Evening Update Thursday 21 December 2023

Several unions representing municipal police officers are calling for industrial action on December 24 and December 31. They are protesting at their levels of pay and increased responsibilities. However, the two main unions representing officers are not calling for action as yet, preferring dialogue with the government.

A couple have been tied up at gunpoint at their garden nursery business in the Bouches-du-Rhone. The heavily armed robbers took several thousand euros in cash as well as bank cards and mobile phones from the garden centre in Trets.

High winds are expected in the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes. A Meteo France yellow alert is currently in force for the Var until midnight tomorrow, Friday, night. The prefecture said that gusts of up to 120 km per hour are expected in some areas and has called for great vigilance. Meteo France also have a yellow warning for high winds in the Alpes-Maritimes from midnight tonight until 6am tomorrow morning.

Eurostar has urged customers not to travel today after it was forced to cancel trains due to a "last-minute strike" at Getlink, the Channel Tunnel operator. Many services between St Pancras and the Gare du Nord this afternoon were cancelled. Eurotunnel has also temporarily suspended all LeShuttle services. This afternoon Eurostar said that it didn't have any information for tomorrow's services and asked travellers to keep an eye on its website for the latest updates.

The leader of a major French union has called for civil disobedience in protest at controversial immigration legislation. Speaking to French media, Sophie Binet, General Secretary of the CGT union, said that the legislation "rolls out the red carpet for the extreme right". Demonstrations against its provisions were held in several towns and cities last night including Avignon, Cherbourg and Rennes.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has expressed his support for the Deputy Mayor of Saint-Denis in northern Paris who was attacked last night. Oriane Filhol was kicked in the head and body in the street by several individuals who followed her after a work meeting. Christian Estrosi said that "these abject acts against elected officials of the Republic are revolting, and their multiplication is worrying".

 

BUSINESS

Social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, suffered outages for just over an hour this morning. According to Downdetector.com, tens of thousands of US users faced access issues with X and X Pro. Some users in the UK and Asia were also reportedly unable to view posts on the site.

UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is visiting Switzerland today to sign a deal that makes it easier for UK and Swiss financial firms to deal with each other. The Berne Financial Services Agreement provides for Switzerland and the UK recognising and accepting each other's financial regulations.

 

SPORT

Football... The European Court of Justice has ruled that banning clubs from joining a European Super League was unlawful and Uefa and Fifa are "abusing a dominant position". The case was brought by the ESL and its backers claiming Uefa and Fifa were breaking competition law by threatening to sanction those who joined the breakaway league. The European Union's highest court found against the governing bodies but added that the ruling did not mean a breakaway league would "necessarily be approved". The ruling has opened the door for new proposals to be put forward and for clubs to look to organise and manage European football competitions. A new proposal has already been made for a "super league" featuring 64 men's teams and 32 women's teams.

Luton Town captain Tom Lockyer has been discharged from hospital. He suffered a cardiac arrest during last Saturday's game at Bournemouth.

Cricket...  Tom Curran has been banned for four games in Australia's Big Bash League for allegedly intimidating an umpire. Cricket Australia found that Curran was involved in a disagreement with an umpire before a game against Hobart Hurricanes. The player and his club, the Sydney Sixers plan to appeal.

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