Evening Update Wednesday 1 May

Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo has been entertaining the crowds in a Renault Formula 1 car in central Nice today.  It was part of the roadshow taking place to promote the French Grand Prix which is being held at Le Castellet from the 21st to the 23rd of June. Car demonstrations took place on the Promenade des Anglais this morning and this afternoon. The Formula 1 village is set up with various attractions on the quai des Etats-Unis until 6.00 this evening. Due to the Formula One Roadshow taking place in Nice today sections of the Promenade des Anglais are closed to motorists, and on the Quai des Etats Unis and between Gambetta and the Jardin Albert 1er. No trams or buses are running with the closure in place until 8pm this evening.

The traditional annual demonstrations have been taking place across France today to mark the 1st of May. Protestors, including trade unions, political parties, associations and individuals gathered in Paris and Marseille as well as in central Nice, Cannes, Antibes and Grasse. Yellow vest protestors took part in this morning’s demonstrations in Nice and also staged an additional march through the centre of Nice this afternoon. The French Ministry of the Interior estimated the number of demonstrators nationally at 151,000 at 2.00 this afternoon, with 16,000 of those being in Paris, although other estimates have put the Paris figure at 40,000. Over 7,400 police and gendarmes were mobilized in the capital today to control the demonstrations. Reports say that about 200 people were in police custody at 4pm in Paris.

The usual monthly public siren alert test hasn’t taken place today in several towns of the Alpes Maritmes. The test will take place tomorrow at 12.15 instead.  Areas affected by the change in time include Cannes, Antibes, Saint-Laurent-du-Var and Grasse.

Six months after the collapse of buildings in the Rue d’Aubagne in Marseille which left 8 dead, authorities have reported that 650 people are still in temporary accommodation. On November 5th the collapse of the dilapidated buildings claimed 8 lives with the situation leading to 250 reports of other “dangerous” buildings in some of the city’s poorest areas. Without a fixed address, those staying in hotels have emphasized the difficulties encountered. 34 hotels have been reserved by the town hall but with the summer season fast approaching there are calls for immediate action.

A motorcyclist has been caught doing 222 km per hour on a road limited to 80 km per hour in the Sarthe department. Police confiscated his licence and impounded the bike.

 

BUSINESS

The High Court has rejected a series of legal challenges against the UK government's plan to build a new runway at Heathrow Airport. Parliament backed a plan to proceed with a third runway last year, but the expansion faces opposition from local communities and environmentalists. Heathrow is owned by Ferrovial, Qatar Investment Authority and China Investment Corporation among others.

US private employers added 275,000 jobs in April, according to a closely-watched survey by ADP, a payrolls processor. The numbers come ahead of the official non-farm payrolls data due on Friday.

GlaxoSmithKline has reported sales of £7.7bn for the first quarter. The pharmaceuticals company also reported a 10% rise in operating profit to £1.4bn.


SPORT

Athletics… Callum Hawkins has been named in the Great Britain team for October's World Championships in Doha, but Mo Farah and Steph Twell have declined places. Twell and Farah were both eligible for the team, but Farah has chosen to focus on securing a Tokyo 2020 spot.

Also in Athletics news, Caster Semenya has lost a landmark case against athletics' governing body meaning it will be allowed to restrict testosterone levels in female runners. The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the South African's challenge against the IAAF's new rules.

Football.. Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been taken to hospital after suffering a heart attack during training. The 37-year-old is said to be "stable" in hospital and remains under observation. Casillas is a former Real Madrid and Spanish national goalkeeper.

Aaron Ramsey will miss the rest of the season with a hamstring injury. Ramsey was substituted after 34 minutes of the Gunners' Europa League match against Napoli. The injury means that he will leave Arsenal when his contract expires on 30 June without playing for the club and will then join Italian champions Juventus as a free agent. He moved to Arsenal in 2008 from Cardiff City and is currently Arsenal’s longest-serving player.
Tonight Barcelona play Liverpool in the second European Champions League semi-final.
In the English Championship Derby need a win over Swansea tonight to boost their chances of making the end of season contest for the final place in the Premier League next season.

Motorsports… Fernando Alonso will leave the World Endurance Championship after the end of the current season. The Toyota team said he would "explore new adventures within the Toyota family", but no further details were given. Alonso won the Le Mans 24 hour with Toyota last year and is racing in the Indy500 for a second time with a new McLaren team this month.

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