Evening Update 08 Mar

Protest - A dozen gillets jaunes protestors have successfully operated a free parking protest at Lenval Hospital in Nice. They say it is unacceptable that parents who have a sick child must spend so much on parking to stay at the bedside of their child. When the protesters explained their position to to car-park staff and police, they were allowed to proceed.

Baby - Maternity leave in Monaco will soon be extended by fourteen days to 18 weeks in total. The announcement was made today, and as soon as it is approved by the National Council, the increase will apply immediately  to private sector employees and shortly after to civil servants and public officials.

SNCF - Train services along the coast are returning to normal after a major power outage during yesterday’s rush hour. SNCF engineers, who were working on the problem overnight, managed to fix it during the morning rush hour and services are just now returning to normal. However Menton and Ventimillia today, there is no service due to a strike on the Italian side of the border.

Simone Veil - Nice born Simone Veil, one the countries most revered politicians, has topped a national poll of personalities who embody feminism the most. In a distinguished career, Ms Veil was Minister for Health in France before serving as President of the European Parliament. In addition, a new Simone Veil Prize of the French Republic will begin this year, donating €100,000 to recipients, whose actions around the world favour women's rights. Today is International Women’s Day, a day first marked on March 8th 1911 by more than a million people across Europe.

BUSINESS

Norway's $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund is expected to sell some of its oil and gas holdings. The holding is on of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, owning $37bn worth of shares in oil companies such as France's Total, BP and Shell. The fund says selling the shares means it will not be as reliant on oil prices.

Chinese exports saw the steepest fall in three years in February, adding to worries about growth in the world's second largest economy. Official data shows exports from China plunged 21% from a year earlier, as its trade war with the US took a toll.

SPORT

Rugby - Sean O'Brien has been left out of the Ireland team to face France in Sunday's Six Nations game in Dublin. Josh van der Flier has been named at ‘open-side flanker’ in one of seven changes to the team that unconvincingly saw off Italy 26-16 in Rome two weeks ago.

Formula 1 - A new change in the scoring system this year will give a point to the driver who sets the fastest lap in a Grand Prix. The move is part of a bid to make F1 more appealing and increase audiences. The rule is expected to be officially confirmed before the season-opening race in Melbourne next weekend.

Football - Chelsea have been denied a request to freeze a transfer ban while they appeal against the punishment handed out by FIFA. The Blues have been banned from registering new players until January 2020 for breaking rules over the signing of foreign under-18 players. The club were charged after FIFA said it found breaches in 29 cases out of 92 investigated, including that of striker Bertrand Traore now at Lyon.

UEFA has backed the ‘video assistant referee’ system's decision to award Manchester United the injury-time penalty that knocked Paris St-Germain out of the Champions League. After a lengthy delay, conducting the review on a pitch-side monitor, the referee allowed the controversial penalty which gave United a 3-1 win on the night and send them through on away goals.

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