Evening Update Thursday 22 June 2023

One person is still missing after the explosion in a building in Paris yesterday. Six people are in a critical condition in hospital. The prosecutor said today that there are about fifty victims in total, who have experienced either physical or psychological injuries. The building is on rue Saint-Jacques in the 5th arrondissement. Enquiries are continuing to establish the cause of the blast. At the moment, the first line of inquiry is that the explosion may have been caused by a gas leak.

French Minister of Education Pap Ndiaye has said that the time devoted in the curriculum to moral and civic education will be increased. The change, which sees the time doubled from half an hour to one hour per week, will take effect from the start of the new 2024 school year. The curriculum for this subject will also change. Items such as "values of the Republic", "sustainable development issues" and "access to information" will be taught.

A teenager has died in Marseille after being electrocuted. Local reports say that the 16 year old boy was found in the bath by his mother. His mobile phone was found plugged into an electrical socket and he had burn marks on his body. The tragic accident happened in the 14th arrondissement last night. Firefighters attempted to revive him without success.

Firefighters in the Var have drawn attention to the risks of drowning. The majority of accidental drownings in 2021 affected children under 5 years old and people over 65 years old. Firefighters reminded parents not to take their eyes off their children and to try to swim in a group of people.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has launched work on a bike path linking Les Liserons in Nice to La Trinité. The cycle path is part of the Plan Vélo aimed at achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The mayor said that the project has several objectives including improving the living environment and reducing noise pollution.

A top-level red weather alert has been issued for the French overseas territory of Martinique. Schools are being closed today as tropical storm Bret hits the island. Businesses have closed, large gatherings have been banned and public transport suspended.

 

BUSINESS

The Bank of England has raised interest rates by 0.5% to 5%. The increase is larger than expected by many economists. The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee voted 7-2 in favour of the half percentage point rise. Two members of the committee voted to keep rates unchanged.

Meanwhile, Norway’s central bank also raised interest rates by 0.5% today, to 3.75%. The Swiss National Bank raised rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 1.75%.

Turkey’s central bank, which is under new leadership, today announced a large increase in it’s one week repo rate from 8.5 to 15%. Inflation in Turkey currently stands at over 85%.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union...The details of a historic first Test between England and Japan have been announced. England will travel to Japan for a match on 22 June 2024. The venue is yet to be confirmed. England have toured Japan before, in the 1970’s, but the matches didn’t have Test status.

Rugby League... Scotland and Great Britain full-back Lachlan Coote has retired with immediate effect on medical advice. Coote met with specialists after suffering a concussion in his club Hull KR's participation in the recent Magic Weekend.

Football... Next season’s English Championship fixtures have been announced. The season gets underway on Friday 4 August when Sheffield Wednesday play Southampton at Hillsborough. Plymouth play Huddersfield on Saturday, 5 August. There are several games on the Sunday with Leicester taking on Coventry, Leeds play Cardiff and Ipswich face Sunderland.

 

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