Evening Update Wednesday 27 March

A large scale operation against drugs trafficking has resulted in 17 arrests.  Authorities in the Hautes-Alpes and neighbouring departments worked together in the operation which also resulted in the seizure of 90kg of cannabis and 1kg of heroin. According to reports, more than 200 personnel from the National police, gendarmes, customs officers, specialised departments in Nice and Marseilles as well as several police brigades were involved in the operation spanning several days.

A man accused of assaulting two police officers during a Yellow Vest protest in Nice has been released pending a further hearing.  He was involved in protests on the Boulevard Grosso in Nice before being arrested last Saturday afternoon.

French senators have adopted an article which will let individual departments in France choose which roads will have a speed limit of 80km per hour.  The government’s reduction in speed limits from 90 to 80 on secondary roads has been met with fierce opposition from some motorists. The amendment to the draft mobility law by the Upper House of Parliament would give departments to right to keep 90 as the speed limit on selected stretches of road.

The Air France pilot who stayed with his plane in the Entebbe hijack in 1976 has died aged 95 in Nice.  Michel Bacos and his crew stayed with the hostages until they were freed by Israeli forces at Entebbe airport in Uganda.  The plane had been hijacked en route from Tel Aviv to Paris.  The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, described Bacos as “a hero”.

Since its creation in 1974, the Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival has welcomed the biggest stars and this year is no exception.  The list of performers for this summer’s festival has been announced and includes performances by Sting and by Enrique Iglesias, amongst many others. The world famous Cirque du Soleil will also be performing on five nights. For more information and reservations go to www.montecarlosbm.com

 

BUSINESS

New data shows French consumer confidence in March reached a seven-month high. Data from the INSEE statistics agency showed that the March reading of its consumer confidence gauge was the highest since last August.

Cathay Pacific has announced that it is buying low-cost carrier Hong Kong Express for 4.93bn Hong Kong Dollars, that’s about 628m US Dollars. Hong Kong Express flies to destinations across Asia.

Lloyd's of London has reported a second consecutive year of losses after a series of natural disasters including hurricanes Florence and Michael and wildfires in California. The insurance market reported a £1bn loss, following a loss of £2.1bn in 2017.

The US Commerce Department has announced that the US trade gap narrowed in January to $51.1bn, amounting to a 14.6% reduction. The decline was the largest since March 2018.

 

SPORT

Football… Bayern Munich have signed French international Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid on a five-year deal for a club record 80m euros. The 23-year-old, who won the 2018 World Cup with France, will join the German side on 1 July.

Rugby Union… The RFU will not announce a successor to Eddie Jones this year, even though the England head coach could leave after this autumn's World Cup. Jones is under contract until 2021 but may leave after the tournament in Japan, which concludes in November. His contract also has a break clause if England don’t make the semi-finals.

Cricket…Australia are playing Pakistan in the One Day International Series. In their innings, Australia were 266 for 6.

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