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Evening News Update Tuesday 20 November

The yellow vest protest against fuel prices has been continuing for a fourth day today. On the A8 motorway demonstrators have been present on the access roads at Junction 42, Mougins, and Junction 44 at Antibes in the direction of Nice has been closed again. Demonstrators are reportedly present this evening at the Nice St Isadore tolls and have raised the toll barriers to allow motorists to pass freely, as they did yesterday. A filtering operation was in place at the La Barque tollbooth in Aix-en-Provence towards Lyon and at motorway junctions at Saint-Maximin and Le Muy earlier today and at several other non-motorway locations. Motorway operator VINCI Autoroutes says that great caution is required when approaching tolls and access to highways, where pedestrians may be present. The Ministry of the Interior has stated that police will intervene to free up blockages in the coming hours. The yellow vest action is supported by almost three-quarters of French people, according to several polls.


About one hundred nurses staged a protest in front of the prefecture in Nice this afternoon. They were protesting at the introduction of the 2022 health plan and their levels of pay.


A firefighting drill has been taking place in Nice this afternoon. The simulation was aimed at testing procedures in case of fire and was carried out in the tunnel of Line 2 of the tramway, which is still under construction. The operation affected the areas of Jean Médecin and Alsace Lorraine.


An Italian court has asked for the detention of the migrant rescue ship Aquarius, which is currently in Marseille. According to the prosecutor's office in Catania in Sicily, Aquarius and Vos Prudence, another humanitarian ship, are suspected of having treated a total of 24 tons of contaminated waste as conventional waste. Médecins Sans Frontiers, which has chartered the Aquarius with SOS Méditerranée since 2016, said that it was a disproportionate measure, aimed at criminalizing the medico-humanitarian action at sea.


BUSINESS

The French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has said Carlos Ghosn should not remain in charge of Renault following his arrest in Japan over claims of "misconduct". He said Mr Ghosn was "no longer in a position" to lead the carmaker in which the French state has a 15% stake. He added that Renault's partnership with Nissan remained in the interests of both France and Japan and of both companies.

EasyJet has announced pre-tax profits up by 41% to £578m for the year to the end of September. The airline flew up 10.2% more passengers than the previous year and revenues rose 16.8% to £5.9bn. The company said it had already sold half its seats for the first half of 2019.

In the UK, catering company Compass Group said underlying operating profit rose to £1.74bn for the year to the end of September, from £1.63bn a year earlier. The company forecast a further year of growth ahead.


SPORT


Cricket… Cricket Australia has said that the bans on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will not be reduced. Smith and Warner were suspended for 12 months and Bancroft for nine months for ball-tampering in South Africa in March. The Australian Cricketers' Association wanted the punishment lifted after an independent review into Cricket Australia found it to be partly to blame.


Rugby Union..  It’s reported that ten members of Australia's travelling party, a mix of players and staff, are suffering from illness ahead of the match against England on Saturday. They’re believed to have been struck down with a stomach bug. England wing Chris Ashton missed training today and is expected to be ruled out of the match.
Meanwhile, Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny has been ruled out of Saturday's autumn Test against South Africa after failing to recover from concussion. George North has recovered from a bruised leg and is available. Dragons back Hallam Amos has been added to the squad as cover for the full-back and wing positions.

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