Evening Update Thursday 24 October

The Riviera is recovering from last night's storms and the continuing rain today. In the Alpes Maritimes, traffic in the area of Antibes and Valbonne was particularly affected during this morning's rush hour. The tunnel at La Siesta and the coast road between Antibes and Villenuve Loubet were closed and many secondary roads were affected by flooding, including several roads in Sophia Antipolis. Water levels of many of the area's rivers continued to rise during this morning's rain. The Brague river had risen to 1.86 metres at Biot bridge by the middle of this afternoon, having only been at 60 centimetres before this morning's rains. In Cannes La Bocca, the Avenue Michel Jourdan was still closed this afternoon because of flooding. The latest rainfall data has shown that the Var experienced about three times the rainfall of the Alpes Maritimes over the last couple of days. Several areas of the Var experienced more rainfall than is normal for the whole of the month of October. Pompiers in the Var said that 2,000 calls were received at the Emergency Call Center in a period of less than 3 hours. However, they also said that there were no injuries as a result of the storm. Meteo France described the storm in the Var as being of "extraordinary" intensity. Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has said that three people have lost their lives in the recent floods in other areas of southern France. The victims were in the Hérault, Gard and Pyrénées-Orientales departments. The minister said that the recent storms affected "up to eight departments" and that there were 1,773 interventions. More than 2,000 firefighters and civil security forces were mobilised. 

A 36 year old man has appeared in court after a violent altercation in Nice last Saturday night. According to local reports, the accused says he was beaten and had his phone stolen when he stopped to ask directions on his scooter. He is then accused of stabbbing one of the assailants. He has been held in custody and is scheduled for another court appearance in about a month.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that several areas of France, including Nice, have been exceeding permitted levels of nitrogen dioxide. The ECJ considered the pollution levels in 24 cities and areas of France after the European Commission had issued several warnings to the French government. Sanctions are now possible if pollution levels don't improve.



The European Central Bank has left interest rates unchanged. The ECB also confirmed that its bond buying programme will start at €20bn a month from 1 November. It was Mario Draghi's last rate-setting announcement as president of the European Central Bank. Christine Lagarde takes over on the 1st of November.

US airline American has raised its estimate of the bill relating to the Boeing 737 MAX grounding to $540m which is 35% more than it previously estimated. The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March after two deadly crashes killed 346 people within five months.

Twitter has reported fourth quarter net income of $37m - a sharp fall compared to the $789m reported in the three months to 30 September last year and below analysts' expectations. The company said third quarter sales rose by 9% to $824m but were below Wall Street forecasts of $874m.

Nokia has warned that full-year profits will be lower than previously thought for the next two years. The company reported a 14% fall in third-quarter net profits but sales rose by 4%. The company said it now has 48 commercial 5G deals and 15 live networks.

Daimler, owner of Mercedes-Benz, has said that profits rose by 3% to €1.8bn in the third quarter. It reported stronger sales of luxury cars and higher profits in its van business. Overall revenues climbed 8%. Meanwhile, Volvo Cars, which is owned by Chinese company Geely, reported a 90% increase in operating profit and revenues up by 14%



Football... Premier League players could face the prospect of playing games nine days before the start of the 2022 winter World Cup in Qatar. Draft plans have been shared between clubs outlining the Premier League schedule around the tournament, which is being held from 21 November to 18 December 2022. Fixtures could take place on 12 November and resume on 26 December, eight days after the final. The season would also kick off one week earlier and finish a week later, meaning that there would be only six weekends without Premier League games. The issue will be discussed at the next Premier League shareholders' meeting next month.

Meanwhile, China has been revealed as the host of the first edition of the expanded Fifa Club World Cup in 2021. The competition, which currently features seven teams, will be expanded to 24 teams from June 2021. Top European clubs have previously said they will boycott the tournament.

Golf... Tiger Woods recovered from a poor start to hit 64 to share the lead after the opening round of the inaugural Zozo Championship in Japan. Woods, who is making his first appearance since knee surgery in August, tops the leaderboard alongside Gary Woodland on six under.



Wales full-back Liam Williams has this afternoon been ruled out of Sunday's semi-final against South Africa after suffering an ankle injury. Wales will announce their team on Friday morning.

South Africa have made only one change. Wing Cheslin Kolbe has been ruled out for the match. Kolbe left the field late on in the quarter-final win against Japan. The 23-year-old sat out training this week having also been ruled out of South Africa's game against Canada because of an ankle problem. He's been replaced by Sbu Nkosi. South Africa's 23 is otherwise the same as it was for their quarter-final win.

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by dropping flanker Sam Cane to the bench and picking Scott Barrett for Saturday's semi-final against England in Yokohama. It will be the first time Barrett, who is normally a lock, starts a Test in the back row.

Meanwhile, England have recalled George Ford at fly-half with captain Owen Farrell shifting to inside centre. Coach Eddie Jones dropped Ford to the bench for the quarter-final win over Australia. For the semi-final he's reunited the 10-12 combination that saw England get past Tonga, USA and Argentina in the group stages. Winger Jonny May has been declared fit after an injury scare against the Wallabies last weekend.






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