Evening Update Friday 13th October 2023

A teacher has been killed and two people have been seriously injured in a knife attack at a school in northern France. Interior minister Gérald Darmanin said the attack happened at the Gambetta lycée in Arras at about 11am on Friday morning. The attacker has been arrested and is now in custody. According to witnesses, he shouted "Allahu Akbar", or "God is greatest", during the attack. The person killed was a French language teacher. Those injured were another teacher and a security guard. French media reports say he was a former pupil at the school. Police say the situation is now under control. French president Emmanuel Macron will visit the school later on Friday, while the National Assembly in Paris has suspended its session in solidarity with the victims.

Météo France has warned of possible storms and heavy rainfall during the middle of next week across the south of France. The so-called Mediterranean episode is characterised by intense rainfall over a short period of time, accompanied by storms. The forecaster says the Var, Alpes-Maritimes and Bouches-du-Rhône are likely to be affected from Tuesday to Thursday next week.

A small plane flying from Corsica to Cannes has crashed in the Med, killing all four people on board. The pilot encountered technical difficulties shortly after takeoff from an aerodrome in the south of the island. The bodies of the two men and two women were promptly recovered from the sea and an investigation is under way.

Customs officers have seized more than 300 kilos of drugs during a routine check on a truck at the La Turbie tolls. Officers found 250 kilos of ecstasy, 30 kilos of cannabis resin and 28 kilos of cocaine in the back of the vehicle. Three people were taken into custody. The Nice public prosecutor says they're suspected of being involved in a drug trafficking operation between Tunisia and France.

An MP in the Alpes-Maritimes is asking French lawmakers to create a new crime of "road murder", after the killing of a 16-year-old boy by a drug-driver in Antibes last year. Noé died when he was run down in June 2022 by a 43-year-old driver who was speeding, drunk and under the influence of cocaine and ecstasy. The driver was jailed for involuntary manslaughter with aggravating circumstances, but walked free from prison after serving just a two-month sentence and paying €5,000 in bail. Noé's family are working with local MP Eric Pauget on a draft bill that would introduce the new crime of "road homicide", with tougher sanctions for drivers who kill while under the influence. They say there's nothing involuntary about taking drugs or being over the drink-drive limit and they hope the newly defined crime, if approved by MPs, would make drivers think twice.

The City of Nice has announced it's taking tougher action against passengers who use public transport without a valid ticket. Lignes d'Azur has recently recruited 17 extra ticket checkers, bringing the total to 71. At the moment, ticket checks are focused on the busiest times of the day - the morning and evening rush hour, and over lunchtime.The reinforced team will make it possible for more surprise checks to be carried out off-peak - including late at night and first thing in the morning. Lignes d'Azur estimates that one in 10 passengers on the Nice public transport network travels without a valid ticket - a figure that's nonetheless been in sharp decline in recent years. If you have a valid subscription but fail to validate it, the fine is €10. If you wait until you see the ticket checkers before scanning your ticket, the fine is €40. And not having a ticket at all costs €60 if you pay on the spot.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has met representatives from several local associations that help the city's most vulnerable residents.
He presented a plan for how to better help the homeless, single mothers and children living in poverty. Among the proposals are mobile showers for the homeless, free parking for charity workers and a jobs fair to help the sector recruit. Charities including the Restos du Coeur and Secours Populaire have seen a surge in demand in recent months as inflation and the cost-of-living crisis are pushing more people into financial difficulty.

Police in La-Seyne-sur-Mer have carried out a series of unannounced spot checks on the town's bars and cafes. About 40 officers descended on La Seyne town centre on Wednesday evening. They asked for ID and work papers for staff and managers, and checked that each venue was complying with the terms of its alcohol licence. Nine people were found to be working illegally in France.

And AS Monaco football club is continuing a programme that lets local schoolchildren meet and be inspired by some of the club's star players. The red van of the AS Monaco Kids Tour has travelled 250 kilometres around the region so far this season, stopping off in eight places, with players taking it in turns to meet local children. More than 700 kids have benefited so far. This week it was the turn of Swiss goalkeeper Philipp Köln to meet young AS Monaco supporters, sign autographs and join in with some target practice in La Turbie.


Consumer prices continued to rise in the US during September fuelled by higher housing and petrol costs, new figures show. Inflation was 3.7% over the 12 months to September, which is the same rate that was recorded for August. The US central bank is debating whether it will need to raise interest rates again to stabilise price growth. While inflation has cooled significantly from last year, it remains higher than the 2% target.

And nearly 2,500 French taxi drivers have begun a legal fight today against Uber in Paris. They're accusing the American giant of unfair competition and seeking more than €450 million in damages. Uber has had to battle several legal challenges in the 12 years since it first began operating in France. This latest one pits them against nine associations and unions representing the powerful French taxi sector. The drivers believe they are each out of pocket annually to the tune of €9,300 per year and also want damages and interest from Uber. Uber, however, says the action is unfounded and outdated.


Football - Erling Haaland scored twice as Norway cruised past Cyprus to keep their Euro 2024 qualification hopes alive and force Scotland to wait to seal their place at next summer's tournament. The Manchester City striker hit two goals in seven second-half minutes to take his tally in qualifying to six. The match ended 4-0 to Norway. Norway face Spain in Oslo on Sunday and a failure to win would ensure Scotland's qualification.

Meanwhile, Eduard Bello scored an overhead kick as Venezuela earned a 1-1 draw in Brazil in their 2026 World Cup qualifier. Brazil fall to second in South American qualifying after three games, behind Argentina who have a 100% record.

Rugby Union - The quarter finals kick off this weekend with tomorrow Wales playing Argentina at 5pm French time in Marseille. Wales will be aiming to reach the semi-finals for the first time at a Rugby World Cup. Meanwhile, in a huge showdown, Ireland will face New Zealand at 9pm French time in Paris.

On Sunday at 5pm French time England play Fiji in Marseille and like Wales will be aiming to qualify for the first World Cup semi-final in their history. Finally, in what is being tipped as the match of the tournament so far, hosts France face reigning champions South Africa in Paris at 9pm French time.

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