Evening Update Tuesday 9 April

A section of the A8 motorway was closed for several hours this morning after a blaze involving a heavy goods vehicle. The vehicle caught fire at about 7am between two tunnels on the motorway near Nice. The road was closed for about 2 hours between junctions 55 and 54 in the direction of Cannes. Entry to the motorway in that direction was closed at Nice Nord, Monaco and La Turbie and delays affected traffic for much of the rest of the morning. The motorway has now returned to normal.

A man has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a woman in Vidauban in the Var at the weekend. He was arrested in Les Arcs following a police chase. The 51 year old man, who is the woman’s husband, is reportedly the main suspect in the shooting.

Municipal police officers in Nice and some surrounding towns will soon be able to wear micro-cameras on their uniforms to record incidents. A trial of the cameras was held last year and authorities have now given the green light for them to be deployed on a permanent basis. Camera footage will now be permissible in court and it’s hoped will help to prevent crime and catch offenders. As well as Nice, officers in St-Laurent-du-Var ,Carros ,and Le-Colle-sur-Loup will also be equipped with uniform cameras.

A meeting of Yellow Vest protestors with French senators has been cancelled at the last minute today. A delegation of protestors were due to meet senators in Paris this morning.  The reasons for the cancellation given to protestors was that there was too much media attention around the meeting, but there’s speculation amongst protestors that the presence of well-known yellow vest Eric Drouet in the delegation may have been a factor. The French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire had earlier expressed his astonishment that M. Drouet was to be received in the Senate.


BUSINESS

In the UK, control of the Debenhams department store chain has fallen into the hands of its lenders as part of an administration process. Debenhams has 166 stores, which will initially continue to trade, although about 50 branches had already been earmarked for closure in the future. The department store rejected last-ditch rescue offers from Mike Ashley's Sports Direct, which has been locked in an acrimonious battle for control.

Societe Generale has revealed a plan to cut 1,600 jobs, mainly at its corporate and investment banking arm. The bank had previously announced it would cut 500m euros in costs at its corporate and investment banking business. Reports say that 750 jobs will be lost in France, where all the redundancies will be made on a voluntary basis. Other job cuts will occur abroad, mainly in New York and London.

Australian casino operator Crown Resorts is in talks with US gaming group Wynn over a potential takeover. The company, which owns casinos in Melbourne and Perth and is building another in Sydney, added the talks were in the "preliminary stage" and no agreement has yet been reached.

British shoppers cut back spending for the first time in almost a year in March, according to the British Retail Consortium. The BRC said total sales dropped by 0.5% year-on-year in March, the first fall since April 2018.

 

SPORT

Football…The first two quarter final first leg ties in the European Champions League are being played tonight. The all-English clash between Manchester City and Spurs is being played at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium while Liverpool have the easiest quarter final on paper as they host Porto at Anfield.

Cricket…Australia batsman David Warner scored his third half-century in six matches to extend his lead as the Indian Premier League's top run-scorer. Warner has scored 349 runs at an average of 87.25. Australia are this week expected to name their preliminary squad for the 2019 World Cup, which begins on 30 May.

Rugby Union… Scotland's most-capped player Ross Ford is leaving Edinburgh at the end of the season. Ford, who is 34, has played 110 times for Scotland and leaves after 11 years and 197 appearances for Edinburgh.

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