Student protests - High school students have continued to demonstrate across France with outbreaks of violence as the protests look set to continue in the coming days. Dozens of universities and secondary schools were blocked on Wednesday as rallies took place in several different regions marking the third day of protest against government reforms, which comes in the wake of the "yellow vests" movement. In the Alpes Maritimes three students from Grasse appeared in court for using explosive devices during Tuesday’s protest in Cannes.
Meanwhile faced with the risk of more violence this weekend, President Macron has appealed to all political and union leaders, to call for calm within the yellow vest movement. He said the movement is no longer a political movement against government, but against the Republic itself. The government announced on Wednesday that fuel tax rises have been dropped from next year’s budget as opposed to being postponed.
Wealth tax - The French government also announced that it will consider bringing back a tax on high earners which President Emmanuel Macron abolished early in his presidency, a key demand of Yellow Vest protesters. Ending the ISF "wealth tax" on high earners was a key part of Macron's pro-business presidential campaign, seen as a way of encouraging people to invest and hire in France. The aim was to also stem an exodus of millionaires and billionaires toward countries with lower tax burdens such as Belgium or Luxembourg. The levy applied to around 350,000 French households whose combined assets exceeded 1.3 million euros. Abolishing it cost the government an estimated 3.2 billion euros in annual tax revenue -- and helped earned Macron his reputation as "president of the rich."
However as the French government indicated on Wednesday that it was willing to make further concessions to the ‘yellow vest’ protesters, French farmers have now announced plans for a series of strikes next week to protest against increased financial charges on their operations.
Tax payments – A woman from Le Cannet has been ordered to pay an additional 15 euro charge despite paying her tax Fonciere on time. Despite having paid on time the woman settled her tax by cheque. Due to new regulations introduced by the state in January of this year, taxes exceeding 1,000 euros must be paid online or by direct debit otherwise they are subject to a 0.2% penalty. As of next year the threshold will be lowered to 300 euros.
Health - Health authorities are warning that bronchitis is making an early comeback this winter, with the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region officially exceeding epidemic levels already. Small babies are particularly vulnerable and should be brought to a doctor immediately.
Villa Paradiso - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has announced plans to meet with a collective of local artists who have launched a campaign to purchase the Villa Paradiso in Nice hoping to transform the building into a place likely to host workshops of music therapy, art therapy or even a device and infrastructure related to the use of artificial intelligence. Located in Cimiez, the villa Paradiso was built around 1885. During the Second World War, the building welcomed the laureates of the Prix de Rome. Villa Paradiso is need of restoration and is on the market for 7.8 million euros. The deadline to purchase the property is December 28th.
Irish lecturer - Students and staff at a Paris university have paid tribute to Irish lecturer John Dowling who was stabbed by a former student outside the establishment where he taught. The 66-year-old teacher, an Irishman who taught English, was stabbed repeatedly in front of the private Leonard-de-Vinci University in Courbevoie, northwest of Paris. A Pakistani man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murder.
Johnny Hallyday - Legendary French singer Johnny Hallyday died at the age of 74 on the night of December 5th 2017 after a battle with lung cancer. He had been in the middle of preparing yet another album and a stage tour. But, one year later, there are surprisingly few signs of Hallyday being honoured in his native country. Hallyday’s anniversary comes as he is topping the charts with his record-breaking ‘Mon Pays C’est L’Amour’ sold almost 800,000 copies in one week in France, making a huge sales record. During his lifetime Hallyday, known by fans as “the French Elvis”, sold 110 million records, and is on track to sell at least another million.
US stock futures and Asian shares have fallen this morning after Canadian authorities arrested a top executive from the Chinese tech giant Huawei for extradition to the United States,fanning fears of a new flareup in tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Meng Wanzhou,who’s the daughter of the founder of the telecoms giant was arrested in Vancouver on the 1st of December.
Details of the arrest have not been given but the United States has been investigating Huawei over possible violation of sanctions against Iran.
China’s embassy in Canada has protested over the arrest and demanded her release.
The development comes at a sensitive time in US-China relations with the countries engaged in a trade war.
The population of Cuba is to be offered internet access via a 3G mobile network.
Telecom provider Etecsa says that citizens will be able to start subscribing to the service from today.
Until now,Cubans have been mainly relying on w-ifi hotspots and internet cafes and until now the 3G network has been restricted to state-employed journalists and foreign businesses.
However,many ordinary Cubans are unlikely to be able to afford the new service with the average monthly wage fixed at around 30 dollars per month.
And-Opec has met in Vienna in a bid to agree production cuts which would defy US President Donald Trump’s request to keep the taps open
The group still lacks agreement on crucial details with talks concluding with Saudi Arabia and Russia recommending a production cut lasting 6 months.
Opec could eventually agree to remove around a million barrels a day from the market which would account for a 1 percent cut in global output.
Opec and its allies are desperate to shore up prices after a slump of more than 2 dollars a barrel since October.
There’s fierce opposition to the plans from President Trump who sees low oil prices as the key to sustaining America’s economic growth.
Football-There were 6 games in the English Premier League last night.
Liverpool closed the gap on leaders Manchester City with a 3-1 away win at Burnley while Chelsea lost more ground on the leaders following a 2-1 away defeat at Wolves.
In the other results Manchester United and Arsenal drew 2-2.Everton and Newcastle drew 1-1.Fulham and Leicester drew 1-1 and Spurs moved up to third place with a 3-1 win over Southampton.
Kilmarnock are the new leaders of the Scottish Premiership this morning thanks to a 2-0 win over Livingston last night.
Previous leaders Rangers were beaten 1-0 at home by Aberdeen while Celtic are now in third place after a 1-1 away draw at Motherwell.
In the other results last night Dundee thrashed Hamilton 4-0.Hibs and St Mirren drew 2-2 and St Johnstone and Hearts drew 2-2.
Cricket-Australia are playing India in the first Test in Adelaide.
The tourists won the toss and decided to bat .They’d been reduced to 152-6 midway through the final session of the day.
Tennis-Andy Murray will use his protected ranking to gain entry to the Australian Open in Melbourne next month.
Murray,who’s 31 ended his season early this year to focus on big fitness improvements following his long lay off with a hip injury.
Murray is ranked only 295th in the world at the moment but his protected ranking allows him to gain entry in up to 9 tournaments from the point that he returned from injury after 11 months out in June.
Boxing-Tyson Fury says that he wants his rematch against Deontay Wilder to be staged at Old Trafford.
Fury was at the ground last night to see Manchester United draw 2-2 with Arsenal.
His manager Frank Warren wanted the fight to take place at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium but Fury,who’s a die-hard United fan says that Old Trafford is the right venue for him.
Mainly fine with light to moderate variable winds.
Top temperature 17 degrees Celsius.
Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with clear skies.
Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 16-17 degrees.