Demonstrations took place in Nice this morning to protest at proposed government reforms. Members of various professions including railway workers, lawyers and health workers marched from the railway station to Place Garibaldi. Police put the number of demonstrators at about one thousand but the CGT union said five thousand had taken part. Other protests took place in our region, including in Draguignan where several hundred demonstrators marched through the streets. A small group of students is also reported to have blocked access to the Valrose science department of Nice University.
Delays and cancellations are being experienced on the region’s train network as the SNCF continue strike action today with one out of three TGV’s in operation and two out of five regional services running. Transport in Nice is difficult with both the tramway and bus services disrupted. The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has confirmed that due to the complications caused by the strike action motorists are not being charged for street parking in the city today.
Stabbing in car park in Juan-les-Pins - Police have opened an investigation into the stabbing of a 32 year old man in Juan-les-Pins. The incident happened at around 8pm on Wednesday evening at the Esterel public car park. The victim was injured with a pair of scissors before emergency services took him to hospital.
Two people have been rescued from a burning boat off Ramatuelle. The catamaran caught fire around lunchtime today but nobody was injured in the incident. Enquiries are underway to establish to cause of the fire.
Film Festival – A film by former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam is to receive its world premier at the Cannes Film Festival. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote stars Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce and will be released in France on the day it’s shown in Cannes. The festival’s artistic director also indicated today that Lars Von Trier’s film The House That Jack Built is expected to be shown.
An elderly woman who went missing yesterday in the area between Valcros et Tanneron has been found. The 72 year old was dehydrated after spending many hours outside but was otherwise in good health.
Japanese pharmaceuticals company Takeda has confirmed that it has made a bid for Irish headquartered company Shire. Shire has rejected the bid but has said that it has entered into a dialogue with Takeda’s advisers to discuss whether a further proposal might be forthcoming.
In the UK, retails sales have fallen 1.2 per cent from February to March. The Office for National Statistics said that the bad weather resulted in reduced sales at high street stores but boosted online sales, with department stores in particular seeing an increase in their web sales.
TENNIS…It’s the Round 3 matches taking place in the Monte Carlo Masters today. Alexander Zverev defeated fellow German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Meanwhile, number 6 seeded David Goffin is through to the next round after beating Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 7-5. Grigor Dimitrov beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
FOOTBALL..Chelsea's Marcos Alonso has received a three-match ban for violent conduct. The ban means that he’ll miss the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton at Wembley on Sunday and Premier League matches at Burnley and Swansea later this month. The 27-year-old was charged by the Football Association after a challenge on Shane Long in Saturday's game against the Saints. Also in football news, Fifa has announced that at the 2018 World Cup video replays of incidents reviewed by video assistant referees will be shown on big screens in stadiums. However the replays will not be shown inside the ground while the referee is making a decision, only afterwards to avoid the official being influenced by the crowd.
CRICKET… Tim Paine, the newly appointed Australia captain, has said that the team will reduce the amount of sledging. Sledging is the practice of verbally intimidating opposing players. Australia have been criticised for an aggressive approach and Cricket Australia has launched a review into the team's culture.