Evening Update 02 Oct

Marseilles - The two young women stabbed to death at Marseille's main train station yesterday, were cousins aged just 20 years old.

Police said today, the attacker entered the station at half past one, and sat for fifteen minutes, before heading for his first victim. Initially he fled the scene, but then returned a few minutes later for a second killing, before running toward patrolling soldiers, who shot him dead.

The man had been reported seven times since 2005, the most recent being last Friday in Lyon, but he used a different alias each time, none of which were on a terror watch list.

As France continues to fight terror attacks, tomorrow the government are set to vote on new legislation making some of the State of Emergency measures permanent, including expanded identity checks by police around train stations, ports & airports, and the ability to confine a subject to house arrest without prior permission from a judge. However, some human rights activists fear the new security laws could reduce judicial oversight of the police.

Trial - A murder trial has opened at Nice Court today, where 50 year-old department manager, André Vidor from Villeneuve-Loubet, was shot to death after a car accident. The dead man’s sister says she is not seeking retribution, as the court will decide that, but she just wants to know why her brother was killed for no apparent reason. A verdict is expected by the end of the week.

New - The month of October brings a raft of new changes into force across France, including an increase in the amounts allowed for contactless payments from twenty to thirty euro, a new fine of €150 for using e-cigarettes on public transport or other banned places, and a requirement for advertisers to label any photographs that have been retouched. Also, people renting their house or apartment on AirBnB, must register the rental with the local town hall.


Citigroup has requested a licence to broker in France so it can move some operations from London after Brexit. The banks head of European operations said the recent labour market reforms, made France a more attractive place to do business, and that Citigroup was interested in adding several activities to its banking operations in Paris.

A huge repatriation operation is underway after the collapse of Monarch Airlines. The airline was placed into administration at 4am this morning, when the airline had no planes in the air. In the year to October 2016, it ran up massive losses of £291m, which it blamed on depressed prices in the short-haul market, alongside increased fuel costs and handling charges due to the weakening value of sterling. The airlines collapse has seen a bump in the share value for Ryanair and Easyjet. Meanwhile, tonight’s service with Monarch from Nice Cote d’Azur airport to Birmingham, will be operated by a British Airways flight chartered by the UK government, due to operate at the same time as the original flight.


Football - ‘OGC Nice’s, Mario Balotelli, has explained why he didn’t take a key penalty during last night’s disastrous loss to Olympic Marseilles. In an Instagram post, he said gave the penalty to a team mate, who was having a bad night, and he wanted him to take some of the glory by scoring a penalty goal. However, it wasn’t to be, as the goal was missed and OGC Nice lost 4-2 to Marseilles,  who remain third in the league, while Nice languish in tenth place.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique says he will retire from the Spanish international football team before the World Cup, if his support for Catalonia's independence referendum is deemed a problem. Last night, he played with Barcelona as they beat Las Palmas 3-Nil in an empty stadium, following unrest in the city. Pique described it as his hardest game.

Spain's world number one tennis player Rafael Nadal and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola have also spoken out following Catalonia's independence referendum, with Nadal saying he was stunned and felt like crying, while Guardiola said there were people who wanted to vote and they were attacked.

Rugby - The proposed extension of the Premiership season will result in a more balanced out schedule for club players, according to Exeter chairman Tony Rowe. He said the extended season isn't about more games; it's about putting in more breaks and reducing the overlap between the international and domestic games. The plans have been opposed by players, with strike action not ruled out.

Athletics - British javelin thrower Joanna Blair has been provisionally suspended after failing an anti-doping test. She has the chance to appeal and the right to a full hearing.

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