Evening News Update Wednesday 19 December

Police have opened an investigation after a security van was attacked by armed robbers in Beausoleil this morning. At least two gunmen attacked an undercover van at the Carrefour City store at around 6:15. Fleeing in another vehicle in the direction of Nice, they reportedly left empty-handed. No casualties were reported.


Authorities have announced new expenditure on flood prevention measures in the Alpes Maritimes. Spending of 6 million euros was announced today to construct underwater dikes in Menton. 5.75 million euros will be spent on reinforcing the left bank of the Var in Castagniers, there is 2.9 million allocated for a containment project in Puget-Théniers, 1.6 million to secure river banks at Breil and works will also be carried out in Cagnes, Valbonne and other locations in the department.


The French post office, La Poste, has announced that it will pay a bonus of up to 300 euros to 200,000 employees. La Poste is one of several major French employers who have responded to President Macron’s call to pay a voluntary end of year bonus to their employees. Other companies to have done so include Orange, Total and the SNCF.


Several people have been injured after a gunman opened fire in a village in the Vaucleause department this afternoon.  Three people were shot in the village of Vaison-la-Romaine.  Two of the victims are described as being in a serious condition. Terrorism has reportedly been ruled out.


An 18 year old has been stabbed to death at the exit of a subway station in Marseille this afternoon. The victim was attacked at Bougainville metro station.  The public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation.


15,000 cubic meters of pebbles have been deposited on the beaches of Nice in the fight against natural erosion. Every winter, the beaches of Nice are eroding, a natural phenomenon which is due to the structure of the coastline.

 

The French Health Security Agency has released a report recommending steps to control the notorious red weevil. The insect has been the scourge of the Riviera’s palm trees, which are destroyed by its larvae, for the past decade.  The agency says that it’s almost impossible to eradicate the insect from the seven Mediterranean departments and Corsica. They recommend attempting to stabilize the red weevil population and control its impact on palm trees.  Another alternative would be to try to protect certain trees of great significance and plant other species in unprotected areas.

 

BUSINESS


The European Commission says it has started to implement its preparations for a no-deal Brexit. The Commission has announced temporary measures to try to reduce the impact. They address eight sectors, taking in issues such as transport and customs, data protection, animal health and plants, climate policy and key financial products. Amongst other steps, the measures would temporarily allow British airlines to operate flights into and out of the EU - but not within it – and would allow hauliers to carry freight by road into the EU for a nine-month period without having to apply for permits.


Italy has agreed a deal on its budget with the European Commission. Under the deal, Italy has agreed to lower its planned budget deficit from 2.4% to 2.04%.  The agreement has avoided action by the Commission. Economic commissioner Pierre Moscovici acknowledged it had been a difficult year for the Italian people, citing the collapse of the Genoa bridge in August and the widespread damage caused by storms.

 

In the UK, Uber has lost an appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be treated as employees rather than self-employed. In 2016 a tribunal ruled that two drivers were Uber staff and entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage. Uber said it intends to appeal to the Supreme Court.

 

SPORT


Football…Manchester United have named former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager until the end of the season, a day after sacking Jose Mourinho. Solskjaer spent 11 seasons at Old Trafford, scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final.

Rugby Union…Former Wales captains Stephen Jones and Jonathan Humphreys have been appointed assistant coaches as part of incoming head coach Wayne Pivac's team. They will begin their new roles after the 2019 World Cup.

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