Evening Update Tuesday 31 May

The French national anti-terrorism prosecutors office has opened an investigation into the death of a French television journalist in Ukraine yesterday. 32 year old Frédéric Leclerc Imhoff, who worked for BFM TV, died from shrapnel wounds whilst on board a humanitarian bus in the Donbas region. Speaking this afternoon President Macron said he wanted to "condemn in the strongest possible terms" comments made by a seperatist leader of the so-called People's Republic of Lugantsk which suggested that the journalist was "a mercenary engaged in the delivery of arms". Frédéric Leclerc Imhoff's mother published an open letter rebutting the claims and saying they made her "nauseous". She praised her son for his professional and personal commitment to "democracy, human respect and above all,


President Macron has said that EU member states have recognized the need to invest more in defence, saying it would be a figure over 500 million euros. Speaking today after a summit in Brussels at which additional sanctions against Russia were adopted, he said that defence, energy and food security were discussed at the meeting.


French government statistics office INSEE has said that annual inflation in France rose to 5.2% in May. It rose by 0.6% since April. It's the highest level since the mid-80's.

It's been announced that President Macron will be visiting Marseille on Thursday. He'll be inspecting progress on improving the city's schools and will be accompanied by the newly appointed Education Minister Pap Nd-i-aye. Improving education in Marseille was part of President Macrons "grand plan" for the city unveiled during his visit last September. 

Motorway operator Vinci Autoroutes has warned of very heavy traffic on its network, particularly in the Paris region, around the Mediterranean and the Rhône Valley, between this Friday and next Monday for the Pentecost weekend. In the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, disruptions are expected on the network around major urban areas such as Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Toulon from Friday afternoon until early evening, and also on Monday afternoon in both directions of traffic .


Inflation in the Eurozone has hit a record 8.1% in May according to an estimate from EU statistics office Eurostat. The cost of energy rose by 39.2% and food prices were over 7.5% higher since the same month last year.

In the UK, holiday company Tui has announced that it's canceling six flights a day until the end of June, which it blamed on staff shortages at Manchester Airport. Thousands of passengers across the UK have seen flights canceled and delays at airports in the past few days. Airports and airlines have struggled to cope with a surge in the number of travelers after cutbacks during the pandemic. Aviation union Prospect has warned that things could "get worse before they get better". However, aviation industry organization Airlines UK said that the "vast majority" of flights would operate as scheduled. 


Tennis... In the French Open quarter finals today Coco Gauff defeated fellow American Sloane Stephens. Italian player Martina Trevisan defeated Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez 6-2 6-7 6-3.

Football...Paris St-Germain have signed Portugal international Nuno Mendes from Sporting Lisbon. His contract runs until June 2026. Everton manager Frank Lampard has had a financial penalty imposed by the Football Association for his comments about a refereeing decision after the side's match against Liverpool last month. The FA said Lampard breached one of its rules "in relation to media comments proven during a personal hearing" and imposed a financial penalty of 30,000 pounds.

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