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The Christmas shopping surge in Paris may already be “lost” as businesses fear warzone-like scenes in the French capital will deter visitors and cost them billions of euros.

Tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon were used during violent protests over the weekend which saw more than 130 people injured and 412 people arrested.

Cars were torched, shops smashed up and rocks hurled at police as “yellow vest” protesters rampaged in the streets around the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire met business leaders on Monday and said the impact was already “severe and ongoing”, with shops and restaurants reporting takings down between 20 and 50%.



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Riot police come under attack in Paris

Hotel reservations have slumped 15 to 25%, he added.

Retail groups say the lucrative festive period, when takings normally jump dramatically, could have been dealt a killer blow by the anarchic scenes broadcast around the world.

“The lost revenue and losses, especially in food services, is going to be in the billions of euros,” said Jacques Creyssel of the FCD retail federation.

Saturday’s protest had “decimated the welcoming image of Paris and France,” said Roland Heguy of the CAT tourism federation, warning that this Christmas season was “at risk, if not already lost”.

Roads leading to the famous Arc de Triomphe were closed
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Fires were lit near the iconic Arc de Triomphe
France's interior minister called the violence an 'insult to the Republic'
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France’s interior minister called the violence an ‘insult to the Republic’

A manager of the Alsace brasserie on the Champs Elysees told Le Parisien he had lost €50,000 on Saturday after evacuating customers through a back door and closing for the day.

With protests taking place across the country, Oil giant Total said 75 of its petrol stations had run dry as demonstrators blocked access to 11 fuel depots.

'Yellow vest' protesters have also been blocking fuel depots
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‘Yellow vest’ protesters have also been blocking fuel depots
Shops were vandalised in a third weekend of demonstrations
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Shops were vandalised in a third weekend of demonstrations

President Emmanuel Macron – who has cancelled a trip to Serbia over the unrest – said people “shouldn’t underestimate the shock to people, in France and abroad, of seeing in the media what looked like war scenes”.

The protests started nearly three weeks ago as a response to green taxes on diesel that have pushed up the cost for many drivers, with another hike due next month.

However, people are now taking to the streets in cities across the country over the general rise in the cost of living and a feeling that President Macron is out of touch with normal people.

Saturday’s violence is believed to have been fuelled by far-left and far-right activists, some of whom wore gas masks as police responded with tear gas.

Paris’s police chief said officers fought demonstrators who were carrying hammers, gardening tools, bolts, aerosol cans and rocks.

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Chernobyl beats Game Of Thrones and Breaking Bad to top IMDB TV chart | Ents & Arts News

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New TV series Chernobyl has quickly become the top-rated show on entertainment website IMDB, jumping ahead of long-running fan favourites shows such as Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad and The Wire.

The five-part Sky Original series is a chilling dramatisation of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine and its aftermath, following the stories of those affected by the explosion as well as those in charge of the operation.

Starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson and Jessie Buckley, the show has received widespread critical acclaim and a host of five-star reviews since its debut on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV on 7 May.

Almost two million people tuned in to watch the first episode.



Meet the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster. Premiers 7 May.







Watch the trailer for Chernobyl

And in less than three weeks, Chernobyl has jumped to the top of the charts on film and TV internet database IMDB, peaking with a score of 9.7 out of 10.

Currently, it is scoring 9.5 – placing it joint top alongside the 2016 David Attenborough series Planet Earth II – from almost 40,000 ratings.



jared harris







Jared Harris: Chernobyl is still relevant today

Game Of Thrones, which has more than 1.5 million ratings, Breaking Bad (1.2 million), Band Of Brothers (316,000) and the first Planet Earth series (147,000) all score 9.4, while The Wire and Our Planet score 9.3.

Speaking about Chernobyl’s success, Sky’s director of programmes Zai Bennett said: “This jaw-dropping Sky Original is gripping viewers across the UK and beyond for good reason – the writing and production are second to none, and the story is both fascinating and utterly tragic.

“This is must-watch TV, and we’re delighted that audiences are enjoying it as much as we are.”

:: Chernobyl airs on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV on Tuesdays, with the fourth episode coming up on 28 May

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One Irishman killed on Everest and another missing | World News

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An Irish man is among eight people who have been killed scaling Mount Everest in the last week, while another Irish climber is missing

Kevin Hynes, 56, died in his tent in the early hours of Friday at a height of 7,000m, after deciding to turn back before reaching the summit.

The father-of-two had texted friends the day before to say the expedition was “proving the most fun he had had”.

