Evening Update Tuesday 26 September 2023

Striking rail workers briefly invaded the Ministry of Ecological transition in Paris earlier today. Several dozen union members entered the offices of the ministry in the Sequoia tower in La Defense. They are protesting at plans to open SNCF freight services to competition. Some train services are being affected by industrial action, but many others are running normally. You can check specific trains on www.sncf.com

President Macron has said that the French state will contribute 700 million euros to improve train services around major cities. It's envisaged that regional train services will run at frequent intervals to serve the areas surrounding cities, in a similar way to the RER service in Paris. Transport Minister Clement Beaune said today that about ten to fifteen areas around France will benefit from the plan, the total cost of which is expected to be around ten billion euros.

Six municipalities in the Var have been recognized as being in a state of natural disaster due to differential land movements following drought and soil rehydration in 2022. They are Bandol, Barjols, Le Cannet-des-Maures, Chateaudouble, Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer and Signes. The decree was published in the Official Journal today, 26 September, and those affected have 30 days from that date to declare damage to their insurance companies.

A journalist has gone on trial in Nice accused of vandalising the office of Alpes-Maritime deputy Eric Ciotti. The man in his thirties is accused of smashing the window of the deputy's office on the port of Nice last March in a protest against his views on pension reform.

The Metro system in Marseille will be closing by 10pm on weekdays from 23 October. The early closure, which is to allow the testing of new equipment, will be in place for at least a year. However, the Metro will be open later in the evening for special occasions such as local events during next year's Olympics and matches at the Velodrome.

An investigation has been opened after the body of a migrant was found on the beach at Sangatte in the Pas de Calais. The investigation aims to establish the cause of death of the 24-year-old woman, which may have been due to drowning, according to the local prosecutor's office.

 

BUSINESS

Online fashion retailer Asos has said that bad weather in July and August impacted sales, in contrast to June when good weather drove strong sales. It said that total sales declined by 15% in the quarter to 3 September.

Ratings agency S&P has cut its growth forecast for the UK next year to just 0.5%, down from its previous estimate of 0.8%. However, it increased its growth forecast for this year to 0.3%. It said that it expects inflation in the UK to be close to the Bank of England's 2% target in the second half of next year.

 

SPORT

Cricket... The England against Ireland one day international in Bristol has been called off this afternoon after exceptionally heavy rain. It's the final ODI in the three-match series which England win 1-0 after the first match was also affected by rain. England reached 100 after eight overs today, which is the fastest in the first innings of an ODI. At the end of proceedings England were 280-4 with Ireland yet to bat.

Sri Lanka leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga will miss the World Cup because of an ongoing hamstring injury. The 26-year-old is a key player for Sri Lanka and has taken 67 wickets in 48 ODIs.

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