Evening News Update Wednesday 6 February

Members of the RAID elite special forces intervened in a building in Nice this afternoon after a man barricaded himself in his apartment. The apartment was on boulevard Carnot in the port area of the city. Several dozen firefighters in addition to the RAID team intervened after a strong smell of gas came from the building. The 70 year old man surrendered peacefully and is undergoing medical and psychological examinations.

The body of a woman was discovered earlier today on a road in Blausasc, north of Drap. Firefighters and police have been at the scene of the discovery this afternoon on the RD204.  The cause of death is currently not known.

An office of motorway operator Vinci was destroyed by fire late last night.  The fire, at the Avignon Nord toll on the A7, was started deliberately, according to police. Authorities said that yellow vest protestors were nearby, but the cause of the fire is being investigated. 

Migrant aid associations have denounced actions by border police at the French/Italian border in Menton. The Nice prosecutor opened an investigation on Monday into allegations claiming that police officers are arbitrarily arresting migrants and tampering with their age on idenitity documents before pushing the unaccompanied minors back into Italy as adults. Eric Ciotti, MP for the Alpes Maritimes, said today that he saluted what he called “the courageous and remarkable work” of the border security forces and reiterated his “complete confidence” in them.

Public Health France has published, for the first time, a report on the number of suicides in France. Figures show that women between 18 and 24, are the most affected in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. France has one of the highest rates of suicide in Europe registering around 9,000 deaths per year with Brittany and the North West of France reporting the most numbers of cases. 



The EU has disallowed a proposed French-German rail merger, designed to help Europe compete with China. The EU's competition commission blocked the tie-up, saying uniting France's Alstom with the rail arm of Germany's Siemens would lead to higher prices.

In Germany, new manufacturing orders in December decreased by 1.6% on the previous month.  Orders also decreased by 7.0% on the same month a year earlier.

Profits at Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler tumbled by almost a third last year amid concerns about diesel pollution and global trade. Earnings slumped to €7.6bn from €10.6bn, although revenue and sales increased. Meanwhile, Toyota has reduced its full-year profit forecast.The carmaker now expects annual net profit of $17bn, which is a 25% drop from the previous year.




Cycling…Geraint Thomas has confirmed that he will miss the Giro d'Italia in order to try and defend his Tour de France title. Thomas and Team Sky mate Chris Froome said they would not race in Italy when unveiling their 2019 plans last month but there had been reports that Thomas was considering attempting the Italian race. He has now ruled that out.

Football…Gianni Infantino is set to serve a second term as Fifa president after being the only candidate entered in the election. The 48-year-old succeeded Sepp Blatter as the head of world football's governing body in February 2016. The election will take place on 5 June in Paris.

In the English Premier League, Manchester City can go top of the table if they beat Everton tonight. Kick-off is at 8.45 our time.

Basketball…LeBron James has become the fifth player in NBA history to pass 32,000 points but fell to the biggest team defeat of his career on the same night. He scored 18 points for the Los Angeles Lakers in a 136-94 defeat by the Indiana Pacers. He hadn’t previously lost by more than 36 points in his 16-year career.

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