon Novak Djokovic defeated world number 66 Ricardas Berankis 6-1 6-2 6-2.
Rugby Union...England centre Manu Tuilagi has been ruled out for six months with a torn Achilles tendon.The injury means that he'll miss England's Six Nations game against Italy and won't play in the Autumn Nations Cup.
In France, the Top14 match between La Rochelle and Racing92 has been postponed after several people in Racing92's workforce tested positive for the coronavirus. The match was due to take place on Saturday.
Football... There are three more ties tonight in the English League Cup. Brentford play Fulham, Aston Villa play Stoke and Liverpool play Arsenal.