Evening Update Thursday 2 February 2023

The Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Regional Health Agency has said that after nine weeks of the influenza epidemic, the virus remains in strong circulation in the region. It said that indicators are increasing in all age groups. It advised people not to forget barrier gestures to limit the spread of viruses and advised people at risk to consider vaccination. The whole of France is classed as being in an influenza epidemic except for three regions along the northern coast.

The body has been found of a teenager who disappeared in the Gard department. 18 year old Sihem had been missing since 25 January. The local prosecutor said that her body had been found in the early hours of this morning not far from where she disappeared and that a suspect who is in police custody had told authorities about the location of the body.

Three teenagers have been taken into custody in connection with recent threats and computer hacking against schools, according to reports in French media. The three are aged 14, 15 and 17 and are reportedly from the Gironde, the Val-de-Marne and the Bouches-du-Rhone.

A man has died after being hit by a train in the in the Bouches-du-Rhône. The incident happened at about 7.00 this morning in the town of Saint-Martin-de-Crau. Trains were interrupted in both directions between Miramas and Avignon via Arles but services have now mostly returned to normal.

French Minister Delegate in charge of Territorial Communities and Rurality, Dominique Faure, will be in the Var tomorrow. After a visit to Régusse as part of the promotion of the village's heritage, the Minister will go to Brignoles to attend demonstrations of forest fire fighting.

 

BUSINESS

The Bank of England has raised interest rates by 0.5%  to 4%. It's the tenth increase in borrowing costs in a row. The Bank said that the UK is set to enter recession this year but it will be shorter than previously thought.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank has raised its deposit rate today by 0.5% to 2.5%.

Energy company Shell has reported a record annual profit of $39.9bn in 2022. It's about double the previous year's figure and the highest in its 115-year history. Energy firms have seen record earnings since oil and gas prices jumped following the invasion of Ukraine.

The CEO of Heathrow airport, John Holland-Kaye is to step down after nine years in the post. The company said that its board has now started a selection process for a replacement and that in order to ensure a smooth handover he will remain as CEO until his successor starts in the post.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union... Ollie Hassell-Collins is set to make his England debut in this Saturday's Six Nations game against Scotland at Twickenham. Manu Tuilagi is left out of the quad. Joe Marchant starts at outside centre.

Cricket.... Tom Abell and Rehan Ahmed have been named in England's squad for their white-ball tour of Bangladesh in March. It's Abell's first international tour and Ahmed's first white-ball call-up. Lancashire's Saqib Mahmood is recalled after nine months out with a back injury.

Football... France player Raphael Varane has announced his retirement from international football. The 29-year-old made his first appearance for France in 2013 and was part of the World Cup winning side in 2018. He last played at international level in the 2022 World Cup final.

Paris St-Germain and France player Kylian Mbappe will miss the club's Champions League match against Bayern Munich because of a thigh injury. He suffered the injury in the match against Montpellier and has been ruled out for three weeks.

 

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