Evening Update Wednesday 24 July

Twenty departments in northern France have been placed on Meteo France Red Alert for heat, the first time such a Red Alert has been issued for so many departments. The SNCF has called on travellers in the areas covered by red alerts to postpone their travel. Sixty departments across France are on Orange alert. Here on the Riviera, the Alpes Maritimes is on a Meteo France Orange alert for heat until at least 3pm tomorrow, Thursday. The Var is on a Yellow alert. For the Alpes Maritimes, Meteo France say that temperatures are still rising, with highs of 32-35 expected on the coast tomorrow, 33 to 37 inland outside the mountainous areas. Overnight lows will be 22-26 degrees on the coast. Meteo France are saying that it will still be hot on Friday, with temperatures reducing on Saturday. The city of Nice has announced the closure of its gyms and stadiums today because of the heatwave but pools are being kept open. Temperature records are again being broken. Reports say that early this morning record overnight minimum temperatures were exceeded in Dieppe in the Seine-Maritime department, in Trappes in the Yvelines and in Superbesse, a ski resort in the Massif Central, amongst other locations. Meteo France said Paris temperatures may hit new highs tomorrow. The record for the capital, set in 1947, stands at 40.4 degrees.  France isn’t the only country to be experiencing the heatwave, most of Western Europe is also affected. In the Netherlands, the government has activated its "national heat plan" and in Belgium, authorities have issued an unprecedented “code red” weather warning for the whole country.

Two British men have died after an aeroplane crash in the Alpes de Haut Provence.  The two men, aged 18 and 37, were in a light aircraft which is thought to have collided with another small plane, also piloted by a Briton. The pilot of the second plane suffered only minor injuries, according to reports. The crash happened near Larche, close to the Italian border. Inquiries are underway by the air transport investigation section of the gendarmerie to establish the circumstances of the incident.

Beaches in the Var near Roquebrune-sur-Argens are gradually reopening after being closed as a precautionary measure against pollution. A 19 metre yacht caught fire off Les Issambres yesterday. Late this morning, 3 beaches were still closed but it’s expected that the situation will return to normal by tomorrow.

Traffic was disrupted on the A8 motorway after a vehicle caught fire near to exit 54 Nice-Nord this afternoon. The junction was closed to traffic to allow pompiers to gain access to the vehicle but has now re-opened.

The breakwater rocks on the port of Nice have been closed to public access. The closure was made by a decree after two serious accidents last weekend.



The US Justice Department has announced an investigation into leading online platforms, examining whether they are unfairly restricting competition. No specific businesses have been named in the investigation so far but it’s thought that companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple are likely to be scrutinised in the wide-ranging probe. The DoJ said that the inquiry was prompted by what it called "widespread concerns" about "search, social media, and some retail services online,"

Aston Martin has reduced its sales forecasts for this year. It now expects to sell 6,300-6,500 cars to dealers this year - down from an earlier forecast of 7,100 to 7,300. The company said that what it called a "challenging external environment" had worsened, as had "macro-economic uncertainties".

The Unite union has called off strikes that were planned at Heathrow airport this weekend.  Over 4,000 employees had planned to strike this Friday and Saturday but Unite said that the industrial action had been called off so that members can vote on a new pay offer.

Manchester City and Nissan have extended their sponsorship deal. Nissan will be the official automotive partner to City Football Group teams in the UK, US and Australia. The City Football Group includes Manchester City, New York City FC and Melbourne City FC, as well as women's football teams.



Cricket… England have suffered the embarrassment of being bowled out for 85 on their return to Test cricket 10 days after winning the World Cup. They’re against an Ireland side playing only their third Test.

Tour de France… It’s been a hilly 206km route from Pont du Gard to Gap today on Stage 17. There was heavy rain this afternoon making conditions difficult for the riders. Matteo Trentin broke clear to win the stage while Julian Alaphilippe retained the overall lead. Defending champion Geraint Thomas finished in the peloton and remains 95 seconds behind Alaphilippe.

Football…. Antoine Griezmann's move to Barcelona could be blocked in a row over the fee, according to the La Liga president Javier Tebas. Atletico Madrid complained after Barcelona announced they had signed the France forward, having activated his 120m euro release clause on 12 July. Reports say that the clause dropped from 200m to 120m euros on 1 July, but Atletico Madrid claim the deal was done before then and that they are due the larger amount.

Swimming… Adam Peaty has clinched his seventh World Championship gold medal as he retained his men's 50 metre breaststroke title in South Korea.

Olympics…The medals for the Tokyo 2020 games have been unveiled in Japan.  They are created entirely from recycled consumer electronics devices. About 32kg of gold was extracted from 6.2 million used mobile phones donated by the Japanese public. They also recovered 3.5 tonnes of silver and 2.2 tonnes of bronze to make 5,000 Olympic and Paralympic medals.

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