Evening Update Friday 25 October

A motorcyclist is in a critical condition after an accident on the A8 motorway during this morning’s rush hour. The rider came off his machine on the westbound carriageway near the Villeneuve-Loubet exit just before 8.00 this morning. It’s thought that no other vehicles were involved, but police have opened an investigation.

New data shows that there’s been a significant fall in unemployment in our region. The number of unemployed people fell by 1.4% in the Alpes Maritimes and 1.2% in the Var.

A test of the final part of the Nice tramway has taken place today. A tram made its way at low speed between the Jean-Médecin and Port-Lympia stations. The testing is expected to last about 3 weeks and will allow drivers to become familiar with the line and the stations. The official inauguration is scheduled to take place on the 14th of December.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has today confirmed that a planned port to be constructed near Nice Cote d’Azur airport will not go ahead. The initial plan had been to construct an area which would have access to the airport, Nice port, the tram, train services and the motorway. The mayor said that the environmental, technical and regulatory conditions for the project had not been met.

The body of a man has been found in the Durance river upstream of the Verdon-Durance dam. The discovery was made by EDF workers. It’s believed that the man died some time ago and the death isn’t related to the recent storms in the area.

The French National Assembly has today given the go ahead to a trial involving the medicinal use of cannabis. The trial will reportedly involve about 3,000 people suffering from serious illnesses such as some forms of epilepsy, neuropathic pain and the side effects of chemotherapy. The trials are scheduled to begin early next year and to last two years.

The French Constitutional Council has ruled that airlines must continue to pay a fine if they land an illegal alien on French soil. Air France had contested a fine which was imposed in 2016 when they apparently failed to detect an anomaly in a passenger’s documentation. The company contended that airlines are having to do the work of border control authorities and that French law prohibits the delegating of police powers to private individuals. Under current legislation, subject to certain exceptions, carriers can be fined up to 10,000 euros if they bring a non-EU national onto French territory without the required documentation. The court confirmed the constitutionality of the law.

 

BUSINESS

In the UK, the Office for National Statistics has said that there's an error in it’s calculations relating to the nation's finances. Earlier this week the agency reported a year-to-date budget deficit of £40.3bn, excluding public-sector banks. But they now say that the deficit is about 1 to 1.5 billion pounds less than the reported figure. The error was related to the measurement of local government social benefits.

UK retailer TK Maxx has reported a rise in sales and profits for its last financial year. The chain reported pre-tax profit of £120.5m up from £87.1m. The retailer also reported a 6.4% increase in total sales to more than £3.1bn, while like-for-like store sales increased 4% year-on-year. Meanwhile, UK department store chain Debenhams has announced that Mark Gifford, a former chief financial officer at House of Fraser has been appointed as the chairman of its parent group.

 

SPORT

Football... Manchester City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko is facing a spell on the sidelines after having knee surgery. The 22-year-old Ukraine player has had treatment in Spain. City boss Pep Guardiola said that he could be out for five or six weeks. Midfielder Rodri, who has been deputising at centre-back, suffered a hamstring injury midweek. Both players look likely to miss the match against Liverpool on 10 November, as well as the visits of Aston Villa and Southampton.

There’s a full programme in the English Premier League this weekend. Southampton play Leicester tonight and then on Saturday Manchester City play Aston Villa. Brighton play Everton. Watford host Bournemouth. West Ham play Sheffield United and Burnley play Chelsea. On Sunday Newcastle host Wolves. Arsenal face Crystal Palace. Liverpool play Spurs and Norwich host Manchester United.

Motorsports... First practice for Sunday’s Mexico Grand Prix got underway just after 5.00 our time this evening with Lewis Hamilton needing to finish 14 points better than team-mate Valtteri Bottas to secure his 6th world title. Mercedes say that the Mexico circuit doesn’t suit their car with Ferrari and Red Bull tipped for a good weekend. Second practice is at 9pm tonight with qualifying at 8pm tomorrow night and the race at 8.10 pm on Sunday.

 

MA NOLANS RUGBY WORLD CUP REPORT

The scene is set for the World Cup semi finals which are being played on Saturday and Sunday.

England coach Eddie Jones says the match against New Zealand will come down to which side is stronger mentally. England have lost 15 of their past 16 meetings with the All Blacks, but beat Australia 40-16 in the quarter-final. England brought in psychologist Corinne Reid to work with the team after they surrendered a 31-point lead to Scotland in the final match of this season's Six Nations.

Wales coach Warren Gatland says he dreams of going back to New Zealand having led Wales to Rugby World Cup glory in Japan. Gatland hopes to end his 12-year reign as Wales coach by winning his last two games and lifting the Webb Ellis Cup on 2 November.

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