Evening Update Monday 20 November 2023

Twenty people have been arrested this morning in a large scale anti-drugs operation by authorities in the Gard department. The local prosecutor said that eight kilograms of cannabis herb had been seized as well as seven kilograms of cannabis resin, 1.3 kilos of cocaine and 500 sachets of ecstasy. Firearms and cash were also seized. The operation involved several hundered officers.

Plans for a major development at Nice airport have been unveiled. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi and SNCF personnel were present at the presentation this morning of plans for a "multimodal" transport hub at the airport. The mayor said that the whole project will be completed by 2028, with a new bus station scheduled to be completed in January 2024 and TER trains stopping every quarter of an hour at the airport by 2025. He added that Nice Airport will be a major multimodal exchange hub with interconnection between the airport, tram lines 2 and 3 and the future line 4, metropolitan and regional buses, the cycle network and park-and-ride facilities.

The siren alert system is being tested in Carros today. The Alpes-Maritimes prefecture said that no particular action is required by residents as it's only a test. Meanwhile, the Var prefecture has issued a reminder about a civil security excercise around the Toulon naval base this Thursday, 23 November. A "France Alert" message will be sent to mobile phones located within a 5 km radius of the base. The Prefecture will also be testing the siren alert system in several nearby municipalities at the same time. No action is required by those receiving the messages or hearing the sirens.

Christian Estrosi has attended the opening of a conference called “Stop Intra-Family Violence". The gathering has been organised under the leadership of Joëlle Martinaux, president of the violence commission of the council of the Alpes-Maritimes order of doctors. Many other local organizations are involved in the conference. The mayor said that he hopes that in 2024 a women's refuge will be opened in Nice.

A bale of drugs has been found washed up on the coast of the Charente-Maritime department in western France. It's thought that the bundle of cocaine weighing about 20 kilograms may have been thrown overboard from a boat by drug smugglers.

The Principality of Monaco has taken part in an event for UNESCO Marine World Heritage. The gathering, called “World Heritage UNESCO Marine Corps: Symbols of Hope in a Changing Ocean", took place on the sidelines of the 42nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO. The Monaco government said that the event was an opportunity to demonstrate the commitment of the Principality to UNESCO Marine World Heritage. The UNESCO World Heritage List includes 50 marine sites in 37 countries. The sites are recognized for their unique marine biodiversity, ecosystem or geological processes, or their beauty.


BUSINESS

Microsoft have announced that former Open AI boss Sam Altman will be joining the company. Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said on social media that Mr Altman would be joining Microsoft to lead "a new advanced AI research team". Meanwhile, ex-Twitch CEO Emmett Shear will become OpenAI's new interim boss. Sam Altman was let go by the board of OpenAI last Friday.

The founder and CEO of a leading company in the driverless car field has stepped down. Kyle Voght didn't give a reason for his departure from Cruise, which is owned by General Motors. Last month the state of California revoked the company's licence to operate driverless cars after an accident.

The chief executive of Australian telecoms operator Optus has resigned after a nationwide outage earlier this month. Kelly Bayer Rosmarin had been under pressure to leave the company. The outage left 10 million Australians and thousands of businesses without mobile or internet coverage for over 12 hours.

 

SPORT

Football... Barcelona have confirmed that midfielder Gavi tore his anterior cruciate ligament during Spain's match against Georgia yesterday. They said he would undergo surgery. He could miss the rest of the season and his participation in Euro 2024 and the Paris Olympics are in doubt.

There are several Euro 2024 qualifying matches tonight. They include England against North Macedonia, Ukraine against Italy and Northern Ireland against Denmark.
Rugby Union.. Former South Africa rugby star Hannes Strydom has died in a car accident at the age of 58. He was part of the team that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup. He gained 21 caps in his career between 1993 and 1997.

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