Evening Update Monday 23 September

Transport in the region is expected to be severely disrupted tomorrow Tuesday 24th September following news of a national strike across France. No trams will operate in Nice tomorrow and bus services will be badly disrupted, with many bus services cancelled tomorrow. As is usual on transport strike days, roads are expected to be much busier than usual. Authorities in Nice have announced that all on-street parking will be free tomorrow. On the trains, there’s expected to be a very reduced service on local TER trains but TGV services will be less disrupted. Travellers can check www.sncf.com for further details. There is a risk that some schools and public services will also be closed.

A bomb disposal squad blew up a suspicious backpack at the main railway station in Nice this morning. The luggage was spotted at about 10.30 and bomb disposal personnel established a security perimeter before exploding the backpack, which proved to be harmless.

Emergency services rescued a man and woman in the Mercantour National Park in difficult conditions over the weekend. The alert was raised on Saturday evening that they were stranded near Valdeblore, but little else was known. It took several hours to locate the pair. They stayed the night on the mountain in torrential rain accompanied by rescue climbers and eventually made it back to safety at 10am on Sunday. Meanwhile, the body of a hiker has been found the Hautes-Alpes. The body, which was recovered by helicopter, was found by two other hikers. An investigation has been opened by the prosecutor’s office in Gap to try to establish the circumstances of the death.

A bakery in La Ciotat was held up at gunpoint yesterday morning. The robber made off with about 600 euros from the till but nobody was hurt. The National Police of Marseilles are conducting an investigation.

Firefighters in Nice were called out to a suspected gas leak this afternoon but it proved to be a false alarm. Workmen believed they had cut through a gas pipe in an alley between rue Alberti and rue Gubernatis at about 3.00 this afternoon and the all clear was given about 20 minutes later.

The trial has started in Paris of five women suspected of organizing a plot to bomb the area around Notre Dame cathedral in 2016. Prosecutors say the women loaded six gas canisters into a car which they left near the cathedral. They are then alleged to have poured fuel over the car and attempted to ignite it. Their attempts were unsuccessful as they had chosen to pour diesel over the car instead of petrol. The trial continues.



Thomas Cook has collapsed after last-minute negotiations aimed at saving the holiday firm failed. The UK Civil Aviation Authority said the tour operator had "ceased trading with immediate effect". The collapse has triggered the biggest ever peacetime repatriation, aimed at bringing more than 150,000 British holidaymakers home, as well as 350,000 from other countries. Thomas Cook had 800,000 future bookings which have now been cancelled. The tour operator's failure puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK. The French subsidiary of the group has issued a statement saying that “the situation of Thomas Cook Group does not entail the immediate insolvency of Thomas Cook France”. It said that 9,842 of its customers are currently on holiday and it urged customers due to travel today not to depart.

A new survey has suggested a significant drop in German manufacturing activity. The IHS Markit survey of Eurozone purchasing managers fell to 50.4 in September, which is the lowest for six years. The PMI for German manufacturing fell to 41.4 in September from 43.5 in August. A figure below 50 implies contraction.

Iran has said that it will release the Stena Impero, the British flagged oil tanker it seized two months ago. Seven of the 23 crew members were released earlier this month and an Iranian government spokesman said that all legal steps for the tanker to leave had now been completed, although a departure date was not given.



Cricket…. Jonny Bairstow has been left out of England's squad for the Tests in New Zealand, with Jos Buttler taking over as wicket keeper. Uncapped players Matthew Parkinson, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley and Saqib Mahmood have all been called up.

India captain Virat Kohli has been given one demerit point after making contact with South Africa's Beuran Hendricks. The incident happened during the third Twenty20 international. If he gets gets one more demerit point by 15 January 2020, he faces a ban.

Athletics… IAAF president Lord Coe says he hopes Caster Semenya returns to compete in athletics "within the regulations". The 800m world and Olympic champion will not race at the World Athletics Championships in Doha because of new rules governing testosterone levels in female athletes. Semenya has said she will continue her appeal against the governing body's decision. Lord Coe said the rules ensured what he called a "level playing field" for all athletes.



Wales have beaten Georgia by 43 to 14 in Toyota City this afternoon. Tries from Jonathan Davies, Justin Tipuric, Josh Adams and Liam Williams secured a bonus point before half-time had been reached. Replacement scrum-half Tomos Williams and George North added second-half tries. Wales will now play Australia on the 29th of September in what could be a potential Pool D decider in Tokyo.

In other Rugby World Cup news, Scotland flanker Hamish Watson has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament because of a knee injury suffered in yesterday’s match against Ireland. He’ll be replaced in the squad by Magnus Bradbury.


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