Evening Update Wednesday 26 April 2023

French Prime Minster Elisabeth Borne has said that 150 additional police and gendarmes will be stationed at the border with Italy in Menton. The announcement is part of the Prime Minister's new measures to combat illegal immigration. She said that the new personnel would be in place next week and also announced the creation of a new border force in the next 6 months which would be able to work closely with other French security forces such as customs and the military.

The Alpes-Maritimes Prefecture has said that further arrests have been made in the Moulins district of Nice. Seventeen security interventions were carried out in the district last week leading to thirty seven arrests, twenty of whom are minors. Police also seized cannabis as well as cocaine and several thousand euros in cash.

The A8 motorway has fully reopened after being closed because of a vehicle fire. A lorry caught fire at about 10.25am near Sainte Maximin on the carriageway in the direction of Italy. The motorway full reopened just before 5.00pm this evening.

Five people have been injured in an avalanche in the Haut-Alpes. According to local reports, the incident occurred this morning at an altitude of 3,000 metres. One of the injured is in a serious condition in the hospital in Brigancon.

There's been a fall in the number of Category A jobseekers, in other words those who have no activity. According to figures published today, the number of such jobseekers stood at just over 3 million in the first quarter of this year, which is down 1.2% on the previous quarter and 5.9% on the same period last year. However, the number of people in Category B, which covers those on short term reduced activity increased slightly on the previous quarter, as did those in Category C, those in long-term reduced activity.

The French civil aviation regulator has requested a reducton of 25% of flights at Nice airport on 1 May because of planned industrial action by air traffic controllers. The DGAC the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has also asked airlines to cancel a third of their flights at Paris Orly and a quarter at Paris Charles de Gaulle. Several other airports, including Marseille, are also affected by the restrictions.

Meanwhile, a union is threatening strike action which is expected to affect some flights on Vueling from Paris Orly this weekend. A union representing flight attendants and stewards said that strike action will take place on the last three days of this month as well as on 1, 6, 7 and 8 of May. It said that 12,000 passengers are likely to be affected.

The Maritime Prefecture of the Mediterranean has said that it's website is out of action because of a fire at its hosting company. The websites of the maritimes prefectures of the Channel and the North Sea and the Atlantic have also been unavailable but their social media channels are still operational.

 

BUSINESS

Heathrow airport has said that it processed 16.9 million passengers in the first quarter, enabling it to retain its position as Europe’s busiest airport and second in the world for international travel. Heathrow has not yet returned to profit with adjusted losses of £139 million in the first quarter, which it said is due to the Civil Aviation Authority's cap on passenger charges paid by airlines for using the airport "being set too low". Heathrow have appealed against the charges.

Microsoft's $68.7bn deal to buy video game company Activision Blizzard has been blocked in the UK by the Competition and Markets Authority. The CMA said it was concerned the deal would offer reduced innovation and less choice for gamers. The two companies said that they would appeal.

 

SPORT

Football... The FA Cup final on 3 June will revert to an earlier kick-off than over the past few years. The match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Wembley was expected to begin between 16:45 and 17:30 but will now kick off at 15.00. The Metropolitan Police objected to the later kick-off times on security grounds.

Tennis.... Emma Raducanu has withdrawn from the Madrid Open because of injury just before her first-round match today. She was set to face Bulgaria's Viktoriya Tomova. The 2021 US Open champion has had a wrist problem in recent months and withdrew from today's match with a hand problem.

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