Evening Update Friday 14th October 2022

A cyclist is in a critical condition in hospital after being run down by a truck driver in a hit-and-run in Le Muy last night. Other drivers spotted the cyclist unconscious by the side of the road towards Fréjus. The truck driver failed to stop at the scene. The victim was airlifted to Le Bonnet hospital in Fréjus. An investigation is under way.

The mayor of Peille has asked the Paca region to suspend a school bus driver accused of driving dangerously while pupils were on board his coach. According to various eyewitness reports, the school bus performed a dangerous manoeuvre in the municipality yesterday, overtaking a truck at speed on the approach to a blind corner. The bus was transporting pupils to L'Escarène secondary school. Peille mayor Cyril Piazza said several local residents had contacted him to express their shock at what they had seen. He said the safety of our children is essential and a zero-tolerance approach should be the rule.

Nice city council has approved the demolition of the Acropolis convention centre in the centre of town. Demolition works will begin in 2023. It'll make way for an extension of the green corridor running along the path of the Paillon river. The Palais de Congrès was described by Nice mayor Christian Estrosi as a concrete eyesore dating from the 1980s, which was energy-inefficient and a major obstacle for rainwater runoff which could present a flood risk. The city of Nice says no jobs will be at risk.

Nearly 500 people attended a rally in Nice on Thursday evening in support of Iranian women, following the killing of Mahsa Amini by morality police. Several members of Nice city council took a break from their meeting to take part, alongside representatives from various women's rights associations. The rally outside the Palais de Justice included chants of "Woman, Life, Freedom" and Iranian songs.

Fuel depot workers at the Esso-ExxonMobil refinery in Fos-sur-Mer have agreed to call off their strike, which had paralysed the site since late September. Management at the site and the CGT union announced an agreement had been reached. However, the CGT is continuing its strike at five other refineries run by TotalEnergies.

Meanwhile, there might be a fuel shortage at many petrol stations on the Riviera - but there was no shortage of fuel in one part of the Var this morning. A tanker carrying 30,000 litres of diesel overturned between Flassans and Le Luc - 7,000 litres of which ended up on the road. The area was cordoned off and drivers were diverted while the cleanup operation got under way.

Police in Antibes have arrested a man for piracy after he was reportedly caught videoing a film screening at a local cinema. Managers at several cinemas on the Riviera - in Nice, Antibes, Cannes and Cagnes-sur-Mer - had been suspicious of the man's activities for several months. Police were called in to a screening at Le Casino, where they reportedly found the man had propped his mobile phone on the armrest of his seat and was recording the film. If found guilty, he risks up to three years in prison and a €15,000 fine.

Roquebrune-Cap-Martin has chosen the building consortium that'll be responsible for creating a major new housing district on a former military base in the municipality. The so-called eco-district will have 405 new homes, plus offices, shops, leisure facilities and other public services. A call for tenders was put out in 2020, with 17 applicants coming forward - and the winner has now been selected. The project comes with a price tag of €67 million. Building permits should be filed by the end of this year, with the goal to start building work in early 2024.

In local football there was disappointment all round for the Riviera's clubs in the Europa Conference League last night. OGC Nice were defeated 2-1 by FC Slovacko at the Allianz Riviera. Meanwhile, AS Monaco suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat away at Turkish side Trabzonspor.

And the US Air Force's largest plane landed on the tarmac at Nice airport around 9am this morning. The 76-metre-long giant has come to the Riviera to pick up a $1 billion dollar satellite that's been built at the Thales base in Cannes. After more than a year of assembly and testing in Cannes, the satellite is now ready to fly to the United States this Sunday on board the US Air Force's C5 Galaxy.

BUSINESS

British chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has been sacked, just weeks after he announced unfunded tax cuts that triggered financial turmoil. Kwarteng met prime minister Liz Truss at Downing Street a little earlier, after cutting short a US visit and flying back to London. In a letter confirming his sacking, Kwarteng confirms he was asked to stand aside. He said he backs Truss's economic "vision" for the county and says he will continue to support her from the backbenches. A mini-budget announced by Mr Kwarteng last month - featuring a £45bn raft of tax cuts, funded by borrowing - spooked financial markets and prompted a drop in the value of the pound. The continuing turmoil prompted an intervention from the Bank of England, which involved buying government bonds to stabilise their value.

Royal Mail has announced plans to make up to 6,000 people redundant by next August, blaming ongoing strike action and rising losses at the business. The postal company said it will begin notifying workers of its plan, which aims to reduce its overall headcount by a total of 10,000. The majority of the cuts will be made through redundancy while the rest will be achieved through natural attrition. Royal Mail also said it expects its full-year losses to hit £350m. It said this included "the direct impact of eight days of industrial action" as well as lower volumes of parcels being posted.

US banking giant JP Morgan Chase is ending its relationship with the rapper and designer Kanye West, and his Yeezy brand. A letter from the bank informing Mr West of the decision was posted on Twitter by a conservative commentator. At the weekend, his Twitter and Instagram accounts were suspended after he posted anti-Semitic messages. However the letter from JP Morgan pre-dated recent controversies, as it was sent on 20 September. In the letter the bank gave Mr West until 21 November to transfer his business. West had previously taken to social media to criticise JP Morgan's leadership.

SPORT

Rugby Union - Proposals for a 10-team Premiership are growing in support, with English rugby’s power brokers promising a review into the league’s structure amid the financial crisis gripping the domestic game. Premiership Rugby Limited and the Rugby Football Union also reiterated their calls for clubs to open their books after Rob Andrew, who spent almost 10 years in senior positions at the RFU, blamed the current mess on a failure of governance. Wasps are struggling to repay the £35m bond that was raised to help finance their relocation to Coventry in 2014 that was due in May. Wasps are expected to follow Worcester into administration – with relegation to follow – on Monday and their suspension will be extended to the remainder of the season if they are forced to cancel more than two fixtures, having already scrapped Saturday’s match against Exeter. That scenario would leave 11 teams completing the remainder of this season’s Premiership and, with fears that at least one other club may follow, plans for a 10-team league are thought to be gaining support.

Football - A Brazilian investment firm has called for Neymar to face a five-year prison sentence when he stands trial next week on fraud and corruption charges relating to his transfer to Barcelona from Santos in 2013. DIS, which owned 40% of the rights to the Brazil forward at the time, argues it lost out because the transfer fee was undervalued. Neymar, 30, has denied the allegations but lost an appeal in Spain's High Court in 2017, leading to the trial being brought by Spanish prosecutors. The Paris St-Germain player will have to appear in-person for the first day of the trail in Barcelona on Monday, the court said, but it is unclear if he will be asked to stay for the entire hearing that could last two weeks.

Football - Four police officers were injured with two needing hospital treatment after Anderlecht fans ripped out seats and threw flares at the end of Thursday's Europa Conference League game against West Ham at the London Stadium. Trouble erupted near the end of the match in east London, which West Ham won 2-1 thanks to goals from Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma. One of the officers has a suspected broken wrist while another needed stitches for a head injury. Two other officers were struck on the head during the disorder. Chairs and flares were thrown from within the away section and officers had to intervene using protective equipment to restore calm. One man was arrested for the alleged assault on the officer who suffered a suspected broken wrist. Twelve people were arrested for other offences unrelated to the assaults on officers

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