Evening Update 07 Dec

Unrest continues across France as national protests by gillets jaunes and students continue.

There was another large march by students in Nice this morning, causing disruption from Place Massena to la gare and back to Place Garibaldi.

Near Paris, photos of students on their knees, with their hands on their heads, surrounded by riot police have caused outrage nationally, to the extent the rights watchdog the Defenseur des Droits has opened an investigation into the arrest of the 150 students.

Paris is  bracing for a day of yellow vest protests tomorrow. The capitals’ Mayor said the city will be in lockdown, with the Eiffel Tower and other iconic sites closed for the day, in addition to many of the shops in and around the Champs Elysee.

In Toulouse, police have seized 28 molotov cocktails and a number of homemade bombs from protestors there, while authorities in the Var have banned the sale or transport of fireworks, combustible fuels or flammable gasses for the next few days. At Puget-sur-Argens, yellow vests once again blocked the fuel depot last night, in an attempt to disrupt petrol supplies on the Cote d’Azur, but dispersed when police arrived.

An online campaign against violent protest has begun with the hashtag #stopviolences popular on Twitter. To secure safety, the government has put 100,000 police on duty, with 10% of them in Paris alone.

BUSINESS

Oil prices are back up slightly today as OPEC agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day. However, bond markets continue to fluctuate over uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and the US – China trade truce. Should the price of oil not improve, that could make the markets even more volatile.

The French Labour Minister has said the government acknowledges recent protests are about far more than fuel taxes. At a meeting with employers and unions today, she urged companies to take the opportunity to increase workers wages. She said everyone can do something, so everyone must do something.

A new phone app, which allows fans to connect with and share the lives of famous footballers, has raised over $64 million in seed capital. The app, which features Paris St-Germains Neymar, David Beckham, Lionel Messi and more, will be available for a monthly subscription of €4.

SPORT

Tennis - Amelie Mauresmo has declined to act as captain of France's Davis Cup team, so she can instead coach fellow French player Lucas Pouille. Previously she coached Andy Murray for two years and guided France's women’s team to the Fed Cup final in 2016. Had the 39-year-old accepted the Davis Cup position, she would have been France's first female captain.

Football - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said he is fully committed to the club, despite rumours he may return to Real Madrid. Mourinho's position at the club has been under scrutiny this season with United currently eighth in the Premier League, eight points off the top four.

The English Premier League is back in action this weekend with the big match Chelsea against Manchester City, while in Rugby, there are two European Champions Cup games tonight; Scarlets play Ulster in Group 4 and Edinburgh play Newcastle in Pool 5.

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