Evening Update Thursday 27 February 2020

A hospital worker in Grasse has tested negative for the coronavirus. The employee at Grasse Hospital felt unwell after recently returning from Italy and was taken to the Pasteur hospital in Nice while test results were awaited. Meanwhile, the Department of Social Affairs and Health in Monaco has confirmed that a person taken care of by emergency services yesterday with suspected coronavirus has tested negative. The tests for COVID 19 were carried out by the hospital in Marseille. Meanwhile the government in the Principality has released information and recommended procedures to be followed on Covid-19 in the Principality of Monaco. You can find those in the News section of the Riviera Radio website.

An 88-year-old man has reportedly killed an 83-year-old fellow resident in an old people’s home in Frejus. The incident occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Police investigating were able to use footage from video surveillance cameras in the care home. According to reports, the man suffering from dementia, had suffocated the woman with a cloth. He has since been placed in a psychiatric hospital.

The Regional Tourism Committee has announced that the Côte d'Azur exceeded 10 million hotel overnight stays in 2019 for the first time since 2002. The committee added that the Alpes-Maritimes and Monaco have been able to maintain "high tourist attendance in a difficult context". The results for all accommodation combined showed that the Italians, followed by the British and Irish, then the Americans, constitute the top visitors to the French Riviera.

The PACA region is opening up local TER trains to competition. A call for tenders to operate new services has been made and is open until the end of March. The services concerned are TER services on the Marseille-Toulon-Nice line and the local Azur lines around Nice. A 10 year contract will be awarded next year with the aim of starting operations in 2025.

After the cancellation of the Nice Carnival because of Coronavirus concerns, a group of florists in Nice have been hard at work today making use of the thousands of flowers which now can’t be used in the Carnival. About 50,000 flowers were due to be used to decorate the carnival procession on Saturday. These are now about to be distributed to local hospitals, nursing homes and town halls. Flowers will also be placed at the memorial for the victims of the July 14th 2016 attack.

Household refuse collection employees have been on strike today in Toulon and La Seyne. Picket lines were put in place outside collection depots and an incinerator plant from about 4.00 this morning. The workers are protesting against management and what they claim are instances of violence during their work.

Environmental associations in the region have requested that the administrative court urgently suspends the prefect’s order to authorise the extension of terminal 2 at Nice airport.  The request released on Wednesday comes following concerns for the impact on the environment. The building permit was granted by the Prefect on January 13th.

Lawyers demonstrating in Nice have spent the night in the courtrooms of the Palais de Justice. Protests have been taking place for over a month all over France as the profession speaks out against pension reforms planned to be implemented by the French government.

 

BUSINESS

Heathrow Airport's controversial plans to build a third runway have been thrown into doubt after a court ruling. The Court of Appeal said the Heathrow expansion was unlawful because it didn't take climate commitments into account. Heathrow said it would challenge the decision, but the UK government said it would not appeal. The case was brought by environmental groups, local councils and the Mayor of London.

Consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser has reported a £2.1bn loss for the year 2019, compared with a profit of £2.7bn in 2018. The company wrote down £5bn relating to its acquisition of baby formula maker Mead Johnson. The company said that it was seeing a spike in demand for Dettol and Lysol products, as well as increased online sales from consumers in China. It was also seeing some disruption in its supply chain and distribution channels connected to China.

The UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said that UK car production fell by 2.1% in January. UK car production has now fallen in 19 of the last 20 months.

The world's biggest advertising company, WPP, has reported pre-tax profits down by 21.9% for the 12 months to the end of December 2019. WPP said traditional TV viewing by 18-34 year-olds in the US has fallen by 40% in the last four years, and almost all retail sales growth comes from e-commerce.

Aston Martin has reported deeper losses for 2019 in what it described as "a challenging year". It made a loss before tax of £104.3m, compared with a £68.2m loss the year before. Aston Martin said revenues fell in part due to a decline in sales to dealers. It also took a £49m hit from shelving its Rapide E electric car programme.

 

SPORT

Cricket... David Warner has made a return to Sunrisers Hyderabad as captain, two years after stepping down because of his international ban for ball-tampering.

Australia have beaten Bangladesh by 86 runs in their Women's T20 World Cup group match in Canberra. The hosts' final group game is against New Zealand in Melbourne on Monday.

Football… The Premier League is launching a Hall of Fame. Two players will be inducted initially, alongside a shortlist of nominees for future inclusion, to be voted for by fans. The Hall of Fame will recognise players of "exceptional skill and talent" from home and abroad who have played in the Premiership since it began in 1992. The first inductees are set to be announced next month.

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