Evening Update Tuesday 16 February 2021

Police are investigating a mass city centre brawl today, which left three men with stab wounds and another with gunshot wounds at the Cannet-des-Moures payage on the A8. Police say the incident happened in the centre of Luc-en-Provence just before 2pm and involved up to twenty people from opposing Kurdish and Turkish families.

The Cote d’Azur is heating up with average temperatures over the past decade one full degree above normal. Latest statistics from IMSEE in Monaco show three of the four hottest years on record taking place in 2020, 2019, 2018. The average temperature last year was 17.8°C, while the average temperature for the decade was up 1.33°C.

Orly Airport continues to follow the lead of Nice Cote d’Azur airport by closing a second terminal in Paris. Terminal Four, which is used by Air France and Easyjet, will close for the foreseeable future with all flights moving to Terminals 2 or 3. The closure is due low traffic volumes resulting from Covid.

Decathalon has announced it is to manufacture face masks suitable for use during exercise. They made the announcement after the national safety standards agency published official directives for their design.

The famous French baguette is being considered as a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage status next year. The Ministry of Culture announced today it is considering putting forward the baguette or the rooftops of Paris, with a final decision to be made next month.

BUSINESS

Bitcoin has finally broken through the $50,000 ceiling, at one point trading at $50,487 this morning. This time last year, one bit coin was worth just $5,000. The latest rally appears to show no sign of slowing as more institutional investors like BNY Mellon and JP Morgan warm to cryptocurrency.  However, others remain sceptical, with a recent Deutsche Bank survey saying investors view bitcoin as the most extreme bubble in financial markets.

China has overtaken the United States to become Europe’s top trading partner for the first time last year.  Data from the European Statistics Office shows European exports to China grew by 2.2% last year and imports rose by 5.6%.

SPORT

Tennis - Despite the  abdominal injury, which has bothered him throughout the tournament, defending champion Novak Djokovic picked up the physical resilience to beat German sixth seed Alexander Zverev and reach the Australian Open semi-finals. In a tight match the  top seed eventually won 6-8 6-2 6-4 8-6. He next faces Russian qualifier Aslan Karat-sev who is the the first man in the Open era to reach the quarter-finals on his Grand Slam debut.

In the ladies competition Serena Williams produced a stunning performance to beat second seed Simona Halep 6-3 6-3. Williams, who is bidding for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, will meet Naomi Osaka in the semi-finals.

Football - Barcelona host Paris Saint-Germain this evening in the first leg of their Champions League last-16. The last time the two sides met was at the same stage of the competition four seasons ago. In an unforgettable match, the French team thrashed Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg in Paris, but fell to an unforgivable 6-1 defeat in the second leg at the Nou Camp. The Parisians will no doubt be seeking revenge tonight which the game kicks off at 9pm in Barcelona.  Also playing tonight are RB Leipzig against Liverpool.

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