Evening Update Wednesday 24 January 2024

French farmers have been staging protests again today and are expected to do so in many areas tomorrow. The A7 motorway was closed for a time this morning between Avignon and Carpentras because of a blockade by farmers. The prefecture advised motorists to postpone trips and avoid the Avignon area this morning. A group of farmers were present all night last night on part of the A7. A go-slow operation also affected traffic on the A57 and A50 motorways near Toulon during this morning's rush hour. This evening the Var prefecture said that processions of demonstrators will converge towards Toulon tomorrow morning and it's advisable to postpone your travels and to avoid using the highways around Toulon and the secondary roads around the meeting points such as, at 8:30 am, at the Cadière and Cuers roundabouts. The processions plan to head towards the Var prefecture. A procession is also expected in the town center of Draguignan tomorrow morning. Numerous other blockades and go-slow operations have been taking place on roads in rural areas across France, including in Brittany, the Grand-Est, the Center Val-de-Loire and the Hauts-de-France. Meanwhile, French government spokesperson Prisca Thevenot said today that there is "no question" of the government preventing such action as it was organized within the legal framework.

A man has died after being hit by a train at Cannes-la-Bocca railway station. The incident happened at just after midday today. Trains between Cannes and Saint Raphael were disrupted for several hours to allow investigations to take place but are now returning to normal.

French supermarket operator Casino has announced the sale of 288 stores to retailers Intermarche and Auchan. Casino said that the deal was valued at almost 1.35 billion euros and would take place in stages in April, May and July. It said that provisions had been made for the continuation of the jobs of employees in the stores.

The French National Assembly has been debating the inclusion of abortion in the French constitution. A vote is expected to be held in the Assembly next Tuesday.

Nice mayor Christian Estrosi has held a meeting with staff from Lignes d'Azur to thank them for their service. He said that 2024 will be the year of the entry into service of "the high level of service buses and the continuation of the transition of our fleet towards 100% low emissions".



EasyJet has issued a trading update for the quarter ended December 31. It said that headline results were impacted by the conflict in the Middle East, with a pause in flights to Israel and Jordan, which currently remains in place. It reported a headline loss before tax of £126 million for the quarter. Passenger growth was up 14% year on year. It said that as far as easyJet holidays are concerned, customer numbers increased by 48% compared to the same period last year, with a profit of £30 million, a 131% increase year-on-year.

Private sector business in the Eurozone contracted once again this month according to a widely watched survey of purchasing managers by S&P Global. It's composite output index showed a reading of 47.9, which is a rise compared to recent readings, but still below 50, indicating contraction.



Cricket... Brisbane Heat have won the Big Bash with a 54-run victory over Sydney Sixers. Josh Brown made a half century and Matthew Renshaw scored 40 off 22 balls.

Tennis... Daniil Medvedev has beaten Polish ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz to take his place in this year's semi-finals of the Australian Open. The final score was 7-6 2-6 6-3 5-7 6-4. Carlos Alcaraz is out of the tournament after being beaten by Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-3 6-7 6-4 at 1:20am local time. Meanwhile, Dayana Yastremska has become the first qualifier since 1978 to reach the Australian Open semi-finals. She beat Czech teenager Linda Noskova 6-3 6-4.

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