Evening Update Monday 27 January 2020

Public transport is set to be badly disrupted again this Wednesday because of industrial action against pension reforms. Once again, there will be no trams running in Nice and Lignes d'Azur buses will be disrupted. Envibus services in Sophia Antipolis will be cancelled for the day. On-street parking in Nice will be free of charge. A demonstration is also scheduled to take place in central Nice on Wednesday.

Several hundred demonstrators gathered in front of the Renoir high school in Cagnes-sur-Mer this morning to protest at the changes to the Baccalauréat exam. The protests were against the controversial "E3C" version of the exam which involves continuous assessment tests.

Several people have appeared in court today in connection with a major anti-drug smuggling operation conducted by authorities over the past week. According to reports, ten people have been arrested in the PACA region in connection with the smuggling of drugs from the Antilles. Four people were also arrested in Guadeloupe.

It’s emerged that the road to Sospel, the RD 2566, won’t be re-opened to traffic until March. The road has been closed because of a landslide last November. It had been hoped to re-open the road at the end of this month but new stability problems have been discovered which have resulted in a further delay.

French Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner has announced the withdrawal from use of a controversial hand grenade which had been used by police during the yellow vest protests. The GLI-F4 grenade, which contains about 30g of explosive along with tear gas and detonates with an extremely high level of noise, has been the cause of serious injury to several protestors over the last few years.

New figures published by the Pôle Emploi show that unemployment in France fell last year. The number of unemployed job seekers fell by 3.3%, which is the largest drop since 2008. The data also suggests that long-term unemployment has fallen, with registrants who were unemployed for more than one year going down by 1.7%. However, there were still just over two and a half million long-term unemployed in the country.

A small earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale was recorded off the coast of the Var this morning. The French Central Seismological Bureau reported that the quake happened 129 km off Frejus, 10km below the seabed at 4.29am. The quake was too far out at sea to have had any impact on land.

Police in Canada have said that two more bodies of French tourists have been found in a river in Quebec. Eight French tourists and a Canadian guide had set out on snowmobiles in the area before falling through the ice last week. Reports say that the three survivors, who suffered from minor injuries and shock, have now returned to France.

VINCI Autoroutes will be carrying out maintenance and shoulder cleaning operations at several junctions on the A8 motorway tonight from 9pm to 5am. The works will affect Mandelieu Est (Jct 41), Cagnes-sur-Mer (Jct 48) and Menton (Jct 59).

 

BUSINESS

Worries over the continued spread of the coronavirus have hit the financial markets. Airlines and companies with significant sales in China saw some of the biggest share price falls. The price of oil has also fallen heavily. Meanwhile, many companies in China have advised staff to work from home in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Some businesses are also offering workers longer holidays, as well as telling employees returning from the most affected areas to stay away from work. It comes after the Chinese government extended the Lunar New Year holiday by three days to Sunday.

Business confidence in Germany fell in January, according to a survey by the Ifo institute. An index measuring the country's business climate fell to a reading of 95.9, down from the 96.3 recorded in December.

 

SPORT

Cricket...England have won the 4th Test in Johannesburg by 191 runs. The victory completes a 3-1 series win.

Tennis...Rafael Nadal has beaten Nick Kyrgios to reach the Australian Open quarter finals. The final score was  6-3  3-6  7-6  7-6. Nadal will face Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the last eight. Meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka beat fourth seed Daniil Medvedev to get through to the quarter-finals.

Rugby Union... England and Harlequins prop Kyle Sinckler has agreed a two-year contract with Bristol Bears. The 26-year-old British & Irish Lions forward will switch Premiership clubs in the summer.

Golf... Marc Leishman posted a seven-under 65 to secure his fifth PGA Tour title in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. The world number 28 was four back overnight but carded eight birdies to finish on 15 under. Previous leader Jon Rahm finished second. Rory McIlroy tied at third at 12 under, while Tiger Woods was 9 under.

 

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