Investigations are continuing into the shooting in Toulon yesterday which left a husband and wife badly injured. Latest reports say that the husband is in a critical condition after suffering gunshot wounds to the abdomen. The wife is in a less serious condition having suffered two shots to the shoulder area. Further details are emerging about the shooting. Reports say that the gunman, who lives in the apartment above the couple, first fired shots in a communal area and then chased the couple back to their apartment. The couple are in their thirties and from Brazil and have a four year old child who was present during the shooting. The prosecutor said that the attacker had been released from police custody and then immediately hospitalized for psychiatric reasons.
A minor is appearing before a juvenile judge today after allegedly punching a police officer in Vallauris on Wednesday night. He was stopped at a police control and according to police refused to hand over drugs he was carrying after which he assaulted the officer.
A demonstration was held in Nice today as part of a national day of action by hospital workers. The protestors, who numbered about 200 according to unions and about 150 according to police, were protesting at the closure of hospital beds, staffing levels and salaries.
Lawyers in Toulon have staged another demonstration in front of the courthouse this morning. It’s their sixth week of industrial action against proposed pension reforms.
Gendarmes in the Var say that they dealt with some 25,000 offences in 2019, a fall of 1.3 percent on the previous year. There are 919 Gendarmes in the department organised into 5 different companies including two marine brigades. The number of burglaries fell by 550 last year compared with 2018 with 2,340 break-ins registered but the clear-up rate is still low at 1 in 6. Violent crime is on the increase in the department with a 7.7 percent rise in registered offences last year.
A nurse has died after being attacked by a patient in western France. The 30 year old female nurse was stabbed by a patient in a psychiatric hospital in the Deux-Sèvres. She was airlifted to hospital but died shortly afterwards.
This year’s Lemon Festival in Menton has seen a large increase in reservations compared to 2019. So far the tourist office say that reservations are 30% up on last year. The Festival begins at 11.00 tomorrow and usually attracts in excess of 200,000 visitors. Diversions to traffic have been put in place until the end of the festival on the 3rd of March as well as parking restrictions. The best way to get to and from the festival is by train.
The French economy contracted by 0.1% in the final quarter of 2019. GDP growth for the Eurozone as a whole slowed to 0.1% quarter-on-quarter in the last three months of 2019 as the German economy stagnated and Italian GDP fell by 0.3%.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group has said it plans to change its name later this year, as it reported a near doubling of annual profits. The bank, which owns RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank, said it would rename itself as NatWest Group. It reported profits of £3.1bn for 2019, nearly double the £1.6bn of the year before. However, its shares fell heavily earlier today. RBS was rescued by the UK government in 2008 during the financial crisis at a cost of £45bn and it is still 62% state-owned.
French carmaker Renault has reported its first annual loss in a decade and cut its 2020 margin target. Renault's net income figures showed a loss of €141m, partly because of charges linked to some of its Chinese joint ventures. Acting chief executive Clotilde Delbos said that it had "been a tough year for Groupe Renault and the alliance." Renault is 43% owned by Nissan.
A major Canadian rail company is shutting down trans-continental train services amid blockades protesting against a pipeline in British Columbia. CN Rail says it will be forced to shut down its eastern network, which will, in effect, stop all cross-country freight trains. The stoppage will also affect passenger trains nationwide, which use CN tracks.
Cricket...The second T20 international between South Africa and England is being played in Durban today. England are attempting to bounce back after losing the opening match in the three match series by a single run in East London on Wednesday. South Africa won the toss and put England in to bat. At the end of their innings England were 204 for 7.
Meanwhile, South Africa have delayed their planned tour of Pakistan, scheduled for late March, citing "player workload". However, South Africa have said that they will reschedule the tour.
Football... Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says the club need more information before they can decide whether Mohamed Salah can represent Egypt at the Olympic Games. Salah is on Egypt's provisional 50-man list for the event, which has its final on 8 August - the first day of the Premier League season.
There are a few games in the English Premier League this weekend despite the winter break. Tonight Wolves play Leicester while tomorrow Southampton play Burnley and Norwich host Liverpool. On Sunday Aston Villa play Spurs and Arsenal host Newcastle. Chelsea play Manchester United on Monday night.