Evening Update Monday 11 March

A brush fire broke out near Roquefort-les-Pins today but was quickly brought under control by firefighters.  Pompiers from several surrounding districts were involved in fighting the fire and water was dropped by helicopter as winds gusted to 80 km per hour. Damage was caused to about 1,500 square meters of undergrowth. The red period of prohibition of the use of fire in the Alpes-Maritimes is in force until March 18 as vegetation is still in a very dry state.

A factory in Grasse was evacuated this morning because of a methanol leak. About 120 employees were required to leave the factory, which produces products for the perfume industry. A manager of the company was quoted by local media as saying that there was no danger and any environmental risk is controlled.

Prison staff are continuing strike action today in front of the prison of Nice. The movement which started last Wednesday has called for several unions to continue today. The action comes in protest against recent aggressions carried out towards prison officers as well as a call for new security measures to be put in place.

EasyJet has announced a new destination from Nice Cote d’Azur airport.  The airline will fly to Manchester this summer, starting on June 16th.

The body of a truck driver was discovered in his vehicle this morning at a rest area on the A7 motorway. The driver, of Polish nationality and about 60 years old was found by police in the lorry at the Mornas rest area in the Vaucluse.

Much of southern France continues to be on a red alert for pollen, with clouds of pollen being seen in the air in several areas of the Alpes Maritimes this afternoon.  Allergy sufferers can check a map of pollen levels at the website of RNSA, the national aerobiological surveillance network, at www.pollens.fr



Electric vehicle maker Tesla is increasing prices of its electric cars after scaling back a store closure programme. The carmaker said the 3% price rise would not apply to the new Model 3. Earlier this month Tesla said it would close a number of stores to fund a cut in the price of the Model 3 in the US to $35,000. The company says that it will now close "about half as many" stores - making half the cost savings.

A report into the impact of Brexit on the financial sector says that some £900bn in financial firms' assets have been moved out of the UK. It adds this has cost £3bn-4bn and involves 5,000 expected staff moves or local hires, and that figure is expected to rise. The study, by capital markets think tank New Financial, says 275 firms have moved some or all of their business, with Dublin the most popular location.

Industrial output in Germany fell by 0.8% in January, according to official figures. The fall was triggered by a 9.2% reduction in car production during the month, although this decline was blamed on one-off factors such as industrial action.

Turkey went into recession at the end of last year, according to the country's official statistics office. The economy shrank by 2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018, from the previous quarter. It followed a 1.6% drop the previous quarter.



Rugby Union…England player Maro Itoje has been ruled out of the Six Nations match with Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday. The Saracens lock hasn’t played since England beat Ireland on the opening weekend because of two knee injuries. Uncapped Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith is included in the England squad. Jonathan Joseph is also named, but there is no place for Harlequins flanker and former England captain Chris Robshaw.

Football..Well informed football sources are reported as saying that Zinedine Zidane is about to return as Real Madrid manager. The former France international left the Spanish club only 10 months ago.

 A Birmingham City fan has been jailed for 14 weeks for attacking Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish during the second city derby. Paul Mitchell, of Worcestershire, hit Grealish from behind about 10 minutes into Sunday's game at St Andrew's. He admitted assault and encroachment on to the pitch at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.

Cricket…The Pakistan Cricket Board has written to the ICC complaining about the military-style camouflage caps worn by India players in Friday's one-day international against Australia. India say they wore the caps in tribute to the country's armed forces but PCB chairman Essan Mani said India had "tried to use cricket for politics".

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