Fire - Four people have died in an apartment fire in Marseille. Among the victims was a two year old child. Firemen intervened shortly after 3am on Thursday morning after the blaze broke out on the ground floor of the four storey building. The cause of the fire is not yet known.Up to 70 firemen were deployed.
Migrants - Local human rights activist, Cédric Herrou, has stepped up his campaign for migrant rights this week, by taking almost 100 migrants from his home in Briel-sur-Roya by train to Nice. The group spent Wednesday night on the steps of the Courts of Justice, and were moved on Thursday by authorities before finding refuge in the Catholic church on Rue Paganini. Authorities have committed to finding accommodation for the group and they plan to complete their migrant registrations today.
Clean up - Swimmer Emmanuel Laurin has set off on a project to clean up the Mediterranean. Laurin will swim from Marseille to Toulon collecting waste along the way. The swim which will consist of 14 stages covers 120 km and will take 15 days. Twenty other swimmers joined Laurin as he set off from the Vallon des Auffres on Thursday morning. The Mediterranean is the most polluted sea in the world.
Climate Agreement - French President Emmanuel Macron has said he hoped US President Donald Trump would not rush into deciding what to do with the Paris climate agreement. Macron told a news briefing on Thursday that his “wish is that the United States takes no hurried decision" the comments were made following a meeting between the two leaders to discuss Washington's doubts over the 196-nation climate pact which was agreed in late 2015.
Robbery - French police have caught a gang of robbers as they counted their booty, following a dramatic hold-up of an armoured van carrying 40 million euros-worth of cash and gems on a Swiss motorway. An anti-gang squad from the central French city of Lyon caught the robbers just four hours after the heist. The total haul - of cash, diamonds and other gems - was worth 37-41 million euros.
Oil prices have fallen by 5 percent in Asian trade this morning despite producer nations agreeing to extend production cuts for another 9 months. At a meeting in Vienna on Thursday,both Opec and non-Opec countries agreed to maintain production curbs until March 2018. Investors had been hoping that the cuts would be extended for a longer period and Brent crude fell by 2 dollars 60 cents to 51 dollars 36 while West Texas Intermediate lost 2 dollars 58 to 48 dollars 78 cents a barrel. Analysts’ say that,faced with the kind of glut and the scale of the market,Opec would have been better off cutting a lot deeper but for a lot less time than trying to prolong what they’ve described as fairly timid cuts.
The UK economy grew more slowly than first estimated in the first three months of the year. The Office for National Statistics says that growth slowed to 0.2 percent in the first quarter,down from the original estimate of 0.3 percent. The ONS says that the revision was partly due to rising prices and also because of a slowdown in the key services sector. The UK inflation rate hit 2.7 percent in April,the highest figure since September 2013. The services sector accounts for nearly 80 percent of the economy but the ONS now says that it expanded by just 0.2 percent in the first quarter. Construction and manufacturing also showed little growth.
And-Apple’s chief designer has said that the UK must keep its doors open to top talent from around the world if its technology firms are to thrive. Sir Jonathan Ive has led Apple’s design team since 1996 and is responsible for the look and feel of devices such as the iPhone and iPod. He said that the UK has a “fabulous tradition of design education” but that it “needed to do more to become a technology hub on a par with Silicon Valley”. Some UK technology firms have warned that they could lose access to the international talent that they need after Britain leaves the European Union.
Formula 1-The Mercedes struggled in second practice for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday with Sebastien Vettel putting down a marker as he topped the time sheets with his team mate Kimi Raikkonen third quickest. The Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo bisected the two Ferrari’s but Lewis Hamilton who finished quickest in first practice was down in 8th place and appeared to be struggling for pace in the warmer afternoon conditions. There’s no Formula 1 action today but the circuit was closed to through traffic at 6am and will open again at 2.30 this afternoon. There’s racing today in Formula Renault,the Porsche Supercup and Formula 2.
Football-It’s the FA Cup final in England tomorrow.Chelsea play Arsenal at Wembley and it’s a 6.30 pm kick off French time. It’s the Scottish Cup final tomorrow too.Celtic play Aberdeen with Celtic looking to wrap up the domestic treble. Rugby Union-There are two big finals tomorrow.Wasps play Exeter in the Aviva Premiership Final and Munster play Scarlets in the Guinness Pro 12 final. Golf-Johan Carlsson of Sweden is the overnight leader following the first round of the PGA Championship at Wentworth. Carlsson carded a 6 under par 66 to lead from a trio of players on 5 under.
Cycling-Tejay van Garderen won stage 18 of the Giro D’Italia on Thursday as the riders closed in on the big finish on Sunday. Tom Dumoulin still holds a 31 second overall lead with Nairo Quintana in second and Vincenzo Nibali in third.
Mainly fine with light to moderate easterly winds.
Top temperature 24 degrees Celsius.
Overnight lows of 18 degrees on the coast and 15 degrees inland with clear skies.
Monaco Grand Prix weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 23-26 degrees.