Evening Update Tuesday 4 February 2020

Two people have been arrested after an armed burglary in Saint-Laurent-du-Var this afternoon. According to reports, a 31 year old woman contacted police after being confronted by two armed burglars at her apartment in the Jeanne-d'Arc area. Police gave chase to two suspects who then barricaded themselves in a nearby building. Personnel from the elite RAID unit of the National Police were present at the incident.

An outbreak of fire consumed over 300 hectares of vegetation on Corsica this morning, fanned by  strong winds. The island has been on a Meteo France Orange alert for high winds for most of the day today. Local authorities said that water bombing aircraft were due to fly in from Nîmes in the Gard department but couldn’t take off because of the high winds in that area. However, 40 firefighters from the Bouches-du-Rhône and 18 from the Marseille Marine Firefighters Battalion were reportedly on their way to Corsica earlier today to reinforce local firefighters. The Var and the Alpes Maritimes have both been on Yellow alerts for high winds today. In Antibes a lamppost threatened to collapse on the Chemin des Combes this afternoon because of the high winds. It was secured by pompiers but traffic was disrupted in the surrounding area.

Cannes City Council has blocked four projects to transform residential buildings into furnished accommodation for tourism. A statement from the council said that while it supports the positive effects of tourist accommodation, massive commercial operations by acquisition of buildings, emptying them of their inhabitants, must be stopped. The council said that such developments “contribute to the housing crisis" and "generate unfair competition for hotel owners".

The mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, has written to Bernard Gonzalez, the Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes, regarding the dates of the summer sales. In the letter, he says that the dates of the sales have a significant impact on economic activity in Cannes and the rest of the Riviera. The sale dates in the Alpes Maritimes, which this year are from the 1st to the 28th of July, begin one week later than almost every other department in France. M. Lisnard says that the one week delay was originally intended to allow the sales to coincide with the influx of tourists to the region but now seems obsolete because of the rise of e-commerce and changes in consumer habits.

The body of a missing man has been found in the port of Hyeres. The 92 year old man had been missing from a nearby home for retired military personnel since last Friday. Police believe that he may have accidentally fallen into the port whilst out walking.

Several people have been injured after a collision involving three vehicles on the RN7 between Brignoles and Tourves this morning. The incident caused disruption to traffic in the area.

The French government has released figures showing that just over 360 tonnes of contraband tobacco and cigarettes were seized during the course of last year. That’s an increase of 49% on the previous year’s figure. A new system involving the use of barcodes and stickers has been in use in France since May 2019, which helps to trace and establish the authenticity of tobacco products.

Seven alleged fraudsters are going on trial in Paris accused of impersonating a French government minister to trick wealthy victims out of more than €50m. Investigators say the scam involved one of the defendants impersonating Jean-Yves Le Drian. M. Le Drian is now French foreign minister but at the time was Defence Minister. The accused requested funds by telephone and Skype for what was termed a "secret mission" often said to be for ransom payments to hostage-takers, or anti-terror operations.



UK technology business Micro Focus has announced a 41.2% fall in year on year operating profit for the 12 months to the end of October. Chairman Kevin Loosemore has also stepped down. The company’s share price has fallen significantly since a takeover of Hewlett Packard's software business in 2017.

Tony Fernandes has stepped aside as the chief executive of AirAsia while authorities probe bribery claims. He will stand down for least two months from the company he turned into Asia's biggest budget airline. He denies any wrongdoing. Mr Fernandes also co-owns Queens Park Rangers football club.

Ikea has announced that it intends to close one of its stores in the UK. The company said that its Coventry city centre store had made "consistent losses" since it opened in 2007, with fewer people visiting than expected. It said it would be consulting the 352 workers affected and would try to find them jobs at other stores. Ikea added that it remained committed to growth in the UK.



Cricket… The first one day international between South Africa and England is underway in Cape Town today.

Football.. There are five FA Cup 4th round replays in England tonight. Birmingham play Coventry. Cardiff face Reading. Derby face Northampton. Liverpool play Shrewsbury and Oxford United play Newcastle.

England right-back Kieran Trippier has had surgery on a groin injury. He joined Atletico Madrid from Tottenham last summer but hasn’t played since Atletico's match against Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final on 12 January.

A South Korean court has told a local match organiser to compensate two fans after Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t play in a Juventus friendly as advertised. Fans were told the Portugal forward would play at least 45 minutes against a K-League all-star team last July, but he didn’t come off the bench. The organisers have been ordered to pay the equivalent of £240 to two fans, including about £194 for "mental anguish" suffered by the fans.

Formula 1… Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that he “trusts the judgement” of the sport’s authorities over whether to cancel the Chinese Grand Prix in April. The race is in doubt following the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus and Formula 1 says that it’s monitoring the situation closely. Horner says that he expects the matter to be on the agenda at tomorrow’s meeting of the Formula 1 strategy group adding that if the situation remained as it is now then the event would have to be cancelled.

Rugby Union…. It’s been announced that Eden Park in Auckland will host the final of the women's Rugby World Cup in 2021. The stadium staged the final of the men's Rugby World Cup in 1987 and 2011 and is the first major venue to hold the women's equivalent. The 12-team tournament will run from 18 September to 16 October next year.



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