Evening Update Friday 19th May 2023

Activists from the CGT trade union have held a protest against what they describe as unacceptable working conditions at one of Cannes’ most prestigious hotels. The five-star Carlton hotel reopened this year after three years of renovation. The CGT says about 100 of the Carlton's staff, out of a total 600, have to work in the hotel's basement and are deprived of natural light. Because the protest was held in the front courtyard of the hotel, on private land, it's not covered by this week's ban on public demonstrations in the vicinity of the Cannes film festival.

A 15-year-old boy is recovering in hospital after a hit-and-run last weekend in the hills above Nice. The boy was riding a 50cc scooter in Colomars when he was violently hit by the driver of a car, who failed to give right of way at a stop sign. The driver fled the scene. Local residents who heard the victim's screams came out to give assistance. The teenager suffered two fractures to his wrist and multiple bruising. Gendarmes in Carros have begun an investigation to try to identify the driver of what's believed to be a grey Volkswagen Golf or Polo.

Terminal 1 of Nice airport had to be briefly evacuated this morning because of a suspect package. A forgetful passenger had left their suitcase behind and the evacuation only lasted about 15 minutes, with no delays to flights as a result.

Two new speed cameras have entered service on the A8 motorway in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var. The first is on the border of the two departments, between the junctions for Les Adrets and Mandelieu on the eastbound side of the motorway. It's on a stretch of road the speed is limited to 110 kilometres per hour. The second new radar is in the other direction, heading towards Aix-en-Provence, just after the exit for Les Adrets.

A strike by school bus drivers around Grasse is causing major headaches for parents for the past two months. Drivers working for Moventis, the new operator of the Sillages bus network since January, have been on strike since 20th March. Several school bus lines around Grasse, Mouans-Sartoux and Peymeinade have been heavily impacted by the walkout. Some parents have had to make their own car-pooling arrangements with neighbours to ensure their children can still get to and from school. A spokesman for the company said holders of annual season tickets would be compensated. The strike notice remains in place until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, about 200,000 regular users of the SNCF's Intercités network will be offered compensation for the numerous strikes, delays and disruptions to the service since the beginning of this year. Transport minister Clement Beaune said holders of an Intercités season ticket would receive up to 50% of their money back. The gesture applies to the users of several main lines around France, including Marseille to Bordeaux and Paris to Toulouse. The affected users will be contacted by email from Monday and the refund procedure is said to be straight-forward and done online.

BUSINESS

British prime minister Rishi Sunak has said he wants to ensure "Russia pays a price" for the war in Ukraine, after announcing new sanctions targeting Russian exports. Speaking to the BBC at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, the prime minister said he was leading the way with new sanctions on Russia. He said he hoped other countries would follow suit. Russian diamond imports to the UK are among the items that will be banned by the government. The Russian diamond industry was worth $4bn (£3.2bn) in exports in 2021. Russian-origin copper, aluminium and nickel imports will also be blocked, under legislation to be introduced later this year.

UK building society Nationwide has revealed a £340m payout to its customer base on the back of a 40% increase in annual profits. The UK's largest building society, which is owned by its customers, said it would pay a £100 reward direct to eligible current accounts. The Fairer Share Payment was due next month, it said, adding that it intended to make further annual distributions so long as they were not detrimental to its financial strength.

SPORT

Football - West Ham players confronted a group of AZ Alkmaar fans who attacked an area in which their friends and family were watching the teams' Europa Conference League semi-final second leg. Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma were among those who tried to intervene in the clashes moments after the Premier League team had reached the final. European football's governing body Uefa will review reports of the incidents before deciding on any action. West Ham manager David Moyes, whose 87-year-old father was reportedly among the crowd, said his players were angered by what had happened in the stadium.

Jose Mourinho's Roma reached the Europa League final by holding Bayer Leverkusen to a goalless draw in the second leg of their semi-final tie. Edoardo Bove's goal gave the Italian side a 1-0 win in the first leg, and that was enough to take them through. Roma progress to face Sevilla in the final in Budapest on 31 May.
 

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