Evening Update Tuesday 13th February 2024

A drunk-driver has been handed a four-year sentence for a car crash in Valbonne in which a young nurse was killed. The 20-year-old man from Nice collided at high speed into the other vehicle in March 2022, killing its passenger, a 34-year-old woman. The driver of the other car required multiple operations and still suffers serious after-effects from the crash. A court in Grasse sentenced the drunk-driver to a four-year prison term, of which three years are suspended and the other year is to be spent under house arrest with an electronic tag. The man was also hit with a three-year driving ban and ordered to pay compensation to the victims.

Just hours after the Route de la Tinée partly reopened following yesterday's landslide, another rockfall cut off the area again yesterday evening. Cars were allowed to use the RM2205 from 5pm yesterday after 100 cubic metres of debris that fell in the early hours of Monday morning was cleared and temporary traffic lights were put in place. This afternoon the road heading up to the Mercantour ski resorts is only open from 5pm to 8pm. Last night, shortly before 7pm, a second landslide occurred nearby, on the Route de Grenoble, near La Tinée station, cutting off traffic there and also affecting the Train des Pignes. Two vehicles were slightly damaged. Drivers were stuck in traffic jams for two hours while the road was partially cleared. Diversions remain in place today.

Authorities in Nice have announced tougher sanctions for people caught fly-tipping. Illegally dumped waste - from washing machines to old mattresses - is a growing problem in parts of the city centre. Inspectors are carrying out increased spot checks, opening up bin bags to try to identify people, and using CCTV footage. Last year, Nice issued more than 3,000 fines for fly-tipping. They can range from €135 to €1,500 for repeat offenders, including shops and restaurants.

It's been another evening of tension in the Les Moulins housing estate in Nice. Residents reported hearing gunshots from about 4.30 yesterday afternoon, and seeing used bullets scattered on the street. Judicial police attended the scene later in the evening to try to piece together what happened. There were no reported injuries.

An environmental association has announced it's taking legal action to try to get to the bottom of a mysterious foul smell that's affecting some parts of Nice. For more than a week, neighbours have complained of suspicious odours, particularly to the east of the city, similar to that of burnt tyres or waste. The AtmoSud air quality watchdog says it's carrying out further investigations into the possible pollutants. Meanwhile, the Terre Bleu association says it's received more than 50 complaints and has begun legal proceedings for damage to the environment and public health and failure to provide information. The smell, which was first reported in the Cimiez district, appears early in the morning before gradually fading away. Some people have reported nausea, headaches, breathing problems and irritation to the eyes and throat.

France's culture ministry has published the results of a major investigation to try to track down hundreds of lost and missing pieces of art that have been lent to museums on the Riviera over the years. For centuries, France's biggest museums, including the Louvre, have routinely lent works of art to museums and town halls outside Paris. But, until the 1990s, there was no central record of which items had been lent, to where, and in what condition they were in. Now the culture ministry is doing some detective work. It says that of the more than 2,000 works of art on loan in the Alpes-Maritimes, about 180 have disappeared. They include a sculpture lent to Cannes town hall that disappeared without trace in 2006, a 16th-century Flemish tapestry that's gone missing from the Masséna museum in Nice and seven paintings lent to the Museum of Fine Arts in Menton.

Two new bus routes are being tested out in Monaco in the coming weeks. Line 6D will run from the Stade Louis II to Larvotto, via the seafront. And a new express line will connect the two furthest parts of the principality: Fontvieille and Saint-Roman, using the Dorsale tunnel to avoid traffic.

A young mountain-climber who has set himself the target of reaching the summit of the world's 14 tallest mountains before his 20th birthday this spring has given an inspirational speech to Monaco school pupils. Alasdair McKenzie is on track to become the youngest mountaineer to reach every peak in the world over 8,000 metres. He's already achieved 12 of the 14 and was invited by the Princess Charlene Foundation to share his experiences with students at Albert I secondary school.

And Toulon's popular cable car has reopened to the public after two months of major maintenance work. Half a million euros of repairs have been carried out - the biggest project of its kind since the cable car entered service in 1959. 15 tonnes of cable have been replaced and all of the cabins have been renovated. Last year, the Toulon cable car achieved record passenger numbers, with almost 100,000 people using the service to enjoy panoramic views from Mont Faron, 600 metres above sea level.

BUSINESS

Thousands of protesting farmers are marching from neighbouring states to India's capital Delhi to seek assured prices for their crops In 2020, farmers had camped at Delhi borders protesting against controversial agricultural reforms. The year-long protest - in which dozens died - was called off after the government agreed to repeal the laws. Now the farmers have hit the streets again saying their key demands still haven't been fulfilled. Two rounds of talks between farm union leaders and federal ministers have failed to break the deadlock.

Bitcoin has returned to the $50,000 level for the first time since December 2021, as part of a wider rally for US stocks. The world's largest cryptocurrency, which hit one-month highs last Friday, maintained its momentum on Monday by rising almost 5%. Analysts credited several factors for recent crypto gains, saying that wider market sentiment was benefiting from growing expectations of central bank interest rate cuts.

UK mobile operator Three has apologised as more than 10,000 customers experienced outages after problems with its service over the last few days. The company, which has more than 10 million UK customers, issued apologies in posts on X on Saturday, Sunday and Monday regarding a string of problems affecting voice calls and the ability to use mobile data.

And shoppers in Britain could face shortages of tea supplies in some stores due to disruption on trade routes and delays. UK supermarket Sainsbury’s told consumers there were problems that could affect the availability of black tea, although it is expected to be for a short period. Retail bosses have said the problems are temporary and stressed that the impact on consumers is expected to be minimal.

SPORT

Tennis - Emma Raducanu is planning to pass on next week's Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and instead head back to London to analyse her early exit at the Qatar Open. Raducanu lost to Anhelina Kalinina in the opening round on Monday. The British No 7 had been granted a wild card for the first WTA 1000 event of the season in Doha, but slipped to a fourth defeat in seven matches since returning from injury.

Football - Thousands of football fans wearing orange and white have flooded the streets of Abidjan to see the Ivory Coast team parade the Africa Cup of Nations trophy they won on Sunday. The hosts defeated Nigeria 2-1 to win Afcon for a third time, prompting huge celebrations across the country.

And Tottenham say they are confident that manager Ange Postecoglou will stay at the club despite potential interest from Liverpool as the Reds look to replace Jurgen Klopp this summer. Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso is the overwhelming favourite to take over from Klopp, who will stand down at the end of this season, with Postecoglou listed among a list of possible alternatives should the Spaniard decline. Klopp’s departure, along with Xavi Hernandez leaving Barcelona, is expected to put in progress a summer merry-go-round among some of Europe’s top coaches and clubs. But Tottenham say they are confident that Postecoglou will not join Liverpool or any other rival club this summer, as he looks to build on the encouraging start he has made in London.

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