Evening Update Wednesday 26 July 2023

Nice mayor and President of the Nice Cote d'Azur Metropolis, Christian Estrosi, has visited firefighters who have been working to contain a fire near the village of Bairols in the arriere pays. The fire which started yesterday had consumed about 32 hectares by this morning. In a social media post he also expressed his support for firefighters who have been engaged in dealing with a fire between Falicon and Tourrette-Levens since last night.

Meanwhile, firefighters have been battling a blaze in Corsica today. Two fires started close to each other in the Haute-Corse late last night and merged into one fire. By early this morning about 200 hectares had been burned.

A teenager has been sentenced to two years in prison for starting two fires in the Var last month. The fires were in Carqieiranne and on the Sabatiere forest massif. A witness had seen the 18 year old running from one of the fires and he had confessed to his mother. He was arrested shortly afterwards.

An elderly man has died after being hit by a tram in Nice. The accident happened on the avenue de la Californie this morning. Firefighters attended the scene but the man couldn't be revived.

The number of people in France who are unemployed without any activity remained stable in the second quarter, with about 2.8 million people in "Category A" unemployment. Just over 2.2 million people are in Categories B and C, who have a reduced activity, which is lower than the previous quarter.

An American pilot has been given a six month suspended prison sentence by a court in Paris for being under the influence of alcohol. The pilot was the subject of a control by transport police at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on Sunday and according to the prosecution was found to have a blood alcohol level six times over the legal limit. The flight was due to take off for Dallas with over 260 passengers on board.

The head of the Paris 2024 Olympics has said that he wants the Olympics and Paralympics to be a "new model" which is "spectacular and sustainable". It's one year today before the start of the Olympics. Speaking to the BBC, Tony Estanguet said that he wanted to "demonstrate that Paris and France can deliver a Games in a different way than in the past". Organisers are aiming for emissions which are 50% lower than the 2012 and 2016 Games.

 

BUSINESS

Four leading Artificial Intelligence companies have announced that they are launching an industry body focused on ensuring safe and responsible development of advanced "frontier" AI models. The Frontier Model Forum currently consists of Google, Microsoft, OpenAI and Anthropic. The Forum said that its aims include helping advance AI safety research to promote responsible development of frontier models and to minimize potential risks as well as to share knowledge with policymakers, academics and others to advance responsible AI development.

Heathrow airport has announced that losses halved to £139 million in the six months to the end of June. Heathrow blamed losses on the Civil Aviation Authority setting too low a revenue allowance to generate enough cashflow. 37 million passengers travelled through the airport in the first half.

UK energy regulator Ofgem has announced new rules to make gas and electricity suppliers more financially secure. The move comes after 30 firms collapsed in less than a year recently. Ofgem is mandating the level of capital that suppliers are required to hold to ensure they are more resilient to what it called "severe but plausible market shocks". The regulator is also going ahead with proposals to have the power to direct suppliers to ringfence a portion of their customer credit balances. It's also telling energy companies that there should be temporary repayment holidays for certain customers.

 

SPORT

Football... The Republic of Ireland have been beaten by Canada 2-1 in the Women's World Cup. Spain beat Zambia 5-0 to progress to the last 16 with a game to spare. Japan are also through to the last 16 after beating Costa Rica 2-0.

Brighton have signed Brazilian Igor Julio from Fiorentina for 17 million euros. The 25 year old joins the club on a four year deal.

Swimming... Australian Mollie O'Callaghan has broken the women's 200m freestyle world record at the World Aquatics Championships in Japan. She beat the record set by Federica Pellegrini in 2009 at a time when high-tech suits were permitted before being banned in 2010.

 

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