Evening Update Wednesday 29 January 2020

Six people have been placed in pre-trial detention after anti-narcotics forces intercepted the smuggling of drugs into our region from Spain. 374 kg of cannabis resin was recovered after several vehicles were stopped at the Capitou payage near Frejus, in Antibes and in Cassis. The prosecutor said that he thought the individuals may have been sending drugs to Nice in particular. Local and regional police have been working on disrupting the gang’s activities since last August.

Many municipalities in the Alpes Maritimes have been recognized as areas of natural disaster following the floods and landslides that affected the region from last October until early December. They include Cagnes-sur-Mer, Mandelieu-la-Napoule, Pierrefeu, Antibes, Biot and Villeneuve-Loubet. Many coastal municipalities are also listed in today’s publication in the Official Journal because of damage caused by high waves. They include  Antibes, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Cannes, Cap-d'Ail, Menton and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. In order to benefit from the statutory compensation scheme, claimants have 10 days from the date of publication to file an estimate of losses with their insurance companies.

Railway workers symbolically burnt their work clothes in front of Nice railway station this morning as part of the national day of protest against pension reforms. A march was held from the Jardin Albert 1er to Place Garibaldi. As has been the case on previous occasions, estimates of numbers varied between the unions and the authorities. Unions put the number of people at 4,000 but police estimated about 800.

The Criminal Court in Nice has sentenced a man to seven years in prison for a shooting in December 2016. The 31 year old had shot a 19 year old man in a drugs dispute at a building on the Route de Turin. Another 31 year old was also sentenced by the court. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in connection with various drugs and other criminal offences.

Nice has ranked fifth in a national survey of traffic congestion. The survey, published in Le Parisien newspaper using data from satnav company TomTom, unsurprisingly puts Paris in fist place. The rest of the top 5 is made up of Marseille, Bordeaux and Grenoble. Toulon takes 7th place.

The Monegasque Red Cross has taken delivery of a new electric vehicle. The Fidinam International Charity Foundation made a donation of €1,000,000 to the organization last year to support local initiatives in favor of children and young people in Monaco and it’s now delivered a 100% electric Nissan utility vehicle to the organization's headquarters in Monaco.

 

BUSINESS

Starbucks has closed half of its outlets in China to protect its staff and support government efforts to contain the coronavirus. Starbucks has almost 4,300 outlets in China, making it the company's largest market outside the US. Meanwhile, Ingka Group, the owner of Ikea, said it will close around half of its 30 stores in China until further notice.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng stock market index fell 3% when it re-opened on Wednesday as investors feared the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Plane maker Boeing says that it expects costs associated with the grounding of its 737 Max plane to reach $18.6bn. The company also revealed that its fourth quarter sales fell by 37 per cent and announced plans to scale back production of its 787 aircraft to 12 planes a month.

Luxury retailer LVMH has announced a 15% rise in annual profits to €11.5bn. Sales were also up 15% at €53.6bn. Its fashion and leather goods division reported the strongest sales growth, up 17%, boosted by the Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior brands. LVMH also said that it had closed some stores in the Chinese city of Wuhan following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Airline Wizz Air has reported a strong third quarter performance with sales up 24.2% and pre-tax profit up 42%. It carried 10 million passengers in the three months to the end of December, a 23.2% increase on the same period in the previous year.

 

SPORT

Tennis... Rafael Nadal is out of the Australian Open after being beaten by Dominic Thiem in four sets. The final score was 7-6  7-6 4-6  7-6. He'll now face Alexander Zverev in the semi-final on Friday.

Cricket… England fast bowler Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the Twenty20 series against South Africa next month because of an elbow injury. He will be replaced by Saqib Mahmood, who will remain in South Africa after the three-match one-day series.

Football... Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon. United will pay an initial fee of around 55m euros, although it’s reported that add-ons could increase the overall cost to 80m euros. The move is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms.

Tottenham Hotspur have signed Netherlands forward Steven Bergwijn for £27m from PSV Eindhoven on a contract that will run until 2025. He scored 31 goals in 149 appearances for the Dutch club and won three league titles. He's also earned nine caps for the national side.

The home of Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been attacked by a group of indiviuals. A video posted on social media showed one person throwing a red flare over a gate, while others sang songs aimed at Mr. Wodward. Reports say that he wasn't present at the property and nobody was injured. The club said that it was working with police to identify the people involved and that anyone committing a criminal offence or trespassing will be banned for life.

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