Evening Update Tuesday 3 January 2023

A teenager has been stabbed outside a school in Hyeres. The incident happened this morning in front of the Golf Hotel school. According to the local prosecutor's office, the 16 year old was stabbed several times and is in a serious condition in hosptal. A 15 year old has been taken into police custody.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has announced that businesses which are in difficulty because of rising  energy bills will be able to ask for the deferral of their taxes and social security contributions. Speaking on Franceinfo this morning she also asked energy companies to allow such businesses to spread the payment of bills over the next few months.

The French government has been holding a meeting with energy suppliers this afternoon to discuss measures to help businesses in difficulty. Speaking before the meeting Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said that suppliers were not doing enough to help small businesses, particularly bakers, with their energy costs.

Locally, the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Region has announced that 3 million euros will be made available to help very small businesses with their energy costs, in addition to measures by the French state.

Elisabeth Borne has been meeting social partners this afternoon to discuss planned pension reforms. One of the matters under discussion is the possible postponement of the legal retirement age, but speaking to French media she said that the government "will not go beyond 43 years of contributions to have a full pension".

Two people have been arrested after a fatal shooting in Montpellier this morning. One man was pronounced dead and another was injured in the shooting near the town hall. Authorities believe it may have been a settling of accounts in the drug dealing community.

The Var prefecture has warned locals to be aware of thieves operating in the department. Two men have been knocking on the doors of elderly residents asking for a glass of water in an attempt to gain access. The Prefecture urged people not to let those they don't know into their homes.

 

BUSINESS

People in the UK are being urged to avoid travelling by rail this week because of industrial action. Walkouts in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions are underway and set to continue until Saturday. Network Rail has said that only about 20% of trains are running. Head of the RMT uion Mick Lynch said that the union had a mandate to continue industrial action until May and strikes could go on beyond that date. However, earlier today Network Rail said that a deal with the union is "within touching distance".

Inflation in Germany has fallen in December. Provisional figures from government statistics office Destatis indicated that inflation was 8.6%, down from 10% in November. the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices also fell, by 1.2%, to 9.6%.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union... It's been announced that South Africa captain Siya Kolisi will join French club Racing 92 on a multi-year deal after the World Cup in October. At club level he currently plays for South African side Cell C Sharks.

Tennis... Britain's Emma Raducanu has won her first match in the ASB Classic in Auckland. She beat Czech teenager Linda Fruhvirtova 4-6  6-4  6-2.

Motorsports... American motorsports legend Ken Block has died in a snowmobile accident at the age of 55. He competed in series such as Rally America and Global Rallycross. The local sherrif's office said that Block was riding a snowmobile up a steep slope in Utah when the vehicle upended, landing on top of him.

 

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