Evening Update Wednesday 3 January 2024

A court has imposed a prison sentence on an OGC Nice player. Youcef Atal was given an eight-month sentence for incitement to hatred on the grounds of religion. The player had a video on his social media accounts which called for "sending a dark day on the Jewish people". He also received a fine of 45,000 euros and was ordered to pay damages.

The Pas-de-Calais department in northern France is still on a red alert for flooding. More than 50 municipalities in the department are currently impacted by rising water levels. A departmental operational center has been activated at the Pas-de-Calais prefecture 24 hours a day since yesterday morning to coordinate the action of state services. According to energy company Enedis, 8,500 customers were without electricity at midday today and another 1,500 in the neighboring Nord department which is under an orange alert for flooding. In updates on the situation today, the prefecture said that more than 150 fire department personnel from the department as well as zonal, national and Civil Security reinforcements are currently on the ground to carry out reconnaissance and security measures. The prefecture said that 450 firefighters from the department can be mobilized as needed and that the Minister of the Interior and Overseas has also given instructions to reinforce the local staff with 120 reinforcement personnel. 100 arrived in the department last night and the remaining 20 are in transit.

Meanwhile, Meteo France have said that the year 2023 ended with an annual cumulative rainfall deficit, except in Aubrac and Margeride in Lozère, the Alps and the Corsican mountains. On the coastal plain from Roussillon to the Camargue, it fell to less than half of the normal annual amount. The distribution of rainfall across the country was very uneven, with the area with the most rainfall receiving eleven times the rain of the least.

A large fire in undergrowth has broken out in Corsica. By mid-afternoon it had consumed more than 100 hectares near Barbaggio, according to the Prefect of the Haut-Corse. The fire was being increased by strong winds in the area.

Nice mayor and President of the Nice Cote d'Azur Metropolis Christian Estrosi has been visiting Isola 2000. At a meeting with local residents he outlined the next stages of the development and modernization of the station, from the redevelopment of Sistron to the introduction of activities over all four seasons, including the improvement of the service to Pele-vos with a new cable car. He said that Isola, through its membership of the Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolis and the union of Stations du Mercantour, "has every reason to be hopeful because it benefits from a favorable environment and constant financial support".

 

BUSINESS

Ryanair has said that the number of people flying on the airline in December increased by 9% compared to December 2022. However, it's load factor decreased by 1%. The airline said that the decrease was due to several online flight booking sites delisting its flights. It said that the sites only account for a small fraction of bookings, but it expected the move would reduce short term load factors by 1% or 2% in December and January and also would soften short term yields as it responded by making more low fares available directly to consumers.

Inflation in Turkey hit almost 65% in December, up from 62% in November. Economists say that inflation is likely to rise even more as a result of a large increase in the minimum wage. Turkey's central bank has forecast that inflation will fall to 36% by the end of this year.

 

SPORTS

Cricket... India have dismissed South Africa for just 55 runs on day one of the second Test in Cape Town. It's South Africa's lowest total since 1932. Only two batters made double figures, with captain Dean Elgar being bowled out for two. India bowler Mohammed Siraj took 6 for 15.

Tennis... Naomi Osaka is out of the Brisbane International after being defeated by Karolina Pliskova. The final score was 3-6 7-6 6-4. Osaka gave birth to a daughter last July and was playing her first tournament for 15 months. Also in the tournament Arnyna Sabalanka beat Italian Lucia Bronzetti 6-3 6-0.

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