Evening Update Wednesday 22 May

Four firefighters have been given suspended prison sentences by a court in Nice this afternoon. They had been prosecuted for obstructing traffic on the A8 motorway and damaging, or being complicit in the damaging, of property, during a demonstration in February. The four received suspended sentences of three to six months and fines of between 1,500 euros to 3,000 euros.

A driver has been seriously injured in a car crash on the RN7 in Brignoles this afternoon. The collision, which happened just after 2.00 near the Renault roundabout, involved two cars, with a third vehicle having to swerve to avoid the accident.

A hiker had to be airlifted to hospital this afternoon after being involved in an accident in Saint-Raphael. A Dragon 06 helicopter and ten firefighters were involved in the recue on an inacessible part of the pic de l'Ours.

Police have launched a missing person appeal following the disappearance of 41 year Sébastien Bailet from Nice. Bailet had arranged to meet his brother at Monaco train station on Monday morning but failed to show up. Sébastian is bald with brown eyes and was last seen wearing a blue jacket, jeans and trainers. Anyone with any information is invited to contact the police.

A motorcyclist has died after being hit by the Train de Pignes. The accident happened yesterday evening in a mountainous area of the Alpes de Haute Provence.

An innovative device to educate motorists about the effects of air pollution has been installed in Villeneuve Loubet.  The device, which is located near a busy roundabout, has a screen which changes colour in relation to pollution in the area. It detects the common pollutants emitted by cars and aims to educate motorists about the levels of pollution in the atmosphere and to get them to change their habits.



British Steel has been placed in compulsory liquidation, putting 5,000 jobs at risk and endangering 20,000 in its supply chain. The move follows a breakdown in rescue talks between the government and the company's owner, Greybull. The Government's Official Receiver has taken control of the company as part of the liquidation process. Reports say that the search for a buyer for the company has already begun but in the meantime, it will continue to trade normally. In a staement, Greybull said that what it called “the additional blows dealt by Brexit-related issues” have proved insurmountable for the business.

Marks & Spencer has reported a fall in both sales and profits as it continues to implement a major turnaround programme. Pre-tax profits were down by nearly 10% in the year to the end of March. Like-for-like sales, which strip out the impact of new stores, were down by 2.9% for the group as a whole. The company has 1,043 stores and is part way though a big store closure programme.

Latest figures indicate that UK inflation rose to 2.1% in April. That's the highest level this year, up from 1.9% in March.



Football...Borussia Dortmund have signed Belgium international Thorgan Hazard from Bundesliga rivals Borussia Monchengladbach.
The 26-year-old, who is the younger brother of Chelsea attacking midfielder Eden Hazard, has signed a five-year deal.

Tennis...Britain's Katie Swan and Heather Watson are through to the second round of French Open qualifying after winning their opening matches today. Meanwhile, Jay Clarke and James Ward suffered defeats in the first qualifying round. That leaves Kyle Edmund, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans as the British men in the main competition.  The French Open begins at Roland Garros on Sunday.


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