Evening Update Tuesday 24 October 2023

The A8 motorway has reopened after it was closed in one direction during this morning's rush hour, disrupting the travel plans of thousands of commuters. A mudslide occurred around 6:30 a.m. between the Nice Centre and Nice Saint-Isidore junctions on the carriageway towards Aix-en-Provence. The closure had a knock-on effect on many local roads in Nice. That section of motorway is still experiencing heavy traffic early this evening. Motorway operator VINCI Autoroutes said that since this morning, numerous technical resources have been mobilized on site to restore normal traffic conditions as quickly as possible. Two lanes were reopened to traffic around lunchtime. The VINCI Autoroutes teams are continuing to work on site to complete the clearing operations while carrying out checks of the infrastructure around the motorway.

A freak gust of wind early this morning has damaged homes in Vidauban in the Var. Local reports say that trees were uprooted and about twenty homes suffered damage.

President Macron arrived in Israel this morning where he met political leaders and a group of French citizens affected by the conflict. The President is also going to Ramallah where he will meet the president of the Palestinian Authority. He'll then go on to Jordan.

A man has been shot dead in Aubagne near Marseille. The shooting, which is believed to be another settling of scores in the criminal community, took place last night in a parking lot in the town.

A man in his thirties has received a prison sentence for the illegal possession of firearms. Police said that they found a collection of weapons at the home of the man in the Eure department in north-west France, many of which had been modified, as well as 7,000 rounds of munitions. He was a member of a local shooting club but many of the weapons in his possession were unauthorised.

The Principality of Monaco has announced that it's officially a candidate for the title World Capital of Sport in 2025. The announcement was made at the conclusion of the visit to the Principality of members of the ACES association, an organization which represents the Federation of European Sports Capitals and Cities. Over four days, the nine members were able to gain an overview of Monegasque sports policy, visit sports facilities and speak with representatives from the amateur and professional sectors.

 

BUSINESS

The economic downturn in the Eurozone accelerated at the start of the fourth quarter, according to a widely watched survey of purchasing managers by S&P Global, with private sector output declining at the steepest rate for over a decade if pandemic affected months are excluded. New orders also fell at an accelerating rate. A similar survey showed that UK business activity continued to decline in October amid further contractions in both services and manufacturing.

In the UK it's been confirmed that the cap on bankers' bonuses is being removed as part of a series of changes of UK financial rules. The plan was originally announced by former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng last year as a way of making London a more attractive place to do business. The change will come into effect on 31 October.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union... World Rugby has announced a new competition starting in 2026 as part of what it called a "significant overhaul" of the men's international calendar. The tournament will be made up of 24 teams, split into two divisions with 12 teams in each. The top division will include the 10 sides from the Six Nations and Rugby Championship, plus two unnamed other teams. The World Cup will also be expanded to 24 teams from 2027.

Cricket... Joe Root, Harry Brook and Mark Wood have signed three-year deals as England begin awarding multi-year central contracts for the first time. Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow have agreed two-year deals, as have Jofra Archer and Adil Rashid. Ben Stokes and James Anderson have only signed for one year.

South Africa are taking on Bangladesh in the World Cup today. South Africa batted first and in their 50 overs reached 382 for 5.

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