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Paris police have urged shops and restaurants on the Champs-Elysees to close ahead of new protests against embattled president Emmanuel Macron.

A dozen museums have announced weekend closures following vandalism and clashes with police during the “yellow vest” riots last week.

Shops, restaurants and other businesses are expected to shut on the famous avenue during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year before Christmas.

Authorities warned that another wave of “great violence” and rioting could be unleashed in the French capital despite Mr Macron’s surrender over a fuel tax hike.

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Macron U-turn over fuel tax after violent protests

The Paris Opera has cancelled planned performances at two sites in the city, and two theatres also plan to close.

The Arc de Triomphe remains closed since last weekend’s protest damaged the monument, while two music festivals have also been postponed.

The Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower still plan to remain open.

A vandalized car and bank front are seen the morning after clashes with protesters wearing yellow vests, a symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher diesel fuel taxes, in Paris, France, December 2, 2018.
A vandalized car and bank front are seen the morning after clashes with protesters
Shops were vandalised in a third weekend of demonstrations
Shops were vandalised in a third weekend of demonstrations

Many stores were smashed and looted during the capital’s worst rioting in decades, which saw more than 130 people injured and 412 people arrested.

Tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon were used and cars were torched, while rocks were hurled at police as protesters rampaged in the streets around the capital’s tourist landmarks.

Mr Macron is promising “exceptional” security measures for the planned protests amid fears that radicals and troublemakers will take advantage to seed chaos.

Nationwide, 89,000 security force members will be deployed – 8,000 of them in Paris.

Emmanuel Macron (C) with Interior Minister Christophe Castaner (2ndR) and Paris police chief Michel Delpuech (R) arrive at the Arc de Triomphe
Emmanuel Macron visited the Arc de Triomphe in recent days
Protesters face riot police in Paris on 1 December
Protesters face riot police in Paris on 1 December

Speaking Thursday to lawmakers, the France’s prime minister Edouard Philippe said the government is taking “all measures necessary” to secure the protests.

Mr Philippe urged “yellow vest” protesters to stay home for their own protection from those who could hijack the rallies.

Burned cars litter the streets of Paris following Saturday's unrest
Burned cars litter the streets of Paris following Saturday’s unrest

The protests started around 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.

On Wednesday, Mr Macron agreed to abandon the fuel tax hike.

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 the president is out of touch with normal people.

Mr Philippe acknowledged that government’s dramatic concession over fuel tax rise “doesn’t respond” to all the protester’s concerns.

Earlier this week, finance minister Bruno Le Maire said shops and restaurants reported takings down between 20% and 50% – with the Christmas shopping surge in Paris feared “lost”.

A manager of the Alsace brasserie on the Champs Elysees told Le Parisien he had lost €50,000 (£44,508) on Saturday after evacuating customers through a back door and closing for the day.

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Garuda Indonesia scraps order for 49 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets after crashes | World News



Indonesia’s national carrier Garuda has cancelled a multibillion-dollar order for 49 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets after two fatal crashes involving the plane.

It is thought to be the first airline to publicly confirm cancellation of an order for the model.

Garuda spokesman Ikhsan Rosan said the company had sent a letter to Boeing “requesting that the order be cancelled”.

He said Garuda passengers in Indonesia had “lost trust” and no longer have “confidence” in the plane, adding that the airline was awaiting a response from Boeing.

The Indonesian airline ordered 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets in 2014 for $4.9bn (£3.7bn).

All 157 people on board the flight were killed in the crash
The cause of the Ethiopian Airlines crash is still being investigated

It has already received one of the planes, and Mr Ikhsan said the carrier was in talks with Boeing about whether or not to return it.

The airline has already paid Boeing around $26m (£19.8m), Garuda’s director, Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra, told Indonesian media outlet Detik.

“In principle, it’s not that we want to replace Boeing, but maybe we will replace (these planes) with another model,” he said.

The scrapping of the order comes amid reports that Boeing would be making a safety feature – a cockpit warning light – standard on its 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The feature was previously optional.

It is expected to be offered as part of a software update to the MAX fleet that was grounded in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this month. The crash left 157 people dead.

ET302 was on its way to Nairobi in Kenya at the time of the crash. Nine Britons were among the dead.

Every chair was taken in the hall at the Airline Pilots’ Association of Ethiopia.

Father of dead pilot: ‘My son is dust’

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Boeing promised to upgrade some flight control software “in the coming weeks”.

It has since also grounded its entire global fleet of 737 MAX 8s and 9s.

The cause of the crash is still being investigated, but the pilot had reported difficulties and requested to return to the airport.

A Lion Air plane of the same model crashed into the Java Sea in October last year, shortly after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia – killing all 189 on board.

Earlier this week, it emerged the pilots of the aircraft frantically scoured a manual before their plane crashed

Recordings from the cockpit suggest the pilots were struggling to understand why the jet was lurching downwards, but ran out of time before it hit the water.

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Figure skater cleared after claim she ‘stabbed’ rival with skate | World News



An American figure skater has been cleared of causing intentional harm to a rival during a warm-up session at the world championships in Japan.

Mariah Bell, 22, was accused of colliding with 16-year-old Lim Eun-soo of South Korea during a practise session at the championships.

There were reports that Ms Lim had to be treated for a calf injury after Ms Bell’s blade “stabbed” her.

But the International Skating Union (ISU) has ruled out foul play, and said there was no evidence of intentional harm.

Lim Eun-soo apparently needed medical treatment for the cut
Lim Eun-soo apparently needed medical treatment for the cut

In a statement, the ISU said: “Based on the evidence at hand at this point in time, which includes a video, there is no evidence that Ms Bell intended any harm to Ms Lim.”

The ISU said it has been aware of the Korea Skating Union posting a statement about the incident on 21 March, but had not received a formal complaint.

The ISU added: “The ISU met with delegates from both USA and Korea and urged both parties to find an amicable solution. The ISU maintains that this remains the appropriate approach.”

Video footage shows the pair skating close to one another on the rink. As Ms Bell passes Ms Lim, Ms Lim gasps and grabs at her leg.

Ms Lim placed fifth in the women’s short programme on Wednesday, one place above Ms Bell.

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Donald Trump’s Golan policy change is ‘illegal and unnacceptable’ | World News



Donald Trump’s declaration that it is “time to recognise” Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights has been described as “illegal”, “irresponsible” and a “direct violation of United Nations” decisions.

The president’s announcement signalled a shift in US policy and comes ahead of the Israeli prime minister’s planned visit to the White House next week.

However, it has been met with condemnation from around the region – most notably from Syria, who Israel seized the area from during the 1967 Middle East war, annexing it in 1981.

A foreign ministry statement said that Mr Trump’s comments confirm “the blind bias of the United States to the Zionist entity”, referring to Israel.

It added the policy shift will not change “the fact that the Golan was and will remain Arab and Syrian”.

Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that a change in the status of the Golan Heights would be a “direct violation of United Nations decisions”.

A spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, quoted on state TV, said: “This illegal and unacceptable recognition does not change the fact that it belongs to Syria.”

The US president made his announcement on Twitter, writing: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognise Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”

The Golan is internationally recognised as occupied territory and Syria has demanded its return as a condition in the event of a future peace agreement.

Mr Trump’s tweet was posted during his secretary of state Mike Pompeo’s visit to Jerusalem, although Mr Pompeo declined to comment on the president’s remarks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the US president for “boldly” recognising Israel’s control over the territory.

He tweeted: “At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognises Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump!”

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