Evening Update Tuesday 23 January 2024

A farmer has died while involved in protests in Pamiers in the Ariege department near to the border with Andorra. The woman was hit by a car at a roadblock set up by protestors. Two members of her family were seriously injured. Prime Minister Gabrial Attal said that on behalf of the Government, he expressed his sorrow and his full support to the family and loved ones of the victims. President Macron said that "the Pamiers upset tragedies us all". Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau is visiting the area this evening. In a post on social media this afternoon, President Macron said he had asked the government to be fully mobilized "to provide concrete solutions to the difficulties" faced by farmers.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has said that the Israeli flag will continue to fly outside the town hall in Nice despite a case filed by a local association at the administrative court to have the flag removed in the interests of neutrality. The mayor said that the Israeli flag, alongside the French flag and the Nice flag, will remain present on the facade of the town hall until the release of all the hostages held by Hamas and to denounce the attacks of October 7.

New figures have shown that a record number of people claimed asylum in France last year. The government's Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons said that provisional data indicated that nearly 142,500 applications were submitted to the organization last year, which is up 8.6% from 2022. Afghanistan was, for the sixth consecutive year, the leading country of origin for asylum seekers followed by Bangladesh, Turkey, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Guinea.

The body of a man has been found in the 13th arrondissement of Marseille. He had been shot twice in the head. He was in possession of a weapon when he was shot. At a press conference the public prosecutor said that this was the first shooting in the city for three weeks. An investigation has been opened.

Amazon has been fined 32 million euros by the French data regulator. The CNIL said Amazon France Logistique, which manages warehouses, recorded data captured by workers' handheld scanners. It found Amazon had set up what it called "an excessively intrusive system" for monitoring the activity and performance of employees. The company was also sanctioned for performing video surveillance without sufficient information being given and with insufficient security.



UK government borrowing has fallen significantly in December. The Office for National Statistics said that public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, was £7.8 billion, which was around half of that borrowed in December 2022. It was also the lowest December borrowing since 2019.

Ryanair has agreed a new partnership with online travel agency loveholidays. The deal allows loveholidays' customers to buy Ryanair flights, seats, and bags as part of their package at Ryanair's prices. The airline said that it guarantees that loveholidays' customers will not be overcharged and they will have direct access to their Ryanair account for all customer questions. It's the first such deal by Ryanair, which has long campaigned against what it sees as overcharging and added mark-ups for its flights by some online travel agencies.

Steelworkers from south Wales have traveled to Westminster to lobby MPs over plans to cut thousands of jobs. Tata Steel recently announced plans to cut 2,800 jobs from its UK workforce, the vast majority being at it's plant in Port Talbot. The closure is being debated in Parliament today.



Motorsports... It's been announced that the Spanish Grand Prix will move from Barcelona to Madrid in 2026. The race will take place on a new 5.47 km circuit. Formula 1 said that 90% of fans would be able to travel to the race via public transport on metro and train lines.

Tennis... Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff are both through to the Australian Open Semi-Finals. Sabalenka beat Barbora Krejcikova 6-2 6-3. Gauff beats Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic defeated Taylor Fritz to reach the men's semi-finals. He'll now play Jannik Sinner or Andrey Rublev on Friday.

Football... Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has a "tear in his hamstring", according to the club's assistant manager Pep Lijnders. Salah plays at national level for Egypt and sustained the injury in the team's match against Ghana last Thursday. It's expected that, if all goes to plan, he will be out for three to four weeks.

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