Evening Update Friday 11 November 2022

The SOS Mediterranee ship Ocean Viking docked in Toulon this morning after a dispute between the French and Italian governments over which country should accept the ship. About 230 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean by the organization were on board. The president of SOS Meditarranee said that it is "an exceptional situation which must not be repeated". French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said this afternoon that eleven member states of the EU have agreed to accept the migrants. France has suspended a plan to take in 3,500 refugees currently in Italy after Rome refused to let the ship dock. Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni said that French criticism of Italy was "aggressive, incomprehensible and unjustified". The French national police have said that additional personnel will be deployed at border crossing points between France and Italy, including at Menton.

Ceremonies have been held across our region today to mark Armistice Day. Mayor Christian Estrosi and Alpes-Maritimes Prefect Bernard Gonzalez attended a ceremony in Nice. Milatary and security personnel and the defence cadets of the Nice gendarmerie company were also present. The prefect of the Var, Evence Richard, attended a ceremony at the War Memorial on place Gabriel Péri in Toulon. In Draguignan, the sub-prefect was present at a ceremony at the American Cemetery.

The bodies of a couple have been found in a village in the Cote d'Or department, to the south-west of Dijon. It's believed that the husband may have shot his wife before turning the weapon on himself. Reports say that the couple, who were in their late fifties, have three adult children.

 

BUSINESS

Official figures released today showed that the UK economy shrank by an estimated 0.2% between July and September. The Office for National Statistics also said that monthly estimates show that GDP fell by 0.6% in September, but the figures were affected by the bank holiday for the State Funeral of Her Majesty the Queen.

Heathrow airport has said that it won't be limiting passenger numbers over the Christmas period. However, it said it is aware of potential strike action at a number of organisations, including a national Border Force strike and is supporting organisations on contingency plans to minimise any impact. The airport said that it served 5.9m passengers in October, which is 84% of 2019 levels. Year to date it has served 50m passengers, which is 74% of 2019 levels.

 

SPORT

Football... Manchester City players Aymeric Laporte and Rodri have been included in Spain's World Cup squad. Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta is also among five Premier League players included. Brighton's Robert Sanchez and Brentford's David Raya are also in the squad.

A group of 30 former footballers and their families are taking legal action against two of football's governing bodies, claiming they failed to protect them from brain injuries. The action alleges that the Football Associations of England and Wales and the International Football Association Board failed to take reasonable action to reduce blows to the head. The group includes the family of 1966 World Cup player Nobby Stiles who suffered from advanced dementia and died in 2020.

Rugby Union... It's been confirmed that Finn Russell will start for Scotland against New Zealand at Murrayfield on Sunday. He was originally omitted from the Autumn Nations Series squad but was called up after an injury to Adam Hastings.

 

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