Evening Update Thursday 14th April 2022

The official selection for this year's 75th Cannes Film Festival has been unveiled. Eighteen films are in competition for the Palme d'Or. More than 2,000 films were put forward for inclusion in this year's programme. A successor for Spike Lee as president of the jury is due to be announced in the coming days. 35,000 people have accreditation for the festival. The opening film, being shown out of competition, will be zombie comedy Z (Comme Z) - otherwise known as Final Cut - by Michel Hazanavicius. Also showing in Cannes out of competition will be the Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, starring Tom Cruise and the highly anticipated Elvis biopic by Baz Luhrmann, that features Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, and George Miller’s Three Thousand Years Of Longing. Masquerade by Nicolas Bedos, a film shot in Nice, will also be screened. Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, who recently left the country to settle in Berlin, will be in official competition with a film devoted to the composer Tchaikovsky. After being moved about by the pandemic these past two years, the Cannes Film Festival is finally headed back to its regular May slot. It'll run from the 17th to the 28th. 

A young bullfighter has died after being seriously injured by a bull during a traditional Camargue race in the Bouches-du-Rhône. 20-year-old Enzo Robert was training at the bullfighting school in Sommières. The incident happened at the arena in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. He was transported to hospital in Marseille where he was later pronounced dead. In the Camargue race, participants try to catch ornaments attached to the forehead and horns of a young bull.

A citizens' campaign group in Nice is lobbying for the speed limit on the hills surrounding the city to be cut to 30km/h. The Citizen Collective 06 says there is an urgent need for traffic to slow down in the windy and often narrow roads above Nice. Nice town hall has not responded to the campaign yet - however it is planning to introduce a 30km/h limit on some roads in the city centre as an experiment next year.

Meanwhile, a collision between several vehicles shortly before 8am in La Garde this morning caused major traffic jams near the junction on the A57 motorway towards Hyères. Two people were injured in the pile-up and were taken care of by the emergency services.

Vinci Autoroutes is forecasting very heavy traffic on the A8 this weekend. Congestion is likely in both directions from mid-afternoon on Friday. Saturday and Sunday mornings are also expected to be much busier than usual. Heavy traffic is also forecast for Monday afternoon and evening in both directions towards Nice, as holidaymakers head home from the long weekend.

There are no TGV high-speed trains running between Nice, Toulon and Paris this weekend - and next - due to engineering work. Track repairs are being carried out being Marseille-Blancarde and Aubagne. TGVs heading to the Côte d’Azur from Paris will terminate in Marseille. A replacement bus will take passengers to Aubagne, where you'll need to continue your journey along the coast by TER local train. The closure will allow engineers to work shifts for three nights and two days without interruption. The line is due to reopen at 8am on Monday

And some of Nice's iconic blue seaside chairs on the Promenade des Anglais have been repainted red and black - the colours of OGC Nice - ahead of the team's appearance in the Coupe de France final against Nantes on 7th May. The "#ILOVENICE" sculpture overlooking the Baie des Anges has also been decked out in the colours of the local football side. Tickets for the match at the Stade de France went on sale to the general public yesterday.

BUSINESS

Tesla boss Elon Musk has offered to buy Twitter, saying he is the right person to "unlock" the social media platform's "extraordinary potential". In a surprise announcement, Musk said he would pay $54.20 a share for Twitter, valuing it at about $40bn. It recently emerged that Musk was Twitter's biggest shareholder after he built up a large stake in the firm. He said that if his offer was not accepted he "would need to reconsider [his] position as a shareholder". Musk had been invited to join the board, but Twitter announced on Sunday he had decided against it. Musk said he had invested in Twitter because he believed "in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe".

Sri Lanka is about to default on its debts, two of the world's largest credit rating agencies have warned. Fitch Ratings lowered its assessment of the South Asian nation, saying "a sovereign default process has begun". S&P Global Ratings made a similar announcement and said that a default is now a "virtual certainty". This week, Sri Lanka said it will temporarily default on its foreign debts as it faces its worst economic crisis in more than 70 years. Meanwhile, faced with mass protests over major power cuts and the soaring cost of food and fuel, officials have urged Sri Lankans working abroad to send money home.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has had $7bn of assets linked to him frozen by a Jersey court. Earlier this week, Jersey Police searched premises suspected to be connected to Abramovich's business activities on the island. The billionaire is on the UK sanctions list over Russia's war in Ukraine. Jersey follows UK policy and imposes sanctions on the same people.

British Airways is offering new cabin crew a £1,000 "golden hello" as the airline battles to recruit workers. The company says it will pay new employees £500 after three months and the rest after six months - but only if they can start before July. Airlines and airports are struggling to find new staff after making steep cuts at the height of the pandemic. BA and others have been forced to cancel flights due to resurging demand ahead of Easter and not enough staff. One barrier to recruitment is that airline workers have to pass stringent security checks which can take several weeks or months to process. BA says applicants must have an airside ID for either Heathrow or London Stansted Airport as well as having completed cabin crew safety training, suggesting the company will look to rival airlines for staff.

SPORT

Football - Former Colombia captain Freddy Rincon has died after suffering severe head injuries in a car crash. The 55-year-old was driving a car that collided with a bus early on Monday. Former Real Madrid midfielder Rincon scored 17 goals for Colombia and played at the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups. He shares with Carlos Valderrama the record for the most appearances at the tournament for his country, having played in 10 World Cup games.

And Kenny Shiels will continue as Northern Ireland Women manager after receiving the backing of his squad despite saying "women are more emotional than men" following defeat to England on Tuesday. Shiels made the comments, which he apologised for on Wednesday following a meeting with the Irish FA, after his side's 5-0 thrashing by England, as Northern Ireland's hopes of qualifying for next year's Women's World Cup were ended. Captain Marissa Callaghan said in a statement the squad "collectively stand by our manager" and praised Shiels as a "man of integrity who cares for us like we are family". Shiels' job is not under threat, but the 65-year-old regrets how he articulated his views.

Tennis - Grigor Dimitrov maintained his strong record on day six at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, upsetting fourth seed Casper Ruud 6-3, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals for the fourth time. The World No. 29 has played some of his best tennis at Monte-Carlo in the past, reaching the last eight in 2013 and 2015 and the semi-finals in 2018.

Also earlier today, the US's Taylor Fritz defeated fellow countryman Sebastian Korda 7-6 7-5 to make it through to the final eight. Also qualifying for the next round is  Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Hot on the heels of defeating world number one Novak Djokovic earlier this week, the Spaniard saw off Belgium's David Goffin 6-4 6-1. And number three seed Stefanos Tsitsipas has beaten Laslo Djere to qualify for the next round, 7-5 7-6.

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