Evening News Update Thursday 14 February

Authorities have confirmed that tear gas was deployed on a train on the Riviera this morning. Border police were carrying out an identity check on the TER train at Menton station early this morning when three suspected migrants locked themselves in a toilet compartment. According to a statement issued by the Prefecture, an unsuccessful attempt was made by police to open the door of the compartment before they resorted to tear gas to dislodge the occupants. The Prefecture said that passengers had been removed from the carriage before the use of the tear gas and it regrets the inconvenience caused. 

A residential building in central Nice was evacuated because of a fire in the early hours of this morning. The fire, in a four storey building on rue Defly near the MAMAC museum, originated in a waste storage area on the ground floor.  Municipal and National police as well as firefighters were in attendance. No injuries were reported.

The Alpes Maritimes department has been found guilty of manslaughter.  The court case concerned the collapse of a tunnel in Saint-Etienne-de-Tinee in 2014.  Construction work was being carried out on the tunnel at the time and one person was killed and two others suffered serious injuries in the collapse. The Nice Criminal Court found the department and two of its officials guilty of manslaughter.  

The French unemployment rate is down 0.3 percent to 8.8% of the workforce in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to preliminary figures from French statistics agency INSEE. The figures, which exclude the overseas department of Mayotte, are the lowest since 2009.

Local media have reported that police in Nice have recently been equipped with LBD’s, better known under their brand name as “Flash-Balls”. The weapons have been at the centre of a recent debate in France due to a number of serious injuries caused during yellow vest protests. Facing criticism from local left wing MP’s the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi reportedly declared the weapons to be “very effective”.

A wolf has been shot by authorities in Bormes-les-Mimosas this morning.  The wolf was apparently seen exhibiting aggressive behaviour near a campsite before moving near to the town centre where it was shot by authorities.




Airbus is to stop manufacturing the A380 superjumbo, which entered service just 12 years ago. Airbus said last deliveries of the world's largest passenger aircraft would be made in 2021. The A380 faced fierce competition from smaller, more efficient aircraft.

Germany's economy has narrowly avoided falling into recession during the final three months of last year. The German economy registered zero growth during the fourth quarter of 2018 which means it avoided two consecutive quarters of contraction, which is the usual definition of a recession. There was a 0.2% contraction in the previous quarter.
EasyJet says it is in talks for a potential bid for troubled rival Alitalia. Alitalia has been in administration since May 2017. EasyJet said there's no certainty of a deal.

US retail sales fell 1.2% in December from November, the worst drop in nine years. Analysts have expressed surprise at the figures, which contrast sharply with a recent survey which reported surging sales in December.




Football….La Liga have asked the Spanish Football Federation to sanction Gareth Bale for what it called a "provocative gesture" as he celebrated scoring in Real Madrid's 3-1 win against Atletico Madrid. La Liga has expressed a desire to cut out so-called "offensive goal celebrations".

Tennis… Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from next month's BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. Sharapova is suffering from a shoulder injury and has withdrawn or retired from two out of the three events she’s played in since September's US Open.

Rugby Union… Northampton have signed New Zealand front-rower Owen Franks, who will join from Kiwi club Crusaders in the summer. Franks is the All Blacks' most-capped prop, having played in 105 Tests since his debut in 2009. His brother Ben already plays for Northampton, having joined from London Irish in March 2018.



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