Evening Update Tuesday 2nd of July 2024

NEWS
Avoiding Triangular Contests - Following the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party's strong showing in the first round of legislative elections, over 150 left-wing and presidential party candidates have withdrawn. This move aims to prevent the RN from securing an absolute majority in the second round on July 7. Candidates who placed third have until Tuesday at 6 pm to withdraw, aiming to avoid potentially triangular contests. Polling institutes currently project a significant relative majority for Jordan Bardella's party.

Orange Forest Fire Alert - An orange alert for high forest fire risk has been placed on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Bouches-du-Rhône department. The Aude department will also be on orange alert starting tomorrow. Meteo France attributes the increased fire risk to climate change and advises the public to avoid smoking near forests, refrain from having barbecues nearby, conduct work away from dry grass, and keep an extinguisher handy.

Anti-Rave Party Decree - The Var prefect has issued an anti-rave party decree effective until July 30 due to the high risk of forest fires in the department. Starting Tuesday, undeclared musical gatherings are banned in the Var. In 2023, an undeclared rave in the Peygros forest in Thoronet attracted thousands of people, with one participant suffering an alcoholic coma. Rescue services struggled to access the site and assist the person. Participants in such events now risk fines ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 euros and the confiscation of their equipment.

Sentenced Nurse - A nurse faces an 18-month suspended prison sentence for having administered a lethal dose of adrenaline to a patient. While treating a 47-year-old patient in 2017, the nurse was instructed to administer 20 micrograms of adrenaline. However, she claimed in court that she misunderstood the instructions in the urgency of the situation, and instead administered 20 milligrams, 1000 times the required dosage. The patient died the following morning. The public prosecutor has requested an 18-month suspended sentence. The verdict is set to be delivered on September 9, 2024.

Avignon Targeted with Far-Right Graffiti - Far-right graffiti has targeted the CGT headquarters in Avignon. Similar tags were found on the Vaucluse LGBT centre and a bakery that had been burned down, where racist slurs and a Celtic cross, a far-right symbol, were discovered. The local CGT union plans to file a complaint.

Muslim Private Middle School in Nice - The private Muslim middle school in Nice will welcome students in September. The administrative court has ruled against the Alpes-Maritimes prefect for the second time, who had ordered the school's closure over funding transparency issues. Open since 2015, Avicenne is the only private Muslim middle school in the department. Despite the prefect's order for permanent closure, the court found the order disproportionate and ruled in favour of the middle school. The prefect has two months to appeal to the administrative court in Marseille.

 

BUSINESS
The former “carpet capital of the world” is getting a multi-billion-dollar makeover. The city of Dalton, in Georgia, once known as the "carpet capital of the world," is undergoing a $2.5 billion makeover with Korean company Qcells expanding its solar panel factory, creating 2,500 jobs. This is largely due to the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which provided incentives for clean energy. Despite this investment, local support for President Biden remains low. The IRA has spurred massive investments in clean energy, but many locals are unaware of the law. The initiative aims to boost clean energy manufacturing, especially in traditionally Republican states, before the upcoming presidential election.

A lawyer for victims of two fatal Boeing 737 Max crashes claims the US government is offering Boeing a lenient plea deal with a small fine, probation, and safety audits. This follows Boeing's breach of a 2021 settlement after crashes killed 346 people. Victims’ families object to the deal, seeking prosecutions and a $24.8 billion fine. The Justice Department has until July 7 to decide on reviving a fraud charge against Boeing. Meanwhile, Boeing plans to buy Spirit AeroSystems for $8.3 billion to improve quality and safety.

Rupert Murdoch's Fox Corporation is launching Tubi, a free, ad-supported video streaming platform, in the UK. Tubi will compete with Netflix, Disney+, ITVX, Channel 4, and BBC iPlayer. In the US, Tubi has nearly 80 million monthly users. The UK service will offer over 20,000 films and TV series, including content from Disney, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, and Sony Pictures, along with British, Indian, and Nigerian content. Fox bought Tubi in 2020 for $440 million to attract younger audiences. This move follows streaming companies launching ad-supported services and raising prices to boost revenues in a competitive market.

And - Networking experts are developing fibre optic systems capable of data speeds reaching petabits per second (Pbps), 300 million times faster than typical UK home broadband. For instance, the 1,650 km duplex cable from CERN to Amsterdam manages 800 Gbps despite challenges like power loss over long distances. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) generates about one petabyte per second during particle collisions, needing massive bandwidth for data storage and analysis. By 2029, data production is expected to increase fivefold with an upgrade. In November, Japanese researchers set a new speed record at 22.9 Pbps, using a 19-core fiber cable. In contrast, older fiber cables are costly to replace. Aston University achieved 402 Tbps using existing single-core fiber by employing more wavelengths of light. Future applications, like the metaverse and AI training, will demand extreme bandwidth. Global bandwidth usage is growing rapidly, with content provision now consuming 75% of international bandwidth, up from 15% in the early 2010s. In the UK, despite widespread availability of gigabit speeds, uptake remains low due to a lack of compelling applications.

 

SPORTS
Cricket - Fourteen wickets fell on an attritional day two at the Kia Oval as Surrey edged themselves ahead in a top-of-the-table contest against Essex. County Championship Division One leaders Surrey – resuming on 248-8 – made sure of a batting bonus point before being bowled out for 262 but second-placed Essex were then dismissed for 180 in their own first innings.

Rugby Union - England head coach Steve Borthwick said there is no bigger challenge than playing the All Blacks in New Zealand after naming his side for Saturday's first Test in Dunedin. Joe Marler and Will Stuart come in at prop as Borthwick makes two changes to the team that started the 52-17 win over Japan a fortnight ago.

Tennis - Emma Raducanu says "winning ugly" on her Wimbledon return was all that mattered as she came through a testing first-round battle against Mexican lucky loser Renata Zarazua. The 21-year-old Briton claimed a 7-6 (7-0) 6-3 victory on Centre Court. Meanwhile, Andy murray has decided not to play in the Wimbledon singles. Murray, who plans to retire later this year, had surgery 10 days ago on a back issue.

 

WEATHER
Mostly clear with moderate to highs winds near Marseille. Highs of 26 degrees in Nice, 28 in Cannes and Marseille, 31 in Toulon and 33 in Saint-Tropez.
Tonight, light clouds with lows of 20 degrees.
Outlook for tomorrow, fine morning and cloudy intervals in the afternoon with highs of 25 degrees.

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