Evening Update Thursday 7 September 2023

The hot weather continues across most of France with about a dozen departments being placed on a Meteo France orange alert for heat tomorrow. An orange level alert is the third out of the four warning levels used by Meteo France. Paris is included in the areas under an orange warning. Several dozen departments are on a lower level yellow warning. Most of those departments are in central, western and north-western parts of the country, with temperatures of 35 to 37 degrees expected in some of those areas today.

French Minister of Transport Clement Beaune has given further details of a planned flat-fee rail pass annnounced by President Macron earlier this week. Speaking on French television today he said that it is expected the pass will give unlimited use of trains for a price of about 50 euros per month. TGV's would be excluded but busses, metro systems and trams in larger cities may be included. He added that the pass will not be dependent on the age of the holder. Talks are planned between the Transport Ministry and local and regional elected officials on the implementation of the pass.

The overturning of a heavy goods vehicle on the A8 motorway, 3 km after the exit at Villeneuve Loubet Plage on the carriageway towards Aix-en-Provence, caused significant disruption early this evening. Motorway operaor VINCI Autoroutes said that up to 17 km of traffic jams were recorded. After removing the truck and clearing the concrete elements which obstructed the roadway, the three lanes of the motorway were opened at 6:15 p.m. VINCI Autoroutes said that the disruptions will gradually subside but could last until early in the night.

Two investigations have been opened after a teenage scooter rider was hit by a police car in Elancourt in the Yvelines department near Paris. The 16 year old later died in hospital. Reports say that two vehicles were set on fire nearby last night. Speaking on French television this morning, government spokesperson Olivier Veran called for calm.

Two lanes of the Voie Mathis in Nice were closed this morning after a man fell onto the carriageway from a road above, a distance of about fifteen metres. According to reports, the man in his twenties appeared to have only minor injuries but was taken to hospital by firefighters.

A meeting has been held at the town hall in Nice with associations who plan to participate in World Cleanup Day on September 16. Fifty associations from Nice will take part in this global event. In a post on social media, Nice deputy Mayor Pierre-Paul Léonelli said that he was delighted with the enthusiasm that has been observed for the event over the years in Nice.

 

BUSINESS

China's exports have dropped for the fourth month in a row in August. Exports fell 8.8% compared with a year earlier, while imports dropped 7.3%, according to official data. The figures were not as bad as expected and were an improvement on July.

Irish packaging company Smurfit Kappa has said that it is in discussions with US packaging business WestRock regarding a possible merger. The combined last twelve months’ revenue of the two businesses was about $34 billion. Smurfit Kappa said that discussions between the parties remain ongoing regarding the potential combination of the two businesses.

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has officially opened a new electric vehicle charging facility in Birmingham. With 180 charging spaces, the centre is the UK's largest. Thirty of the charging stations have the ability to charge an average car in about 15 minutes.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union... Johnny Sexton has been named in Ireland's team for Saturday's World Cup opener against Romania in Bordeaux. It's the 38 year old's first match since March. Ten players in the starting line up were involved in the match against England in March.

Football... Players in the top tier of women's football in Spain are taking industrial action over pay and conditions. The new Liga F season is scheduled to start tomorrow but players will walk out for the first two games.

 

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