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Evening Update 29 Mar

Antibes - Residents in Antibes have been assured the high level of police and special forces activity today, is an exercise, and not a terror incident. The planned exercise, is organised annually for emergency services, and residents are asked to avoid Avenue Mozart until this evening.

Strike - Strike action at Air France has led to the airline cancelling half of its services from Nice Cote d’Azur airport tomorrow Friday. It’s the third time airline staff have stopped work in a row over pay. Next week, strike action will hit the Riviera again, as train drivers stage a two day walkout, next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Sarkozy - Former President Nicolas Sarkozy is to face trial for corruption and influence peddling, in a case which centres around wiretapped phone-calls in which  Sarkozy is said to have tried to influence judges, who were looking into financing of his campaign. A judge, and Mr Sarkozy's lawyer, will also stand trial and all have denied any wrongdoing.

Vence - Authorities in Vence have confirmed that a fire engine and its crew were attacked with stones during a false callout last night around 10pm. Nobody was injured and a police investigation is underway. It’s the second time this week, such an incident has occurred, the first being on Monday night in Ariane north of Nice.

Bus - Ligne d’Azur say they have suspended a bus driver accused of hitting a cyclist, then refusing to stop and leaving the scene of the accident. The incident first came to light when the cyclists wife posted to Facebook, that her husband and child had been knocked off their bike by a bus, and asked people to try and identify the driver. The bus company say they have suspended the driver pending a full investigation.

Event - The Roq’Acro festival, planned for this weekend in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, has been postponed until the following week due to higher than expected winds and swell over the weekend. The programme will go ahead as planned Friday week.

BUSINESS

Volkswagen has said it will buy back new or nearly new diesel cars, affected by diesel bans in German cities. A German court recently ruled that cities should be allowed to ban some diesel cars to reduce pollution. The scheme will only apply in Germany but, if diesel bans spread, Volkswagen may expand it outside the country.

India's government has decided to sell a controlling stake in loss-making national carrier, Air India. It’s putting 76% of the business up for sale, in what will be India's most high profile ‘asset sale’ in decades.

Barclays have agreed to settle a lawsuit with the US government over the sale of mortgage-backed securities. Barclays CEO said the bank has admitted no liability in the case, but are happy to have reached a fair and proportionate settlement.

SPORT

Football - FIFA have announced the list of World Cup referees and officials, and it does not include any referee’s from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. This is the first time in 80 years, that no UK officials have taken part in the World Cup.

Tennis - Andy Murray, who is in Nice all this week for initial training for the season, has confirmed he will play the grass-court Libema Open in the Netherlands in June, before competing at Wimbledon. Murray is staging a comeback after a hip replacement last January.

Boxing - Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker have started trading verbal blows, before this weekend’s big fight. Parker said he is ready to go to war with Joshua, and will be laying booby traps during the match. The two meet at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, on Saturday.

Cricket - Australia coach Darren Lehmann has announced he is to  quit at the end of the current Test series despite being cleared of any wrongdoing in the ball-tampering scandal. Australia players David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, have both been banned, after using sandpaper to deliberately damage a ball. Lehmann said he made the decision after viewing the players  apologies, saying it's only fair, as he ultimately, is responsible for the culture of the team.

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