Evening News Update Wednesday 12 December

France has been put on a maximum level of alert as police continue to search for the gunman who opened fire at a Christmas market Strasbourg yesterday.  Authorities have revised the number of casualties several times today.  Three people are said by the authorities to have lost their lives as a result of the attack and 12 people are injured. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said the government had issued an emergency attack alert, expanding police powers and creating the highest degree of vigilance. He added that border controls had been strengthened and security at all Christmas markets would be stepped up and said that 720 personnel had been mobilized to search for the attacker. Deputies observed a minute of silence in the French National Assembly as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives.

Locally, security checks have been set up by police in Menton at the Italian border.  Checks are reportedly being carried out on all vehicles going from France to Italy. The French Professional Football League has announced that the Nice – Saint-Etienne match scheduled for this coming Friday evening will be rescheduled because police are required for other duties. Authorities are reportedly currently considering rescheduling the match for 5pm on Sunday. Prince Albert II of Monaco has written to President Macron expressing his solidarity and saying that his thoughts are with the families of the victims and the wounded. 

Local lawyers are staging protests today as part of a "Justice for All” day. Lawyers, magistrates and clerks have been demonstrating in Grasse, Nice and Toulon.


In an unusual case, three men have been sentenced today for presenting fake certificates at the sale of two elephant tusks. The three were sentenced to a year in prison each, plus a fine of between 10,000 and 30,000 euros by the criminal court in Grasse.  The defendants had attempted to sell the elephant tusks at an auction in Cannes in 2014.

A 70 year old man died in St Laurent du Var this morning after apparently falling from the path by the river onto the rocks below. Pompiers and the municipal police attended the incident.

 

BUSINESS


In the UK, Sainsbury's and Asda are to ask for more time to provide evidence to the Competition and Markets Authority, which is investigating their proposed merger. The supermarkets have applied for a judicial review of the CMA investigation to attempt to obtain additional time to present their evidence.

Inditex, the world's largest clothing retailer, has reported net profit of 2.4 billion euros for the first nine months of its financial year. The company owns brands including Zara and Massimo Dutti.

The streaming arm of Chinese tech company Tencent, Tencent Music says it raised $1.1bn in its US initial public share offering. That's at the lower end of the forecast range but it values the company at $21.3bn - making it one of the biggest tech floats on Wall Street in recent years.

 

SPORT


Cycling…The future of Team Sky is in doubt after broadcaster Sky announced it will withdraw backing at the end of 2019. Team Sky was launched in January 2010 and has since amassed 322 victories, including eight Grand Tour successes. The team said it would continue to race under a different name if a new backer is secured to provide funding from the beginning of 2020.

Football… Manchester City's Raheem Sterling has been named November's Premier League player of the month. It’s the second time the Blues forward has won the award, the previous occasion being in August 2016. Sterling was allegedly the victim of racist abuse during Manchester City’s defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

In local football news, the start time for the Monaco against Nice local derby has been announced. The match, which was due to take place last Friday is now to be played on 16th January, with a 7pm kick-off.

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