Evening Update Wednesday 7th February 2024

Prosecutors are investigating two suspected cases of femicide in the Paca region in recent days. A 76-year-old woman was found dead at her home in Marignane, in the Bouches-du-Rhône, on Monday evening. Her 86-year-old husband was taken into police custody and is reported to have admitted to killing her. Last weekend, a 64-year-old woman was killed at her home in Sanary-sur-Mer in the Var. Her 69-year-old husband, with whom she'd lived for 40 years, was taken into police custody for questioning and several weapons and ammunition were seized from the property. On average, one woman is killed by her partner every three days in France. Last year, 94 cases of femicide were recorded nationwide.

A car driver is in a serious condition in hospital after a violent collision with a bus in Antibes. Paramedics had to cut the victim free from the car's wreckage. He was taken to Pasteur hospital in Nice with multiple injuries. The incident happened on Avenue Philippe Rochat yesterday evening. The bus driver, and eight passengers on board, were unharmed.

Two men have been jailed for a spate of thefts at Cap 3000 and Polygone Riviera shopping centres. The pair, in their early 50s, were found guilty of stealing clothes and shoes from several stores, before attempting to steal an electric scooter from the Cap 3000 car park. Prosecutors had asked for jail terms ranging between 12 and 18 months. The judge handed down sentences of four and six months.

The group of travellers who've settled in a municipal car park in La Bocca - after being turned away from several other sites - say they had told local authorities two months ago that they were planning to visit the area. Since Monday, about a dozen caravans have settled next to the Abadie cemetery, a site that has no running water or electricity. An independent ombudsman is working as a middle-man in the negotiations between the travellers, the préfecture and the departmental council, to find a more suitable place for them to park. The Alpes-Maritimes has only three approved camping sites for the travelling community - in Nice, Antibes and Vallauris - and they're all saturated.

Registrations have opened this week for families looking to get their children into a municipal school in Nice from the new academic year. Nice has almost 150 state schools. Pre-registration for the first year of nursery school can be done via an online platform. You'll need a scanned copy of at least one of the parents' ID documents, the livret de famille record book, proof of address and a vaccination certificate. The pre-registration procedure also applies to children already in the system who are looking to move schools in September.

Two more of the 14 squirrel monkeys that went missing from a zoo in the Var last month have been found safe and well. The rare creatures were taken from their enclosures at the animal park in La-Londe-les-Maures. Three of them had already been found in Marseille a few days ago, thanks to investigations by gendarmes and volunteers from the SPA animal welfare charity. Now two more have been rescued from properties - one in Oise department outside Paris, and another again in Marseille. But nine of the creatures are still missing. The animals are sometimes put up for sale on the black market and can fetch several thousand euros each.

Monaco Telecom has announced that every home in the prinicipality has now made the switch to fibre optic broadband internet. The last few hundred homes using old copper cables were upgraded in recent weeks. Since Monday, 100% of residents now use fibre. Monaco Telecom says it plans to do the same for all businesses before July. The copper network will be completely decommissioned by the end of the year.

The Riviera's hardest-working speed camera, on the A8 motorway in Cagnes-sur-Mer, is being upgraded for a better-performing model. The new camera, on the westbound side of the motorway just before the Cagnes exit, will be better at identifying an offending vehicle when several appear in the same photo. It will also be trained to make a distinction between heavy goods vehicles and regular cars. The radar, which only flashes in the direction of Aix-en-Provence, catches more speeding drivers than any other camera on the Côte d'Azur. The upgraded version will be put into service in the coming weeks once technical checks are completed.

And the biggest passenger jet in the world, the Airbus A380, will be back on the tarmac at Nice Côte d'Azur from next month. Emirates airline says it'll be using the A380 to operate the Nice-to-Dubai route this spring and summer - in what's expected to be a particularly busy tourist season thanks to the Paris Olympics and the Tour de France in Nice. The A380 hasn't been seen flying over the Baie des Anges since last October. Since then, the daily flight from Dubai has been operated by a smaller Boeing 777 due to reduced demand. The first A380 landing at Nice airport is scheduled for 31st March.

BUSINESS

A new report has found that a door that blew away from a Boeing 737 Max shortly after take-off may not have been properly secured. The US National Transportation Safety Board has released initial findings from its probe into the incident on an Alaska Airlines plane in January. It says four key bolts that were meant to lock the unused door to the fuselage appeared to be missing. Replying to the report, Boeing said it was accountable for what happened. Boeing's president and chief executive said its improvement plan would "take significant, demonstrated action and transparency at every turn".

And Singapore's biggest bank DBS has slashed its chief executive's bonus by 30% after disruptions to its digital services, despite it posting a record profit. After several glitches last year, the country's central bank banned DBS from buying new businesses or making non-essential IT changes for six months. The outages saw digital payment services and cash machines go offline across the city-state. At the time, DBS apologised and announced plans to improve the resiliency of its systems.

SPORT

Drama at the FIFA Women's World Cup contributed to the biggest year yet for women's sport in the UK, according to new TV viewing figures. A record 46.7 million viewers in Britain tuned in to watch women's sport on TV in 2023, eclipsing 2019's mark by almost a million, according to research published by the Women's Sport Trust. The FIFA Women's World Cup final, which England lost 1-0 to Spain, was 2023's most-watched women's sport event on TV with 38.4 million viewing hours in the UK. The figures showed the average viewing time for women's sports increased by 16 per cent to 10 hours and seven minutes per person, compared with eight hours and 44 minutes in 2022.

Local sport - The cycling “Tour de La Provence” returns this week with four stages taking place from tomorrow Thursday February 8th, through until Sunday February 11th in the Bouches-du-Rhône, the Luberon and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. After a 5 km individual time trial in Marseille on Thursday, the cyclists will set off on Friday from Aix-en-Provence, heading towards the Luberon arriving in Bonnieux, and finally arriving at Martigues.

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