Evening Update Wednesday 8 December 2021

A French Minister has been given a six-month prison sentence for making an incomplete or false declaration of his financial situation. Alain Griset who is the French Minister delegate in charge of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise, failed to declare the holding of a stock savings plan of €171,000 euros, as well as direct holdings in several companies. The prosecution had requested a 10 to 12 month suspended prison sentence, a fine of €30,000 euros and a three-year ineligibility sentence which would force him to leave the government.

The body of the last person missing in the building which collapsed in Sanary-sur-Mer in the Var was recovered from the rubble this afternoon. He is a 58-year-old disabled man, and son of the 91-year-old woman found dead last night. The collapse also claimed the life of a 30-year-old man who was found on Tuesday. The city council of Sanary-sur-Mer, has cancelled all of this weeks festive activities as a mark of respect.

The demolition of the National Theatre of Nice has been approved by the Minister of Culture. The iconic theatre on the Coulée Vert required improvement works of up to €18 million to bring it up to modern standards. However the Mayor of Nice had been campaigning to remove the building and extend the Promenade du Paillon instead. The city plans to add 8 hectares of park which will include 1,500 trees.

Police investigating the murder of an 85-year-old grandmother in Lyon, have arrested her 22-year-old grandson who was caught on the run in Paris. Police say the woman was reported missing on Saturday, where an investigation of her home revealed traces of blood which had been cleaned. Her body was subsequently found in a nearby grove. The 22-year-old grandson is facing charges of murder, kidnapping and extortion.  

As the ski-season is due to get fully underway this weekend, resorts including Auron and Isola 2000 have been experiencing some large snowfalls overnight with 30 to 50 cm falling in the last 24 hours. Skiers are reminded that the pass sanitaire is required to access ski-lifts, and while no mask is required while skiing, they are mandatory on ski-lifts, waiting lines and in restaurants.  Authorities have also advised motorists to have the necessary equipment to access the regions winter resorts.

BUSINESS

Shares in Nestle and L'Oreal are up today after the Swiss food group trimmed its stake in the French beauty giant. Nestle, is cutting its stake to just over 20% by selling shares worth about $10 billion.

In Hong Kong, shares in Evergrande have hit a new low after the massive property developer failed to honour an interest payment of $82 million. After an aggressive expansion, Evergrande are holding $300 billion of debt, but after new rules introduced by Bejing last year, the developer is struggling to meet payments.  If they fail, they will become China’s biggest ever defaulter, with repercussions felt on markets around the world.

Credit card processor Visa has launched an advisory service for its banking clients and merchants. Next year, Visa will launch services to allow the buying and selling of digital currency through its banking partners. Meanwhile, the value of Bitcoin continues to slide today, down 25% on its value from just a month ago to €43,700 a coin.

SPORT

Football - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he hopes Kyle Walker has learnt a lesson from the red card he received at last nights Champions League match. The defender was sent off for hacking out at a Leipzig forward and will now face a suspension.

There’s another round of Champions League games tonight which include Chelsa, Juventus, Lille, Manchester United and Barcelona.  The majority of games kick-off at 9pm.

Formula 1 - Mercedes' sponsorship deal with Kingspan, a firm that made insulation material involved in the UK’s Grenfell Tower disaster, has ended a week after it was announced. Mercedes were heavily criticised over the deal, with survivors of the June 2017 tragedy describing it as truly shocking.

Tennis - Seven-time Melbourne Open winner Serena Williams has said she will not be competing this year as she is still not match fit. Roger Federer will also be missing, while Rafael Nadal has said he will skip the traditional pre-games in Sydney to concentrate on the Open. Speculation is rife over world number one Novak Djokovic who has been entered into the Australian Open despite uncertainty over his Covid vaccination status, a requirement to play in Melbourne.

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