Evening Update Tuesday 14th January

There was disruption in Nice this morning as mass protests against pension reform unexpectedly moved from Place Massena and blocked the cities Port area. Organisers say 7,000 people took part while the police put the figure at 1,500.  

Today’s strike action has seen a loss of all trams services in Nice, a reduction in local train services and severe cutailment of bus services in Nice and Antibes.

Despite yesterday’s concession by the government to remove the proposed increase in retirement age to 64 off the table, unions say they want the entire reform package cancelled and have called for more national action on Thursday.

A boil water notice was been withdrawn in Valbonne after the completion of works on the water network. Authorities say the work took longer than expected due to bad weather at the end of last year. However, restrictions on tap water remain in parts of Bar-sur-Loup, Chateauneuf, Grasse and Mougins.

The trial of a French paedophile priest accused of abusing boy scouts began in Lyon this morning. The case is the most extensive abuse scandal involving the Catholic Church to reach French courts to date. It involves accusations of sexual abuse over multiple decades and allegations of cover-ups within the Church hierarchy. The former Bishop of Lyon has already been convicted of failing to inform legal officials of the priest’s actions last March.

A survey from Santé Publique on alcohol consumption shows the Alpes-Maritimes is lower than the national average for regular consumption, but higher for so-called ‘binge drinking’ where six or more drinks are taken on one occasion. The survey also showed a preference for beer in the north and spirits to the west, while the south remained traditional with a preference for wine.

BUSINESS

Ratings agency Moody’s have issued a negative outlook for the Eurozone. The report suggests economies here are vulnerable to rising protectionism and geo-political risks, and that countries ability to handle economic shocks are inhibited.

Siemens says it will fulfil a deal to help develop a huge coal mine in Australia despite protests by climate activists. The controversial open-cast mine in Queensland will go operational next year. Siemens CEO said they should have been wiser about this project but they need to be a supplier who sticks to their commitments.

SPORT

Tennis - Dalila Jak.upovic says she was really scared as she retired from her Australian Open qualifying match because of the unhealthy air quality from bushfires. The Slovenian had to be helped off court after she retired at 6-5 5-6 in her first round game in Melbourne.

Meanwhile rising American star Coco Gauff can't wait for her Melbourne debut. The 15-year-old enjoyed a breakout year in 2019,becoming the youngest qualifier to reach the main draw at Wimbledon in the Open era. She shocked her idol Venus Williams in the first round before going on to reach the fourth round where she lost to eventual champion Simona Halep. Gauff, who is part of Roger Federer's management company Team8, went on to reach the third round of the US Open and the world No 66 is now preparing to make her main draw debut in Melbourne.

Football - Quique Setien says he could not have imagined becoming Barcelona manager in his wildest dreams. Speaking yesterday, after being name the new club boss, he said he spent the weekend walking around his home town with cows and now he is at Barcelona managing the best players in the world!

Rugby - Italy legend Sergio Parisse plans to mark his retirement with a final appearance for the Azzurri at this year's Six Nations. The player was denied a farewell appearance at the World Cup when Italy’s game against Japan was cancelled due to typhoon.

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