Evening Update Monday 24 July 2023

President Macron is visiting the French Pacific territory of Nouvelle Caledonie. He said that he wanted to "open a new page" in the territory. There have been calls for independence, despite three negative referenda. He will meet local officials before going on to Vanuatu on Thursday and Papua New Guinea on Friday.

President Macron has commented on the holding in pre-trial detention of a police officer in Marseille on suspicion of violence against a man on the sidelines of the recent riots. The president said that he understood the emotion of the police but that "nobody in the Republic is above the law". It follows controversial comments in support of the detained officer by the director of the National Police.

Speaking on French TV from Nouvelle Caledonie, the President announced the launch of what he called a "parental authority" initiative at the end of the summer. He said that France "needs a return of authority at every level, and first of all in the family", adding that he wished to "empower certain families" and "accompany other families who are in distress".

Hundreds of fans have gathered to pay tribute to Jane Birkin at her funeral in Paris today. The service at the Saint-Roch cathedral in the centre of the capital was relayed via a big screen outside. Two of the singer's daughters carried the coffin. There were several speeches including from her daughter Charlotte and actress Catherine Deneuve.

Meteo France have put the Bouches-du-Rhone on a red level alert for forest fires tomorrow. The red alert is the highest out of the four alert levels for forest fires and Meteo France describes it as "weather conditions making the risk of starting and spreading forest and vegetation fires very high compared to summer norms". Temperatures in the department are expected to approach 30 degrees with winds of about 70km per hour at times.

A man who was feared missing in the sea off Cannes last night is safe and well. The 40 year old had been swimming with friends last night and later returned to shore without telling them. The friends feared the worst and alerted authorities. Significant resources had been deployed to attempt to find him, including a Dragon 06 helicopter and two boats. According to the Maritimes Prefecture, the man presented himself to the police station in Cannes at about 11am this morning, safe and sound.

A motorcyclist has been airlifted to hospital after crashing near Guillaumes in the arriere pays. The man in his twenties fell about ten metres from a road.

 

BUSINESS

Twitter has its new logo, featuring a white X on a black background, which will replace its blue bird logo. "Tweets" will be called "x's", according to owner Elon Musk. He's said previously that he wants to create a "super app" called "X", his vision for a new kind of social media platform.

Profits at Ryanair almost quadrupled in the April to June quarter compared to the previous year. The budget airline posted profits of 663 million euros for the quarter. Revenues increased by 57% to €2.47bn. CEO Michael O'Leary said that a strong Easter and the UK public holiday for the coronataion in May contributed to growth. The company was cautious about demand for the rest of the year.

The French economy saw its sharpest contraction in business activity since November 2020 in July. A survey of purchasing managers by S&P Global showed declines in services and manufacturing gaining speed amid weakening demand. July’s contraction in output was the second in as many months, signalling what it called "a sustained deterioration in economic conditions". The latest survey data also highlighted another softening of inflationary pressures across France.

 

SPORT

Cricket... England have named an unchanged squad for the fifth and final Ashes Test. Australia, who are 2-1 up in the series, retained the Ashes after the fourth Test was drawn. England will now be aiming to draw the series. The Test begins at The Oval on Thursday.

Football... Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal have reportedly made a bid for Paris St-Germain player Kylian Mbappe. The 24-year-old has a year left on his contract with the Paris club and has so far declined to sign an extension.

Former England player Trevor Francis has died aged 69 after suffering a heart attack in Spain. Francis won 52 England caps, scoring 12 goals, before starting a managerial career.

 

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