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UKRAINE

French journalist killed while reporting on Ukraine war

A French journalist has been killed while working in Ukraine, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday, the latest of several reporters killed or wounded during Russia's invasion of the country.

French journalist killed while reporting on Ukraine war
Photo by Carlos REYES / AFP)

“Fréderic Leclerc-Imhoff was in Ukraine to show the reality of war.

“On board a humanitarian bus with civilians forced to flee to escape Russian bombings, he was mortally wounded,” Macron wrote.

Leclerc-Imhoff’s employer, French TV channel BFM, also confirmed that he had been killed.

Prime minister Elisabeth Borne was among the first to convey her condolences, saying: “It is with immense sadness that I learned of the death of Fréderic Leclerc-Imhoff in Ukraine, killed in the course of his work. Informing the public should not cost anyone their life.

“My sincere condolences to his loved ones and all management and staff at BFM.”

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ENERGY

French electricity grid operator to return €1 billion to clients

France's electrical grid operator RTE said on Wednesday that it would hand at least one billion euros back to major power users in early 2023, as its revenues have surged during Europe's energy crisis.

French electricity grid operator to return €1 billion to clients

The exact amount will “match the one-off profit forecast for 2022 with the electricity market under stress,” the largely state-owned RTE said in a statement.

It added that the reimbursement could reach a record of more than €1.5 billion.

The move comes as public pressure is growing for an EU-wide tax on the “super-profits” generated by energy companies as prices have soared since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Almost 380 large-scale electricity buyers in industry would share around €130 million from the pot, RTE finance and purchasing director Laurent Martel told AFP.

The companies include chemical plants, metalworking sites, steelmaking operations as well as paper and cardboard factories.

But most of the payout — around 90 percent — will go to operators of local low- and medium-voltage networks, which bridge the gap between RTE and end users of electricity, from industry to households.

RTE’s revenues have been especially strong this year thanks to fees paid to use its so-called “interconnectors” across national borders.

These depend in part on the difference in electricity prices between France and its neighbours, which soared this year due to the energy crunch from the war in Ukraine and a large chunk of the country’s nuclear reactor fleet being under maintenance.

RTE said that without its plan to bring forward the reimbursement, the payments would instead be spread over several years.

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