Evening Update Friday 22 March

Following the decision to ban demonstrations in Nice this weekend the Prefecture has announced that the areas concerned are the city centre, the Promenade des Anglais and the Plaine du Var. The ban co-insides with the arrival of the Chinese President and will be in place until Xi Jinping’s departure on Monday. The Presidential visit will see several security measures in place from Saturday at 10pm until Monday 8pm. The Promenade will be closed to the regions bus network, motorists and cyclists. However pedestrians will be able to walk on the Promenade with restrictions in place in front of and around the Negresco hotel. The trains will also be affected with Nice Riquier, Villefranche, Beaulieu, Eze and Cap d’Ail remaining closed with no trains running between Nice Riquier and Menton on Sunday between 6pm and 10.30pm.

According to reports, yellow vest meetings are still planned in Nice tomorrow, at 1.30pm in front of Nice Ville railway station instead of the usual meeting point of the Place Garibaldi.  It’s thought that gatherings may also happen tomorrow morning on the Promenade des Anglais and during the day at the Italian border.

A pedestrian has been seriously injured after falling from a bridge over the voie rapide in Nice this afternoon. The man has been taken to the Pasteur Hospital 2 in Nice.

A forest fire affecting about 20 hectares has broken out in Fontan, between Breil-sur-Roya and Tende.  According to reports, the fire broke out last night and is being fought using firefighters from Menton, Tende, Breil-sur-Roya and other areas, supported by two water bombing aircraft.

Five people, who are all members of the same family, have been detained in Toulon suspected of a large number of burglaries. Authorities believe the five to have carried out 150 burglaries in and around Toulon since last July.  They are due to appear before an examining magistrate shortly. 

Cannes is playing host to a worldwide gathering of hotel concierges over the next few days.  Les Clefs d’Or is in its 66th year this year features a list of speakers connected with the tourism industry as well as an awards ceremony.  The gathering runs from today until next Wednesday.


BUSINESS

Indonesian airline Garuda is seeking to scrap its multi-billion dollar order for 49 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft after the plane was involved in two fatal crashes. The move is thought to be the first formal cancellation of an order for the aircraft. Garuda said passengers had "lost trust" in the plane.

Thomas Cook is closing 21 stores in the UK at the cost of 102 jobs. Another 218 jobs in remaining stores are being cut as well.

IHS Markit have released their Purchasing Managers’ Index for France. The index for March fell to 48.7 from 50.4 in February. A figure below 50 indicates contraction and economists had been expecting it continue to show an expansion in services and manufacturing. Meanwhile, PMI data from Germany shows that while the services sector was still showing expansion, manufacturing was contracting. The index for manufacturing was at 44.7, indicating contraction. For services, the reading was 54.9, still showing growth. The combined index gave its lowest reading since June 2013.

 

SPORT

Football… Paris Saint-Germain player Neymar has been charged by UEFA with "insulting acts against a match official" following his comments on social media about the Champions League tie with Manchester United. He called the decision to award United a 94th-minute penalty in the match "a disgrace".

Birmingham City have been deducted nine points by the English Football League for breaching profitability and sustainability rules. The sanction would see the team drop from 13th to 18th in the Championship, five points above the relegation zone with eight games to play.

Rugby Union… Grand Slam winning Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones has been named player of the 2019 Six Nations in a public vote. He beat three fellow Welshmen on the shortlist - Josh Adams, Liam Williams and Hadleigh Parkes, and two England players, Jonny May and Tom Curry.

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