Evening Update Wednesday 22 February 2023

A 16-year-old French student has been arrested for killing his teacher in the middle of a Spanish class this morning. The 54-year-old teacher died from stab wounds to the chest, at the school in St-Jean-de-Luz, just south of Biarritz. The arrested teenager claims to have been possessed after hearing voices in his head.

Local politicians on the Cote d’Azur have condemned the murder and called for more support for teachers. In Nice, MP Eric Ciotti has called for a review on sentences for minors,  Senator Philippe Tabarot said it is time to reinstate authority in schools, and the  Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard remembered Samuel Paty, the teacher beheaded in Paris in 2020, saying that the state must do more to protect our teachers.

The Minister for Education is travelling to the scene.

A crackdown operation in Vallauris, has seen 16 illegal immigrants arrested following complaints from locals. The police raids were conducted on a small abandoned house, the local train station and the main square.

A new report shows obesity is on the rise in all age groups in France. It says 47.3% of French adults are overweight, with 17% of those ‘obese’. The real concern is that young people are getting consistently bigger. Since 1997, obesity among 18 to 24-year-olds has increased more than four-fold, and by almost 300% among 25 to 34-year-olds.

The availability of euthanasia in France is being considered by the government. Spokesperson Olivier Véran said today that President Macron will meet with the citizen's convention group, which has been investigating the practice of allowing patients to end their lives to limit their suffering. The group are in favour of changing the law for active assistance in dying.

BUSINESS

Fears that interest rates will keep grinding higher has seen the main world share indexes in Asia, Europe and the States fall to their lowest levels in more than a month.  However, a new Reuters poll today of financial strategists, says a correction should be expected within the next three months, and the S&P 500 could end the year up 9.4%.

Car manufacturer Stellantis, created just over two years ago from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot maker PSA, has beaten forecasts with a 17% rise in operating profit. The rise was fuelled by savings from its merger and price increases which helped offset supply chain problems. Milan-listed Stellantis shares were up 2% today.

In the States, the Mormon Church and its investment firm are to pay a $5m fine over claims they hid a huge cache of shares. Americas SEC Securities and Exchange Commission say the Mormons used shell companies to hide a portfolio of stocks and shares worth $32bn.

SPORT

Football - Manchester City gets into their Champions League knockout campaign by playing RB Leipzig in Germany tonight. City is the favourite to win the match which kicks off at 9pm. Also playing tonight is Inter Milan against Porto.

Six Nations - Saturday's game between Wales and England hangs on a meeting happening in Cardiff right now, as Wales Rugby Union hopes to appease unhappy players threatening a strike which could scrap Saturday's game.  The players are demanding new contracts where  80% of their salary would be fixed and 20% based on win bonuses.

Paris Olympics - France has joined an array of countries campaigning to keep Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing due to Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine. However, the IOC says it believes the Olympic Games can set an example to the world on unity and building bridges and will continue to explore the possibility of Russian athletes competing in Paris next year.

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