Meteo France have issued an Orange weather alert, which is the third highest level out of 4 alert levels. The warnings are for stormy conditions for the Var and Alpes Maritimes until 6am tomorrow. This evening and tonight the northwesterly wind is expected to gradually strengthen. Gusts will reach 110 to 140 km in alpine areas, the Grasse area, the Cheiron massif, as well as in the east Var from inland to the coast. Gusts of about 100km per hour are also expected inland and in coastal areas of the Alpes Maritimes. There’s also an increased avalanche risk. Under the orange warning, residents are expected to be "very vigilant", are warned to look out for falling trees and other objects, and advised not to go out onto roofs of buildings. The prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes has activated its departmental operational center, which is a unit which coordinates all the emergency services in case of a major incident. The Monaco Government has recommended taking precautions to avoid any accidental fall of objects or any flight of materials and has recommended the utmost vigilance regarding proximity to the sea. The coastal path from Monaco to Cap d’Ail has been closed. In Nice, authorities have closed all parks and public gardens and the coast path. Parks and gardens in Menton are also closed. The Christmas markets in Cannes and Antibes have been closed this afternoon because of the high winds. Further information regarding weather conditions can be obtained at www.meteofrance.com
More information has emerged regarding the disappearance of 16 year old Manon in Antibes on Monday. Police now believe that Manon planned her disappearance. Police say that the statements of friends who said they last saw her at a bus stop waiting for the number 8 bus at the Place de Gaulle were fabricated. CCTV cameras reportedly recorded Manon as being at Antibes railway station carrying suitcases. After that, the cameras lost track of her.
The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has called for the creation of a specific offence of assaulting a police officer. In an interview with French media he said that penalties under current laws are not enough to punish those who attack police officers. Mr. Estrosi said that minimum penalties for attacks on the police which were abolished in 2014 should be reinstated and there should be no automatic reductions in sentences. Mr. Estrosi’s comments come after violence against police officers in the Paris area over the New Year.
Six people, including two children, have been killed in a crash and explosion on a motorway in northern Italy. Reports said a lorry shunted a family car into the back of a tanker truck, causing it to explode on the A21 near Brescia. The lorry driver died as did three adults and the two children who were travelling in the car. According to reports the Kia car had a French number plate.
Unemployment in Germany was at a record low in December. Only 5.5% of workers were unemployed in December which is the same level as in November and an all-time low since reunification in 1990. The number of people who were employed in Germany last year was 44.3 million which is the most number of employed people since reunification.
In the UK, growth has slowed in the construction sector, according to the Markit/CIPS UK Construction purchasing managers' index. The reading for December was 52.2, down from 53.1 in November.
Ryanair has announced that it transported 129 million passengers in 2017 which is about ten per cent more than in 2016 and is a new record for the company. Ryanair is the largest European airline in terms of passengers carried.
CRICKET…20 year old Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane will be playing in the fifth Ashes Test, with pace bowler Chris Woakes missing out because of injury. Crane has played in two Twenty20 internationals. All-rounder Moeen Ali keeps his place for England. Meanwhile, Australia have dropped all-rounder Glenn Maxwell for the one-day international series.
CYCLING…World cycling champion Caroline Buchanan has suffered serious injuries in a car accident in Australia. Buchanan, has said on social media that she has a broken nose and sternum and a collapsed lung. Local media reported the accident involved a single vehicle and happened in New South Wales.
COMMONWEALTH GAMES...Northern Ireland will send a squad of 88 athletes from 13 sports to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. In total, a team of 134 athletes, coaches and support staff will travel to the Gold Coast. The Games take place from the 4th to the 15th April.