Evening News Update Thursday 3 January

Nice Côte d'Azur airport has announced record passenger numbers for 2018.  13.85 million passengers used the airport during the course of the year, an increase of half a million on the 2017 figures. It’s the eighth year in a row that the airport has recorded increased passenger numbers.


The CGT union has called for Air France employees at Marseille airport to stop work next Monday, the 7th of January. The stoppage is to protest at what the union calls "increasingly difficult working conditions". Three employees at Marseille airport committed suicide in November and December but the union said that they didn’t know if there was a link with their work. 

 

A lone sailor has been rescued by helicopter from his yacht off the Île de Porquerolles.  The boat had broken its mast in 30 knot winds and high waves.  The man taken to Sainte-Anne Hospital in Toulon suffering from mild hypothermia.


French ski resorts have recorded higher occupancy rates during the Christmas holidays, with a second week showing a 14% increase in the number of rentals compared to 2017. For Christmas week, occupancy rates averaged 81%, an increase of 3 points in one year. The study showed that the best week for business was the New Year, during which the average occupancy rates reached 85%, 10 points higher than in 2017.


Demonstrators are reportedly occupying a branch of BNP Paribas in central Marseille today.  The union members are protesting at what they say is the imbalance between the wealth of banks and that of the population. The protest is peaceful and the branch is apparently continuing to operate as normal.


The Louvre Museum in Paris has broken its record for the number of visitors in 2018 by welcoming 10.2 million people, an increase of 25% compared to 2017. To date, no museum in the world has reached this figure. The year was marked by a sharp increase in the number of foreign visitors, who represent nearly three quarters of visitors.


UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee agency, has said that 2,262 migrants lost their lives while crossing the Mediterranean in 2018. 113,482 people arrived in Europe by sea, mainly via Spain. The level of arrivals fell from a peak of just over one million in 2015. The number of migrants arriving in Italy dropped from just under 120,000 in 2017 to about 23,000 last year. The Italian government closed the country’s ports to rescue ships last summer.


BUSINESS


Pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb is taking over Celgene in a deal worth $74bn. Bristol-Myers shareholders will own about 69% of the merged company, with 31% owned by Celgene shareholders. 

 

Private sector firms in the US created more jobs than expected last month, according to the latest ADP national employment report. It found companies in the private sector added 271,000 jobs in December, beating analysts' expectations of about 178,000. The more comprehensive US non-farm payrolls figures are released tomorrow.

 

The European Commission has cleared the sale of UK based Costa Coffee to US drinks maker Coca-Cola by Whitbread. The Commission said that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because the companies do not sell the same products and the links between their activities are limited.

 

SPORT

 

Cricket…It’s been day one of the fourth test, Australia v India, at the Sydney Cricket Ground.  At the close of play India were on 303 for 4, with Australia yet to bat.


Tennis… World number 3 Caroline Wozniacki is out of the ASB Classic in Auckland.  She was beaten 6-4  6-4 by 18 year old Canadian Bianca Andreescu who will meet Venus Williams in the next round.

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