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Evening News Update Monday 19 November

The yellow vest protest against fuel prices are continuing today, with disruption at many motorway access roads, toll booths and other roads in our region and oil depots in various parts of France. The entry at Junction 44 Antibes has been closed for much of the afternoon  in the direction of Italy, there is a go-slow in operation in the area between the A57 junction and Le Muy in the direction of Italy, and at Nice St Isadore about 40 protesters reportedly removed the barriers at the toll booths. The junction with the motorway at Brignoles has been closed for much of the afternoon. A protest has been set up to filter traffic at the Carrefour de l'Europe in Antibes and at the Lingostière shopping centre.
Reports say that this afternoon demonstrators were present at other motorway slip roads including at Le Muy, Sainte-Maxime, Frejus and La Ciotat, with traffic moving slowly in the region of the demonstrations and occasionally being blocked.
Protests have also been held at tax offices in Brignols and St. Maximin. 

According to a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior, about 20,000 protesters were gathered in 350 locations across France today, compared to 290,000 at more than 2,000 sites on Saturday. Motorway operator VINCI Autoroutes recommends continuing to be well informed before taking to the road and calls for caution approaching tolls and highway access, where pedestrians can still be present. Details of motorway disturbances on their network can be found at www.vinci-autoroutes.com. In a press release today, OTRE, the union of road hauliers of goods, said that truckers will not take part in the demonstrations. The president of the Union of Local Businesses has said that the protests should not lead to a "blockage” of the economy and calling for a stop to any blocking action that would endanger businesses.

 

A policeman committed suicide with his service weapon at his home in La Ciotat on Saturday night.  The 42 year old was stationed in Marseilles. Thirty police officers have committed suicide in France so far this year.


Three students have been rescued in the Mercantour National Park. The students, from Draguignan, had left for a weekend of camping but the alarm was raised after they failed to return by Sunday night.  They were reportedly found on a mountainside at a height of 2,000 metres.

 

Today marks Monaco’s national holiday or “fete du Prince” with workers given a day off and many celebrations and ceremonies taking place across the Principality. The day started with a service at Monaco Cathedral. A parade and concert are also taking place today on the place du Palais in Monaco Ville.

 

BUSINESS

Carlos Ghosn, the chairman of Japanese car giant Nissan, has been arrested over claims of financial misconduct. Mr Ghosn will be dismissed from the firm after a board meeting on Thursday, the firm's chief executive said. He has been accused of "significant acts of misconduct", including under-reporting his pay package and personal use of company assets.


British businesses are now more pessimistic about the outlook than at any time since at least 2009. That's according to a new survey. Respondents cited political uncertainty as the biggest factor weighing on confidence.The survey, conducted in late October, showed the net balance of companies expecting business activity to rise in the next 12 months at 32% - the lowest reading since the survey started in 2009.


In Australia, Fairfax has got the green light from its shareholders to merge with television network Nine Entertainment in a shake-up of the nation's media industry. Fairfax shareholders gave "overwhelming" support for the multi-billion dollar merger. The new business will apparently be called Nine.

 

SPORT


Cricket…New Zealand have beaten Pakistan by four runs on day four of the first Test in Abu Dhabi. Chasing 176 to win, Pakistan needed just 41 runs with six wickets in hand before collapsing. Ajaz Patel recorded figures of 5-59 for New Zealand as Pakistan were bowled out for 171. It is the closest margin of victory by runs in a Test for 13 years and the fifth-smallest in Test history. The closest finish was when the West Indies beat Australia by just a single run in 1993.


Motorsports.. There’s a possibility that Formula 1 may add a Dutch Grand Prix to the calendar in the wake of the growing popularity of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen. The race was last held at Zandvoort in 1985 but reports say it could be revived for 2020. F1's commercial managing director Sean Bratches reportedly said he was "very interested" in re-establishing the event and that he was having "productive conversations" and was "cautiously optimistic”.

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