Evening News Update Monday 4 February

Some households are still without gas supplies after the explosion and fire at the Aldi supermarket in Grasse on Saturday morning. According to reports, 950 homes were still without gas this morning.  The mayor has requested the distribution of 400 emergency radiators. The Grasse hospital has reportedly switched over to its emergency heating and fuel oil. It’s expected that all supplies should be fully reinstated by Wednesday evening.

The Mayor of Menton, Jean-Claude Guibal, has announced that an appeal will be filed against the decision not to classify the town as an area of natural disaster. Several other towns on the Riviera were recently classified as disaster areas as a result of damage sustained in storms last October, but several others were omitted.  The appeal will be filed with the Administrative Court of Nice. The deputy of the 4th constituency, Alexandra Valetta-Ardisson, has already sent a letter to the Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, asking him to put right what she said was “an injustice”.

There’s free parking in Nice all day tomorrow because of national strike action affecting public transport. There’ll be severe disruption to the urban and suburban Ligne d'Azur bus network and no trams will operate in Nice tomorrow. There will also be no city bus service in Antibes. 

A prisoner in Nice prison took his own life at the weekend. The 21 year old who, according to his father had already attempted suicide three times, was found hanged in his cell.  He had just returned from a psychiatric examination.

The UK Air Accident Investigation Branch has said that a body has been seen in the underwater wreckage of the plane that was carrying footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson. A search on Sunday found the Piper Malibu plane on the seabed off Guernsey, almost two weeks after it went missing.

Amazon has sent "dozens of redundancy notifications" to employees at several French sites, according to French media. Le Parisien, reported this morning, that the reason behind the notifications is due to employees expressing support for the "yellow vests" movement on social networks.  A spokesman for Amazon said they were fired because they had failed to meet their contractual obligations. The CGT union is demanding their reinstatement. 

French politician and former Mayor of Mandelieu la Napoule Henri Leroy has called for France’s Eurovision entry singer, Bilal Hassani to be banned from the contest following a video  clip posted on Youtube by the singer in which he mocks the Paris terror attacks. 



Ryanair posted a net loss of €19.6m for the last three months of the year, its first quarterly loss since March 2014. The airline carried 32.7 million passengers compared with 30.4 million for the same period a year earlier as revenue rose 9% to €1.53bn. But the airline said "excess winter capacity in Europe" cut its profit. 

A Royal Commission into Australia's finance sector has handed down its findings, which include 76 recommendations to overhaul the country's banking sector. The recommendations include a new oversight body for Australia's corporate regulators and changes to remuneration structures across the industry to remove systemic conflicts of interest. The recommendations were released after 11 months of hearings, which revealed financial wrongdoing among the country's biggest banks.  The Australian Parliament needs to approve the recommendations before they take effect, but the government says it will enact all of them.

Growth in activity in the UK’s construction sector slowed to its weakest rate for 10 months, according to a closely-watched survey. The latest IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index fell to 50.6 last month from 52.8 in December. A figure above 50 implies expansion.



Rugby Union… Ireland number eight CJ Stander will miss the matches against Scotland and Italy with a facial injury. The Munster forward is facing a four-week recovery after suffering suspected fractures of his eye socket and cheekbone during the match against England on Saturday.

Football… Liverpool defender Joe Gomez is to have an operation on the leg fracture he sustained against Burnley in December. He was initially ruled out for up to six weeks but Liverpool have now put no timescale on his recovery.
Liverpool can extend their lead at the top of the table to 5 points if they beat West Ham at the London Stadium in tonight’s match.

Formula 1…. Former Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley will join Ferrari as a development driver for the 2019 Formula 1 season. Hartley is from New Zealand and raced for Toro Rosso during the past two seasons, as well as winning at Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship in 2017.

Winter Olympics... Finnish ski jumping legend and four-time Olympic gold medallist Matti Nykanen has died at the age of 55. He’s regarded as one of the best ever ski jumpers after a glittering 10-year career, which included 46 individual World Cup titles.

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