Evening Update Monday 22 January 2024

The body of a hiker has been found near Isola2000. The woman in her fifties had left the resort to hike yesterday and her family contacted authorities when she didn't answer her phone. Her body was found this morning. An investigation has been opened to establish the circumstances surrounding her death.

The Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has issued a decree preventing a demonstration by VCT tourist vehicle drivers. The decree, issued by Hugues Moutouh, prohibits a planned demonstration at Nice Cote d'Azur Airport and at certain roads near Monaco during the Monte-Carlo rally. It is effective from today until this coming Thursday from 6am until midnight.

Teachers at a college in Miramas in the Bouches-du-Rhone have stopped work in protest at the number of bomb threats received by the establishment recently. Sometimes two warnings have been received in a single day and classes have to be suspended while searches are carried out each time. Teachers have suggested a temporary move to distance learning to deal with the situation.

Unions representing the agricultural sector have held a meeting with French Prime Minister Gabrial Attal. Farmers are concerned about a variety of issues including the implementation of environmental standards, their pay levels and the price of fuel. Protesting farmers have been blocking the A64 motorway in south-west France for the past few days.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has said that there has been a reduction in the number of drug deal points of about a quarter in three years. He said that in 2020 more than 4,000 deal points were identified across France. 3 years later, 1000 deal points were eliminated. He paid tribute to what he called "the courageous work of the police and gendarmerie services, for example in the Paternelle district of Marseille". He added that there had been 36,429 arrests of drug traffickers and consumers last year.

The Interior Minister held a press conference this afternoon outlining security arrangements for the Olympic flame. The flame is scheduled to arrive in France, in Marseille, on 8 May. He said that 2,500 police officers and gendarmes will ensure the security of the event. In addition to the 5,000 police and gendarmes mobilized, several anti-drone and counter-sniper devices will be deployed. The flame will then travel around France and overseas territories for 98 days.

The Prefect of Var has addressed a gathering of representatives of the department's internal security forces, including the police, gendarmerie, customs, firefighters, armed forces and prison administration. The gathering took stock of the work of the services and set objectives for the coming year and its challenges. Those include the fight against delinquency, the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the 80th anniversary of the Landings in Provence. Eight police officers were also decorated with a medal for acts of courage and dedication at the meeting.

 

BUSINESS

The Indian division of Sony has called off a planned merger with Zee Entertainment. The merger was first announced two years ago and was set to combine a large number of TV channels, films and two streaming platforms. Sony said that merger conditions had not been met. In response, Zee said it could take legal action against Sony.

More than 47,000 UK businesses are "on the edge of collapse" according to insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor. It said that levels of 'critical' financial distress rose by 25.9% in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the prior quarter.

One of the world's largest shipping companies has said today that it will continue to avoid the Suez Canal and Red Sea by taking a longer route around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Hapag-Lloyd said that it is continuing to monitor and review the situation. Many shipping companies have avoided the route recently because of attacks by Houti rebels from Yemen.

 

SPORT

Tennis.... Ukrainian qualifier Day-ana Yas-trem-ska is through to the Australian Open Quarter Finals after beating Victoria Azarenka. The score was 7-6 6-4. Meanwhile, Elina Svitolina retired injured with a back problem in her match against Linda Noskova, who therefore went through to the quarter finals. Daniil Medvedev set up a quarter-final match against Hubert Hurkacz after defeating Portugese player Nuno Borges 6-3 7-6 5-7 6-1.

Cricket... India batter Virat Kohli has withdrawn from the first two Tests against England for personal reasons. The five-Test series begins on Thursday. England player Harry Brook is not playing in the Tests and has returned to the UK for personal reasons.

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