Evening Update Friday 4 February 2022

First Lady Brigitte Macron has been in Nice today. She visited the Lenval Hospital in her role as president of the Fondation des Hospitaux which organises the Pieces Jaunes fund raising drive every year. The campaign aims to improve the conditions of children in hospital. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi was also present during the visit this morning to welcome Brigitte Macron to Nice.

Salaried employment in the French private sector increased again in the final quarter of 2021 according to an initial estimate by government statistics agency INSEE. Private payroll employment rose by 0.5% in the quarter. There were 106,700 net job creations. It's the fourth successive quarterly increase.

A policewoman has been seriously injured in Lille in northern France after being hit by a car during a control operation. One of the officers present fired his service weapon during the incident but there were no injuries. Two suspects were arrested.

Meanwhile, a man has been arrested in Montpellier in connection with the injury of a police officer who was hit by a car. The officer was attempting to arrest several individuals in a car when the vehicle drove into the officer, causing serious injuries.

An investigation is being opened by the French government after the discovery of thousands of dead fish in the sea 300km off the west coast of France. An association representing the owners of freezer trawlers confirmed that fish had spilled from a vessel in the Bay of Biscay due to the rupture of a net, which it said is "a very rare occurrence". The conservation NGO Sea Shepherd, which drew attention to the incident, has called for cameras to be required on all fishing vessels.

 

BUSINESS

The Governor of the Bank of England has said that the rising cost of living will not ease in the UK until next year. Speaking to the BBC's Today programme Andrew Bailey said many people in the UK faced a "difficult period" ahead. The Bank raised interest rates yesterday in the face of rising inflation. He said rising energy costs were outside the Bank's control, but that it had "acted" to "prevent things getting worse".  Mr Bailey said that two years from now, the Bank expects inflation to be "back to a more stable position." He also suggested workers should not ask for big pay rises to cope with the rising cost of living, so that prices did not increase out of control.

The volume of retail trade in the EU fell by 2.8% in December compared with November as the Omicron variant spread across the bloc. The EU's statistics body Eurostat said that among member states for which data are available, the largest monthly decreases in total retail trade volume were registered in the Netherlands, Spain and Germany. The highest increases were in Latvia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Hungary.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union.. It's the first round of the 2022 Six Nations Championship this weekend. France play Italy on Sunday while Ireland start the tournament against Wales in Dublin tomorrow. That's followed by the Calcutta Cup game between Scotland and England at Murrayfield.

Cricket... It's been announced that Australia's men's team will tour Pakistan for the first time in 24 years in March. Three Tests, three one-day internationals and one T20 are planned.

Olympics.. The opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics has been held in Beijing this afternoon. The games are taking place until 20 February.

Football... It's FA Cup 4th round weekend in England with the holders Leicester City away at Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Chelsea play Plymouth tomorrow while Liverpool host Cardiff City on Sunday. Manchester City are at home to Fulham tomorrow while Manchester United host Middlesbrough tonight. There's one game in the English Premier League this weekend. Burnley play Watford.

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