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Evening Update 05 Feb

Priest - A priest based in Nice, is facing an accusation of paedophilia, from a man who says he was abused in the nineties. Police investigating have now collected several testimonies, of a similar nature, against the priest and are considering a prosecution.

Drug - Two bodies, with gunshot wounds to the head, have been discovered in the Bouches-du-Rhone, 30 km from Marseilles. The charred bodies were found beside a burning car, which was set alight in the parking area of an amusement park. Police believe the killings are part of a settlement of accounts between rival drug gangs.

Tax - Nice City Council has voted to increase the rate of housing tax for second homes. Last year, housing tax on second homes was rated at 20% higher than principal homes, but from 2019 the surcharge will increase to 60%, the ceiling allowed by French law. Socialist leader Patrick Allemand said, anyone capable a second home in Nice, should be able to pay a few hundred extra in housing tax.

Road - Suicide, is the second highest cause of death with young people, aged 15 to 24 in France. Figures announced this week, show 24 people a day committed suicide in 2014, giving France one of the highest suicide rates in Europe. The number one cause of death for young people, are motor accidents.

Meanwhile, motorists have been warned that they can be fined for using their mobile phone, even when the vehicle is stationary, unless they are parked in a designated parking space. Stopping on the road-side to make a call, could lead to a €135 fine and the loss of three points, unless you are correctly parked.

Cannes - In Cannes, the go-ahead has been given for a total transformation of les Allées de la Liberté. The famous paths, along with nearby restaurant terraces, are to be given a facelift, in works costing €22m over the next four years.

Cigarettes - The government has announced that the price of some cigarettes is to increase from March 1st. The new law will see some brands costing eight euro a packet.

BUSINESS

London's FTSE 100 was down 1.3% at midday today, amid signs of more volatility on the markets. It follows sharp losses for US shares on Friday, when the Dow Jones lost 2.5%, its biggest fall in eighteen months. The markets have been spooked by strong US wage growth, which raises the possibility of an accelerated pace of interest rate rises. Markets in Asia, have also fallen, between 1% and 2.5%.

Ryanair has announced that profits, for the three months to December, have risen 12% to €106m, while passenger numbers rose by 6% for the period. However, the airline warned investors to expect some localised disruptions and adverse PR, as they finalise union discussions with pilots and cabin crew. Ryanair said it was still expecting profits for 2018 to be around €1.45bn, but that depended on the absence of union disruptions, unforeseen security events and the level of Easter bookings.

SPORT

Football - UK Premier League clubs accounted for over half of all transfer fees paid out by Europe's top five leagues in January. The total estimated spend was over one billion euros across England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, with the Premier League clubs paying €545m of that, or 51%.

Formula 1 - It’s been announced that 'grid girls' are to be replaced with a new programme called 'grid kids'. F1 bosses plan to use budding racing drivers to make the pre-race ceremony more relevant and interesting for fans.

Rugby - England topped the Six Nations Championship on points difference, following the first round of games at the weekend. England and Wales top the table with 5 points each, Ireland are in third, with France, Scotland and Italy bringing up the rear. The next series of games next weekend, sees Ireland host Italy, England take on Wales, and Scotland face France.

American Football - Underdogs, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41-33 to win the Super Bowl in Minneapolis yesterday. It’s the Eagles first ever Super Bowl success.

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