Evening Update Friday 10 March 2023

President Macron and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have held a summit in Paris today. It's the first Anglo-French summit for five years. The two leaders held talks this morning which included discussions about joint efforts to reduce crossings in the Channel in small boats, energy and security. At a joint press conference this afternoon Rishi Sunak said that while relations between two countries have had their challenges, today marks "a new beginning". Detailing steps to reduce cross-channel migration, he announced a new detention centre, as well as 500 new officers patrolling French beaches. He added that there will be more drones and other surveillance technologies used. The UK will contribute 141 million euros in 2023-24, 191 million euros in 2024-25 and 209 million euros in 2025-26. the sums are a large increase on those currently paid to France by the UK to reduce migration. Regarding the war in Ukraine,President Macron said that the UK and France share "the same resolve" and want to build a lasting and acceptable peace. He said that in the "short-term, our goal is to help Ukraine conduct a counter-offensive". President Macron said that the summit is one of renewed ambition and concrete achievements.

Several fires have broken out in undergrowth in our region today, fanned by the high winds. Local report say that a significant area of undergrowth has been consumed by fire to the north of Grasse in Saint Vallier de Thiey. Firefighters have brought in reinforcements and water bombing aircraft have been used to try to extinguish the blaze. Reports say that other smaller fires broke out in Lantosque, Bouyon and Coaraze.

Industrial action is continuing to disrupt train services in our region, with many cancellations. Protestors also blocked a major road tunnel in the centre of Marseille this morning, stopping traffic for over an hour. Tomorrow is another day of industrial action across France, with public transport once again expected to be severely affected.

The 6th stage of the Paris - Nice cycling race has been cancelled today because of high winds. The stage was scheduled to run from Tourves in the Var to La Colle-sur-Loup in the Alpes-Maritimes. Riders will therefore go on to the seventh stage, which starts in Nice at 11am tomorrow and goes through the arriere pays. On the final day on Sunday, riders will take on a circular route starting and ending in Nice.

Meteo France have Orange weather warnings in force for high wings for the Var and the Alpes Maritimes until midday tomorrow, followed by a Yellow warning until midday.

 

BUSINESS

Over 300,000 new jobs were created in the United States last month. The widely watched Non-Farm Payroll numbers showed that 311,000 jobs were created in February, which was more than expected. However, the figure is still less than the revised 504,000 created in January.

In the UK, GDP is estimated to have grown by 0.3% in January, according to data released today by the Office for National Statistics, after falling by 0.5% in December. Looking at the broader picture, GDP was flat in the three months to January. The services sector grew by 0.5% in January, after falling by 0.8% in December, with the largest contributions to growth coming from education, transport and storage, human health activities, and arts, entertainment and recreation activities, all of which rebounded after falls in December.

 

SPORT

Motorsports... Former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button will race in three Nascar Cup Series meetings this year. The 43-year-old will make his debut in the stock car series in Texas on 26 March. He'll also take part in the inaugural Chicago Street Race on 2 July and compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course on 13 August.

Football...  In the Premier League this weekend – tomorrow, Bournemouth play Liverpool, kick off is at 1.30pm French time. In the afternoon with a 4pm kick off French time, Everton play Brentford, Leeds are at home to Brighton, Leicester play Chelsea and Tottenham are at home to Nottingham Forest. The last match is Crystal Palace against Manchester City. On Sunday Fulham are at home to Arsenal, kick off is at 3pm. Manchester United play Southampton, West Ham are at home to Aston Villa and Newcastle face Wolves.

 

RUGBY REPORT

In the Six Nations this weekend, Italy play Wales in Rome tomorrow. England face defending champions France at Twickenham. Owen Farrell starts on the bench. Ireland have made six changes to their starting team for Sunday's match against Scotland. Captain Johnny Sexton, Garry Ringrose and Tadhg Furlong return after recovering from injuries. Conor Murray, Dan Sheehan and Peter O'Mahony are also recalled to the Irish starting line-up. The Scots need to win in order to have any hope of beating Ireland to the Six Nations title. Ireland have won their opening three matches.

 

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