Evening News Update Monday 11 February

Driving instructors across France have been taking strike action today with an "operation escargot" taking place in our region. An estimated 170 vehicles converged on the Prefecture in Nice this morning. Drivers also gathered at the prefecture in Marseille. Instructors are protesting against government reforms. There are 190 driving schools in the Alpes Maritimes which employ about 500 people.

Public transport in Nice will undergo a major reorganisation later this year.  Bus transportation is being reorganised to take into account the two new tramlines, with a third tramline scheduled to open at the end of the year.  Many bus routes will change number and route.  The changes are expected to come into effect on the 2nd of September.

The SNCF has released the results of its annual customer satisfaction survey. The survey asks for the views of rail users in 122 stations across France. All the stations in the PACA region received above average evaluations, except for Nice Riquier which had the distinction of being the most unsafe station in the survey.

A robbery took place on Saturday night at the Burger King in Mandelieu-La Napoule. It’s estimated that about 1,500 euros was taken after an individual went into the restaurant brandishing a handgun.  The alleged perpetrator, who was arrested soon afterwards and told the police that the gun was a replica, is set to appear before a court in Grasse.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has announced that a meeting will be held in Nice to address deteriorating Franco-Italian relations.  The meeting, to be held in the place Garibaldi on Friday, aims to bring together associations and elected officials on a regional level. The mayor said that they would not allow government measures to spoil a relationship that is so important, both economically and socially.

A security van driver has disappeared with his van containing about one million euros. According to reports, three security staff were delivering money to a cash machine in Aubervilliers, in the Seine-Saint-Denis department this morning.  Two of the employees left the van to load the machine and when they returned their colleague and the van had disappeared.  The vehicle was found shortly afterwards but the cash was missing.

 

BUSINESS

 

The UK economy expanded at its slowest annual rate in six years in 2018 after a sharp contraction in December,  according to the Office for National Statistics. Growth in the year was 1.4%, down from 1.8% in 2017 and the slowest rate since 2012. According to ONS estimates, GDP fell in December by 0.4%. The ONS also said that that the UK’s trade deficit widened by £900m to £10.4bn in the three months to December 2018, due mainly to a rise in imports of goods.

The UK and Switzerland have signed an agreement in London today.  The agreement aims to preserve trade relations between the two countries regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Beijing will host a round of US-China trade talks this week as both sides try to agree a deal before a March 1st deadline. President Trump has said he will increase tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% if they don't reach an agreement by that deadline. Initial talks start today, ahead of two days of high level discussions beginning on Thursday.

 

SPORT

 

Skiing…Lindsey Vonn has won a bronze medal in her final professional race in the downhill at the Alpine World Championships.  She becomes the first female skier to win a medal at six World Championships. Vonn is the most successful female skier of all time, with a record 20 World Cup titles and 82 victories on the circuit.


Football…Paul Scholes has been named manager of League Two club Oldham Athletic. The former Manchester United and England midfielder has signed a one-and-a-half-year contract with the team in his first managerial role. 

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Juventus in the summer. He's reportedly agreed a four-year contract that will see him join Juventus as a free agent, ending his 11-year spell with Arsenal.

In the Premier League this evening Wolves face Newcastle, kick off is at 9pm French time.

 

Cricket…It’s the third day of the England against West Indies test match in St Lucia. England were 277 all out in their first innings. West Indies were 154 all out in their first innings. 

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