Evening News Update Monday 17 December

Reports say that motorway operator Vinci Autoroutes will attempt to recover unpaid toll fees from those motorists who went through tolls without paying during the yellow vest protests.  Toll barriers were removed at various local toll stations by the yellow vests, allowing motorists to pass through the tolls without paying.  The company says it is using its video surveillance systems to identify those motorists, who will receive bills in the post in the coming weeks.  No fines will be levied though. The company said its goal is not to penalize customers but simply to claim what is due. Vinci Autoroutes says that damage estimated at several tens of millions of euros has been caused to the company’s equipment and infrastructure since the beginning of the yellow vest movement. Meanwhile, five people were arrested on Saturday night at the Antibes toll booths following a demonstration by yellow vest protesters earlier in the day.

A burst water main on the boulevard de Riquier caused rush hour traffic disruption in central Nice this morning. The nearby Deloy tunnel, which goes under the place Max-Barel was completely flooded.  The burst happened at about 8am and according to reports the source of the leak was identified at about 10.30. Pompiers then proceeded to pump the water out of the tunnel, which was then closed for the day.

A self-driving car was demonstrated for the first time on the streets of Nice today.  The “Autonomous Smart Car” travelled down a closed section of the Promenade des Anglais. Managers from Akka and Vulog, the companies responsible for the test were welcomed by mayor Christian Estrosi.

Marseille Provence airport has introduced new automated equipment to allow faster checking of passengers’ identity. The new equipment uses facial recognition technology which compares the photograph taken with the photo on the passenger’s e-passport.  The equipment has cost the airport 2 million euros and the new system can currently be used by the holders of passports from 32 countries.

The start date for grabbing a bargain in the winter sales has been announced. In the PACA region, the sales will start on January 9 and will end on February 19.  The French Ministry of the Economy sets the official sales dates each year.  In Monaco, the sales are starting a week earlier, on January 2.


BUSINESS


Malaysia has filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and two former employees in connection with a corruption and money laundering probe at the country's investment fund, 1MDB.  Goldman Sachs called the charges "misdirected" and said it would "vigorously defend them".


Google is splashing out $1bn on a new headquarters in New York. The 1.7 million square-foot “Google Hudson Square” will be the primary location for the firm's global business organisation.  Amazon recently chose New York as its second headquarters.


In the UK, household confidence hit a six month low in December, according to an index compiled by IHS Markit. The reading on the index was 43.9 - the lowest since June.

 


SPORT

 

Football…Liverpool will take on Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16, while Manchester United have been drawn against Paris St-Germain. Manchester City play Schalke and Spurs take on Borussia Dortmund. It’s Real Madrid against Ajax. Juventus face Europa League winners Atletico Madrid, Barcelona meet Lyon, while Roma face Portuguese champions Porto. The first legs will take place on 12-13 and 19-20 February.


Tennis… Former world number four Sebastien Grosjean has been named captain of France's Davis Cup team for the next two seasons. The 40-year-old won four ATP Tour titles before retiring in May 2010. Next year the Davis Cup's format will be replaced by an 18-nation World Cup-style event, to be held in Madrid in November 2019.


Cricket… It’s the end of Day 4 of the Second Test at Perth Stadium. Australia held India to 112-5, meaning that India need 175 more runs to win.

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