Evening Update Wednesday 14th February 2024


A man has been jailed for 30 years for the killing of an Italian tourist in Nice in 2020. 63-year-old Natalia Derkatch was kidnapped and tortured in the AirBnB apartment she had been renting on Rue Dalpozzo. Her attacker, a 23-year-old man, had forced his way into the apartment late at night while his victim was in the bathroom. A court in Nice yesterday followed the prosecutor's advice and imposed the maximum prison sentence.

Six people have been injured - two seriously - in a traffic accident in Nice shortly before midnight last night. A car and a van collided on the Boulevard Grosso. Two men in their 20s are a critical condition in Pasteur 2 hospital. Four others were treated in hospital with less serious injuries. A traffic light was damaged in the collision. Twenty firefighters attended the scene and police are investigating.

A woman has been arrested after 20 kilos of cannabis were found hidden in a cellar in Beausoleil. Police made the chance find during a routine patrol yesterday. It's one of the biggest drugs seizures in the municipality in recent years. An investigation has been opened.

Six people have been jailed for a spate of thefts of luxury watches on the Riviera in recent years. The gang stole watches from the likes of Rolex and Patek - and even ripped a €100,000 Richard Mille watch from the wrist of watchmaker Richard Mille himself, while he was visiting Saint-Tropez. The arrests were made in August 2020 when the gang were caught stealing a €34,000 Breguet watch. Gendarmes quickly connected the theft with other watch snatchings that had been reported in the region. A court in Grasse sentenced four of the men to two years in prison. Two others, who were absent from the trial, were jailed for four years, and one other defendant was acquitted.

Technicians are working around the clock to try to clear the landslide that blocked the road heading up to the Mercantour ski resorts before this weekend. The Route du Ski was cut off between Saint-Sauveur-sur-Tinée and Isola village in the early hours of Monday morning. Since then, one lane has been reopened, but only during the morning and evening rush hours and during lunchtime. School pupils in Paris are already on their half-term break, and from Friday evening, schools in Zone A - including Bordeaux and Lyon - will also be on holiday. If the road cannot be completely cleared by the weekend, its opening hours could be extended to make it easier to reach Auron and Isola 2000.

Monaco is planning to organise a firearms amnesty to encourage residents to turn in weapons and ammunition that they may have found or inherited. 600 people in the principality own a firearms licence, excluding those issued to hunters, and there are 760 registered firearms in people's possession. Since 2021, Monegasque police have seized and destroyed more than 100 weapons during various raids and arrests. In 2022, a British man in Monaco was sentenced and fined €18,000 after police discovered 17 undeclared rifles and pistols hanging on a wall in his home.

The Alpes-Maritimes and Var have been placed on a red alert for high levels of cypress pollen. The pollen is particularly allergenic and causes eye and nose irritation as well as difficulty breathing. Allergy sufferers are being advised to take any prescribed medication they have and try to limit their exposure. Ash trees are also in full bloom at the moment and the alert level for ash pollen is expected to be raised from medium to high over the next few weeks.

Couples in Nice will no longer tie the knot in the city hall from 1st June. Wedding ceremonies will be moved from the historic building in Nice old town to the Parc Phoenix, near Nice Airport, instead. Nice authorities say the new venue will be elegantly decorated and more spacious - allowing up to 140 guests to attend.

Monaco's auction house is putting almost 70 works of art under the hammer tomorrow evening, including a series of works by Pablo Picasso and a painting by Camille Pissarro. The auction takes place on Thursday at 6pm at the Hôtel des Ventes on Quai Antoine Ier.

And it might only be mid-February, but work is already getting under way on preparing Monaco's streets for this year's Grand Prix. The Automobile Club says work to assemble the grandstands will begin in the coming days. The works will be done at night and will last a month. The Monaco E-Prix takes place on 27th April, the Historic Grand Prix is from 10th to 12th May and the Formula 1 Grand Prix is from May 23rd to 26th.

BUSINESS

Price increases in the US moderated last month but not as much as expected, as higher housing and food costs offset a decline in petrol prices. Annual inflation was 3.1%, down from 3.4% a month earlier, the Labor Department said. Many analysts had expected inflation to fall to 2.9%. It is the latest economic reading to suggest that authorities have not got inflation fully under control.

Indian police have used tear gas for a second day to stop farmers demanding minimum crop prices from marching on the capital Delhi. Mostly from Punjab state, the farmers are still 200km from Delhi, which has been ringed by razor wire, cement blocks and fencing on three sides to block their entry.

Foreign tourists must now pay a levy to enter Bali, one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. Indonesian authorities say this is aimed at protecting the island's environment and culture. Bali is known for its pristine beaches and surfing waves, as well its beautiful landscapes. Official data shows that almost 4.8 million tourists visited Bali between January and November last year. The tourist tax, which was first announced last year, came into effect today and is the equivalent of about $10.

SPORT

Formula One - McLaren chief executive Zak Brown said the team are "realistic" about expectations for the new season as they unveiled their new car. McLaren's Lando Norris was the second highest scorer behind runaway champion Max Verstappen in the final 12 races of last year after a major car upgrade. McLaren's new car, the MCL38, will have its first test at Silverstone next Monday with Norris and his team-mate Oscar Piastri driving. It will run alongside the new Mercedes, which is also being unveiled on the same day.

Cricket - England have picked two seamers in their 11 for the first time in the series against India, with Mark Wood recalled for the third Test. Wood replaces off-spinner Shoaib Bashir in the only change from the side beaten in the second Test last week. Leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed will play after visa issues on his return to India following England's break in Abu Dhabi. Captain Ben Stokes will play his 100th Test, the 16th England man to reach the milestone.

Football - Tonight in the Champions League last 16, Lazio face Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain host Real Sociedad.

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