Evening Update Tuesday 16 May 2023

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne is beginning two days of meetings with union leaders this evening to discuss the pension reform legislation. The five main French unions will be attending the talks. The government said that it wishes to re-establish what it called "a peaceful and constructive dialogue". Unions are currently still planning to hold their 14th day of action and demonstrations on June 6.

An earthquake of magnitude of 4.1 was recorded in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence this morning. The quake, at 8.24am near Barcelonette, was strongly felt according to a French earthquake monitoring centre. Falling objects were reported locally.

Two volunteer firefighters have died of gunshot wounds in the Haut-Rhin department. The bodies of the two men in their early 20's were discovered at a house yesterday evening. The local prosecutor said today that their service weapons were not used in the shooting. At this stage it's believed that one man shot the other before turning the weapon on himself.

The Principality of Monaco has taken part in a high level meeting of World Health Organization smaller states. At the meeting in Luxembourg, the Monegasque delegation spoke about measures taken in the field of prevention and management of non-communicable diseases, steps taken for the detection of addictions and the strengthening of mental healthcare. Delegates were invited to a symposium on the emergence of new viral risks which will be held in Monaco this coming October.

The 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival is getting undeway this evening. The prestigious Palme d'Honneur will be presented to Michael Douglas in recognition of his lifetime's work in the film industry. The opening film being shown this evening is Jeanne du Barry starring Johnny Depp. The screening of films in competition will begin tomorrow. The Festival runs until 27 May.



Telecoms company Vodafone has announced plans to cut 11,000 jobs over the next three years. The job losses amount to about a tenth of its global workforce. Vodafone's new CEO Margherita Della Valle said its "performance has not been good enough". The company has already outlined plans to cut jobs in Germany and Italy.

The number of people not working in the UK due to long-term sickness has risen to a new record, according to the Office for National Statistics. It said that more than two and a half million people were not working because of health problems. There has been a rise in mental health issues in younger people as well as in back and neck pain, possibly due to home working.

The number of people on business payrolls in the UK has fallen by 136,000 between March and April to 29.8 million according to figures from the ONS. It's the first fall in total payrolled employees since February 2021, although the figures are a provisional estimate.



Cricket.... England player Jofra Archer has been ruled out for the summer because of the continuing stress fracture in his right elbow. Jonny Bairstow has returned to the England Test squad as wicketkeeper in place of Ben Foakes. James Anderson is also named in the 15-man squad for the four-day Test against Ireland at Lord's which starts on 1 June.

Tennis.... Novak Djokovic has beaten British number one Cameron Norrie 6-3 6-4 in the Italian Open last 16. It's the 17th year in a row that he's made it into the quarter finals in the tournament. However, no matter how well he does in Rome, Djokovic will be replaced by Carlos Alcaraz as world number one next week.

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