Evening Update Thursday 15 June 2023

President Macron is expected to be in Marseille from the 26th to the 28th of June. The visit will be in the context of his "Marseille en Grand" plan announced during a previous visit to the city in September 2021. The plan involves the state giving financial assistance to the city, particularly in the areas of education, transport and housing.

There's been some rare good news regarding the recent drought conditions. Meteo France have said that the total rainfall in the Provence Alpes-Cote d'Azur region for the last 30 days reached 143 mm, which is twice the normal amount. Since records began in 1959, only two years have had a greater 30-day total on this date, 1984 and 2008. Meteo France added that rainfall over the past month has increased water levels in the soil in south-east France. The soil moisture index, which was in deficit everywhere in the region at the beginning of May is now above normal, except in the Hérault and Pyrénées-Orientales.

Two police officers have been seriously injured after a motorcyclist refused to stop in the early hours of this morning in Cannes, according to local reports. The motorcyclist was apprehended by police and arrested.

Bouches-du-Rhone firefighters were involved in fighting a major fire in Aix-en-Provence last night. More than sixty personnel responded to what firefighters called a “virulent” fire at an auto parts store covering 800 square metres. Twenty machines were involved including a special firefighting robot.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has announced a plan to help rural communities. Speaking on a visit to the Vienne department in western France today she presented a total of forty measures, including a “villages of the future” programme to give financial help to municipalities to carry out various projects and a programme to boost public transport in rural areas.

The Var Prefecture has said today that after the storms and heavy rainfall of recent days, swimming may be prohibited on certain beaches for temporary pollution reasons. The Prefecture recommends enquiring at your local tourist office or town hall for specific information.

The National Police have dismantled a drugs trafficking network in Hyeres. Eight people were arrested, €71,000 was seized as well as 2.1 kilos of herbal cannabis, 13.7 kilos of cocaine and various weapons.


BUSINESS

The European Central Bank has raised interest rates by 0.25% to 3.5%. Its the highest level since 2001.

Inflation in France fell slightly in May according to government statistics office INSEE. Annual consumer price inflation was 5.1% in May, down from 5.9% in April. Energy prices fell sharply.

New Zealand's economy has fallen into recession. Gross domestic product fell by 0.1% in the first three months of the year following a 0.7% contraction in the previous quarter, which means the economy is in a technical recession. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has increased the cost of borrowing sharply since October 2021. Last month it increased its main interest rate to 5.5%.

A group of 17 US music publishers have started legal proceedings against Twitter, claiming the platform enabled copyright violations involving nearly 1,700 songs. The National Music Publishers' Association is seeking more than $250m in damages.
 

SPORT

Football... The Premier League fixtures for the 2023-24 season were announced this morning. Champions Manchester City will start the season on Friday, 11 August at newly promoted Burnley. Luton Town will play their first top-flight match since 1992 at Brighton the following day. Another promoted club, Sheffield United, host Crystal Palace. Mauricio Pochettino's start as Chelsea manager begins at home to Liverpool on Sunday, 13 August.

Former Scotland, Manchester United and Leeds United defender Gordon McQueen has died at the age of 70. He started his footballing career with St Mirren, followed by  Leeds United. He helped win the English league title in 1974 and then went on to win the FA Cup with Manchester United in 1983. He played 30 times for Scotland and was chosen for the 1978 World Cup but missed out because of injury.

 

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