Evening Update Thursday 24 August 2023

Meteo France have said that yesterday was the hottest day in France after 15 August since records began. Monday and Tuesday this week had previously set new records. Meteo France are lifting the red warnings currently in place for heat in seventeen departments at 6am tomorrow. Twenty departments will still be on an orange warning for heat, including the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes. Storms are on the way across most of France over the next few days, bringing an end to the heatwave. The storms are expected to arrive in our region on Sunday.

A teenager has died after being shot in Nimes in the Gard department. The shooting took place in the same district where a ten year old child was fatally shot several days ago. It's thought that the latest incident may be connected with drugs trafficking. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin is expected to visit the city tomorrow.

It's been announced that King Charles III and Queen Camilla will be visitng France from 20 to 22 September. The royal couple were originally expected to arrive in March after accepting an invitation from President Macron but the trip was postponed because of protests against pension reforms.

Bookings at hotels on the Cote d'Azur are comparing favourably to previous years according to new figures from the Regional Tourism Committee. It said that over the whole summer season, the occupancy rate should be 75%, which is up by one per cent compared with the 2019 and 2022 seasons. The peak season occupancy rate on the coast in mid-August was 92%, down slightly from the 95% recorded last year.

The Var and the Alpes-Maritimes are once again on a Level 2 alert for ozone pollution today. However, the prefectures have said that tomorrow will see the end of the ozone air pollution episode.

French government roads monitor Bison Fute are forecasting another busy weekend on the nation's roads. Tomorrow is red in the south-east in the direction of returns and yellow for the rest of the country. Saturday is yellow for departures nationally, red for returns. Sunday is yellow for returns and green for departures.

 

BUSINESS

The Unite Union has said that it has secured improved pay offers for its ground handling members at Gatwick airport and its threatened industrial action will be halted. Unite said its members at Red Handling had accepted a 14% pay increase plus other improvements while workers at Wilson James, which assists passengers with mobility issues, have accepted a 16% pay increase and other improvements in pay and working conditions.

Retailer Ikea has delayed the opening of a new store in central London until next year. The company said that the renovation of the former Top Shop store on Oxford Street will create an 82,000 square foot store on three floors along with office space and the renovation project for the over 100 year old building has taken more time than initially anticipated.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union... Courtney Lawes will captain England on his 100th cap in Saturday's match against Fiji. Theo Dan makes his first start. Ben Earl starts at number eight in the absence of Billy Vunipola. With Owen Farrell also suspended, George Ford is at fly-half.

Football.... Wolves have rejected a £47m offer from Manchester City for Portugal midfielder Matheus Nunes. Wolves signed him on a five-year contract last summer, paying a club record £38m to Sporting Lisbon.

 

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