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Evening Update 12 Dec

Fraud - Three people have been arrested for stealing a total of €150,000, from up to seventy elderly residents along the Cote d’Azur. In a well-planned two stage operation, one of them would befriend an elderly person and steal some items from their apartment, then another would then call posing as a policeman, to say they found a bank card and request the PIN code to verify it. As soon as they did, their account was emptied. The trio, who claimed victims in Cannes, Nice and Antibes, were caught in-flagrante while working the same scam in Montpellier.

AirBnB - A potential tax avoidance loophole, has been closed by AirBnB, who will no longer accept Payoneer cards on the French market. The government had complained about the use of the cards, which allow homeowners to receive payments, without money having to go through any bank accounts. Payoneer, based in New York, is a financial services company, with a European subsidiary in Gibraltar.

Flights - Budget airline Easyjet have announced four new routes from Nice Cote d’Azur airport. They are Biarritz, Sicily, Seville and Tel Aviv. The flights are due to take off from next spring.

BUSINESS

The US Securities and Exchange Commission, has halted a multi-million dollar digital token sale, by California-based restaurant review app Munchee. The regulator also warned consumers of the dangers of investing in crypto-currencies, making it the latest in a string of warnings, from global regulators. Initial Coin Offerings allow start-ups to quickly raise capital, by issuing virtual tokens to investors, usually in exchange for more established crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin.

In the UK, inflation has risen to its highest level in nearly six years, reaching 3.1%. The Office for National Statistics said increases in airfares and computer games contributed to the increase. Its most recent data also shows average weekly wages are growing at just 2.2%.

SPORT

Football - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says, although he encouraged his players to celebrate Sunday's win at the Manchester derby, he denies they went over the top. Reports say Manchester United boss  Jose Mourinho complained about the visiting teams celebrations, and in the ensuing row, had water and milk thrown at him. It’s not known who threw it, but sources from both clubs say no punches were thrown during the incident.

Rugby - Jim Mallinder has been sacked by Northampton Saints after more than 10 years as the club's Director of Rugby. Saints, who were the Premiership champions in 2014, are currently 10th, and on the brink of elimination, from the European Champions Cup.

Rugby Australia, has announced Raelene Castle as its new CEO, the first time a woman has been given the job. Rugby Australia said Ms Castle, who beat more than 200 candidates for the position, was extremely impressive, with an outstanding track record. The appointment makes her the first female leader across all major national bodies in world rugby.

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