Evening Update Monday 3 February 2020

Local public transport is once again expected to be badly affected by another day of national industrial action this Thursday. No trams will run in Nice and local busses will be disrupted but, as usual on strike days, on-street parking in Nice will be free. A committee in the National Assembly in Paris has today begun examining the text of the proposed universal retirement system legislation which has been the subject of so much controversy in recent weeks.

The French government has said that twenty people who arrived from China have tested negative for the coronavirus. The twenty were on board the second French repatriation plane from China to land in France. The plane landed in Istres yesterday with a total of 254 passengers on board. The twenty people who were tested had exhibited symptoms of the virus but, after testing negative, were allowed to continue to the isolation centre in Carry-le-Rouet in the Bouche du Rhone where they will be quarantined for 14 days.

A new departmental director of public security has been appointed for the Alpes Maritimes. Nadine Le Calonnec currently occupies the same post in the Isère department, which she will reportedly leave on the 1st of March to take up her new post in Nice. She will replace Jean-François Illy, who was dismissed by Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner last month.

With very high winds expected in our region, the Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has called for vigilance in the use of fire, particularly because of the current dry state of undergrowth. A prefectural decree made in 2014 prohibits any form of burning as soon as the wind exceeds an average of 20 km per hour.

In Marseille, 64 heads of departments at the public assistance hospital have signed a resignation letter. They are protesting at various issues, including working conditions, budget constraints, salaries and a reduction in the number of beds. The letter will be delivered tomorrow to the Director General of Public Assistance for Marseille Hospitals. The doctors will continue their medical duties as usual but are intending to resign from their administrative duties.

A 57-year-old woman has been airlifted to hospital after a serious car accident this morning near Frejus. Two vehicles collided on the RD4 between Fréjus and Bagnols-en-Forêt at about 9.00 this morning. Two other people were slightly injured in the accident.

A large emergency vaccination operation has been underway today in the port of Marseille. About 4,000 sub-contractors working in a shipyard in the port have been vaccinated because of an outbreak of a strain of pneumonia amongst workers elsewhere in the shipyard. Reports say that 3,000 masks have been distributed to workers.

More students have been protesting at the changes to the baccalaureate exams. This morning several dozen students protested outside the Lycée in Lorgues before going in to take their exams. Demonstrations were also held at several other schools in our region.

The northern entrance at Nice Riquier station will be open for rail travelers as from today. The opening of the entrance is one of the final stages of the recent renovation works at the station.

 

BUSINESS

Ryanair has announced third-quarter profits of €88m compared with a loss of €66m loss in the same period last year.

Business conditions in the UK manufacturing sector stabilised at the start of the year according to a widely-watched survey. The index of manufacturing purchasing managers rose to a nine-month high of 50 in January, up from 47.5 in December, partly as a result of a reduction in political uncertainty and the strengthening of the domestic market. Meanwhile, a similar survey of Germany's manufacturing sector has shown the 13th consecutive month of contraction.

Tesco has confirmed that it's outgoing CEO Dave Lewis has extended his contract with the retailer. New CEO Ken Murphy will start on the 1st of October after his non-compete period with his current employer Boots comes to an end.

Budget airline AirAsia has denied allegations it was paid a bribe of $50m by Airbus. Shares in the airline fell after Malaysia's anti-corruption agency said it had started its own investigations. AirAsia says it "vigorously rejects'' the claims. The allegations have surfaced after Airbus agreed to pay $4bn to settle accusations of corruption.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union... Ireland centre Garry Ringrose will miss the Six Nations matches against Wales and England with a finger injury sustained in the match against Scotland on Saturday. The IRFU said he should be available to face Italy in Dublin on 7 March.

Former England captain Chris Robshaw is to leave Harlequins at the end of the season after 16 years with the club. The 33-year-old said that he "looks forward to the next chapter" but has yet to decide whether he will continue playing.

Rugby League.... Shaun Wane has been named England Rugby League head coach on a two-year deal. He was formerly with Wigan Warriors and has recently been working with Scottish Rugby as a high performance coach. He replaces Wayne Bennett who leaves after four years in charge.

Golf... Webb Simpson has beaten Tony Finau in a tense play-off to win the Phoenix Open in Arizona. It was Simpson's first victory since the 2018 Players Championship.

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