Evening Update Wednesday 15 March 2023

The Alpes-Maritimes is bracing for another national strike. On the trains, SNCF says disruptions will start from 7pm this evening, with one in two trains running. In Nice, there will be no trams or busses tomorrow, however, bus services in Menton, Antibes and Cannes are expected to operate as normal.

The Prefecture has extended its Level One alert for air pollution across the Alpes-Maritimes until at least tomorrow. Dangerous air pollution has been moving from the Bouche-du-Rhone across the Var and into the Alpes Maritimes area. It brings very fine particles of pollutants which are dangerous to humans. The Prefecture is asking people to avoid intense physical or sports activity, to avoid travel during peak periods and in the event of respiratory discomfort, to seek advice from a doctor or pharmacy.

French actor Pierre Palmade has been officially taken into custody by police this afternoon for causing a car accident on Friday, which injured three people including a six-year-old child, a 38-year-old man and a six-month pregnant woman who lost her baby. The actor, who was also seriously injured, has been in hospital since Friday. It’s believed he was under the influence of cocaine while behind the wheel. A passenger in the actor’s car, who fled the scene, was caught and arrested at lunchtime today by police. A second passenger remains on the run.

In Nice, authorities have evacuated thirty people from a building on Rue Pauliani near the Tête Carrée. The order to evacuate came this afternoon from a city engineer over maintenance concerns since the six-story building was taken over by squatters.

Flights between Nice Cote d’Azur airport and Frankfurt were disrupted this morning after engineering works at a railway station in the German city cut several fibre optic cables. That cut has resulted in the cancellation of 120 Lufthansa flights, including this morning's commuter connection to Nice. The airline expects their systems to return to normal shortly and that their evening service, due to arrive in Nice at 10.30pm, will arrive on time.  

OGC Nice has filed a complaint with the AFP concerning an amateur pornographic video which was filmed inside the Allianz Riviera stadium during a league match. The video, which went viral online, was shot during the Nice-Lille match two weeks ago and broadcast on a specialized platform. Nice won the match 1 – 0.

BUSINESS

Sales at French luxury group Kering were down 7% in Q4 last year. The group which owns the Gucci and Yves-Saint-Laurent brands (among others) had expected a slide of 3%. However, Gucci was the only one of the group's brands to post a fall in sales. The company say they are confident they can turn the brand around in 2023. Kering shares are down around 4% on the news.

French unemployment numbers are down slightly. INSEE reports a reduction of 45,000 people seeking unemployment during the last quarter. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has reaffirmed the government's determination to get the jobless rate below 5% by 2027.

Heineken, the world’s second-largest brewer, has repeated its forecast of a profit increase this year despite weakness in Europe. The Dutch company whose brands include Tiger and Sol said operating profit would grow but at a slower mid-to-high single-digit percentage rate in 2023.

SPORT

Football - Tonight’s big Champions League match sees Chelsea travel to Dortmund to take on the Bundesliga title hopefuls. The Blues are in desperate need of a result tonight after losing their last three matches. Dortmund, meanwhile, is in sensational form. They’re just three points away from Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich and on a six-match winning streak across all competitions. Kick-off for the game tonight is at 9pm.

It’s not been a good week for Tottenham Hotspur. After losing last night's first leg knockout match against AC Milan, they’re also fighting rumours the club is facing a takeover bid from the MSP Sports Capital Group.

Paris Saint-Germain has also hit a bad patch. So far this year, they’ve lost more games than in all of last year and they’ve been eliminated from the French Cup by Olympique Marseille. Last night they were beaten by Bayern Munich meaning they need to win the away leg of that match in order to keep their Champions League campaign alive.

Six Nations Rugby - Wales' professional players could consider strike action amid a new contracts freeze in Welsh rugby. The players are to meet before Wales hosts England in the Six Nations Championship on Saturday week, and possible strike action could be discussed.

Formula 1 - Mercedes have returned to an all-black colour scheme for a 2023 car they hope will fight at the very front. Mercedes fell from the pinnacle of eight consecutive world titles last year with a car that won only one race.

Golf - A brand new behind-the-scenes documentary is out today, which delves into the so-called civil war in golf, which was created by the launch of the Saudi-backed breakaway competition LIV Golf. The series called ‘Full Swing’ follows a number of high-profile players during last season's PGA Tour. You can catch it today on Netflix.

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