Evening Update Tuesday 25 April 2023

Train traffic between Monaco and Ventimiglia is being disrupted because of a fire in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Reports say that about 30 firefighters, including firefighters from Monaco, have been on the scene fighting the fire in undergrowth near Cabbe beach. Several people have been evacuated and damage has been caused to several nearby buildings. The SNCF have said early this evening that train services are now gradually resuming.

Three people have been arrested for insults to President Macron when he visted the town of Selestat in the Bas-Rhin last week. The two men and a woman will appear in court in September. Meanwhile, an investigation has been opened after an effigy of President Macron was burned in Grenobles yesterday. According to the regional public security department, protestors chanted slogans saying that Louis XVI had been beaheaded and calling for the same to happen to the President.

President Macron has been visiting the Loir-et-Cher department as part of his initiative to meet people around the country after the announcement of the controversial changes to pension legislation. Today he was in Vendome talking to health workers in a health facility where doctors are trained. The Elysees said that he was discussing access to healthcare, training and access to the medical professions. On visits to other part of country last week the President was met with demonstrations, including the bashing of pots and pans, but gatherings were banned by the local prefecture during today's visit, a ban which is being challenged in court by several associations. However, local reports say that groups of demonstrators were still present when President Macron arrived at the facility this afternoon.

The former mayor of Frejus, Francois Leotard, has died at the age of 81. His death was announced this afternoon by President Macron who said that "with his passing, we lose a free spirit, a man of books and commitment". He was also a former minister of defence and culture in the French government and a deputy for the Var.

In Monaco, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, the government and the Société des Bains de Mer have announced a special event entirely dedicated to dance, where the public, artists and dancers will mingle throughout the Casino district. On July 8 and 9 the entire Casino district and its surroundings will be transformed into a gigantic open-air stage for the second edition of F(Ê)AITES DE LA DANSE! For nearly 24 hours non-stop, there'll be numerous performances, creations, shows, concerts and workshops. More information is available on http://www.feaitesdeladanse.com/

 

BUSINESS

New figures published today by the Office for National Statistics show that the UK government borrowed less than expected last year, despite spending heavily on aid to help with energy bills and facing higher borrowing costs. Borrowing was estimated at £139.2bn in the year to 31 March. The figure is lower than the £152bn predicted by the government's forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, at the time of the Budget last month. However, the government borrowed £21.5bn in March alone, which is the second-highest March figure since monthly records began in 1993.

Primark owner Associated British Foods has said that sales at the clothing retailer rose by 10% in the half year to 4 March compared with the same period a year earlier. Sales in its stores in the UK rose 15%. However, it said that revenue is expected to slow in the coming months.

 

SPORT

Cricket...Ireland have posted their highest ever Test score of 492 in the second test against Sri Lanka. Paul Stirling and Curtis Campher hit centuries. Before rain stopped play, Sri Lanka had reached 81 without loss, 411 runs behind.

Rugby Union...Leinster wing James Lowe is to miss the Champions Cup semi-final against Toulouse at the weekend. He's suffering from a calf injury sustained in the quarter-final against Leicester Tigers.

 

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