Evening Update Monday 17 April 2023

President Macron will be making a televised address this evening on the subject of the government's highly controversial pension reforms. Meanwhile, the Bouche-du-Rhone police department has issued a ban on demonstrations in Marseille during President Macron's speech. The ban was issued on public order grounds after a local association called for people to gather outside the town hall during the speech.

Numerous gas meters were deposited as a protest against the pension reforms in front of the prefecture in Marseille this afternoon. The CGT union have said that they staged the protest. It was initially thought that one of the gas meters had exploded but the noise is now thought to have been a firecracker. Nobody was injured in the incident.

A passenger has been evacuated from a cruise ship off Hyeres. A helicopter of the Marine Nationale and a doctor from the Sainte Musse hospital in Toulon were involved in the operation, which was overseen by CrossMed.

Airbus and Air France have been exonerated by a court in Paris which has been investigating the crash of Air France flight 447. 228 people died in the crash of the flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009. The court said that no "certain causal link" between any fault and the crash could be demonstrated.

A large fire in undergrowth in the Pyrenees-Orientales department has been extinguished. The blaze, which authorities say they believe is of human origin, broke out yesterday next to the Spanish border. Over 900 hectares were consumed by the fire, which is the largest in France so far this year. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin visited the scene this morning.


Sega is acquiring Finland-based Rovio Entertainment for€706m. The maker of the Angry Birds video games has agreed to be bought by the Japanese gaming business behind Sonic the Hedgehog. Rovio has about 550 employees across its eight game studios worldwide.

The launch of the most powerful rocket ever developed has been delayed. The vehicle, known as Starship and operated by SpaceX, was due to lift off just after 3pm this afternoon our time from a launch pad in Texas. It stands almost 120m high and is designed to have almost double the thrust of any rocket in history. SpaceX will now try to get Starship airborne later this week.



Cricket... Ireland trail Sri Lanka by 474 runs with 3 wickets remaining on the second day of the Test Match. Sri Lanka were 591 for 6 declared and Ireland were 117 for 7 after 45 overs.

Rugby Union...World Rugby has confirmed it will trial a card review system at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship before potentially rolling it out at this autumn's men's World Cup.The change is intended to stop players being wrongly shown a red card. The card review process would only be used in-game when a foul play call is not clear from initial replays. The review process would give a second television match official a chance to look in detail at the incident.



Andrey Rublev claimed his first Masters 1000 title by beating Holger Rune 5-7  6-2  7-5 in the Monte Carlo Masters final. Rublev was 4-1 down in the deciding set and saved two break points before levelling the match. A double fault from Rune then gave Rublev a 6-5 lead before he clinched the match for his 13th ATP title.



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