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Evening Update 15 Jan

Trial - The trial of the French woman known as the ‘Black Widow of the Riviera’ has gotten under way today.

Fifty seven year-old Patricia Dagorn is accused of befriending elderly men, before killing them with poison or accusing them of rape, in order to extort money. She is already serving a five year sentence, for theft and fraud against an 87 year-old, who agreed to let her live with him, in exchange for certain physical favours.

Prosecutors believe Dagorn may have met at least 20 men, after arriving on the French Riviera in 2011, and have accused her of being involved in the deaths of two.

Prison - Up to sixty prison officers blocked the entrance to the prison in Grasse today, preventing anyone from entering or leaving. They were protesting against assaults made on three officers last week.

Planes - The Interior Ministry has announced the purchase of six new water-bombing aircraft, to help France’s fight against forest fires, particularly here in the south-east. The €400m deal will see six aircraft delivered by 2019.

Students - From today, school-leavers wishing to apply for university, can finally make their applications online. The new website allows students to apply for their tiered choice of courses, and to make changes as the year progresses. Students, and parents alike, are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the website at; parcoursup.fr

BUSINESS

Airbus has said, it may halt production of the ‘A380 super-jumbo’, if it does not receive more orders from Emirates. So far, the Dubai airline is the only one large enough, to order a minimum of six planes a year, for the next ten years. Airbus also announced it has beaten rival Boeing, in the number of aircraft orders, for the fifth straight year in a row. They had 1,109 orders last year, with one of the most popular aircraft being the A320neo.

Ford are to double their investment in electric cars, up to $11 billion over the next five years. They expect to have forty hybrid and fully electric cars in production by 2022, many being electric versions of current models.

The UK government has said it will provide funding, to maintain public services by failed construction giant Carillon, which went into liquidation today. As well as its 20,000 direct workers in the UK, the government is concerned about the thousands of smaller firms that carry out work on Carillons behalf, which could go to the wall if their bills aren’t paid.

SPORT

Football - Vincent Koziello has announced he is leaving OGC Nice to join Cologne in Germany on a new four and half year deal. Koziello, who is originally from Grasse, was in Cologne over the weekend to finalise the deal and will leave for Germany in the coming days.

A referee, who aimed a kick at a Nantes player, then sent him off with a red card, has been suspended until further notice by the French Football Association. Nantes defender Diego Carlos clipped the  referee’s heels, in what appeared to be an accident during yesterday’s game against Paris St Germain.

Former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs has been named as the new manager for Wales. He has long been a target for the Football Association of Wales, and was the favourite for the role, once Chris Coleman departed the team, after failing to qualify for this year’s World Cup.

Rugby - Toulon have defended captain Mathieu Bastareaud after he made a homophobic comment during Sunday's European Champions Cup win over Italian side Benetton Treviso. They say he used the unfortunate comments while in a state of aggravation, as can happen regularly during a game of rugby.

Tennis - Venus Williams has been knocked out of the Australian Open by world #78 Belinda BencicKyle Edmund, the only British player in the mens tournament, had the best win of his career today, when he beat 11th seed Kevin Anderson in a four hour match.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal has enjoyed a ruthless first round victory against the Dominican Republic's Victor Estrella Burgos. The Spaniard, playing his first tournament since suffering a knee injury in November, won 6-1 6-1 6-1 in just over 90 minutes.

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