Evening Update Monday 23 December

The body of a man missing in the Var since Saturday has been found. The body of the 79 year old man from Saint Raphael was discovered this morning inside his submerged car in the Reyran river, which is a tributary of the Argens river. The man had been reported missing on Saturday evening.

Our region is recovering after the high winds of the last few days and last Friday’s storm. Several roads are still cut off because of storm damage, including the coast road in Menton Garavan. The A8 motorway near Menton re-opened on Saturday morning after being cut off in the direction of Italy by a landslide. A contraflow has been put in place while repairs are carried out. In Nice, the avenue de Pessicart is closed because of a major landslide involving 500 cubic metres of earth which collapsed onto the road on Saturday night. The D22 at Saint-Agnes is still closed because of a landslide.

Corsica was badly affected by the storm with access to the island being cut off for most of the weekend. Cap Sagro in the Haute Corse reported gusts of 216 km per hour, which is only the third time this has been recorded since 1981. The airport at Ajaccio was still closed this morning, with Air Corsica setting up a bus transfer service to get passengers to Bastia airport. Air Corsica has organized what they are calling an “air bridge” to the mainland, consisting of aircraft able to carry a total of 11,800 passengers during the day today. Limited ferry service to and from the island was re-established this morning, but there are still some cancellations and reports say that ferry traffic isn’t expected to get back to normal until Christmas Day.

Industrial action is continuing to affect train services again today, but the number of striking train drivers has fallen under 50 per cent for the first time since the present round of strikes began. SNCF say that nationally two TGVs out of five are running, four TERs out of ten and one Intercity out of four.

Three people have been injured, one of them seriously, in an accident in Saint-Cézaire near Grasse this afternoon. Three vehicles collided on the route 274. The most seriously injured, a man in his seventies, is being treated at the Clavary hospital in Grasse.

A 15 year old girl is in custody after a man was stabbed to death in an apartment in Saint Raphael. The incident took place in the early hours of Saturday morning. Initial reports suggest that the girl may have been acting to defend her mother from domestic violence but an investigation is being opened to establish the facts of the case.

The Cocteau Museum in Menton will re-open before the end of 2021, according to the town’s mayor. The museum and some of its works were damaged by a storm in October 2018. According to Jean-Claude Guibal, the provisional cost of the ongoing restoration works will be about 2 million euros and the works are delicate and complex.

 

BUSINESS

China has announced that it will cut tariffs on hundreds of products ranging from frozen pork to high-tech parts next year. In a statement, Chinese authorities said import tariffs on 859 items would be reduced from 1 January. China is fighting a long-running trade war with the US and faces a series of domestic challenges.

Boeing has announced that its chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, is stepping down, a change it said "was necessary to restore confidence" in the company. David Calhoun, who is currently the chairman of Boeing, will take over as chief executive and president from 13 January. Mr Muilenburg had faced calls for his resignation over the company's response to two fatal crashes involving the 737 Max airliner.

 

SPORT

Motorsports… Charles Leclerc has signed a new five-year contract with Ferrari until 2024. It follows an impressive first season for the team. The 22-year-old, who is from Monaco, won back-to-back races in Belgium and Italy and scored seven pole positions, more than any other driver. He finished fourth in the drivers' standings, ahead of his four-time world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

Cricket…. Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad and Jack Leach all took part in a net session today in preparation for England's opening Test against South Africa. Captain Joe Root says England will trust the trio to decide whether they are fit to play after recent illness in the first Test of four, which starts on 26 December.

Pakistan have recorded a 263-run win in the second Test against Sri Lanka. Pakistan Captain Azhar Ali said Sri Lanka's first visit since an attack in 2009 had given "immense happiness". It was the first Test series in Pakistan since the Sri Lanka team bus was ambushed by gunmen in Lahore on 3 March 2009.

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