Evening Update Monday 4 November

Police have found the body of the elderly woman who was hit by a landslide in her garden in Nice yesterday. 71-year-old Jaqueline was found shortly before 10am this morning at a property on rue Sevran in the Madeleine district. Firefighters had been working round the clock to save the victim who was struck by the landslide after torrential rain hit the region on Sunday. The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has sent his "most sincere condolences" to her family. The president of the Alpes-Maritimes Departmental Council, Charles-Ange Ginésy, said that he wished to offer his “total support " to the woman’s family.

A special police unit has been mobilized this afternoon after a man threatened to jump from a car park in central Nice. They were engaged in discussions with the man on top of the parking next to the Prefecture.

Thirty-one Pakistani nationals have been discovered in a truck on the A8 motorway during a police check. The driver of the same nationality has been arrested. The discovery was made during a check at the La Turbie toll booths. The Prefecture of the Alpes Maritimes has confirmed that they have all been handed over to the Italian authorities in accordance with the procedure of non-admission, which has been in force since the reintroduction of border controls in November 2015.

A classroom at a school in Saint-Maximin was evacuated this morning after a bottle of acetylene caught fire. Firefighters were called and staff managed to quickly extinguish the flames. No injuries were reported. Employees from Gaz de France and Enedis also attended the incident, which is now being investigated.

The town hall in Marseille has lowered flags to half-mast and has announced plans for a minute’s silence tomorrow to mark the first anniversary of the collapse of buildings in the rue d'Aubagne. Eight people lost their lives. A tribute to the victims will take place at the town hall tomorrow. A minute’s silence will be observed and a commemorative plaque will be unveiled which will later be installed at the scene of the collapsed buildings.

The mayor of Antibes, Jean Leonetti, has today been visiting a school which was affected by a fire outbreak on Halloween night. The first floor of a building at the Saint-Claude d'Antibes school will remain closed until Thursday. Classes have been re-organised, with some being transferred a local leisure centre. The fire is thought to have been the result of a criminal act.

While most of us on the coast were experiencing torrential rain over the weekend, snow was falling up in the mountains. The ski resort of Serre-Chevalier has reported its first significant snowfall of the winter season. The ski station, which is  2,200 metres above sea level, received about 40cm of snow. It’s scheduled to open for the season on the 7th of December.

A cathedral in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques has been burgled in a ram-raid attack in the early hours of this morning. Criminals used a car to smash down the door of the cathedral in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, north-west of Lourdes. The building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They then cut the bars of a chapel inside to steal valuable liturgical objects. Police are searching for three hooded individuals seen fleeing from the scene by witnesses.

Authorities say that an 87 year old man killed his wife at the weekend in Fontainebleau, south-east of Paris. The man then committed suicide by turning the rifle on himself. According to sources quoted by local media, the man could not bear to see the suffering of his wife who was disabled.

The French President Emmanuel Macron has begun a three day trip to China - his second visit to the country. Business leaders will accompany the Head of State between Shanghai and Beijing with France being the guest of honour at the export fair in Shanghai tomorrow.

 

BUSINESS

The European Commission has announced today that it’s launching an antitrust investigation into French supermarkets Casino and Intermarche. The investigation is into a purchasing alliance which the Commission says could have been used to coordinate their actions in a manner in breach of EU competition law. The alliance was in place from 2014 until last year.

IAG, owner of British Airways and Iberia, says it is buying Air Europa for €1bn. Competitor Ryanair has said it will ask competition authorities to force IAG to make divestments as part of its purchase. Meanwhile, Ryanair has released it’s half year results, showing an unchanged profit of €1.15bn.

Retailer Mothercare says that it is intending to appoint administrators to the company’s UK subsidiaries Mothercare UK Limited and Mothercare Business Services Limited. The businesses will keep trading. Mothercare says it operates "a successful global brand business" generating over £500m of revenues each year. In the financial year ended March 2019, the brand generated profits of £28.3m internationally whereas the UK retail operations lost £36.3m.

Shares in many UK betting companies have fallen today after the release of a parliamentary group report which recommends tougher regulation. The report, by the all-party parliamentary group  on gambling-related harm, recommends reducing the maximum amount which can be bet using online slot machines to 2 pounds, which would bring it in line with the recently introduced 2 pounds limit on fixed odds betting terminals.

Shares in several firms linked to fracking in the UK have slumped after the UK government halted shale gas extraction over earthquake fears. Shares in AJ Lucas, the Australian energy services group that owns 48% of UK fracking company Cuadrilla, closed down 23% on the Australian Stock Exchange.

 

SPORT

Athletics… The World Anti-Doping Agency has said that it will investigate all athletes who trained with banned coach Alberto Salazar. Salazar was found guilty of doping violations after a four-year investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency. The 61-year-old American has said he will appeal against the ruling.

Formula 1…. Antonio Giovinazzi will continue to race for Alfa Romeo next season after signing a one-year contract extension. He’s competing in his first full F1 season but his current deal was due to run out at the end of the 2019 campaign. He is 18th in the driver's championship with two races remaining.

Cricket… Scotland will take on Bangladesh, the Netherlands and Namibia in the first round of next year's T20 World Cup in Australia. The top two sides from Group B, which will be played in Hobart, Tasmania, next October, will progress to the Super 12 phase of the tournament. Ireland are in Group A, with Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea and Oman.

 

 

 

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