Evening Update Tuesday 2nd April 2024

Police are trying to track down the driver of a stolen car after a high-speed chase on the motorway in Nice in the early hours of this morning. They spotted the driver acting suspiciously on the Promenade des Anglais at around 2am. He refused to pull over for a roadside check and sped off towards the A8 motorway. The car briefly stopped in the middle lane of the motorway and its passenger ran away before being arrested. The driver sped off again, almost knocking over a police officer who had intervened and had to dive out of the way. The chase continued, and police opened fire on the fleeing vehicle to try to stop it. The driver then did a U-turn, crashed and abandoned the vehicle and fled the scene on foot. Miraculously no one was injured. The driver remains at large.

Meanwhile it's been a nightmare morning for motorists on the A8 today due to an accident. During peak rush hour, almost 20 kilometres of traffic jams were recorded on the Italy-bound motorway, stretching from Nice Airport all the way back to Mougins. Journey times were extended by up to an hour.

A 44-year-old man has died after being run over by a driver in Les Arcs-sur-Argens in the Var. The incident happened late last night on the N7, which was closed for several hours while paramedics and investigators intervened. The man suffered a heart attack and resuscitation attempts were not successful. He was declared dead at the scene. The national gendarmerie are leading the investigation.

Teachers, canteen staff and after-school carers have been on strike again today, in a day of nationwide joint strike action called by about half-a-dozen trade unions. They're calling for salary increases and better resources for the French school system. A minimum level of service was in place in some schools and a demonstration was held on Place Garibaldi in Nice this morning.

Residents had to be evacuated from their homes in the centre of Vallauris after a fire broke out in the stairwell of their apartment block yesterday afternoon. About 30 firefighters were called to the three-storey building opposite the Picasso museum. No one was injured, but all the building's residents spent last night in temporary accommodation until structural checks are carried out to ensure the building is safe. The exact cause of the fire is not yet clear.

Residents in Levens are planning a legal appeal after the Alpes-Maritimes préfecture approved the planning permission for a vast new solar energy farm. The €12 million project, which has the support of the mayor of Levens, would provide enough energy to power 7,000 homes. The mayor says all necessary precautions have been taken to protect the area's flora and fauna.

Chinese fast-fashion retailer Shein has spoken out after it was banned last week from opening a pop-up store in Nice. Shein was due to take over the Gare du Sud for three days in mid-April. Nice mayor Christian Estrosi intervened, saying the Chinese brand's values were not aligned with those of the city of Nice, and that the retailer presented a threat to independent local businesses. In a statement this week, Shein said it respected Estrosi's comments and would not go ahead with attempts to open in Nice. The group has already opened temporary pop-up shops in Marseille, Toulouse and Lille.

And a beer brewed in Monaco has won a gold medal at a prestigious international competition in Lyon. The Brasserie de Monaco's "blanche" wheat beer emerged the winner in its category, beating off competition from around the world. The awards in Lyon saw more than 1,800 beers scored and ranked by a team of more than 1,000 tasters. Last year, the Brasserie de Monaco won a silver medal for its blond pilsner. The brewery, on the port in Monaco, is gearing up for a busy period with the Grand Prix, during which it expects to sell in the region of 7,000 pints of beer.

BUSINESS

Crisis-hit Chinese property developer Country Garden has suspended trade in its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after delaying the publication of its annual financial results. The firm said last week that it needed more time to collect information as it restructures its debts. It defaulted on its overseas debt last year and faces a winding-up petition. In January, rival real estate giant China Evergrande was ordered to liquidate by a Hong Kong court.

And Microsoft has said it is splitting the Teams business messaging and video app from its Office software globally. The firm separated the two products in Europe last year as it faced a possible fine from competition watchdogs. Teams was added to Office in 2017. The European Commission has been investigating the move after a complaint from rival Slack in 2020.

SPORT

Cricket - England all-rounder Ben Stokes has asked to not be considered for selection for this summer's T20 World Cup to focus on his fitness. Stokes says he wants to use the break to ensure he can be "the all-rounder he wants to be" across all formats. He had knee surgery over the winter and bowled just five overs during the recent five-Test series in India. England are defending champions in the T20 World Cup, which takes place in the West Indies and United States in June. The tournament is followed by home Test series for England against the West Indies and Sri Lanka, before a T20 and one-day series against Australia in September.

Formula One heads to the iconic Suzuka circuit for the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend. Red Bull's Max Verstappen is top of the drivers' championship but his lead has been cut to four points following his retirement in Australia.

Football - A new documentary about Manchester City is released on Netflix today. Called Together: Treble Winners, it's a six-part series documenting the club's 2022-23 campaign, when they became only the second English club in history to win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the same season. It is a notable move away from some of the more tense behind-the-scenes football documentaries of this type. Instead, the series focuses on bringing out the playful personalities within the squad.

Tonight in the Premier league Newcastle play Everton, Forest entertain Fulham Bournemouth v Palace, Burnley v Wolves. And the London derby at the Olympic stadium sees West Ham take on Spurs.

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