Evening Update Update Wednesday 02 August 2023

Last months heatwave set an all-time record in Cannes with 39.2d being recorded by Meteó France on July 19th.  Temperatures in city have only ever gone over 37d seven times in the last seventy years.

France is continuing to airlift its nationals out of Niger following a coup there last week, with a fourth and final rescue flight expected to arrive in Paris overnight. Defence chiefs from West Africa's regional bloc were meeting today in Nigeria's capital for talks on how to respond to the coup, which is raising fears of a wider conflict in the region.

The Hotel Eden-Roc in Antibes has been voted the third best hotel in France by the website La List. Just ahead of it are the Cheval Blanc in St Barthelemy and La Reserve in Paris. The No.1 hotel in the entire world is an Italian hotel, the Cipriani in Venice with a score of 99.75 out of 100. It’s owned by French company LVMH.

The death has been announced of Geneviève de Fontenay who has died at the age of 90. The businesswoman was known for leading the Miss France pageant, her work as a fashion designer and modelling. She most famous internationally for her dress sense, consistently wearing a brimmed hat in all of her public appearances. She said she adopted the style on the advice of her long-term partner, who told her that her head was too small for her body and a hat would disguise that. The style led to her being known in France as La Dame au Chapeau.

A landside has closed the road to Vésubie indefinitely. The incident around lunchtime today has completely cut the road in both directions before the Saint-Jean tunnel. Diversions are in place via Levens.

The number of fatal accidents on French motorways increased by 43% last year, killing 188 people. Most of the victims were under 35, or heavily intoxicated or under the influence of narcotics, according to industry data. Looking at screens while driving caused 28 of the fatal accidents.

Continuing problems with the impots.gouv website has led to yet another deadline delay for property declaration.  Deadlines including June 30th, then  July 31st and finally yesterday have all been extended due to the amount of property owners registering to avoid a late penalty. The new deadline is next Thursday August 10th. 


Business

The US government's credit rating has been downgraded over concerns about the country's finances and debt burden. Fitch, one of three major credit rating agencies, cut the US from the top level of AAA to AA+ saying it had noted a steady deterioration in governance over the last 20 years. In response, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called the downgrade arbitrary and based on outdated data.

A ban on exporting rice could ripple across global markets and onto French supermarket shelves very shortly. India, who account for 40% of the worlds rice supply, has banned exports of non-basmati rice as the government seeks to control domestic food prices which are soaring out of control.

Hugo Boss has raised its sales and profit outlook after reporting a 20% jump in second-quarter revenues, as a brand revamp and marketing push helped the luxury fashion house overcome sluggish demand in China. Retailers around the world have been struggling with surplus stocks of clothing and footwear after last year's supply chain disruptions. However Hugo Boss said it expects a gradual normalisation of inventories to begin in the second half of this year.

Sport

Football - France are into the last-16 of the Women’s World Cup after a thrilling nine goal match with Panama. The South Americans took a shock early lead before France striker Diani responded in style with a hat trick. Three other goals from the French sealed the Panamanian’s fate as the game ended 6-3. In other games today, Jamacia made history when they knocked Brazil out after a nil-all draw. Fellow South Americans Argentina are also on the way home after being beaten 2-nil by Sweden. Italy are another shock exit after losing 3-2 to South Africa.

France international and Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele is to move to Paris St-Germain. Dembele has scored 40 goals in 185 games since joining the Spanish super-team in 2017. It’s said the decision to return to France to play with PSG is a personal one.

Rugby - France are on the way to Murrayfield for a World Cup warmup match against Scotland on Saturday.  Finn Russell will captain Scotland for the first time with Jamie Ritchie absent due to a minor injury. Darcy Graham and Matt Fagerson are the only players retained from the starting 15 in last weekend's win over Italy.

Ireland ‘forwards coach’ Paul O'Connell says he is confident Johnny Sexton's fly-half understudies can shine if called upon in the Rugby World Cup. Sexton's suspension for this month's warm-up matches has given Ross Byrne, Jack Crowley and Ciaran Frawley the opportunity to prove their worth. The trio have 22 caps between them.

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