Evening Update Tuesday 22 March 2022

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said that over 26,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered France since the beginning of the conflict and that 10,500 have received a temporary residence permit. He said that 40% of those permits had been issued in the Ile-de-France and the Alpes-Maritimes. Speaking after a meeting of the special crisis unit at the Ministry of the Interior, the Prime Minister said that the temporary residence permits are being granted as part of the protection offered by the European Union to Ukrainian refugees.

President Macron has called for calm in Corsica after the the death of seperatist Yvan Colonna. Marches have taken place across the island today. Several high schools were blocked by students and there was a march on the Prefecture in Ajaccio. Colonna was serving a life sentence for the murder of Claude Erignac, the sub-prefect of southern Corsica, in 1998. Colonna had been attacked by a fellow prisoner earlier this month. Reports in French media suggest that the initial results of a report into the circumstances surrounding the assault will be made public in early April. 

The French government has said that 100 firefighters and rescuers will set off tomorrow to transport donated vehicles and equipment to the border with Ukraine. There will be 11 fire engines, 16 personal rescue vehicles and 23 trucks carrying 49 tons of medical and rescue equipment such as protective equipment, ladders, fire hoses and medical equipment. The operation is coordinated by the General Directorate for Civil Security and Crisis Management of the Ministry of the Interior and the Crisis and Support Center of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. A convoy of 21 new ambulances also left France today. They were purchased thanks to contributions from local authorities and companies paid into dedicated funds managed by the Crisis and Support Centre.

The head of the World Health Organization in Europe has named France as one of the countries which have lifted their Covid-19 measures too abruptly. Hans Kluge said today that he was "optimistic but vigilant" about the progress of the pandemic in Europe. However, he said that France, along with the UK, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Germany, "are lifting restrictions brutally from too much to too few".

A man has been arrested in La Londe-les-Maures near Hyeres in the Var on suspicion of having fired shots at the town hall and a local bank. The incidents, in which nobody was injured, took place last month.

One person has been airlifted to safety after their yacht got into difficulties in Porquerolles in the Var. The boat ran aground on the island but due to rough seas and strong surf, the local lifeboat couldn't approach the sailboat. CROSS MED then dispatched the public service helicopter "Dauphin" from Hyeres. The yachtsman, who was in good health, was airlifted onto an SNSM launch and then dropped off on the island.

The Nice Department of Green Spaces is launching a new centralized water irrigation management system. The computer controlled system makes it possible to adapt watering to weather conditions and the needs of each individual plant. It's expected that the system will result in a reduction in water use of 30%. 

 

BUSINESS

A survey by the UK Confederation of British Industry has recorded the strongest manufacturing price expectations in the survey's history. The organization's Industrial Trends Survey said that the balance of manufacturers expecting to raise prices in the next three months rose to 80% from 77% in February. The question was first asked of survey respondents in January 1975.

UK public sector net borrowing in February was the second-highest February borrowing figure since monthly records began in 1993. The Office for National Statistics said it was £2.4 billion less than in February 2021 but still £12.8 billion more than in February 2020, before the pandemic. UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is scheduled to deliver his Spring Statement tomorrow amid calls for the government to take action to help with the rising cost of living.

 

SPORT

Tennis... Rafael Nadal is out for up to six weeks with a rib injury sustained in the semi-final in Indian Wells. It means he could miss the Monte Carlo Masters next month.

Cycling... Italian rider Sonny Colbrelli is "conscious and OK" according to his team after he collapsed at the Volta a Catalunya yesterday. Bahrain Victorious said that cardiac tests "showed no signs of compromised functions" but he will undergo further tests. 

Cricket.... Australia have beaten South Africa by five wickets at the Women's World Cup. Meg Lanning scored an unbeaten 135.

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