Evening Update Wednesday 20 November

The prosecutor's office in Draguignan has opened a judicial investigation after a woman claimed to have been detained in a villa near St. Raphael for the past five years. The 31 year old was found wandering down a road near Agay at the weekend. According to reports, the paternal grandmother of the woman’s son, with whom she was living, has been detained. Investigations are continuing.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has this morning unveiled an “emergency plan” for the country’s health sector after eight months of protests from unions. The Prime Minister proposed an increase of 1.5 billion euros in hospital budgets over the next three years of which 300 million will be invested from 2020. French health minister Agnès Buzyn announced a bonus of 800 euros a month net for 40,000 nurses and caregivers living in Paris and the inner suburbs and earning less than 1,900 euros per month. She also announced an annual merit bonus of 300 euros which "may benefit 600,000 health professionals".

The Toulon tunnel was closed to traffic for about an hour this afternoon because of a serious accident. Two cars and a motorcycle are believed to have collided in the north tunnel, in the direction towards Marseille. Traffic was backed up onto the A57 but the tunnel has now reopened.

The former mayor of Roquebrune-sur-Argens Luc Jousse has been sentenced to prison. He received an 18 month sentence, including 6 months suspended, and an 8,000 euro fine and two years of ineligibility after being found guilty of fraud, the illegal taking of interest and undermining the equality of candidates in public contracts. The court also found the current mayor of Roquebrune-sur-Argens, Jean-Paul Ollivier guilty of violating the freedom of access to public markets for which he was fined 1,000 euros.

VTC private hire drivers staged an operation escargot go-slow in Marseille during this morning’s rush hour. They moved in a convoy from the boulevard de Paris to the Marseille city hall. They were protesting at their working conditions.

Police in Menton are cracking down on abandoned vehicles. Yesterday police towed vehicles which had been left neglected or without insurance. A record 200 vehicles have been taken away by police so far this year.

Truffle lovers are getting ready to descend on Aups in the Var for the first black truffle market of the season. Producers say that there are limited quantities but excellent quality. Reports say that the price is about 600 euros per kilo, compared to 400 euros at this time last year. The market gets underway tomorrow morning in the place Mistral in Aups.

 

BUSINESS

Japan's exports fell 9.2% in October compared with the same month last year. It's the largest fall in exports in three years, mostly driven by reduced shipments of cars and aircraft engines to the US.

Kingfisher, which owns B&Q and Screwfix in the UK as well as Castorama in France, has reported a 3.7% drop in like-for-like sales for the three months to the end of October. The company blamed lower promotional activity, ongoing operational challenges in France, and softer market conditions amongst other factors.

Austrac, Australia's financial crime watchdog, has accused Westpac bank of 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. Most of the breaches concern a failure to report international transfers in a timely manner. Westpac said the issues "should never have occurred".

Aston Martin has unveiled its new DBX sports utility vehicle. It’s being manufactured at the St Athan plant in Wales, which will employ 750 people when fully operational.

Defence contractor Babcock International has reported an 18% fall in underlying pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of September. The company is the UK Ministry of Defence's second largest contractor.

 

SPORT

Football…. Jose Mourinho has been appointed Tottenham manager after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino yesterday. He’s signed a contract until the end of the 2022-23 season and is scheduled to hold his first news conference as Tottenham boss at 3pm our time tomorrow.

Cricket… England have picked Sam Curran ahead of fellow all-rounder Chris Woakes for the opening Test in New Zealand. It’s also been confirmed that Dom Sibley will open the batting. Joe Denly will bat at three, with captain Joe Root moving to his preferred position of four and Ollie Pope recalled to bat at six. The two-Test series starts at 11.00 our time tonight. Meanwhile, Naseem Shah will make his Pakistan debut in the opening Test against Australia in Brisbane. Naseem, who at 16 years old has played only seven first-class matches, has taken 27 wickets at an average of 16.66. That two-Test series starts at 1.00am tonight our time at the Gabba.

Tennis… Andy Murray has beaten Dutch world number 179 Tallon Griekspoor to give Great Britain a winning start at the inaugural Davis Cup finals in Madrid. The final score was 6-7  6-4 7-6.

Motorsports.. Citröen has announced that it will not be competing in the 2020 WRC World Rally Championship. The decision follows Citröen driver Sébastien Ogier's announcement that he will leave the team at the end of the current season.

Basketball… LeBron James has become the first player in NBA history to score a triple-double against every team in the league as the LA Lakers beat Oklahoma City Thunder 112-107. James registered 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the game, for his 86th career triple-double.

 

 

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