Evening Update Thursday 9 July 2020

A French compensation organisation has announced today that 2,363 victims of the Nice attack of July 14 2016 have received or will receive compensation. It said that compensation had been finalised for three quarters of the victims. The Guarantee Fund for Victims of Terrorist Acts and Other Crimes said that this number includes 469 relatives of deceased victims, 267 injured victims and their relatives, and 1,627 traumatized victims. The Fund is a private body supervised by the Ministry of Finance and is financed largely by contributions and levies on personal property insurance policies and contributions from insurance companies.

An investigation has been launched after a fire in the port of Le Lavandou in the Var. Two motorboats were completely destroyed after fire broke out at about 6.00 this morning. Two sail boats were also damaged. Firefighters used two foam lances to extinguish the blaze. An anti-pollution dam has been installed to contain pollution within the port.

A 62 year old man has received a three month suspended prison sentence for accidentally staring a fire in 2017. He had been using a grinder on his property in Luceram at a time when undergrowth was dry because of a drought. About two hundred firefighters were involved in fighting the fire which destroyed about 150 hectares.

The city of Cannes has won an award for cleanliness. It has been awarded 1st star in the "Eco-Clean City" category by the Association of Cities for Urban Cleanliness. Cannes became a member of the organization in November 2019. The award follows increased measures aimed at improving the cleanliness of public spaces in Cannes over the past few years. The award will be presented during the National Meeting of the organization, scheduled for next autumn in Versailles.

New figures released by firefighters have shown that almost ten per cent of the Var's forests have been destroyed by fire in the past twenty years. Since the turn of the century about 35,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed out of 370,000 hectares in the department. The worst year was 2003 when 380 fires broke out.

A gendarme who died last weekend while performing a roadside check on a vehicle in the Lot-et-Garonne department has been posthumously awarded the Légion d'honneur. 25 year old Melanie Lemee was also an accomplished athlete, having represented France at the World Military Judo Championships in 2016. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin also awarded the officer the military medal of the National Gendarmerie, the bronze palm and the gold medal of internal security.

The French Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, has said that a broad consensus had emerged for an identical reconstruction of the spire of Notre Dame cathederal. President Macron had previously said that he was in favour of a contemporary "arrow" design repalcing the original spire after it was destroyed in the fire of April 2019. The National Commission for Heritage and Architecture is meeting today to discuss the cathereral's reconstruction. The scaffolding surrounding the spire, which melted during the blaze, is gradually being removed, a process which should be completed by the end of September with the first steps in the cathederal's reconstruction expected to get underway early next year.


Job losses have been announced by two of the UK's largest retailers. Boots has said that 48 of it's Boots Opticians stores will close and it is consulting on plans to restructure its head office and store teams. It said that 4,000 jobs will be lost. Meanwhile, John Lewis has announced the closure of eight of its stores, including those at Heathrow Terminal 2, St Pancras station in London and it's department stores in Birmingham and Watford. It's thought that about 1,300 jobs could be lost.

United Airlines has announced that up to 36,000 employees could be furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The airline said it expects capacity for this month to be down 75% compared to July last year. United Airlines is receiving $5bn from the US government as part of a financial aid package for airlines and said that it won't make any cuts to its workforce until 1 October.

New figures show that German exports rose by 9% in May. However, exports are still almost 30% lower than the same month last year.

In the UK, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has said that it believes higher taxes are inevitable as a result of recently announced government measures to support the UK economy. The IFS said that the economy will remain in a "support and recovery" phase for some time. It said that annual borrowing as a share of the economy was on course to be its highest outside wartime in more than 300 years.



Cycling.... Chris Froome is to leave Team Ineos at the end of the season. The four-time Tour de France winner has been with the team for ten years. He will be joining UCI World Tour Team Israel Start-Up Nation next season. He's still expected to participate in this year's Tour de France as a Team Ineos rider. The Tour de France is scheduled to begin in Nice on 29 August.

Cricket...England have named nine uncapped players in a training group for their three-match one-day series against Ireland in Southampton. Eight of England's 15-man World Cup winning squad are in the group of 24 players. England will play two intra-group warm-up matches before announcing their final squad for the series, which begins on 30 July.

Rugby Union... Marseille will host next year's Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals. The venue for this year's finals hasn't been decided yet although they are expected to take place in mid-October. The decision to stage the matches in Marseille next year means that Tottenham's stadium in London will now host the finals in 2022.

Horse Racing... Lizzie Kelly, who was the first woman to ride a Grade One winner over jumps in Britain, has announced her probable retirement. She said that she's unlikely to return to competetive racing after announcing that she's expecting her first child. Kelly made history when she won at Kempton in 2015 riding Tea For Two.

Football... In tonight’s English Premier League action Bournemouth face Tottenham, Everton play Southampton and Aston Villa face Manchester United.

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