Evening Update Monday 21 October

After a weekend of severe disruption on French train services, the SNCF has announced that passengers who had tickets but didn’t travel will be able to claim a full refund, even if they had a non-refundable ticket. The president of the SNCF said that tickets would be reimbursed for journeys not taken between the 18th and 20th of October. Refunds are available online, at railway stations and at shops and kiosks which sell train tickets. He also announced the creation of a fund of one million euros to compensate travelers who suffered related losses such as being unable to stay in boked hotel accommodation. You can get full details of how to get a refund for tickets at www.sncf.com Meanwhile, train services have been gradually returning to normal today, with TGV and Ouigo trains as well as local TER services mostly running as normal this morning.

One kilogram of cocaine was seized from an apartment in Nice over the weekend. A 23 year old man was arrested in connection with drugs offences and police later found the cocaine in his apartment in the Liseron district in Nice Est. This latest incident follows the arrest of about thirty people suspected of drugs offences last week in the same area of Nice.

Health authorities have revealed that a second person has been diagnosed with the Zika virus in the Var. The person, who is now free of the virus, lives in the same area of Hyeres as an individual who was diagnosed with the virus earlier this month. The two contracted the virus after being bitten by tiger mosquitos.

Extra tests of the emergency alert sirens are taking place in Nice this week. Sirens are tested throughout France at midday on the first Wednesday of the month but in Nice new sirens will also be tested on Tuesday.

There was disruption to traffic in the Paillon tunnel in Nice this afternoon. A collision between a truck and another vehicle resulted in two people being treated at the scene for injuries.

Police in Toulon are asking the public for information about a missing person. 54 year old Marc Gibaja hasn’t been seen since mooring his boat in Toulon port last Thursday afternoon. He is described as being 1.8 metres tall, bald with brown eyes and is likely to be driving a white Fiat Fiorino. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police station in Toulon.

A driver is being sought by police in Marseille after a child was hit by a car at the weekend. The 10 year old was hit while crossing rue Guibal in the Saint-Charles area yesterday afternoon and is in a serious condition in La Timone hospital.

According to reports, the investigation into the Paris attacks of November 2015 has been completed. The completion of the work of the investigating judges clears the way for a trial to be held, which is expected to be at least a year from now. Fourteen people have so far been charged with offences in connection with the attacks in which 130 people lost their lives.

 

BUSINESS

Japan's exports fell 5.2% in September from a year earlier, according to data from the Ministry of Finance. The drop was more than the 4% expected by economists and is the country's 10th consecutive month of falling exports.

China's top trade negotiator has said that "substantial progress" has been made in talks with the US. He said that China is "willing to work together with the US to address each other's core concerns on the basis of equality and mutual respect". Meanwhile, Christine Lagarde, who will take over as head of the European Central Bank on the 1st of November, has said that trade disputes will have a big impact on the global economy. She said that President Donald Trump had the power to lift some of the trade uncertainty which was hurting the world economy.

Halliburton, the oil services firm, has reported a 32% drop in third quarter profits to $295m after a slowdown in shale drilling in the US. Revenue for the three months to 30 September fell by 10%

M&G, the fund manager spun-off from insurer Prudential, has made its stock market debut as a separately listed company today.

 

SPORT

Cricket... South Africa batsman Dean Elgar has withdrawn from the third Test against India after being hit by a short-pitched delivery. A physio was called for and the umpires announced an early tea in Ranchi. South Africa were 26-4 at the time and were 132-8 by stumps, still 203 runs adrift.

Tennis...  Andy Murray has been named in the squad for next month's Davis Cup finals. Captain Leon Smith has also named Dan Evans, plus doubles pair Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski, in his initial team with a fifth player still to be decided. Kyle Edmund, who has lost his past seven tour matches, isn't included in the squad.

Golf... Tiger Woods has said that his return to full fitness is ahead of schedule as he recovers from a knee operation. The 43 year old who is number 10 in the world, underwent surgery in August to repair cartilage damage. Woods is currently in Japan preparing to play in the US PGA Tour's inaugural ZOZO Championship.

Football.... a long awaited study has found that former professional footballers are three and a half times more likely to develop dementia than people of the same age range in the general population. The research by Glasgow University was commissioned by the Football Association and the Professional Footballers' Association after claims that former West Brom striker Jeff Astle died because of repeated head trauma caused by heading a heavy leather football. However, despite the increased dementia risk, the study also found that playing the game increased average lifespan.

 

MA NOLAN'S RUGBY WORLD CUP REPORT

England say they expect to have a fully fit squad to choose from when they face New Zealand in Saturday's semi-final. Jonny May suffered a hamstring injury in the match against Australia. Jack Nowell has also had a hamstring problem but assistant coach Neal Hatley says that he expects both to be available. Hatley said that "it's fantastic" that all 31 players are going to be available for selection at the end of the week.

Meanwhile, Wales back-row Josh Navidi is out of the World Cup with a hamstring injury. Coach Warren Gatland said he will draft in a back to take his place in the squad. Wales face South Africa in Sunday's semi-final in Tokyo.

 

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