Evening Update Monday 9 December

Strike action continues in protest against proposed pension reforms. The SNCF has said that between 15 and 20% of trains are in circulation today. Locally just a handful of trains will be running along the coast during tomorrow’s morning and evening rush hours, as was the case today. Local railway unions met in Nice this morning and called for the industrial action to continue. It's thought that trams an buses in Nice will mostly operate as normal on Tuesday. Teaching unions have also called for another day of industrial action tomorrow which is expected to impact many schools in our region. Health unions have called for demonstrators to meet at the Place de la Libération in Nice at 1.30pm tomorrow. As several unions call for the strike to continue indefinitely French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe held another emergency meeting with ministers yesterday insisting that his government would not abandon the reforms.

The trial has begun in Nice of two people alleged to be responsible for a major accident at the Nice St Isdaore payage on the A8 in October 2015. A car transporter driven by one of the men and carrying seven vehicles hit the payage at about 100 km per hour. A motorcyclist was killed in the incident. The two Romanian nationals are charged with "intentional homicide".

French Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume has been meeting farmers and union representatives in the Var today. The minister was in Roquebrune-sur-Argens to discuss financial compensation and proposed works in the aftermath of the recent floods to hit the area.

The Alpes Martimes emergency medical help service SAMU 06 has taken delivery of a new helicopter. The Airbus H145 delivered to the organization is able to carry a doctor and a nurse as well as the patient and the pilot and co-pilot.  The SAMU 06 is part of the Anesthesia Resuscitation Emergency Unit of the University Hospital of Nice.

Eleven people have been arrested in a major police operation in Corsica today. According to reports, those arrested are thought to be connected to the Corsican nationalist movement and are being questioned in connection with attacks on secondary homes on the island.

Far-left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon has been given a three-month suspended prison term and an €8,000 fine for intimidating officials investigating his funding. In October 2018 prosecutors launched searches of his party offices and home. Mr Mélenchon was filmed shouting at a police officer and pushing him. He then tried to break into the party headquarters with colleagues.

 

BUSINESS

Tesco is considering selling its operations in Thailand and Malaysia. Analysts say the 2,000 stores, which operate under the Tesco Lotus brand, could be worth more than £7bn. The company said it was reviewing its Thai and much smaller Malaysian arms after interest from potential bidders.

China's exports fell in November by 1.1% from a year earlier. Exports to the US were down 23%, the worst such result since February and the twelfth monthly decline in a row. Another round of US tariffs on Chinese goods is due to come into force next Sunday as part of the ongoing trade dispute.

Germany's exports rose unexpectedly in October, according to new data released today. Exports grew by 1.2%. Sales to EU nations were up 0.1% compared with a year ago, but the value of German goods sold to non-European countries rose by 4.6%.

 

SPORT

Football… England will play a friendly against Italy at Wembley in March as part of their preparations for Euro 2020. The match will be the first of four friendlies for Gareth Southgate's side ahead of the competition. England also play Denmark at Wembley on 31 March, Austria in Vienna on 2 June and Romania at home on 7 June.

Athletics… Russia has been handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency. It means the Russia flag and anthem won’t be allowed at events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar. But athletes who can prove they are untainted by doping will be able to compete under a neutral flag. The organization says that Russia has 21 days to appeal against the ban. If it does so, the appeal will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Cricket… Sri Lanka have arrived in Pakistan for the hosts' first Test in their own country since a 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus. The majority of Pakistan's home Test matches have since taken place in the United Arab Emirates. The first Test starts in Rawalpindi on Wednesday and the second takes place in Karachi from 19 December.

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