Evening Update Tuesday 2 May 2023

Unions have called for a new day of industrial action on Tuesday 6 June. The date is two days before the vote of deputies on a bill which aims to turn the retirement age back to 62 from the 64 mandated by recent legislation. The inter union group of the largest French unions says that it hasn't yet received an invitation to meet Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne despite her saying recently that she is intending to invite the unions for discussions. The inter-union met by video conference this morning and declared yesterday's day of mobilisation to be "successful and historic". Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that there had been 540 arrests across France during yesterday's demonstrations and 406 police officers and gendarmes had suffered injuries. Speaking in the National Assembly this afternoon Elisabeth Borne said that "a new level was crossed in violence" during the protests.

Two people have been shot dead in the Vaucluse department, according to reports in local media. The shooting occurred in the town of Cavaillon late last night. A car suspected of being used in the shooting was founded burnt out shortly afterwards.

If you're in Nice and you hear the alert sirens at unexpected times, there's no need to be concerned. A new system is being installed which will involve occasional tests through until Friday, not just at the normal time of midday on the first Wednesday of the month. Similar tests are being carried out in Marseille.

The water resources committee in the Var met recently and announced new measures. 2 municipalities in the west of the department are at  "crisis" level with 85 now being placed on "heightened alert". 43 are on alert and 23 on "vigilance". For the month of April, the rainfall deficit observed in the department reached nearly 80%. In March the deficit compared to normal was 75%. Details of restrictions can be found on the prefecture's website https://www.var.gouv.fr/le-comite-ressources-en-eau-du-27-avril-enterine-a11820.html

Motorway operator VINCI Autoroutes is forecasting particularly heavy traffic in the south-east of France, in the Rhône valley and around the Mediterranean for this coming weekend. Traffic peaks are expected throughout the weekend on the A7 motorway, particularly in the Valence sector. The Mediterranean rim and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, with the A8 and A9 motorways, will also experience heavy traffic, especially around or in the direction of large cities.

Authorities are warning of fradulent SMS messages relating to Energy Vouchers. You're advised not to reply because you risk having your personal data stolen. E-mails should be reported to the Signal Spam service and SMS messages to 33700.

 

BUSINESS

Energy company BP has reported profits of $5bn in the first three months of the year, down from $6.2bn last year. The company said it had seen an "exceptional" performance from gas marketing and trading, and "very strong oil trading".

Strike action is being taken by many Hollywood film and television writers. The Writers Guild of America said it was beginning industrial action today. The decision was made following six weeks of negotiations with a range of media comanies including Netflix, Amazon, Apple, and Disney. It accused the companies of creating "a gig economy inside a union workforce". The last industrial action by the union was 15 years ago and lasted for 100 days.

Uber has reported higher revenues and a smaller loss than expected in the first quarter. It reported revenues of 8.82 billion dollars and a net loss of 157 million dollars in the quarter.

 

SPORT

Football... England and Scotland have been drawn together in the inaugural Women's Nations League. They will also face the Netherlands and Belgium. Wales will play Germany, Denmark and Iceland. Northern Ireland have been drawn alongside the Republic of Ireland, Hungary and Albania. The tournament gets undeway in September.

This evening in the Premier League Arsenal are at home to Chelsea. Kick off is at 9pm our time.

Cricket... The schedule for England's white-ball series against Sri Lanka has been changed after women's cricket was included in the 2023 Asian Games. The series has been brought forward and will start on 31 August. Some venues have also been changed.

 

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