Evening Update Wednesday 4 December

Another fatality has been confirmed as a result of last weekend’s storms. The body of a 61 year old woman missing from Grimaud has been discovered in Saint-Tropez. The body of Marie-Claude Gaiero was found at Canoubiers beach this morning. The discovery brings the total number of fatalities as a result of the storms to seven in the south-east of France.

Preparations are continuing across France for tomorrow’s big day of industrial action to protest against pension reforms. A wide range of public and private services will be affected, including bus, train and air travel. Easyjet has announced the cancellation of 233 flights over the next few days. The cancelled flights involve those arriving at or departing from French airports or flying over French airspace. Air France has announced the cancellation of 30% of its domestic flights and 15% of its medium-haul flights. Nationally, the  SNCF is predicting that almost no TER or inter-city train services will operate tomorrow and only one TGV out of ten will operate. Local timetables for the Riviera show a handful of trains scheduled for the morning and evening rush hours only. Services will begin to wind down from this evening. You can get more details at www.sncf.com There are no trams running in Nice tomorrow but there is free on-street parking. As regards bus services, some lines are expected to operate but there will be widespread disruption. Details of lines operating can be found at www.lignesdazur.com  The Monaco government has suggested carpooling as an alternative to public transport for workers travelling into the Principality from France. The Alliance police union has called for border control officers to check every vehicle crossing the border at the two border crossings in Menton. About 55 per cent of teachers nationally are reported to be planning to strike tomorrow. Locally, a large number of schools are expected to be either completely closed or impacted by industrial action. French Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner has said that 245 rallies and demonstrations have been declared for the whole of France. Extra police and CRS units have been organized to control demonstrations in Paris, with Yellow Vest protestors expected in the capital in addition to political activists. Many local demonstrations are planned on the Riviera, including in Nice on the Place Massena tomorrow morning.

Migrants’ associations have been protesting at the border in Menton today. They are calling for the opening of a parliamentary commission of inquiry to examine whether the fundamental rights of migrants are being respected at the French border. Other demonstrations are being held in Calais, Dunkerque, Hendaye and Briancon.

Another new speed trap radar has been vandalized in the Var. The unit, on the RD 560, is the third such unit to be vandalized in the department since the new generation of radars were installed two weeks ago.

Officers at Nice prison staged a walkout yesterday afternoon.  They were protesting at recent attacks on staff by inmates. There have been five acts of aggression against prison officers at the prison in the past ten days.

 

BUSINESS

United Airlines has ordered 50 planes from Airbus. The deal marks a fresh blow to rival Boeing as their 737 Max planes remain grounded around the world. The Airbus A321 XLR aircraft purchased by United have a total list price of about $6.5bn

Advertising company M&C Saatchi has warned its results for the first six months of its financial year will be significantly below expectations because of weak trading in the first quarter and higher costs. It now expects underlying profits to be between 22% and 27% below last year. The company’s shares fell heavily earlier today in response to the news.

Australia's economy grew by 0.4% in the three months to September, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. GDP grew 1.7% year on year in the quarter.

Activity in the UK's services sector shrank in November, according to a widely watched survey. The survey gave a reading of 49.3 last month, down from 50.0 in October. The 50.0 level separates growth from contraction. The index has not exceeded 50 since August. Separately, China's service sector activity rose to a 7 month high in November, according to a private survey. The Chinese Services Business Activity Index rose to 53.5 in November from 51.1 October.

The International Monetary Fund says the risks to the outlook for the Hong Kong economy are "tilted to the downside." The risks include a further escalation of US-China trade tensions, potential US restrictions against China in the technology and financial sectors, a "significant" slowdown in mainland China and "a deterioration of the socio-political situation" in Hong Kong itself.

 

SPORT

Cricket….Former England captain Bob Willis has died at the age of 70. He captained England in 18 Tests and 29 one-day internationals before his retirement from all cricket in 1984. He made a career-best 8 for 43 to help England to a famous win over Australia at Headingley in the 1981 Ashes. Willis subsequently worked for BBC TV and Sky Sports.

England captain Joe Root has returned to the top 10 of the Test batting rankings following his double century against New Zealand. He’s now in seventh place after scoring 226 in Hamilton. India captain Virat Kohli has replaced Australia's Steve Smith at number one after his century against Bangladesh.

Olympics…. The women's marathon and all race walks at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been rescheduled following an earlier decision to relocate them to Sapporo. Organisers have changed the dates to help athletes who must now travel 500 miles from Tokyo to compete. Events were relocated from Tokyo, where peak summer temperatures can reach 30 degrees celsius.

Football… In the English Premier League tonight Chelsea play Aston Villa. Leicester host Watford. Manchester United play Spurs. Southampton face Norwich. Wolves play West Ham and the leaders Liverpool play Everton.

 

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