Evening Update Tuesday 19 October 2021

A court in Paris has issued a warrant compelling former president Nicolas Sarkosy to testify at a hearing. He will be obliged to attend the court as a witness on 2 November. Several former members of Nicolas Sarkosy's cabinet are defendants in the trial which concerns alleged irregularities in the finacing of opinion polls but the former president is not one of the accused.

An outage affected some French mobile telephone services for a time this morning. Reports say that calls from SFR mobiles to Orange mobiles and international calls to Orange mobiles were affected. The companies say that the problem has now been resolved.

Motorway operator Vinci Autoroutes is drawing motorist's attention to the safety of their staff after a patrol van was hit by a heavy goods vehicle this morning. The incident, which happened on the A85 motorway near Tours, brings the number of times Vinci intervention vehicles have been struck to 31 since the beginning of this year. The company is calling on motorists to comply with the rules of the highway code, and in particular that relating to the observance of safety corridors.

Representatives from the governments of Monaco and Andorra have travelled to San Marino for a meeting at which the three states discussed the progress of negotiations with the European Union for the conclusion of an association agreement. The meeting, which was the first held face-to-face since the health crisis, enabled the three countries to take stock of the progress of their bilateral discussions with the European Commission. The three chief negotiators agreed that substantial progress has been made in internal work to analyze European regulations and to identify priority issues for each country. Andorra, Monaco and San Marino have agreed to ask the European Commission to resume face-to-face meetings as soon as possible and to deal as a priority with the subjects of importance to each state.

The City of Nice is looking for people to take part in a percussion group in next year's Nice Carnival. It's open to 15 to 25 year olds. No prior experience with percussion instruments is required but you'll have to pass an audition and attend training sessions. If you're interested in taking part, you need to send an e-mail before 8 November to carnaval.programmation-artistique@ville-nice.fr


The UK Civil Aviation Authority has announced a consultation on the level of fees Heathrow Airport will be allowed to charge airlines. It will ultimately set the maximum charges the airport operator can charge its airline customers for using the airport for the next five years. Richard Moriarty, Chief Executive at the CAA said that its proposals seek to protect consumers against unfair charges and will allow Heathrow to continue to appropriately invest in the airport. At present, the airport can charge airlines up to £23 per passenger. The CAA now says it will be capped in the range of £24.50 to £34.40 for five years as from next summer, which is a lower range than that suggested by Heathrow.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Bill Gates have announced a new partnership to drive investment into the next generation of clean energy technologies. Breakthrough Energy Catalyst is a public-private sector partnership that brings together businesses, governments, philanthropists and individuals to invest in critical climate technologies. The programme focuses on four key green technology areas: green hydrogen, long term energy storage, sustainable aviation fuels and direct air capture.



Football....Premier League clubs have voted to block teams agreeing sponsorship deals linked to a club's owners. Eighteen clubs voted in favour of the temporary one month ban while the issue is debated further. Newcastle voted against and Manchester City abstained, with both questioning the legality of the move which comes after the Saudi backed takeover of Newcastle. Last week, Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani said Financial Fair Play rules must be enforced around the takeover to ensure the 20 Premier League clubs are "playing the same game".

Rugby Union... South Africa players Faf de Klerk and Cheslin Kolbe will both miss the autumn Tests against Wales, Scotland and England because of injury. Pieter-Steph du Toit was also not considered as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury.

Former Ireland and Ulster captain Rory Best will take up an assistant coaching role with Fiji for their November tour. Ex-Scotland players Duncan Hodge and Richie Gray are also named as coaches. Gareth Baber will be the head coach for the tour.

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