Evening Update Friday 13 November 2020

Commemoration ceremonies have taken place in Paris today on the fifth anniversary of the attacks in which 130 people lost their lives and 413 were injured. French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo have been visiting the sites of the attacks together with other ministers and representatives of victims' organisations. The first ceremony this morning was at the Stade de France, where the attacks began and ceremonies were held later this morning at other sites including the Bataclan concert venue. At 8pm this evening the lights on the Eiffel Tower will be extinguished then on the hour during the night will be briefly illuminated in honour of the victims. A message in support of all victims of terrorism will also be displayed. Several musical tributes are also scheduled to take place this evening. The trial of those accused of involvement in the attacks is scheduled to resume on Monday after being postponed for two weeks because of several defendants testing positive for Covid-19.

Figures released today by the French Education Ministry show that in the past week 12,487 students have tested positive for Covid-19. There are 12.4 million students in France, meaning that only 0.1% tested positive in the past week. The Ministry also said that 2,223 education personnel tested positive, which is  0.19% of the total.

100,000 fines for breach of confinement rules have been issued since the latest measures came into effect, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darminin. Speaking on FranceInfo he said that 12,000 fines had been issued in the past twenty four hours.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi and South Region President Renaud Muselier have called for the rail link between Breil-sur-Roya and Tende to be re-eastablished as soon as possible. They said that the South Region is ready to charter new trains for a return to normal service and called on the SNCF to "engage all necessary means" to speed up the completion of the work. They asked for the delivery date, scheduled for mid-February, to be brought forward by several weeks. A meeting was held between French and Italian authorities in Menton this morning aimed at finding solutions to open up the upper Roya valley and to operate freight and restocking services.

A teenager is in a serious condition after being stabbed this morning in Angers in the Maine-et-Loire department. Reports say that three people are being sought by police.  The motive of the attackers isn't known.

A report commisssioned by the French government has recommended a postponement of next year's regional elections. The report recommended that the elections should be postponed from the original date in March to a new date in June. It said that the delay would be a "reasonable option" in view of health risks "as well as political and institutional issues".

 

BUSINESS

The Eurozone economy expanded by 12.6% in the third quarter of this year according to new data released today by EU statistics agency Eurostat. However, it was still down by 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, employment in the Eurozone rose by 0.9% in the third quarter but was still down 2.0% compared to last year.

China has congratulated Joe Biden on his projected win in the US presidential election. A foreign ministry spokesman said today that the Chinese government respects the choice of the American people and it extended its "congratulations to Mr Biden and Ms Harris."


SPORT

Motorsports.... Second practice for Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix took place this afternoon with Max Verstappen in first place, followed by Charles Leclerc, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. In first practice this morning Max Verstappen was fastest, followed by Red Bull team-mate Alexander Albon. Charles Leclerc was in third pace and Pierre Gasly in fourth. Qualifying is at 1pm tomorrow with the race at 11.10am on Sunday.

Rugby Union... The Six Nations Committee has announced the cancellation of the France against Fiji match in the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup due to positive Covid-19 cases detected within the Fijian team. The match had been due to take place on Sunday. Other first round matches are Ireland against Wales in Group A tonight at 8pm our time. On Saturday England play Georgia in Group A at 4pm and Italy host Scotland in Group B at 1.45.

Football... Mohamed Salah has tested positive for Covid-19 while on international duty with Egypt. The Egyptian Football Federation said that the Liverpool player had returned a positive test but isn't displaying any symptoms.

Cycling.... Alex Dowsett has signed a two-year contract extension with Israel Start-Up Nation. He'll race alongside fellow British rider Chris Froome, who's joining as team leader next season.

Cricket...Lancashire have signed Luke Wells and Jack Blatherwick. Both players have joined on two-year contracts with Wells having previously played for Sussex and Blatherwick for Nottinghamshire.

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