Evening Update Friday 20 December

Our region has been battered by another intense storm with travel being severely affected on the first day of the Christmas getaway. As of early this evening, the Var is on a Meteo France yellow alert for heavy rain until 8pm this evening and a Yellow alert for large waves and coastal flooding until  10pm this evening. The Alpes Maritimes is on an Yellow alert for heavy rain until 9pm. In the Alpes Maritimes there’s a Yellow alert for coastal flooding until 10pm. There’s a yellow alert for storms in the Var and Alpes Maritimes from midnight tonight until 6am. Full details of weather alerts are available at www.meteofrance.com

There have been major delays and cancellations at Nice airport with both arrivals and departure severely disrupted. Earlier this afternoon all arrivals were suspended with some flights being diverted to other airports in southern France. Many flights this evening are delayed or cancelled, but a few flights are scheduled to operate. If you have a flight booked for this evening it's advisable to check the flight's status with your airline.

Road traffic is also badly disrupted. As of early Friday evening, the A8 motorway has been closed to traffic between Menton and Monaco in the direction of Nice because of a landslide and flooding. Traffic is being taken off the motorway at Junction 59 Menton. The carriageway towards Italy has been kept open but there is a lot of surface water and flooding in the area. Also, A8 junctions 40 (the Mandelieu junction), 41 (the Cannes-la-Boca junction) and 47 (the Villeneuve-Loubet junction ) are closed.

The Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes has said that there are three areas where traffic is particularly badly affected:

- Le Loup : Villeneuve-Loubet and La Colle sur Loup

- Le Paillon : Drap and la Trinité

- Le Mentonnais : Le Careï, Gorbio, Sainte-Agnes

As of early Friday evening: in Nice the Paillon Penetrante, the Paillon Tunnel and part of the Promenade des Anglais have been closed in both directions as has the boulevard du Midi in Cannes. The Siesta underpass and the RD 6098 seaside road have been closed in both directions of traffic between Fort Carré in Antibes and Marina-baie-des-Anges in Villeneuve-Loubet. In Menton, the Promenade Reine Astrid and the Promenade du Soleil have both been closed. The road from Menton to Saint-Agnes was impassable because of severe flooding this afternoon. Several dozen accidents have been reported on the A8 motorway so far today. There have been several landslides affecting roads. The road to Auron and Isola 2000 is impassable because of a landslide and is expected to be closed until Saturday morning at the earliest.

The seaside prohibited for pedestrians in Nice, Cagnes-sur-Mer and Menton.  Corsica Ferries have cancelled many sailings, including some of tomorrow's journeys.

Rail unions in Nice have voted today to renew their industrial action. So far today, there have been a larger number of local TER trains running than recently but services are still disrupted. Services this evening are expected to be mostly be at the same level as previous evenings during the industrial action.

A former head of France Télécom and two former executives have been jailed over a moral harassment policy linked to suicides among employees in the 2000s. The company, since renamed Orange, was fined €75,000. Four other executives were found guilty of complicity and given suspended sentences and fines. The court examined 39 cases of employees, 19 of whom had taken their own lives and 12 who had attempted suicide. The others had lived with depression or had been otherwise unable to work. It’s the first time that a French court has recognised "institutional harassment".



Andrew Bailey has been appointed as the next governor of the Bank of England. He is currently chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority. He will become the 121st governor of the Bank of England on 16 March, taking over from Mark Carney. Mr. Carney is extending his previous leaving date by a few weeks to help ensure a smooth transition.

Volkswagen has received a record fine from Australia's consumer watchdog to settle lawsuits over the carmaker's global emissions scandal. The penalty 125m Australian Dollars is the highest ordered by a court for breaches of Australian consumer law.



Football… Arsenal have appointed their former midfielder Mikel Arteta as head coach on a three-and-a-half-year deal. The 37-year-old won the FA Cup twice in a five-year career with the Gunners and succeeds fellow Spaniard Unai Emery, who was sacked in November. Arteta had been working as a coach under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, joining the club in 2016 after retiring as a player.

Cricket… Somerset bowlers Dominic Bess and Craig Overton have been called up by England for their tour of South Africa after the camp was hit by illness. Several members of England's touring party are ill with flu-like symptoms, less than a week before the start of the first Test on Boxing Day. As a result, Friday's warm-up against South Africa’s A Team has been downgraded from its first-class status.

England's Tom Banton has scored his maiden fifty in the Big Bash League but his team Brisbane Heat were defeated by Melbourne Stars. Banton hit 64 off 36 balls in the match.

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