Evening News Update Tuesday 26 February

A 21 year old man is in a critical condition after being stabbed at Castel beach in Nice.  A fight apparently broke out last night at about 10pm.  When police arrived at the scene, they found the man with stab wounds but others involved had fled.  Five suspects were later arrested at a local hospital where they were receiving treatment for injuries thought to be sustained in the fight.

The RM 6202 which connects the coast to many of the area’s ski resorts was blocked by a fallen tree this afternoon. The pine tree fell across the road just before Plan-du-Var, completely blocking traffic and disrupting the Pignes train. The road was eventually re-opened at about 3.00pm. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

The Council of Europe has called for the suspension of the use of the controversial LBD bullet launchers.  The equipment has been used by authorities to quell various yellow vest protests over the past few months, resulting in a large number of injuries to protestors. The Council said that the number and severity of injuries call into question the compatibility of the methods used in law enforcement operations with respect for human rights. Meanwhile, a demonstration in support of the right to demonstrate freely and safely is being planned for Nice tomorrow. Amongst other measures, the demonstrators are against the use by law enforcement personnel of so called intermediate weapons such as LBDs. The rally begins at 6 pm tomorrow in the place Garibaldi.

Two Yellow Vest protestors are appearing before an examining magistrate in Toulon today suspected of preparing a Molotov cocktail attack on 16 February. According to reports, it’s thought that the Molotov cocktails were to be used against workers at the port of Brégaillon near Toulon who were opposed to the blocking of their terminal by Yellow Vests.

A 25 year old motorcyclist is in a serious condition after coming off his bike in Valbonne this lunchtime.  The accident happened at the Bouillides crossroads. Initial reports say that nobody else was involved in the accident.

Gendarmes in the Var have launched a search for a man missing since Sunday.  Eric Viglione has not been heard from since he left his home in Nans-les-Pins in the West of the Var on February 24 around 5.00pm.  He is described as being 53 years old, of large build, with short gray hair and beard. Anyone with information is asked to contact police in the Var.

Two beaches in the Var have made it into a list of the top ten beaches in France.  The list, complied by TripAdvisor from ratings left by its users, sees the world famous Pampelonne beach occupy the number six position, while the Escalet Beach is in tenth place.  Three Corsican beaches are in the top ten, including Palombaggia Beach in Porto-Vecchio which takes first place.

Thirteen French citizens accused of fighting for the Islamic State group are to be tried in Iraq rather than face charges in France. The Iraqi President said they were handed over by Syrian Kurdish forces last month. President Emmanuel Macron declined to comment, saying it was a sovereign matter for Iraq.

A poll published on Monday has shown that French President Emmanuel Macron’s popularity has recovered to levels not seen since Yellow Vests protests broke out in mid-November. Macron’s popularity hit its lowest at 27% in December but this month it rose to 32%.The poll showed that 55 percent of those surveyed thought the protests should stop, it’s the first time since the movement began that a clear majority has been in favour of it ending.

 


BUSINESS

 

In the UK, Marks and Spencer and Ocado have confirmed they are "in discussions" about a £1.8bn joint venture. M&S said there was no certainty the discussions would result in any agreement. The pair have reportedly been in talks for the past month over the tie-up.

Standard Chartered has announced pre-tax profits of $3.9bn in 2018, up 27% on the previous year. However, the latest profit figure drops to $2.5bn "after provision for regulatory matters and restructuring and other items" are taken out, which is a rise of 5.5% on 2017's results.

London Black Cab drivers have lost a legal challenge which argued that Uber's London operating licence was granted by a biased judge. The United Cabbies Group said the decision to give Uber a 15-month licence in June was "tainted by actual or apparent bias". The "probationary" licence was granted after Transport for London refused to grant Uber a five-year licence. The High Court rejected the cabbie’s claims of bias.

Defence company Babcock is to take an additional £10m tax hit due to Brexit. The company has said that restructuring of the group's aerial emergency services businesses will result in additional costs.

 

SPORT

 

Cricket…Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya has been banned from cricket for two years after admitting two breaches of the ICC  anti-corruption code. He admitted failing to co-operate with an investigation and "concealing, tampering with or destroying evidence".

Football… Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has issued a public apology to referee Mike Dean after confronting the official at the end of his side's match against Burnley.He also argued with the fourth official during the match and had already admitted he "crossed the line" He’s been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association over the matter. Addressing a news conference before tomorrow's Premier League game against Chelsea, Pochettino said that he needed to accept the charge from the FA and to apologise to Dean.

Golf…The Royal Liverpool Golf Club will host the Open Championship in 2022, according to a statement from governing body the R&A. The last occasion it staged the event was in 2014. Royal Liverpool returned to the Open rota after a 39-year hiatus in 2006.

Rugby Union.. Wales lock Cory Hill will miss the remainder of the 2019 Six Nations Championship after injuring an ankle in the match against England.

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