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Evening Update Monday 23 April

The latest in a series of rolling strikes on the rail network is underway with commuters facing reduced services today and tomorrow. Locally only two in five regional services are expected to be operating with one in three TGV trains in operation. The strike will end at 8am on Wednesday with more industrial action scheduled for next weekend.


Meanwhile Air France is cancelling 22 flights to or from Nice airport today as a result of continuing industrial action by staff over pay. The action is set to continue tomorrow, when the airline plans to operate almost 75% of its total flight schedule.  However, the airline says that Air France flights operated by an aircraft other than Air France or Joon (such as Hop! And KLM) will not be affected by this strike. 


A car caught burst into flames this lunchtime in a car park on the former RN7 in Villeneuve Loubet.  The road was closed to traffic for a time as a result of the fire.  Pompiers extinguished the blaze and the road has been re-opened.
In Marseille, a man was shot by police yesterday after he apparently attempted to take his own life.  According to local reports, the 55 year old attempted to stab himself with a knife and then attacked police who responded to the incident.  The police fired two shots at the man, hitting him in the knees.  He is currently being detained in hospital.


The A500 Monaco tunnel leading to and from the A8 motorway will be closed at night from Monday to Thursday this week for maintenance work.  The closures are from 8pm to 6am.  As a result, Junction 56, the Monaco turnoff from the A8, will be closed and diversions will be in place via Junction 57, La Turbie, which will be open as normal.


A delivery worker was seriously injured this morning while unloading a truck at the Carrefour supermarket on the avenue de la Californie in Nice. His leg was apparently crushed by a pallet.  Police and pompiers attended the scene and the man was taken to the Pasteur 2 Hospital.


IN FRENCH NATIONAL NEWS


The sole surviving suspect from the 2015 Paris attacks has been jailed for 20 years in Belgium. Salah Abdeslam and a co-defendant were both convicted of terror-related charges of attempted murder.

The French National Assembly has passed a tough new immigration bill that aims to tighten the rules around asylum. The bill shortens the deadline for asylum application deadlines and doubles the time for which illegal migrants can be detained. Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has announced that police reinforcements will be sent to the Haute-Alpes after pro and anti-migrant demonstrations at the weekend.

 

BUSINESS

Confidence in France’s private business sector has shown an unexpected increase. The latest IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index is up to 56.9, from 56.3 in March, beating economists' forecasts. The increase was despite disruption caused by the rolling SNCF strikes.


US oil services company Halliburton has reported a 34% increase in first-quarter revenues on the back of rising crude prices. The company's revenue from North America increased nearly 58%.


First-quarter net profit at Swiss bank UBS has risen 19% to 1.5bn Swiss francs. The bank said that global economic growth prospects looked healthy, but geopolitical tensions and rising protectionism remained a threat to investor confidence.


The EU is to investigate whether the Italian government breached state aid rules by transferring 900 million euros to Alitalia last year while a buyer was found for the airline. If the aid is deemed illegal, the European Commission can order the Italian government to take the money back into state accounts.

 

SPORT

RUGBY UNION.. England captain Dylan Hartley has been ruled out of the summer tour of South Africa because of concussion.  Hartley hasn’t played since sustaining a head injury in last month's Six Nations match against Ireland.  The three Tests against South Africa, start in Johannesburg on 9 June.


FOOTBALL… Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has asked fans to "show respect" outside Anfield before tomorrow's Champions League match against Roma, and not throw objects at the team's bus. Earlier this month cans, bottles and flares were thrown at Manchester City's bus as it arrived at the ground. Two  police officers were injured in that incident and Uefa - has opened disciplinary proceedings.


GOLF… French player Alexander Levy has increased his chances of qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team with a victory in the Hassan Trophy in Morocco. Levy finished eight-under - one clear of Spanish player Alvaro Quiros. The Ryder Cup takes place in Magny-les-Hameaux near Paris in September.

 

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