Evening Update 27 April

A large fire is underway this Friday evening in Nice at the Azur Fêtes store on the boulevard Joseph Garnier. The neighbourhood is currently cordoned off and the residents evacuated from the area. There are also reports of a firefighter being seriously injured. Seventy firefighters are reportedly fighting the fire.

The Alpes-Maritimes and the Var have been put on red alert for the Tiger Mosquito, along with most of the southern part of France. A total of 42 departments have been put on red alert, which is a 30 per cent increase on last year. A female lays up to 250 eggs in very small amounts of water. To reduce the number of mosquitos it’s therefore advisable to get rid of small areas of stagnant water and to collect garden waste that may accumulate water.

Concerns have been raised by unions that there will be insufficient customs surveillance on the Cote d’Azur over the next few weeks.  The area’s only large customs boat is due to leave for Italy tomorrow.  The boat will be away for about 5 weeks, mostly to help in immigration control.  

A simulated emergency exercise is planned to take place on the Monaco Grand Prix circuit.  The exercise is to rehearse procedures to be deployed in the event of a major incident affecting large numbers of spectators. The roads comprising the Grand Prix circuit will be closed for two hours for the exercise, at the end of the first day of the Historic Grand Prix, from 5.20 to 7.30pm on Friday May 11th.

A professional drone racing competition is to be held at the Allianz Riviera Stadium on 16th June. It’s being organised by the drone racing league. Pilots will fly custom-built, 90 mile-per-hour racing drones through three-dimensional course lines. The pilots will compete for first place and the chance to fly in the 2018 season finale in Saudi Arabia this September.

Air France staff have announced 4 new strike days in May. The three main pilots unions have called on members to take industrial action on May the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th as part of a long running pay dispute with management. The pay dispute has been unresolved since February and 11 days of strike action have already taken place costing the airline hundreds of millions of euros in lost revenue.


Data released today shows that the UK economy grew at its slowest pace since 2012 in the first quarter of the year. GDP growth was 0.1%, down from 0.4% in the previous quarter. Construction output fell and the manufacturing sector was relatively weak. The Office for National Statistics said the recent bad weather had a "relatively small" impact. France's GDP growth slowed to 0.3% in the first three months of this year. The French economy expanded by 0.7% in the final three months of last year.

Meanwhile, the US economy grew 0.6% during the last quarter, which is slightly down from the 0.7% growth in the previous quarter.

Newly announced figures from Sony show an improved performance at the Japanese electronics company. Net profits hit 490.8bn yen compared with 73.3bn yen a year earlier. Sales rose 18 per cent at its games division and demand for smartphones helped its chip business sales grow by 10%


FOOTBALL… Legendary Barcelona player Andres Iniesta has announced his departure from the club at the end of this season. He has made 669 appearances in 16 seasons, winning 31 trophies with Barcelona and three major tournaments for Spain.
Reports say that Steven Gerrard is now the frontrunner to become the manager of Rangers. Contact has apparently been made between Rangers and Gerrard’s representatives. The former England and Liverpool captain is currently a youth development coach at Anfield.

FORMULA 1… Max Verstappen crashed his Red Bull during first practice at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this morning. He lost control at Turn Three early in the session and crashed into the barriers. Fellow Red Bull driver, Daniel Ricciardo finished second behind Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas.

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