Evening Update Thursday 5 October 2023

Two lecture theatres in the law faculty at the university in Aix-en-Provence have been temporarily closed because of possible bedbugs. The move comes after a video was posted on social media by a student who claimed that she saw one of the insects in a lecture theatre.

A nursery school in Marseille has been temporarily closed because of a nearby drugs dealing point. Employees have asked for the installation of security cameras at the facility in the second arrondissement in the centre of the city. Pupils are currently being looked after by other nurseries.

French government spokesperson Olivier Veran has said that the government will not leave charity Restos du Coeur "without solutions".  It follows the organisation saying that for the first time it will have to turn people away. Speaking to French media, Olivier Veran said that the Minister for Solidarity and Families Aurore Berge is in touch with the organisation so that restaurants can welcome as many people as possible in November and December.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has said that the government will pay the water bills of residents of the overseas department and region of Mayotte. The 270,000 inhabitants of the territory have recently only been able to access mains water for one day out of three because of a drought. The Prime minister said that bills would be met for the period from September to December. The distribution of bottled water will also be increased.

A civil security exercise is scheduled to take place off Bastia in Corsica tomorrow. The exercise will test the emergency response to an aircraft crashing into the sea. The Maritime Prefect said that many aircraft and boats will operate in the area all day. It has issued regulations regarding navigation, anchoring, scuba diving and swimming off the coast of the department of Haute-Corse during the exercise.

Traffic disruptions are expected in eastern areas of the Var over the next few days because of the Roc d'Azur cycle race. Thousands of participants are expected for the event which has been taking place since the 1980's. Roads which will be especially affected include the RD7, the RD8 and the RD559.

 

BUSINESS

The UK's cloud computing market is to face a competition probe over concerns it is being dominated by Amazon and Microsoft. Regulator Ofcom said the two companies make up 70-80% of the sector in the UK. Ofcom has made a referral to the UK Competition and Markets Authority for an independent investigation to further examine the market and consider whether there are competition concerns and, if so, what interventions can improve the supply of those services for UK customers. The CMA said that it will conclude its investigation by April 2025.

The UK new car market grew by 21% in September, according to the latest figures from industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. It was the 14th consecutive monthly increase. Growth continued to be driven by large business fleets, which rose 40.8%. Private consumer demand also grew and electrified vehicle uptake continued to grow in the month. However, overall new car registrations remain below pre-pandemic levels.

A survey of purchasing managers has shown the steepest decline in UK construction output since the pandemic. According to the survey by S&P Global, construction activity fell at the sharpest pace since May 2020 in September, led by what it called "a steep and accelerated contraction" in housebuilding. Business expectations weakened and employment growth slowed.

 

SPORT

Cricket... New Zealand have beaten England by nine wickets in the World Cup today. England went in to bat first and at the end of their fifty overs were 282 for 9. In reply New Zealand were 283 for 1.

Football... Republic of Ireland player James McClean has announced his retirement from international football at the end of this season. It means that the friendly against New Zealand on 21 November will be his final international appearance. He earned his 100th cap for the team in the match against Gibraltar in June.

Arsenal women's team head coach Jonas Eidevall has signed a new contract with the club. The Swede joined Arsenal in 2021.

Rugby Union... Toulon player Charles Ollivon has been appointed captain of the French team which will play Italy tomorrow. It's France's last match of the group stages of the World Cup.

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