Evening Update Monday 4 April 2022

President Macron has called for further sanctions to be imposed on Russia after the discovery of civilian victims in the town of Bucha in Ukraine. Speaking on France Inter this morning, he said that there are "very clear indications" of war crimes and "international justice" must happen.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has expressed his full solidarity with the farmers impacted by the severe frost which affected many parts of France last night. He said that the potential damage could be very significant. He added that the cold spell is not over, and state services are mobilized and are closely monitoring weather developments. He said that he had asked the Minister of Agriculture and Food to mobilize the system for agricultural disasters and that "a comprehensive plan" will be implemented. 

Police have dispersed demonstrators who had gathered in front of an oil depot in the Var early this morning. The demonstrators, who were protesting at the reduction in purchasing power, had set fire to tyres in front of the depot in Puget-sur-Argens.

The meeting between French Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin and Corsican independence campaigners which was scheduled for this Friday has been cancelled, according to French media. Reports say that the reason for the cancellation is the violence which took place during demonstrations held on the island yesterday. 

Alpes-Maritmes firefighters have paid tribute to one of their collegues who lost his life in Storm Alex in October 2020. The posthumous presentation of the Legion d'Honneur to Corporal Loic Millo took place at the tribute ceremony in St-Martin Vesubie.

The two owners of a building in Marseille which theatened to collapse have been sentenced by the criminal court this morning. They were given eight month prison sentences, four of which were suspended with the remainer to be served at home with electronic surveillance. Fines were also imposed. The condition of the building in the 4th arrondissement came to light shortly after the collapse of two buildings in rue d'Aubagne in 2018.


BUSINESS

Elon Musk has taken a 9.2% stake in Twitter, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing. It makes the Tesla founder one of the largest shareholders in Twitter. He recently said that he was giving "serious thought" to building a new social media platform.

Consumer sentiment in the UK has fallen to a similar level to during the first coronavirus lockdown. PwC’s Consumer Sentiment Index for March saw a considerable drop-off in sentiment reflecting the cost of living crisis. A survey was run across the weekend of 17-20 March. The Index complied from the results shows that consumer sentiment is currently tracking at -20, after peaking at +10 in June 2021. A 30 point decline in nine months is the biggest sustained fall in the survey since the global financial crisis in 2008. However, consumer sentiment is still slightly higher than it was at the start of the pandemic.


SPORT

Rugby Union.... Former All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith has joined New Zealand's women's team as technical coach. Smith spent 16 years with the All Blacks. The Black Ferns are aiming to win their sixth World Cup when they host the tournament in October and November this year.

Tennis...Britsh number one player Cameron Norrie has moved into the top ten world rankings for the first time. He moves up to number ten from number twelve in the latest ATP rankings.

Cricket... Ross Taylor has been given a standing ovation in his final match for New Zealand. New Zealand won the third one day international against the Netherlands by 115 runs. Taylor made the winning catch. The 38 year old had a sixteen year international career.

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