Evening Update Thursday 28 July 2022

A man has been arrested in Antibes this afternoon after firing a gun from his balcony. Local reports say the shots appeared to be blanks. The alarm was raised by an off duty police officer nearby who alerted authorities.

A man taken into police custody in the Ardeche department has admitted starting forest fires. In all, there were twelve outbreaks of fire in the same area which destroyed 1,200 hectares of forest but the fires are now under control. Several other people are still in custody.

Meanwhile, a volunteer firefighter taken into custody in the Herault department has admitted starting the fires which affected an area north of Montpellier recently.

The forest fire near the Gorges du Verdon isn't progressing anymore according to an update this afternoon from the prefect of the Alpes-de-Haut-Provence. 400 people, including several holidaymakers from the UK, were evacuated as a precautionary measure last night but have now been allowed to return to the campsite.

Forest areas of the Var are still on raised levels of alert for fire. Today the Haut Var massif is at a top-level "very severe" risk and access is prohibited. The other massifs are at "severe" risk - access is not recommended and certain restrictions are in force. The Prefecture is reminding residents and visitors to call 18 or 112 to alert the authorities to any fire outbreak.

Residents in the Fayence area in the Var are being told to limit their water consumption or face a fine. In a letter to residents of nine municipalities in the Fayence area, local mayors are asking residents to limit their consumption to 200 litres per day per person or face a fine of up to 1,500 euros. In a Facebook post, the mayor of Fayence Bernard Henry explained that the water situation in the area "is becoming alarming" and more than ever the inhabitants of the Pays de Fayence "will have to show civility and discipline". He said that targeted or random meter readings will be taken. The order authorising the measures will be in force until 31 August.

Meanwhile, 15 municipalities in the Gapeau zone in the Var have gone into drought "crisis". it now means that in the Var 87 municipalities are in crisis, 20 municipalities are on heightened alert, 14 municipalities are on alert and there are 32 municipalities on the watch list. Restrictions by municipality can be found on the Prefecture's website www.var.gouv.fr

The Cannes town hall has announced the reopening of the Star cinema in 2024. The cinema, located at 98 rue d'Antibes, was temporarily closed in January 2016 in order to allow its owner to undertake complete renovation work. The works, which are expected to begin in the first quarter of next year and to be completed in the first half of 2024, involve both the construction of modern projection rooms and the creation of commercial premises.

French roads monitor Bison Fute are forecasting a busy weekend on the nation's roads. Tomorrow, the whole of France is red in the direction of departures and the south-east is red in the direction of returns. On Saturday the whole of France is black in the direction of departures, which is the top level of warning denoting "extremely difficult" traffic conditions. The whole of the country is red on Saturday in the direction of returns.

 

BUSINESS

Nestle has said that it has increased its prices by 6.5% in the first half of this year. It said that the increase was due to "unprecedented" increases in costs. The company had previously increased prices by 3.1% in the final quarter of last year.

Business and consumer confidence in the Eurozone have fallen sharply according to a new survey from the European Union. The EU Commission’s economic sentiment indicator showed that there was a further substantial drop in consumer confidence. Both households’ assessment of their past financial situation and their outlook on their future financial situation hit all-time lows. Their intentions to make major purchases and expectations about the general economic situation fell to the lowest levels since April 2020.

Energy company Centrica, which owns British Gas, has reported adjusted operating profits of 1.342 billion pounds for the first half of the year compared to 262 million in the first half of last year. The company said that consumers are facing “the most challenging energy crisis in living memory”.

 

SPORT

Motorsports.... Sebastian Vettel has announced that he’s retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the season. Vettel, who is 35 years old said it had been a difficult decision. He said that he would "take more time to reflect” on what he will focus on next and that spending more time with his family was a priority.

Athletics... The 2022 Commonwealth Games are getting underway in Birmingham, with the opening ceremony taking place this evening. 72 teams and about 6,500 athletes and officials will be involved in the competition over the next twelve days. It’s the biggest sporting programme in the history of the Games. There are also a record 42 Para-sports events.

 

 

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