Evening News Update Thursday 7 February

A Norwegian Air Shuttle flight from Stockholm to Nice was diverted this morning because of a bomb threat. Reports say that the aeroplane took off from Stockholm at 9.45 this morning but was forced to turn around after about one hour in the air. The plane returned to Stockholm’s Arlanda airport where all 169 passengers disembarked safely.  Police inspected the aircraft and passengers were held at the airport for questioning.  The telephone call in which the bomb threat was received was reportedly made from Oslo.

The A8 motorway was partially closed this lunchtime because of a vehicle fire.  A heavy goods vehicle loaded with aluminium caught fire between junction 56, Monaco and Junction 55 on the westbound carriageway.  The A500 tunnel was also closed in the direction from Monaco to Nice. The motorway was fully reopened in both directions early this afternoon.

A woman has been stabbed in front of Nikkaia school in the old town of Nice. The incident happened shortly after 8.30 this morning. The victim was stabbed twice in the throat and back. Police believe it to be a family dispute and one of the attackers, the ex-spouse of the victim, was arrested. His accomplice fled the scene and is actively sought after. Several children witnessed the scene.

The trial is continuing today of a British man accused of murder and criminal conspiracy. Attorney General Valérie Tallone today requested a 30 year prison sentence for 39 year old Dan Gooding who is accused of killing 28 year old Alexandre La Torre in Valbonne in 2015. The victim was shot three times in the back. The prosecution also requested a 20 year sentence for 44 year old Darren Jackson who’s charged with being an accessory to murder as well as criminal conspiracy. A two year jail sentence was requested for Mr. Gooding’s companion at the time who is accused of criminal conspiracy and perverting the course of justice.

France has recalled its ambassador to Italy for talks as diplomatic row between the two countries deepens. Relations between the two countries have been tense since Italy's populist Five Star Movement and right-wing League party formed a coalition government in June 2018. The Italian Deputy Prime Minister met French "yellow-vest" protesters near Paris on Tuesday.  The French government said that for several months France has been the subject of “repeated accusations, unfounded attacks and outlandish claims”.

Authorities have said that the main suspect in the Paris fire which killed 10 people was released from psychiatric care just a week before the eight-storey building was set ablaze on Tuesday morning. The suspect had been placed in psychiatric care 13 times in the past decade, according to prosecutors. 

French actress Brigitte Bardot has announced that she will be a candidate of the “Animal Rights Party” which will be represented at the European elections in May. In an exclusive interview given at her home in Saint Tropez, Bardot spoke of her commitment to the political party, which fights for animal rights, adding that while she supports the “Yellow Vest” movement for the European elections her commitment would be with the animal rights party.

 

BUSINESS

 

Twitter has reported a jump in profits for the final quarter of 2018, despite a fall in the number of people using the platform. Profits rose to $255m, more than double the $91m profit it made a year earlier. But Twitter downgraded its revenue forecast for the current quarter. The company said user numbers were down in the last quarter because it had deleted millions of abusive accounts.

The Bank of England has forecast growth for the UK economy of just 1.2% this year, down from its previous forecast of 1.7% made in November. The Bank said it had seen further evidence that businesses were being cautious in the run-up to Brexit.  As expected the Bank kept interest rates on hold at 0.75%.

Thomas Cook has said it is conducting a "strategic review" of its airline as it seeks to find funds to invest more in its hotels business. The travel firm stressed the review was at an early stage, but would consider "all options" including a sale. The company's fleet of 103 jets is a mix of planes it owns and leases.

 

SPORTS

 

Football…A body has been recovered from the wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson. The wreckage of the plane, which vanished two weeks ago over the English Channel, was found off Guernsey. The ship carrying the body arrived at Portland in Dorset this morning and Dorset Police said that the arrival  has been reported to the coroner for Dorset. No formal identification has taken place but the police said both families had been updated.

Horse Racing… All British horseracing meetings have been cancelled because of an outbreak of equine flu.  All four of today’s fixtures were called off by the British Horseracing Authority after three vaccinated horses tested positive for the disease. British-trained horses have also been barred from running in Ireland.

Rugby Union…Wales have made ten changes to the side that won in France for Saturday's Six Nations game against Italy in Rome. Centre Jonathan Davies is named captain for the first time with regular skipper Alun Wyn Jones among the replacements. There are first Six Nations starts for wing Jonah Holmes, flankers Thomas Young and Aaron Wainwright and scrum-half Aled Davies.

In other Rugby Union news, Blair Kinghorn has been left out of the Scotland team to face Ireland in their second Six Nations match on Saturday, despite scoring a hat-trick of tries in the opening win over Italy.

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