Preparations are underway across our region for the big day of industrial action against pension reforms this Thursday. It’s been announced that no trams will be operating in Nice on Thursday. There will be free on street parking in Nice for motorists. Disruption because of industrial action is expected to be widespread, with train and bus drivers, Air France pilots, truck drivers, teachers, street-cleaners and employees in many other occupations all threatening to stay out of work for an indefinite period. Currently, over half of the schools in Nice are expected to be closed on Thursday. As is usual during industrial action, train services will begin to be disrupted from the evening before strike day – in other words from tomorrow evening. Timetables for Thursday are expected to be posted on the SNCF website, that’s www.sncf.com , from early this evening. Bus services will be severely disrupted but some services will be running. Those services are listed on www.lignesdazur.com Protest meetings are planned throughout France with local trade unions call for protestors to assemble at 10 o'clock on Thursday in the Place Massena. In Draguignan, a march will leave the sub-prefecture at 10:30am.
French government minister Elisabeth Borne is scheduled to visit the Var this Tuesday evening. The Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition is expected to meet with victims of the recent floods and to discuss flood prevention measures with local officials. As the Riviera recovers from the torrential rains which have hit the region in the last week, 82 communes in the Var and 66 in the Alpes Maritimes have been recognized as a “state of natural disaster”. Meanwhile, Insurance companies have reported nearly 20,000 claims in just one week following the floods which hit the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var from the 22nd to 24th November. The storms this past weekend claimed the lives of six people. In about ten days the two “Mediterranean episodes” of heavy rains, floods and wind, resulted in the death of twelve people in the South-East of France.
Line 2 of the Nice tramway was out of action for a couple of hours this morning. Lignes d’Azur said that the outage was due to a technical problem. Trams on the line came to a halt at 8am but resumed about 10.30.
The dates for the “winter sales” in France have been announced this morning. For the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes the sales will kick off on Wednesday, January 8th until Tuesday, February 4th. In Monaco, winter sales should begin earlier than in France; dates are yet to be released.
US President Donald Trump has accused French President Emmanuel Macron of being "nasty" for saying Nato was "brain dead". Trump is in London for a summit marking the Western military alliance's 70th anniversary. Trump said Nato served a great purpose, and the President’s remarks had been "very insulting". He also said he could see France "breaking off" from Nato, but did not explain why.
France’s postal service La Poste has begun using drones to make parcel deliveries to a remote Alpine village. La Poste’s subsidiary, DPD, says flying packages by remote control is more reliable, quicker and safer. The delivery by drone, which flies at around 30km/h, takes eight minutes for a round trip, compared with 30 minutes for a vehicle. The DPD began researching the possibility of using drones to make deliveries in 2014 and has been experimenting with the technology ever since. La Poste was given permission by France’s civil aviation authority to begin using the drones, which have six electric rotors that can be charged using solar panels, and an inbuilt GPS system, for deliveries in the Isère region of south-east of France.
Sky Studios has announced plans to build a new 32-acre TV and film studio at Elstree, near London. The broadcaster said will create 2,000 jobs. The company is investing £3bn in the project which will house 14 sound stages.
Black Friday sales in the UK climbed more than 7%, according to data from Barclaycard. The company said sales volumes for the full week of Black Friday – that’s Monday 25 November to Monday 2 December - were up 7.14 per cent compared to last year.
Football…. England will face Austria and Romania in June during their pre-tournament training camp for Euro 2020. Gareth Southgate's side will play Austria in Vienna on Tuesday, 2 June prior to hosting Romania five days later at a venue yet to be decided. Those games have been added to a match against Denmark at Wembley on 31 March.
Mario Balotelli can leave Brescia on a free transfer in January because he is not suited to a relegation scrap, according to the club's president Massimo Cellino. He said that Balotelli needs to choose which road is best for him.
There are two games in the English Premier League tonight. Crystal Palace play Bournemouth and Burnley host Manchester City.
Cricket.. The second Test between New Zealand and England in Hamilton has ended in a draw. England were unable to get any more second innings New Zealand wickets before rain ended play early on the final day with the home side on 241 for 2. New Zealand win the series 1-0. England now fly home before starting a 4 match Test series in South Africa while New Zealand are off to Australia for a Test series.
Motorsports… Formula E will be given world championship status from next season after a vote by the world governing body for motorsport, the FIA. The 14-race all-electric series will be certified for its 2020-21 season. Formula 1 is the only other single-seater racing series currently recognised as a world championship.