Evening Update Monday 25th March 2024

A young man has filed a police complaint after a violent homophobic attack at a bar in Nice old town on Friday night. The victim was surrounded in the bar's toilets by three men who beat him up and shouted homophobic abuse. He suffered multiple injuries to his head and face. He spent the night in hospital and is also being treated for shock. The victim obtained CCTV footage from the bar’s owners. The Côte d'Azur LGBT centre and the Stop Homophobia association say they will support him in his legal claim.

It's been another deadly weekend on the Riviera's roads, with no fewer than four accidents involving motorbikes. In the Var, a motorcyclist in his 40s died on Sunday in a crash in Fréjus. Another biker, in his 30s, was seriously injured in a collision with a car in Nice on Saturday evening. In Escragnolles, near Grasse, three people were injured in a road accident on Sunday - one of whom was airlifted to hospital in Nice in a critical condition. And a man in his 50s was seriously injured in a motorbike accident in Cannes on Sunday evening.

A judgment is expected this week in a manslaughter trial over the deaths of three elderly people who drowned in horrific circumstances when their retirement home was flooded in a violent storm. Three residents at the Clos Saint-Grégoire in Biot, aged 82, 91 and 94, died in their bedrooms when torrential flood water burst into their ground-floor accommodation in 2015. Prosecutors brought manslaughter charges against Biot's then-mayor, the town's head of natural risk management, the retirement home's director and its parent company. Prosecutors say Biot town hall was warned of a severe storm at midday on the day in question, 3 October 2015. But it's claimed that the message wasn't passed on to the retirement home and the municipality didn't raise the alert until several hours later.

Researchers at Nice university hospital are to begin a public health study into the effects of living near an incinerator. The research will determine whether there is a link between emissions of dioxins and heavy metals and incidences of cancer. It'll be focused on residents living close to the Les Semboules waste incineration plant in Vallauris, which has been in service since 1970.

A new bus service launches in Monaco today for residents in neighbourhoods not currently served by a regular bus line. ClicBus is an on-demand bus service, operated by eight-seater electric mini-buses, and can be booked online or via an app. It'll run from 7am to 9pm in the Plati, Fleurs and Annonciade districts and will ferry passengers to Place d'Armes, Fontvieille, Place des Moulins or the Casino Square.

And about 700 volunteers are busy being trained as trackside marshals ahead of this year's Monaco E-Prix, Historic and Formula 1 Grand Prix. Dressed in their unmistakable orange overalls, the volunteers took part in a rehearsal in Fontvieille this weekend. Positioned around the circuit, they're responsible for monitoring the track, putting out fires, moving damaged cars and ensuring the races go ahead smoothly and safely. New recruits are all aged between 18 and 40. They have to be at least 1.65m tall, be in good shape and live within proximity of Monaco.

BUSINESS

Nissan has said it will try to cut the cost of producing electric cars by as much as 30% as the Japanese carmaker seeks to compete with Chinese rivals. The Leaf electric car was a global pioneer, but since then Nissan has failed to keep up with rivals such as America’s Tesla or China’s BYD. Nissan is hoping to push sales up by one million cars per year, while also trying to make them more profitable.

Oil prices have risen on Monday, pushing back towards the four-month high hit last week amid concerns over supply. Brent crude oil futures – the global benchmark – rose by 0.5% following the weekend market pause to peak above $86 per barrel. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 prompted one of the biggest global energy market shocks in decades, and Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in the months since Hamas’s attack on 7 October has translated into months of concerns that fighting could spill over into the rest of the Middle East and affect oil producers.

SPORT

Formula One - Lewis Hamilton has branded the start to his 2024 F1 season as "the worst" in his career after retiring from the Australian Grand Prix. Hamilton was eliminated in qualifying at Albert Park on Saturday and things didn't improve on Sunday as he retired from the race on Lap 17 due to a power unit failure. The seven-time world champion, who will leave Mercedes to join Ferrari at the end of this year, finished seventh and ninth in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, so is also statistically having his worst campaign after three events.

Football - Tomorrow we'll find who will take the final three places at Euro 2024. Twelve teams entered the play-offs based on their performance in the 2022-23 Nations League. That was whittled down to six after last Thursday's semi-finals. Wales remain among the hopefuls after they thumped Finland 4-1 to keep alive their chances of reaching a third successive tournament. Standing between Wales and a place at the Euros is Poland, who thrashed Estonia 5-1 in their semi-final. Iceland play Ukraine and Georgia, who have never qualified for a tournament, will play 2004 European champions Greece.

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