Evening Update Tuesday 2 January 2024

Police have handed out several hundred fines to partygoers who attended two illegal New Year raves in the Var. Authorities said that around 1,500 people attended an unauthorized party in the countryside near Le Cannet-des-Maures. Up to 1,000 people were at a similar party near Le Thoronet. The fines were for offenses such as the possession of narcotics and the unauthorized parking of vehicles.

Police have been attacked in the Ariane district of Nice by people throwing stones. The officers were responding to an intrusion alarm at the Muriers school. Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said that he strongly condemned the attack.

The Pas-de-Calais department in northern France has been placed on a Meteo France red warning for floods. Government agency Vigicrues placed the Aa river on a top level red alert and several other rivers in the department on orange alert. Interior minister Gerald Darmanin said this evening that, at the request of President Macron, he had given instructions to strengthen government help with 120 new firefighters, civil security soldiers and new pumping equipment. Other European countries are also being asked to supply France with high-capacity equipment. The department previously suffered serious flooding for much of the month of November.

The body of a man in his eighties was found on the banks of the Rhone river in Avignon. Authorities said that the man had drowned. The discovery was made around midnight on New Year's Eve.

About 150 people were evacuated from a building in Toulouse last night because of a serious fire. Over sixty firefighters attended the blaze and nine people were taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is currently being investigated.

Authorities are warning of a new scam by SMS text messages. Scammers are pretending to be the victim's own children, pretending to have problems with their phone number. They invite you to chat on WhatsApp via a new, unknown number. Authorities said that the texts are aimed at deceiving people and stealing money.

The Prefect of the Var has reminded residents that the repair bonus system allows people to benefit from a discount when you have electrical and electronic devices repaired by an approved repairer. The bonus now also applies to mobile phone screens and certain other equipment. It's available nationwide, not just in the Var. More details can be found on https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/bonus-reparation

As usual at this time of year, gardeners from the Monaco Urban Planning Department will be carrying out the annual harvest of bitter oranges in the Principality. Oranges can be requested from the gardeners on site. The principality has over one thousand citrus trees, including oranges, lemons and clementines. Last year about 2.3 tons of the harvest out of a total of 8.2 tons were distributed free of charge to the population as well as to the Lycée Rainier III.

 

BUSINESS

Supermarket operators Aldi and Lidl have both reported record Christmas trading in Britain. Aldi said that sales were over £1.5bn for the first time in the four weeks to Christmas Eve. Lidl said that it had had its best Christmas since it entered the British market in 1994.

New figures from the British Retail Consortium have shown that food price inflation fell to an 18 month low in December. However, it said that overall price inflation in stores remained unchanged at 4.3% because of rising prices of some non-food products.

UK manufacturing output contracted at an increased rate at the end of 2023, according to a survey of purchasing managers by S&P Global. It said that new orders sank further as conditions remained difficult in both the domestic market and in key export markets, notably the EU. It added that the downturn has hit UK manufacturers' confidence, which dipped to its lowest level in a year.

 

SPORT

Football...Birmingham City have sacked Wayne Rooney from his post as manager. He was appointed on 11 October, replacing John Eustace. The club is now 20th in the table after their 3-0 loss to Leeds yesterday.

Tennis... Rafael Nadal has beaten Dominic Thiem at the Brisbane International. The match was Nadal's first since returning from injury. The final score was 7-5 6-1.

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