His death comes a week after fellow Irishman Seamus Lawless, from Bray, Co Wicklow, fell as he was descending from the peak, having achieved his “lifelong dream” to scale the mountain.

A search operation was launched to find Mr Lawless, but his family said in a statement on Friday the mission had been called off due to adverse weather.

The statement read: “While the experienced search team has made every effort to locate Shay, the extremes of operating at high altitude and the sheer range of the search area ultimately proved too difficult and based on expert advice we have decided to call off the search rather than risk endangering anyone’s life in the treacherous conditions.”

The family said donations made to a GoFundMe page which had been set up to assist the search would be refunded.

Project Possible Credit: @nimsdai/Project Possible
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Queues of people wait to get to the summit of Everest Pic: @nimsdai/Project Possible

Eight people have died climbing Everest in the last week, amid fears that a traffic jam of mountaineers is making the journey more treacherous.

Kevin Hynes was described by his UK-based climbing company 360 Expeditions as “one of the strongest and most experienced climbers” on their team.

He was travelling with a group from 360 Expeditions as they attempted to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, but had turned back on Thursday accompanied by experienced Sherpa Dawa Sangee.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was aware of reports of the death of an Irish citizen on Mount Everest and was “ready to provide consular assistance”.

Mr Hynes leaves behind his wife Bernadette and two children, Erin and James.

Others who have died in the last week include two Indian climbers, Kalpana Das, 52, and Nihal Bagwan, 27, who died on Thursday while descending the peak.

A 65-year-old Australian died on the same day on the northern Tibet side of the mountain.

Tour organiser Keshav Patel said: “He (Bagwan) was stuck in the traffic for more than 12 hours and was exhausted.

Sherpas currently have to haul recovered rubbish through the dangerous Khumbu icefall
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Eight people have died while climbing Everest in the last week

“Sherpa guides carried him down to Camp 4 but he breathed his last there.”

Among the other fatalities were American Donald Cash, 55, who collapsed at the summit as he was taking photographs, and Anjali Kulkarni, 55, who died on her way down.

Ms Kulkarni’s expedition organiser, Arun Treks, said heavy traffic at the summit had delayed her descent and caused the tragedy.

“She had to wait for a long time to reach the summit and descend,” said Thupden Sherpa.

“She couldn’t move down on her own and died as Sherpa guides brought her down.”

An Indian and an American lost their lives on the mountain on Wednesday.

Nepal has issued a record 381 permits costing $11,000 (£8,600) each for the current spring climbing season.

It comes as record-breaking climber Nirmal Purja posted an image from his latest expedition showing “traffic” on the world’s highest peak.

He is attempting to climb the 14 mountains higher than 8,000 metres in just seven months.

Project Possible will see him smash the current world record for one individual which stands at seven years, 11 months and 14 days.

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Everest ‘traffic’ blamed for deaths of climbers on overcrowded mountain | World News

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Eight people have died climbing Everest in the last week amid fears that a traffic jam of mountaineers is making the journey more treacherous.

Two Indian climbers, Kalpana Das, 52, and Nihal Bagwan, 27, died on Thursday while descending the peak.

A 65-year-old Australian died on the same day on the northern Tibet side of the mountain.

Tour organiser Keshav Patel said: “He (Bagwan) was stuck in the traffic for more than 12 hours and was exhausted.

“Sherpa guides carried him down to Camp 4 but he breathed his last there.”

Sherpas currently have to haul recovered rubbish through the dangerous Khumbu icefall
Image:
Eight people have died while climbing Everest in the last week

Among the other fatalities were American Donald Cash, 55, who collapsed at the summit as he was taking photographs, and Anjali Kulkarni, 55, who died on his way down.

Ms Kulkarni’s expedition organiser, Arun Treks, said heavy traffic at the summit had delayed her descent and caused the tragedy.

“She had to wait for a long time to reach the summit and descend,” said Thupden Sherpa.

“She couldn’t move down on her own and died as Sherpa guides brought her down.”

An Indian and an American lost their lives on the mountain on Wednesday, while an Irish professor, Séamus Lawless, is presumed dead after falling last week.

Nepal has issued a record 381 permits costing $11,000 (£8,600) each for the current spring climbing season.

It comes as record-breaking climber Nirmal Purja posted an image from his latest expedition showing “traffic” on the world’s highest peak.

He is attempting to climb the 14 mountains higher than 8,000 metres in just seven months.

Project Possible will see him smash the current world record for one individual which stands at seven years, 11 months and 14 days.

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