Evening Update Friday 15 March

Several hundred young people staged a demonstration in Nice this morning to protest about climate change.  According to police, about 350 students gathered at Place Garibaldi.  Demonstrations were also held in Cannes and Valbonne. The protests are part of an international day of action expected to cover about 100 countries. They are inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who protests weekly about climate change outside Sweden's parliament.

The Regional Council has announced a fund of 2 million euros to help businesses affected by the yellow vest protests. The fund, announced this morning, is to help traders and craftsmen in 52 municipalities of the PACA region.

A man was shot dead in Hyeres in the Var late yesterday evening. Police were called after gunshots were heard at about 10pm in the Val des Rougières district. The victim died later in hospital.

A house was destroyed by fire yesterday evening in La Trinité near Nice, causing plumes of smoke which could be seen for many miles around. About 40 firefighters were in attendance. One person was slightly injured.

His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco has sent a message to Ms. Patsy Reddy, the Governor-General of New Zealand after the attacks on mosques in New Zealand. The Prince said that his thoughts are with the grieving families of the innocent victims and expressed feelings of deep pain and sorrow on behalf of the People of Monaco, his Family and himself. Meanwhile, the French Interior minister, Christophe Castaner, has said that the surveillance of places of worship in France will be increased after the attacks. He said that patrols would be provided near religious spaces.

The 77th edition of the Paris to Nice cycle race is finishing this weekend.  There will be many road closures and disruption to traffic is expected.  On Saturday, the cyclists will be leaving the Place Massena in Nice at 11.25am for a 181.5km stage on the roads of the Alpes Maritimes, ending at the Turini Pass. On Sunday, the final day, they will leave the Place Massena at 1.45pm on a stage covering 110km and ending on the Promenade des Anglais just before 5.00pm.

Police in Amsterdam have arrested two people in connection with Paris attacks of 2015.  The two men, aged 29 and 31, are suspected of being involved in the supply of the weapons used in the attacks, according to a statement from the Amsterdam prosecutor’s office. 



The United States Securities and Exchange Commission is suing Volkswagen, accusing the German carmaker of what it calls "massive fraud" over the diesel emissions scandal. The SEC claims the company misled investors by issuing billions of dollars worth of bonds and securities, without disclosing that it had cheated emissions tests. The company said it would contest the SEC lawsuit vigorously.

UBS has reportedly put aside an additional €450m for potential litigation following a €3.7bn fine from French regulators last month. The court in Paris found that the bank had illegally helped French clients hide billions of euros from French tax authorities between 2004 and 2012. UBS is appealing against the verdict.



Motorsports.. Lewis Hamilton headed a Mercedes one-two in second practice at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Hamilton beat Valtteri Bottas by 0.048 seconds but the two were 0.8secs clear of the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly. The Ferrari of  Sebastian Vettel was in fourth place.

Rugby Union-The climax of this year’s 6 Nations Championship will unfold tomorrow with Wales looking to secure the Grand Slam in coach Warren Gatland’s final game in the event. Wales need to beat Ireland to win both the Grand Slam and Triple Crown. Kick off is at 3.45 French time tomorrow afternoon. England can still win the Championship if they beat Scotland at Twickenham and Wales fail to beat Ireland. Kick off there is at 6pm and the other match is between Italy and France. Kick off in Rome is at 1.30 lunchtime.

Football- Tottenham will play Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals, while Manchester United have been drawn against Barcelona. Last year's finalists Liverpool will play Porto, and Ajax will face Juventus. The quarter-final first legs take place on 9 April and 10 April.

Meanwhile, in the Europa League quarter-finals, Arsenal have been drawn against Napoli, while Chelsea will face Slavia Prague. Villarreal take on fellow Spanish side Valencia with Portuguese team Benfica playing Germany's Eintracht Frankfurt.

In the English Premier League this weekend, on Saturday Bournemouth play Newcastle. Burnley host Leicester and West Ham play Huddersfield. On Sunday Fulham play Liverpool and Everton host Chelsea. It’s a shortened Premier League programme because of the FA Cup quarter finals. Tomorrow, Watford play Crystal Palace, Swansea play Manchester City and Wolves host Manchester United. The final tie is on Sunday with Millwall against Brighton.

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