Evening Update Friday 16 June 2023

President Macron has held talks with Saudi Arabia leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The two leaders had lunch at the Elysees today. The Crown Prince is on a ten day visit to France which began on Wednesday. The two leaders have met previously, when he visited Paris in July last year. The visit has been criticised by some human rights organisations. Speaking to French media this morning, the president of la Ligue des Droits de l'Homme, Patrick Baudouin said that the visit is "the triumph of the power of money".

President Macron held a meeting with tech entrepreneur Elon Musk this morning. The two discussed matters including artificial intellegence and regulation. President Macron is also trying to persuade Musk to set up a battery plant in France for Tesla electric vehicles.

President Macron has announced new measures to promote zero emission aircraft. Speaking on a visit to an aeroplane engine manufacturer in the Seine-et-Marne department, he announced that the governement will make available 200 million euros to develop innovative biofuels. State support for the Conseil pour la Recherche Aeronautique will be increased to 300 million euros per year between 2024 and 2030. 50 million euros will be made available for start ups to develop small low emisssion aeroplanes.

A mountaineer has died in the Hautes-Alpes this morning. A second person was seriously injured and is hospitalised in Bregancon. The accident happened on Mont Pelvoux in the Ecrins Massif.

A Monegasque delegation has taken part in the world conference this week on vaccine impact organized in Madrid by the GAVI Alliance and the Spanish Government. Monaco has been a member of the organization since 2016. The GAVI Alliance is a public-private fund whose objectives are financing, purchasing and making vaccines available, particularly in the most disadvantaged countries. The organization played a fundamental role during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in the implementation of the COVAX programme.

The Var Prefecture has advised divers to limit the risks of diving by following safety measures before, during and after diving. The advice comes after several recent diving accidents in the department. More information can be found on the Prefecture's website https://www.var.gouv.fr/Actions-de-l-Etat/Jeunesse-et-sports/Prevenir-les-accidents-de-plongee-sous-marine

A ceremony has been held by the Alpes-Maritimes Prefecture to mark the 80th anniversary of the death of resistance fighter Jean Moulin. He created the National Council of the Resistance in the Second World War under the authority of General de Gaulle.

 

BUSINESS

Bill Gates has had a meeting with China's President Xi Jinping. The Chinese leader told Mr Gates that he was "the first American friend" he had met in Beijing this year, according to Chinese state media. He's the latest high-profile US business leader to visit China recently. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will also visit China this weekend.

The UK competition and markets authority has cleared Amazon's $1.7 billion purchase of iRobot. Amazon announced its proposed purchase of iRobot Corporation in August last year. iRobot designs and builds consumer robots, including robot vacuum cleaners sold under the ‘Roomba’ brand. The CMA said it has concluded that the deal would not lead to competition concerns in the UK.

 

SPORT

Basketball... Monaco's Roca team have returned to the Principality with the French championship trophy. It's the first time the team have won the championship. Prince Albert II and a large number of supporters welcomed the team home to the Stade Louis II. The team is being received at the Palace in Monaco this evening.

Cycling.... Swiss cyclist Gino Mader has died after crashing on the Tour de Suisse yesterday. The Team Bahrain Victorious rider was involved in a high-speed crash with American Magnus Sheffield and fell into a ravine. Ineos Grenadiers rider Sheffield was taken to hospital with concussion and soft tissue damage.

Football...There are a large number of European Championship qualifying matches tonight. They include Greece against the Republic of Ireland, Malta against England, Wales take on Armenia and Northern Ireland play Denmark. France are playing Gibraltar.

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