Evening Update Monday 28 August 2023

Flights between the UK and many destinations including France have been suffering disruption today because of a technical problem with UK air traffic control systems. Air traffic control operator NATS said that it had applied "traffic flow restrictions" earlier to maintain safety. It said that a technical issue was affecting its "ability to automatically process flight plans" and that flight plans were being input manually. In an update at 4.15 our time this afternoon NATS said that it had identified and remedied the technical issue affecting its flight planning system.  It said that it was now working closely with airlines and airports to manage the flights affected as efficiently as possible.

A landslide in the Savoie department has resulted in train services between France and Italy being cut in that area. Services in our region are unaffected. The landslide of about 700 cubic metres yesterday also cut traffic on the A43 motorway. About 40 people were taken care of by local services.

French air traffic controllers have filed a strike notice for September 15. The majority union of controllers said that they were announcing a national strike notice covering all air traffic controllers and traffic watch officers on Friday September 15 from the start of morning service to the end of night service. They are calling for pay increases because of inflation.

A teenager was stabbed in the throat on Saturday in Nimes in the Gard department. It's the latest act of violence in the town. There were two fatal shootings last week. A 15 year old was arrested this morning in connection with the attack.

Nice mayor Christian Estrosi has attended a ceremony commemorating the 79th anniversary of the liberation of the city. He paid tribute to the sacrifice of those involved and said that "democracy is a daily fight".

Sir Elton John has spent the night in hospital in Monaco after falling, at his villa in Nice. The singer was reportedly taken to the orthopaedic department of the Princess Grace hospital where he was treated for minor injuries. A spokesman told the BBC that Sir Elton ‘s visit to hospital was “a precautionary measure" and that "following check-ups, he was immediately discharged this morning and is now back at home and in good health."

 

BUSINESS

Shares in Chinese property developer Evergrande fell almost 80% in their first day of trading in Hong Kong for a year and a half. The shares have lost more than 99% of their value in the past three years. On Sunday, the firm posted a loss of 33bn yuan, which is about $4.5bn, for the first six months of the year. It lost about double that amount in same period a year earlier.

A group which represents 47 UK municipal areas has said that at least 26 councils are at risk of effective bankruptcy over the next two years. The Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities said that the funding system is completely broken and that "councils have worked miracles for the past 13 years, but there is nothing left.”

 

SPORT

Football... Newcastle United midfielder Elliot Anderson has received his first Scotland call-up for next month's Euro 2024 qualifier in Cyprus and the friendly with England. The 20 year old is from England but represented Scotland at youth level, qualifying through his grandmother from Glasgow. He briefly switched to England Under-19s, but returned for one Scotland appearance at under-21 level last year.

Cricket... New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has been given about two weeks to prove his fitness for the one-day World Cup, which starts in India in October. The 33-year-old injured his knee in April. New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said that there are about two weeks to go before the World Cup squad is named and Williamson is "in full rehab mode".

 

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