Evening Update Monday 15 November 2021

The Riviera has been affected by strong winds and storms today. Gusts were forecast to reach 100 to 120 km per hour on exposed parts of the coast. The high winds also affected inland areas with a gust of 118 km per hour being recorded at Peille in the Alpes Maritimes.

A court in Paris has been hearing an appeal by former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon. He was convicted last year for offences including the embezzlement of public funds in a case involving alleged "fictitious jobs" as a parliamentary assistant for his wife Penelope. The couple have denied the offences. The appeal is set to continue until the end of this month.

The number of people who lost their lives on French roads in Ocober has risen significantly. The French government estimates that 294 people died on the roads in October in mainland France, against 203 in October 2020, which is a rise of 45%. October last year was an unusual month because of the implementation of restrictive measures linked to the second wave of COVID-19. However, there were still 14% more deaths in October 2021 compared to October 2019 before the epedemic began in France.

Nice mayor Christian Estrosi has been on an a visit to the franciscan church this morning. He inspected work which is underway to convert the church in the old town into a performance venue for the Theatre de Nice by next spring. The mayor said that the new spaces will "play their full part" in Nice's candidacy to be the European Capital of Culture in 2028.

A passenger on a ship was airlifted to hospital by a French Air Force helicopter over the weekend. The Puma helicopter flew the patient from the Danielle Casanova car ferry to Ajaccio hospital in Corsica, a distance of some 180km.

The City of Nice is offering free diabetes testing this week at several venues throughout the city. Sante Publique France estimates that 3.5 million French people are treated for diabetes. You can find more details at www.nice.fr


BUSINESS

Energy business Royal Dutch Shell has announced plans to simplify its corporate structure. The company said that the proposed changes will align Shell’s tax residence with its country of incorporation in the UK, where it will hold Board and Executive Committee meetings. It will also relocate its chief executive and chief financial officer from the Netherlands to the UK. It also plans to do away with its dual share structure in favour of just one class of shares. The proposals still need the approval of shareholders. The company said that it's proud of its Anglo-Dutch heritage and "will continue to be a significant employer with a major presence in the Netherlands".

Cinema opertor Cineworld has said that performance and attendances have grown steadily since its cinemas reopened in April this year. In October it's UK and Ireland revenue was 27% higher than the amount recorded in the same month of 2019. Group-wide revenues in October this year were 90% of 2019 levels. The company said its performance had benefitted from what it said were "an excellent slate of movies" including "Black Widow", "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings", "Venom", "No Time to Die" and "Dune". The company has operations in 10 countries including the United States and the United Kingdom.  

The Japanese economy contracted by a larger than expected 0.8% in the third quarter. The country's economy has been affected by global supply chain disruptions and a rise in Covid-19 cases over the summer.


SPORT

Football.. Dean Smith has been appointed as the new head coach at Norwich City on a two-and-a-half-year deal. The club are currently bottom of the Premier League.

Rangers have announced that Jermain Defoe will be helping to lead its men's first team while the club searches for a successor for manager Steven Gerrard. Brian Gilmour, David McCallum and Colin Stewart will also help in taking charge on a temporary basis.

Wales have said that Gareth Bale will not start in tomorrow's World Cup qualifying game against Belgium, although the possibility remains of him taking part as a substitute. He's still recovering from a hamstring injury.

There are more World Cup qulaifying matches this evening including Northern Ireland against Italy, Scotland against Denmark and San Marino against England.

Tennis... Roger Federer's coach has said that he's unlikely to play in next year's Australian Open. Federer hasn't played since Wimbledon in July and has had knee surgery. Speaking to Stats Perform, his coach said that the Swiss player, who is 40 years old, isn't thinking of retiring and wants to return to playing.

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