Evening News Update Wednesday 23 January

A national teacher’s strike has been announced for tomorrow morning, Thursday 24 January, which could affect some classes at public schools and colleges. A rally is planned for 10.30 tomorrow morning in the Place Garibaldi in Nice, followed by a demonstration along Boulevard Jean-Jaurès. Unions are protesting over various greivances including the removal of teaching posts and a salary freeze.

Some users of SFR and Free in the Alpes Maritimes experienced problems with their service today. A fibre cable on the Avenue des Eucalyptus in Nice was damaged early this morning by vandals, according to some reports. Internet boxes and fixed telephone lines were disrupted as a result but normal service has now been resumed.

Two workers have been seriously injured at a construction site at Les Arcs in the Var. The workers apparently fell about eight metres down an elevator shaft. A large number of personnel and equipment were involved in the delicate rescue operation, including 25 firefighters and two medical helicopters. One man was taken to Sainte Anne Hospital in Toulon and the other to the Pasteur Hospital in Nice.

A man has been sentenced to 3 months in prison for stealing a Christmas tree from the Association des Anges.  The 25 year old man from Belgium stole the tree, which was decorated with messages and soft toys in addition to the usual Christmas decorations, on the Promenade des Anglais on Christmas Eve.

According to Le Parisien newspaper, the bill for the vandalisation of speed cameras by members of the Yellow Vest movement could be in excess of half a billion euros, mostly as the result of lost revenue from speeding fines. The figure is similar to that estimated by Valérie Rabault, a former General Rapporteur of the Budget in the National Assembly, who put the figure at 500 million euros in lost revenue and 50 million euros to carry out repairs.
The president of the Central African Football Federation has been extradited to the International Criminal Court by France. Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona was arrested in France on December 12th and is suspected of committing or helping to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic. The date of his first appearance before the International Criminal Court in the Hague is expected to be announced shortly.

Thousands of jellyfish have been spotted in the port of Menton. One diver observed the rare sight, posting photos on social media. Head of the marine awareness association Stephane Jamme said there are more and more jellyfish compared to previous years due to overfishing of their predators and pollution.


BUSINESS

Sony has said that it will move its European headquarters from the UK to the Netherlands to avoid disruptions caused by Brexit. The company said the move would help it avoid customs issues tied to Britain's exit from the EU. Despite the move, Sony isn’t moving personnel and operations from its existing UK business.

Santander is to close 140 branches in the UK and plans to spend £55m refurbishing 100 other branches.  The bank said that in-branch transactions have fallen 23% in the last three years, while digital transactions have risen 99%. It said that its remaining network will be made up of larger branches offering improved community facilities and smaller branches using the latest technology to offer more convenience.

 

SPORT

Cricket… India have beaten New Zealand by eight wickets in the first one-day international in Napier. Play was suspended for about half an hour because the setting sun was shining in the batsmen’s eyes.
Meanwhile, England are playing their first test of the year against the West Indies. Play got underway in Barbados at about 3.00 our time.

Football.. A rescue official involved in the search for the missing plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala has said that there is “no hope” of finding him alive. Chief officer of the Channel Islands Air Search, John Fitzgerald, said "even the most fit person" would only last a few hours in the water. Authorities announced at 5pm UK time that the search has been called off for the night..

David Beckham is set to take a 10% stake in National League club Salford City.  He’ll become a part-owner alongside former Manchester United team-mates Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt. The so-called 'Class of 92' now own 60% of the club, with the remaining 40% being held by Singapore businessman Peter Lim. Beckham's stake is subject to approval by the Football Association.

Rugby Union… Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt says that he expects Johnny Sexton to be available for their Six Nations opener against England. Second rows Iain Henderson and Tadhg Beirne are both unlikely to be fit until the match against France on 10 March.

Tennis… Novak Djokovic has reached the Australian Open semi-finals after eighth seed Kei Nishikori retired injured in their quarter-final. Djokovic was leading  6-1  4-1 when Nishikori retired with a thigh problem. Frenchman Lucas Pouille will play Djokovic in the semis, for a place in the final.

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