Evening News Update Monday 18 February

TGV train services between the Riviera and Paris are suffering severe disruptions today because of a power failure. The engineering issue, in the Yonne department south of Paris has been causing average delays of about three hours. SNCF is recommending that passengers postpone their journey and keep up to date on the latest situation via its website www.sncf.com

A truck driver was killed in an accident on the motorway this morning.  Two trucks collided at Salon-de-Provence, between Avignon and Marseille. Reports say that the deceased was a 50 year old man from the Vaucluse.

His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco has sent an official dispatch to the President of India, Mr Ram Nath Kovind after a military convoy was attacked in Indian administered Kashmir. The Prince sent his sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in the attack and said that his thoughts were also with those who were wounded as well as with the government and people of India. More than 40 Indian paramilitary police were killed in the suicide attack last Thursday.

The commune of Le Broc in the arriere pays of Nice has been designated as an area of natural disaster following floods in December 2017. The decree was published in the official journal of the French Republic on February 14 and those affected apparently have just 10 days from that date in which to file a claim for state funds.

About 20,000 customers were left without power this morning in Carnoules in the Var. Enedis, the electricity distribution company, were working to restore supplies and customers were gradually being reconnected during the morning.

The so-called "Air Cocaine" trial has begun today in Aix-en-Provence, with defence lawyers requesting a postponement of the trial because of the absence of two of the defendants. The case involving a drug trafficking network between France, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador sees eleven people, including two French pilots, appear before the court. In March 2013, Dominican Drug Authorities seized 700 kilograms of cocaine at Punta Cana airport on a rented plane set to take off for La Mole, near Saint-Tropez. The trial is expected to last until April 5th.


An 88 year old man has been charged with intentional homicide after his 93 year old wife was found dead in their home near Clermont-Ferrand. Reports say that a rifle was found next to the victim’s body when their children arrived at the house, alerted by a fall-detector device the victim was wearing at the time of the incident. An autopy is due to be carried out shortly.

 

BUSINESS

 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that the country’s main political parties and parliament were hit by a "malicious intrusion" on their computer networks.  He said that the cyber-attack was carried out by a "sophisticated state actor" but that there was no evidence of any electoral interference.
Car sales in China continued to slide in January. The country's top auto industry group said sales sank 15.8% in the month from a year earlier. China’s car market has been hurt by a slowing economy and weaker spending.

The US Commerce Department has sent a report to President Trump that could see steep tariffs imposed on cars and auto parts. The agency hasn't released details of the report which comes after President Trump ordered a national security probe into vehicle imports in May. Automakers and parts suppliers fear that the report could recommend tariffs of up to 25% on assembled cars and components.


SPORT

 

Cricket… West Indies batsman Chris Gayle will retire from one-day international cricket after this summer's World Cup. The 39 year old has scored 9,727 ODI runs in 284 matches since his debut in 1999. His number of runs is second only to the legendary Brian Lara among West Indies players.

A former international cricketer and two other men have denied conspiring to offer bribes to cricket players in the Pakistan Super League. Nasir Jamshed, an ex-opening batsman for Pakistan, Yousef Anwar and Mohammed Ijaz were arrested after an inquiry into alleged spot-fixing by the National Crime Agency. All three defendants entered not guilty pleas at Manchester Crown Court.


Formula One…It’s the first day of pre-season testing in Barcelona today.  Williams have pulled out of today’s testing as their new FW42 car is not ready but have now said it will hopefully run on Wednesday. Meanwhile the new McLaren broke down on the track this afternoon, leaving driver Carlos Sainz to walk back to the garage.

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