Evening Update Friday 23rd February 2024

Three young men are being treated in hospital after their car crashed into the Paillon river in La Trinité early this morning, landing on its roof. The accident happened around 5am and the RM2204b had to be closed to traffic in both directions for an hour. No other vehicle was involved in the accident. One of the vehicle's three occupants managed to get out of the car with minor injuries and call for help. The two others, in their mid-20s, had to be cut free from the wreckage by firefighters. Their condition is said to be serious. About 20 firefighters and paramedics attended the scene. Gendarmes are investigating what happened.

A bin-man in his 50s is in a serious condition in hospital after his leg got trapped in the tailgate of a rubbish truck. The accident occurred at the Véolia recycling and sorting facility on Avenue Jean Mermoz in Mandelieu this morning. His colleagues called firefighters to help free him from the vehicle. An investigation is under way into how the accident happened.

Mountain rescue experts at the Mercantour ski resorts have begun testing thermal imaging drones which could soon be used to search for avalanche victims buried under the snow. A practice rescue exercise was carried out at Isola 2000 yesterday, with four teams of rescuers and a search-and-rescue dog. The drones, equipped with small thermal cameras, will be used to complement other rescue techniques, with the aim of finding victims more quickly. If successful, the technology is expected to be extended to all mountain rescue operations in France within two years.

Self-employed mums in Monaco will finally get paid maternity leave after Monaco's national council approved a new law. The paid leave will be for a period of at least 18 weeks. The amount of the daily allowance is not yet clear.

In national news, French authorities have expelled a Tunisian imam accused of preaching hatred against women and Jews. Mahjoub Mahjoubi, imam in the southern French town of Bagnols-sur-Ceze, was sent back to Tunisia less than 12 hours after his arrest. The official order for Mahjoubi's expulsion said that in sermons earlier this month he had given a "retrograde, intolerant and violent" image of Islam that would encourage behaviour against French values.

And tourists in the narrow streets of Paris's historic centre this weekend may find themselves dodging waiters with trays of coffee and croissants, as an old tradition is revived. First born in 1914, the "Course des garçons de café" - the cafe waiters' race - is being held on Saturday. The 200 competing servers - male and female - will wear a white shirt, dark trousers and an apron. Running will be banned as they each bear a tray with a croissant, a coffee and a glass of water over a two-kilometre route through the tight streets of the Marais - all, hopefully, without spilling a drop.

BUSINESS

The German economy shrank by 0.3% in the fourth quarter compared with the previous three months, hit by a slump in investment. This is unchanged from preliminary estimates. The decline came after Europe’s biggest economy stalled in the third quarter.

And the amount that can be staked on the spin of an online slot machine in the UK will be capped at £5, or £2 for younger customers, as part of government plans to tighten regulation of the £11bn-a-year gambling industry in Great Britain. Online slots are currently exempt from limits on how much punters can wager. Now, online stake limits will be brought more closely into line with machines in bricks-and-mortar bookmakers and casinos, starting from September. The measure, part of a package of gambling proposals set out in a white paper last year, is expected to cost the gambling industry almost £170m of its annual £10.9bn revenues, according to the government’s calculations.

SPORT

Cricket - England leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed is leaving the tour of India because of an urgent family matter and will not return. The 19-year-old was not selected for the fourth Test in Ranchi, which began today. Ahmed's need to return home did not emerge until after the XI was announced. He left India earlier today and England will not name a replacement. Ahmed's exit leaves England with a travelling squad of 14 players for the final two Tests.

Formula One - The new 2024 season is just one week away with the opener taking place in Bahrain from Thursday, 29 February to Saturday, 2 March. Pre-season testing continued today, with a growing consensus within F1 that Red Bull, who last year produced the most dominant season in F1 history, again have a decisive edge over the rest of the field. But lap times in pre-season testing are notoriously unreliable indicators of form, with several factors that can distort the competitive picture in testing as teams seek to hone their cars before the first race.

Football - In the Premier League this weekend tomorrow with a 4pm kick off French time Aston Villa are at home to Nottingham Forest, Brighton play Everton, Crystal Palace face Burnley, Manchester United are at home to Fulham. With a 6.30pm kick off French time Bournemouth face Manchester City and the last match of the day with a 9pm kick off will see Arsenal play at home to Newcastle United. On Sunday in the lunchtime game Wolverhampton are at home to Sheffield United. Sunday will also see the final of the EFL Cup between Cheslea and Liverpool kick off is at 4pm French time.

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