Evening Update Tuesday 30 January 2024

A 7 year old child has died in an apartment fire in Marseille and four other children are in a critical condition in hospital. The blaze broke out in a building in the 15th arrondissement of the city early this morning on the second floor of a seven storey building.

Protests by farmers in our region are set to continue over the next few days. The Var prefecture said this afternoon that traffic disruptions are expected on the A8 tomorrow. A gathering is planned from 8 am at the Puget-sur-Argens toll at junction 37 for a departure of the go-slow from 9 am towards the Capitou toll in Fréjus, where a filter barrier will be set up in both directions of traffic. The prefecture said that the disruptions could continue until this Thursday, February 1st and recommended that motorists postpone their journeys and avoid the area. Protests by farmers have continued today in many areas of France including the Bouches-du-Rhone, Vaucluse and the Hautes-Alpes as well as around Paris. Locally, farmers staged a go-slow operation in Nice this morning. French Prime Minister Gabrial Attal has today announced measures to help farmers, saying that an emergency fund to support wine growers will be announced before the end of the week and EU Common Agricultural Policy payments will be paid into farmers' bank accounts by March 15.

Gabrial Attal has been outlining his new government's policies to the National Assembly this afternoon. Amongst the measures announced, he said that the government wished to reduce bureaucracy, for example by the filing of criminal complaints online and the abolition of committees and bodies which had not met in twelve months. He announced reforms to certain aspects of the SMIC and RSA minimum wages. He also announced several measures relating to the medical profession, saying that people who don't turn up for a doctor's appointment without giving notice should be required to pay. He also plans to appoint an emissary to look for doctors abroad who may be interested in working in France.

Police have successfully intervened to stop a suicide attempt in Toulon. The National Police said this afternoon that following a call to emergency services alerting them to a suicidal person, the BAC Toulon police officers quickly arrived on the scene, saving a young girl sitting on security gates above the railway tracks.

The mayor of Cannes David Lisnard has inaugurated the street sign at the Place Samuel Paty, on the boulevard Carnot in front of the high school. Mickaëlle Paty, the sister of Samuel Paty was present for the ceremony. Samuel Paty, who was a high school teacher, was murdered by an Islamist terrorist in a suburb of Paris in October 2020.

 

BUSINESS

The International Monetary Fund has forecast 3.1% growth for the world economy in 2024 and 3.2% in 2025. It said that many economies continue to show great resilience, but important divergences remain. The IMF said that its forecast for 2024–25 is below the historical average from 2000 to 2019 of 3.8 percent, with elevated central bank policy rates to fight inflation, a withdrawal of fiscal support amid high debt weighing on economic activity, and low underlying productivity growth.

Another period of strike action by members of train drivers' union Aslef is affecting rail services in England from today. Severe disruption is expected on strike days between today and Monday February 5. Different operators are affected on different days, with some running no trains. So far, train companies have not been using a new law allowing them to insist some staff operate a minimum level of services.

 

 

SPORT

Rugby Union... Fly-half Marcus Smith is a doubt for England's Six Nations match against Italy on Saturday. He left England's base in Girona on crutches yesterday after sustaining an injury during training.

Football.... Everton's appeal hearing concerning their 10-point deduction for breaching financial rules is set to get underway tomorrow and is expected to last for three days. Everton have admitted the breach but said they were "shocked and disappointed" at the severity of the punishment.

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