A serious accident occurred this morning on the A8 motorway in the Tunnel de la Coupière, between Roquebrune and Menton. Teams from VINCI Autoroutes were mobilized to allow treatment to those who were injured and then to carry out the evacuation of the vehicles involved. As a result of the accident, the entry from the A8 at Roquebrune was closed for a time and a diversion was set up via La Turbie for cars while HGVs were held on the autoroute.
Teachers at the Calmette High School in Nice have been on strike today in support of one of their colleagues. A teacher from the school was one of four people arrested yesterday on the sidelines of the demonstration by civil servants. The teachers also planned to demonstrate in front of the Auvare police station to demand the release of all those detained after the protests in Nice yesterday but the four people were released from custody just before noon.
A big clean up of the Old Port of Marseille is being organised for tomorrow. About 150 volunteers are expected to help the clean up operation on land, on the surface of the water and underwater. Everything collected will be taken away in special skips provided by local nautical clubs.
Reports say that Yellow Vest protestors will mobilize for Act 26 of their campaign tomorrow. Major demonstrations are planned for Lyon and Nantes. In Paris, the prefecture has closed access to the Champs Elysees as well as the area around Notre-Dame. An exclusion zone has also been set up around shopping areas in Lyon. In Nice the Yellow Vests plan to meet in front of the main railway station from 1pm.
Authorities in Marseille have retrieved a car from the sea. The car apparently left the Corniche Kennedy in the early hours of this morning and crashed into the water. Despite firefighters quickly being in attendance, there was no sign of the driver and no bodies have been recovered. Enquiries are continuing.
The French government has said that four hostages have been freed by French forces in Burkina Faso. Two of those released are French, while the other two are said to be American and South Korean. Two French soldiers were killed during the rescue raid.
The US has more than doubled tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese products, in a sharp escalation of the two countries' trade war. Tariffs on affected Chinese goods have risen to 25% from 10%. China says it "deeply regrets" the move and will have to take "necessary counter-measures". High-level officials from both sides are currently attempting to salvage a trade deal in Washington.
The UK economy grew by 0.5% in the first quarter, up from 0.2% in the previous three months, according to new figures from the ONS. The manufacturing sector grew at its fastest rate since 1988 in the period. The ONS said this was driven by manufacturers rushing to deliver orders before the original Brexit deadline of 29 March.
Shares in IAG – the owner of British Airways – have risen today despite pre-tax profits in the first three months of the year falling by 61% to €86m. Chief Executive Willie Walsh said that IAG remained profitable in a quarter when European airlines were significantly affected by fuel and foreign exchange headwinds, market capacity impacting yield and the timing of Easter.
Cricket…Scotland are playing Afghanistan today.
Motorsports… Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas beat the two Ferraris in a closely matched first practice session at the Spanish Grand Prix. Bottas was 0.115 seconds quicker than Sebastian Vettel, with Charles Leclerc a further 0.106secs behind. Lewis Hamilton was fourth quickest.
Rugby Union… Wales coach Warren Gatland has agreed a deal to take charge of the British and Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa in 2021. Reports say that although no contract has been signed, terms have been agreed by both parties for the New Zealander to lead the Lions for a third time. Gatland has already overseen a winning tour of Australia and a drawn series against the All Blacks.