Evening Update Friday 23 December 2022

A gunman has opened fire in central Paris, killing three people and injuring several others in Strasbourg-Saint Denis in the 10th arrondissement. A suspect has been arrested. A local elected official said the suspect was also wounded in the shooting and that three places had come under fire - a Kurdish community centre, a restaurant and a hairdresser. Prosecutors said they had opened a murder investigation. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo praised police for their decisive action. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne offered her "thoughts and full support" to the victims and their loved ones. During a visit to the scene of the attack this afternoon, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that the attacker "obviously wanted to go after foreigners" but that it wasn't known if he was particularly targeting the Kurdish community. There have been clashes between protestors and police near the scene of the shooting this evening. Reports say that protestors threw projectiles and have erected barricades and started several fires. Police have deployed tear gas.

French rail unions have agreed to lift the strike notice which had been expected to affect train services over the New Year after negotiations with SNCF management this morning. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne praised what she called "the prevailing spirit of responsibility" at the SNCF. However, industrial action is still affecting train services today and for the rest of the Christmas holiday weekend. Some disruption is also expected on Monday. Details of specific trains can be found on www.sncf.com and on the SNCF Assistant app.

The Var prefecture has introduced restrictions on the sale of fireworks and fuel over the holiday period. The use of fireworks by individuals as well as the sale and transport of fuel in containers is prohibited from December 24 at 8:00 a.m. until December 26 at 8:00 a.m. and from December 30 at 8:00 a.m. until January 2 at 8 a.m. Further details can be found on the prefecture's website www.var.gouv.fr  

The Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has also issued decrees for the end-of-year celebrations regulating the sale, transport and use of combustible products and hydrochloric acid as well as the sale, possession and use of rockets, fireworks or pyrotechnic devices. Details can be found on www.https://www.alpes-maritimes.gouv.fr/Actualites/Espace-Presse/2022/Decembre/Arretes-prefectoraux-a-l-occasion-des-fetes-de-fin-d-annee

A man in his seventies has died in a fire in Frejus. The blaze broke out at a villa in the town in the early hours of this morning. The man's wife survived but is in hospital.

Two men suffered stab injuries after a fight broke out last night in Digne-les-Bains. The incident occurred in the outdoor car park of a shopping centre. Both men are in hospital.

 

BUSINESS

Facebook owner Meta has agreed to pay $725m to settle legal action over a data breach. The long-running dispute accused Meta of allowing third parties to access Facebook users' personal data. Meta did not admit wrongdoing but said it had "revamped" its approach to privacy over the past three years.

The head of a union in the UK has said that strikes by Border Force staff at UK airports could go on for months unless the government enters talks over pay. The head of the PCS union Mark Serwotka said the union had a "mandate" for walkouts up until May. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he had acted "fairly and reasonably" over public sector pay. Thousands of travellers arriving in the UK have been told to expect delays over Christmas as border staff take industrial action.

Meanwhile, the Unite union has announced this afternoon that strike action by ground handlers at Heathrow airport has been called off. The action by several hundred workers at Menzies which was due to begin on 29 December for three days will no longer go ahead after union members accepted an improved pay offer.

 

SPORT

Football.... England World Cup winner George Cohen has died at the age of 83. He played in all six matches in the 1966 tournament and was vice-captain for the 4-2 win over West Germany in the final. He spent his entire club career with Fulham. Only two of the 1966 England World Cup players now survive, Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Bobby Charlton.

In Australia, Melbourne Victory have been banned from selling tickets for home games until 15 January following a pitch invasion in their game against Melbourne City. Football Australia said that only Victory club members would be allowed at home matches and Victory fans will not be allowed to attend away games.

Cricket... England's Sam Curran has become the most expensive auction buy in the history of the Indian Premier League after being bought by Punjab Kings for £1.85m. Yorkshire player Harry Brook was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for £1.35m.

 

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