Evening Update Wednesday 3 May 2023

French government spokesperson Olivier Veran has said that some protestors on May 1 attended demonstrations with the intention of killing police officers. Speaking after a Council of Ministers meeting this morning, he said that as well as "demonstrators who come to freely demonstrate, a certain number of people do not come to protest but to break up and now even to kill police officers". He also said that a police officer who had suffered serious burns after being hit by a molotov cocktail in Paris had been hospitalised.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti has said that the government is considering introducing legislation which would make building barricades a criminal offence. Speaking to French media today he said that he is going to meet Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Friday to discuss possible measures.

French economy minister Bruno Le Maire has said that the government plans to extend the "anti-inflation quarter" measures beyond their current expiry date of 15 June. The measures, under which supermaRket distributors agree to offer lower prices on a selection of items, were launched on 15 March to help consumers with the cost of living. Speaking to French media, he said that he is planning another meeting with manufacturers next week to try to ensure that reductions in wholesale prices are passed on to consumers.

Toulon has a new mayor. Josee Massi has been appointed to the post after a decision by a court on the ineligibility of former mayor Hubert Falco. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi offered his congratulations, wishing her "full success in her new role".

The SNCF has said that it is aiming to double the number of people using its TGV Ouigo trains by 2030. The service, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, is aiming to expand into other European countries, particularly Spain where it already operates Ouigo trains between Madrid and Barcelona.

Specialist divers have been working to secure old munitions in a sunken ship in the harbour at Marseille. The Miquelon is at a depth of about 50 metres, having sunk in October 1917 during the First World War. It's still holding a wide variety of munitions.



The UK Office for National Statistics has said that 60 grocery items it surveys saw prices rise by 20% or more in the past year, including five items that rose by 40% and over. The milk, cheese and eggs products category has recorded one of the highest annual inflation rates in groceries throughout the last year. The latest official figures show a 30% increase in the 12 months to March, slightly down from 31% in February.

The UK government is to ban all cold calls selling financial products as part of a national crackdown on fraud. All unsolicited calls offering any financial product will reportedly be covered by the ban. The government is aiming  to stop fraudsters selling sham insurance products or cryptocurrency schemes. Launching the UK government's anti-fraud campaign, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said thaT fraud now accounts for over 40% of crime and costs the UK nearly £7 billion a year.

Indian budget airline Go First has cancelled all of its flights for the next three days after filing for bankruptcy protection. The airline said that a full refund will be issued to affected customers. It's the first major airline in the country to file for bankruptcy since Jet Airways in 2019.



Football... Leeds United have sacked manager Javi Gracia and appointed Sam Allardyce as his replacement. Gracia was in the role for just 10 weeks. Leeds are above the bottom three of the table only on goal difference, with only four games remaining in the season, including this Saturday's clash against Manchester City.

Lionel Messi has been suspended by Paris St-Germain for two weeks after travelling to Saudi Arabia without the club's permission. Messi, who has also been issued a financial penalty by the club, is a tourism ambassador for Saudi Arabia.

Athletics... American sprinter and gold medallist Tori Bowie has died aged 32. She was a three-time Olympic medallist and former 100m world champion. USA Track and Field said Bowie's "impact on the sport is immeasurable", adding she will be "greatly missed".




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