Evening News Update Thursday 31 January

A fire broke out on the seventh floor of the Hotel de Paris in Monaco this morning.  The fire was in a spa area which is currently under construction and isolated from the occupied parts of the hotel.  It was quickly brought under control by firefighters. The hotel was evacuated but nobody was injured and the hotel was able to re-open shortly afterwards.

Traffic was disrupted in central Nice this morning as several hundred pensioners staged a demonstration in the place Masséna. They were protesting at reduced purchasing power and are asking for the revaluation of pensions to take full account of inflation.

Two people have been injured in a helicopter crash in Pierrevert near Manosque. The helicopter came down at about midday today. A 58 year old man was airlifted to hospital in Marseille and a 47 year old woman was treated locally at the hospital in Manosque. An investigation is underway into the cause of the accident.

A 50 year old man has died in a road accident in Hyères in the Var. The accident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when the driver lost control of his vehicle, before colliding with an oncoming vehicle and hitting a lamppost. Two other people were taken to hospital in Hyères suffering minor injuries.

Prison officers were demonstrating in front of Toulon-La Farlède prison earlier today. They were staging the demonstration after prison officers were attacked during a recent transfer of prisoners. They are also protesting at a lack of staff and are demanding better working conditions.

The community of Grasse and its transport authority Sillages have introduced new fines starting tomorrow, the 1st of February. Amongst the new measures, a 45 euro fine will be levied against those who have no ticket or smoke on a bus. A fine of 135 euros will be levied for a variety of infractions including staying on a bus after it’s reached the terminal, inappropriate use of the alarm, bringing an unauthorised animal on to a bus and preventing the opening or closing of doors.

 

BUSINESS

Italy's economy tipped into recession at the end of last year. In the final three months of 2018, the economy shrank by 0.2%, following a 0.1% decline in the third quarter, according to Italy’s Istat statistics office said. The Italian economy is still 5% smaller than it was at its peak before the global recession a decade ago.

Meanwhile, growth in the euro area remained at 0.2% in the final quarter of 2018, the same as the previous quarter. France performed better than expected with a growth rate of 0.3%.

Drinks maker Diageo has announced interim pre-tax profits of £2.6bn, up from £2.2bn. Sales increased to £10.3bn from £9.9bn in the comparable six months.

Uber says it has suspended its services in Barcelona because of new regulations. The decision comes after the Catalan government introduced a 15-minute delay before passengers could be picked up. Uber has been the target of protests by taxi drivers in Barcelona who say their business is being undermined.

 

SPORT

Cricket…The second Test between West Indies and England is underway in Antigua.

Rugby Union…Centre Manu Tuilagi will make his first Six Nations start since 2013 in the England team to face defending champions Ireland on Saturday. He starts at 12 in the absence of injured Ben Te'o. Elliot Daly is preferred at full-back to Mike Brown, who is left out of the 23-strong matchday squad.

Football…It’s transfer deadline day and amongst the developments today, Newcastle have broken their transfer record to sign Paraguay player Miguel Almiron from MLS side Atlanta United. Defender Antonio Barreca has also joined Newcastle on loan from Monaco until the end of the season with the option of a permanent deal. Wolves have completed the permanent signing of on-loan Jonny Castro Otto from Atletico Madrid. Stoke City striker Peter Crouch, who turned 38 on Wednesday, is set to return to the Premier League at Burnley as part of a deal which will see Sam Vokes go the other way.

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