Evening Update Thursday 9 November 2023

The Pas-de-Calais in north-west France has been placed on a rare red alert for heavy rain and flooding until midday tomorrow. This afternoon interior minister Gerald Darmanin announced that he had asked the prefect to close schools and nurseries in 200 municipalities in the department. Several rivers have once again been placed on the highest level red alert for flooding. Several others are on orange alerts. The minister called on the local population ""to exercise the greatest caution and respect safety instructions". Very heavy rain has affected the north-west since last Sunday, adding to the heavy precipitation of the previous days. Meteo France said that very heavy rain is affecting the coastal departments in the north of the country today and tomorrow, which it said is "a continuation of an exceptional rainy period".

President Macron has called for a ceasefire in Gaza. The president was speaking during an international humanitarian conference in Paris today. He said that "civilians must be protected" and "this is not negotiable, it is an immediate necessity". He also announced that France will be increasing the amount of aid for civilians in Gaza from the current 20 million euros to a total of 100 million euros this year.

The immigration bill is continuing its passage through the French parliament. Yesterday a key provision of the bill was modified by the Senate. The government had proposed that there would be regularization of undocumented workers in professions where there was a shortage of workers. This proposal was defeated. However, there was agreement on a replacement measure providing for a so-called "exceptional" residence permit with more stringent allocation criteria.

A man in his forties has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of his eighty year old wife in Montpellier. The suspect was threatening to jump from the roof of their house when police intervened yesterday evening. Local reports say he was taken to hospital.

 

BUSINESS

Actors in the United States are expected to resume work after their union agreed a tentative deal with Hollywood studios to end a four-month strike. Sag-Aftra said it had reached agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers. Actors have been calling for better pay and safeguards on the use of AI.

An advocate at the European Court of Justice has said that Apple should pay over 13 billion euros in back taxes, arguing that a previous ruling should be overturned. The Advocate General said the case should be reviewed again because a series of legal errors had been made. The opinion is not a final decision by the court, but it tends to agree with such opinions in the majority of cases. The European Commission originally decided several years ago that Apple had received unfair preferential treatment from the Irish government, allowing it to pay a much lower rate of tax than other companies.

Energy company Shell is suing Greenpeace for $2.1m in damages after environmental protesters occupied a vessel transporting one of its floating platforms near the Canary Islands earlier this year. Shell said it was entitled to recover what it called "the significant costs of responding to Greenpeace's dangerous actions". Greenpeace said it planned to defend the lawsuit.

 

SPORT

Cricket... New Zealand have beaten Sri Lanka by five wickets in the World Cup. Sri Lanka batted first and were all out for 171. New Zealand were 172 for 5. The win has increased New Zealand's chances of making the semi-finals. Sri Lanka were already out of the tournament.

Football... It’s been announced that the Women's FA Cup prize fund will be doubled to a total of 6 million pounds. The club which wins the FA Cup will receive £430,000, up from £100,000 last season.

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