Evening Update Friday 26 January 2024

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal is visiting the Haute-Garonne this evening where he's announced new measures aimed at addressing the concerns of protesting farmers. He announced what he called "ten immediate simplification measures", adding that the government has decided "to put agriculture above everything". He said that the government wished to introduce measures to encourage French people to buy French products.
Protests by farmers have once again been taking place across France today.  Locally, a large amount of manure was dumped in front of the Prefecture in Nice this morning as about 200 protestors gathered in front of the building. A procession of tractors travelled from the MIN market to the prefecture. Further afield, the A57, the A54 and the A51 autoroutes were once again partially blocked by farm vehicles. The Aude prefecture said early this afternoon that about twenty agricultural vehicles headed towards the centre of Narbonne where they caused damage, dumped their loads and lit a fire in front of the sub-prefecture. A fire was also started at a farmers mutualite organization in the same area. Around 1,500 demonstrators, 150 agricultural machines and 30 vehicles were blocking the Croix Sud interchange at Narbonne on the A9. Vinci Autoroutes said that a total of 400km were closed on the A7 and A9, a situation they said they said hadn't been seen before. A farmer suffered slight injuries when he was a truck tried to force its way through the blockade on the A7 in the Vaucluse department. The driver was arrested. This afternoon farmers have also been blockading motorways near Paris.

A specialist CRS police unit has carried out an operation in the Moulins district of Nice. Alpes-Maritimes prefect Hugues Moutouh said that the operation involved the destruction of deal points, drug seizures, and an operation against a parking lot serving as a walled hideout. He said that "we are waging a relentless war".

The Maritime Prefecture of the Mediterranean has lifted a wreck stranded since 2017 in the bay of Ajaccio in Corsica. Situated among rocks, the wreck could only be removed by sea with a large-scale project involving specialists in underwater engineering from the Marine Nationale. The wreck was finally extracted after one week of work and towed into the port of Ajaccio. The Maritime Prefecture said that there was no damage to the marine environment.

 

BUSINESS

Talks between the UK and Canada on a post-Brexit trade deal have broken down because of disagreements regarding certain beef and cheese products. Canada wants the UK to relax a ban on hormone-treated beef. Meanwhile, the UK has concerns about Canada imposing high import taxes on British cheese products. Talks between the two countries have been taking place since March 2022.

The proposed merger between mobile operators Vodafone and Three is to be investigated by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority. The investigation will examine the potential impact the proposed deal could have on competition for consumers and businesses. The deal would combine the companies' telecommunications operations under one single network provider.

 

SPORT

Tennis.... Jannik Sinner has beaten Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semi-finals. It's his first lost at the Australian Open since 2018. It ends Djokovic's bid for a record-extending 11th title at the tournament. Sinner will play Daniil Medvedev who beat Alexander Zverev in the other semi-final.

Football... Jurgen Klopp is to step down as Liverpool manager at end of season. Klopp said that he is "running out of energy". He was appointed in October 2015 and his contract was due to run until 2026.

Cricket... It's been the second day of the Australia against West Indies second test. Australia were 289-9 declared. West Indies were on 311, meaning that they led by 35 runs. In the England against India first test, India were 421-7, 175 runs ahead of England's 246 all out.

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