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Evening News Update Friday 19 October

Traffic has been disrupted in Nice today as more than 150 ambulances from all over the region met in front of the Alpes-Maritimes prefecture. The ambulances then proceeded to travel in convoy through the streets of central Nice and passed by several medical facilities including the Saint-Roch and Pasteur hospitals. The move comes in protest against reforms announced by the French government on the financing of medical transport. A national movement is planned in Paris on November 5th.


After the beaches of Ramatuelle, the island of Porquerolles has been affected by the oil spills following the collision of two ships on October 7th off the coast of Corsica. An increasing number of areas are becoming affected by the pollution with the region’s authorities announcing on Thursday the release of a clean-up fund of 100,000 euros.

 

The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, has announced that the flagship of the French Navy, the aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle, will go on a mission to the Indian Ocean next year. The nuclear-powered ship, which is based in Toulon, has been undergoing an upgrade and refit since February last year.


Two Olympique Lyon football fans have been arrested by police in connection with an assault on a Nice fan during the semi finals of the World Cup. According to reports, the two men punched the 20 year old man while he was watching the match on the terrace of a bar in Lyon on July 10. The man needed four days of medical treatment as a result of the attack.


In Marseille a garage mechanic has been given a 6 month suspended prison sentence for deliberately causing car accidents and then directing the affected motorists to his garage for repairs. The man had apparently caused about a dozen crashes with his car but nobody suffered any injuries.  The mechanic said he caused the accidents to try to generate work for his garage which was in financial difficulties.

 

BUSINESS


China has reported its slowest quarterly growth rate since early 2009. The growth figure for the July to September quarter was 6.5% from a year earlier, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. China faces rising economic challenges including high debt levels and an intensifying trade battle with the US.


Facebook has hired former UK deputy prime minister Sir Nick Clegg as head of its global affairs and communications team.  Reports say that he will start work on Monday and will spend a week at the company's Menlo Park headquarters, before moving to California permanently in the new year.


Shares in French tyre maker Michelin have fallen after the company cut its sales forecast for this year. The company blamed the lower forecast on declining demand from China and a slump in European car sales.


In the UK, government borrowing (excluding public sector banks) was £4.1bn in September, down by £0.8bn on the September 2017 figure, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. So far this year the UK government has borrowed £19.9bn, which is more than £10bn less than for the same period last year.


The Italian government’s borrowing costs have hit fresh four-and-a-half year highs after the European Union criticised Italy's draft budget. The European Commission said the proposed budget, which would lead to a bigger deficit, was an "unprecedented" breach of EU fiscal rules.

 

SPORT
Football…The English Premier League is back in action this weekend following the international break. On Saturday Chelsea play Manchester United in the lunchtime game and then it’s Bournemouth against Southampton. Cardiff against Fulham, Manchester City play Burnley, Newcastle face Brighton.  West Ham play Spurs, Wolves host Watford and Huddersfield play Liverpool. On Sunday Everton play Crystal Palace and Arsenal play Leicester on Monday.


Tennis..There’ll be no more marathon matches at Wimbledon as from next year. The All England Lawn Tennis Club has announced that tie-breaks will be played at 12-12 in the final set at Wimbledon from next year. It comes after the final set of Kevin Anderson's semi-final with John Isner this year lasted almost three hours. The winner will be the first player or team to reach seven points with an advantage of two or more points.

CRICKET…Pakistan have beaten Australia in the Second Test by 373 runs. Also in cricket news, Jonny Bairstow could miss England's fourth one-day international against Sri Lanka after twisting his ankle playing football in training. He will reportedly be assessed by England's medical staff. England players often play a short game of football in training and in their pre-match warm-ups.

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