Evening Update Update Tuesday 01 August 2023

The price of electricity is expected to surge by another 10% from today as government price restrictions, put in place two winters ago, are easing off. Another significant change in effect from today, is that cash till receipts will no longer be automatically given to customers. Each year, 30 billion receipts are printed before being thrown away.

France is to immediately begin evacuating its citizens and other Europeans from Niger, days after a coup toppled one of the last pro-western leaders in the West African region. Tensions between Niger and it’s former colonial power, France, have escalated after the coup with supporters of the junta burned French flags and attacked the French embassy. The Italian government also said it would arrange a special flight to repatriate its nationals from Niger.

Meteó France has confirmed this July was the third hottest since records began on the Cote d’Azur. Over the past 30 years, the average temperature in July is 24.1 but this year it was a full two-degrees higher at 26.2.  Meanwhile, over a hundred towns across France are suffering drinking water problems. The French government said that while 119 municipalities are experiencing problems, it’s still far below levels from last summer, where 700 towns were without water.

Police in Paris are investigating a massive robbery this morning where thieves made away with nearly €15m worth of jewellery. The incident happened when two men and a woman entered a store near Place de la Opera in the capital’s city centre and took jewellery being displayed in the window.

A new regulation in Nice may soon ban the practice of releasing doves after a wedding ceremony. City councillor and former animal protection officer Henry-Jean Servat says the location of the mairie in Nice, close to the sea-front, means many doves released are quickly attacked by seagulls and in one case, shredded in front of the eyes of the wedding guests. Other towns in France have a similar ban while others will only allow doves trained to return to their loft.

Business

Rising interest rates have doubled profits at HSBC bank worldwide. This morning they posted a pre-tax profit of €25bn for the first six months the year, compared to €11bn a year earlier. Despite the surge the bank , which gets around two-thirds of its revenue from Asia, warned of an uncertain economic outlook.

Toyota has also nearly doubled its operating profits thanks to increased sales and a weaker Yen. The worlds top car manufacturer posted a €7bn profit for the three months to June, an increase of 94% from last year.

Conversely, BP has reported a 70% drop in year-on-year second-quarter profits.  The oil giant said this reflected lower refining margins, and weaker oil trading.

Sport

Football - Todays matches have wrapped up in the Women’s World Cup with more dramatic wins including a 7-0 win for the Netherlands over Vietnam. Also winning today were England and Denmark, while the United States’ draw with Portugal was just enough to see them though to the next stage. The American womens team have been causing some controversy in the tournament with many of them refusing to sing the American anthem at the beginning of games. However they have yet to explain why. Tomorrow’s big game see’s France take on Panama where a win or a draw will see Les Bleues progress to the last 16. Kick off in Sydney is at 12 Noon French time. Also playing tomorrow are Italy in action against South Africa.

Rugby - Ulster hooker Rob Herring says Ireland will ‘embrace their world number one ranking’ as the squad ramp up preparations for the Rugby World Cup in France next month. Their first game is against Romania on September 9th in Bordeaux. Nice is to hold four first stage matches including games with Scotland, England, Wales and Italy.

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