Lunchtime News Wednesday October 21st 2020

Respect-France is paying respect to the 47 year old murdered school teacher who was beheaded by a radicalised Chechen refugee last Friday in a special ceremony at the Sorbonne University in Paris.

Samuel Paty is to be awarded the country’s highest civilian accolade ,the Legion d’Honneur posthumously and the ceremony is being attended by President Macron and other high-ranking French officials.

Mr Macron has said that “citizens expect action” in response to the brutal murder.

Police have carried out dozens of raids against suspected Islamist militants since last Friday’s murder and have closed a mosque in northern Paris for 6 months.

Seven people including two minors have appeared before an investigating judge in connection with the murder.

 

Covid-19- The number of people requiring intensive care treatment for coronavirus is continuing to increase rapidly with 278 further hospital admissions on Tuesday.

The central Paris region is the worst affected with 661 patients in intensive care and there are growing concerns in the south of France with the Mayor of Nice saying that occupation of ICU beds in the Alpes-Maritimes is reaching “saturation point”.

Mr Estrosi has warned that Nice and other towns in the department are at increasing risk of seeing curfew measures imposed as the area gets near to be being declared a red zone for coronavirus infections.

163 more people died from the virus across France on Tuesday bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 33,885 since the start of the pandemic.

 

Fire !-The French navy has tested a long range cruise missile from a submarine for the first time.

Until now ,French submarines have only had the capability to fire surface missiles but the new generation of Barracuda attack subs can now handle long range cruise missiles with a range of 1,000 kilometres.

The test was carried out off Biscarrosse in the Atlantic off the south west coast of the country on Tuesday and adds considerable power to France’s military capabilities.

 

 

Nice Cote d’Azur- Traffic at Nice airport won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 or 2024 according to the director of Aeroports de la Cote d’Azur.

Franck Goldnadel says that Nice is well placed to start building traffic again given its location and mix of domestic and international services using the airport.

Nice airport is only expected to register a third of its pre-pandemic volume this year and Mr Goldnadel says that the recovery will be only “gradual”.

The airport and its related businesses  employed 8,000 people before coronavirus struck and many have now lost their jobs or been placed on partial-employment.

 

Storm Barbara-76,000 households are without electricity at the moment as Storm Barbara batters parts of the south west of France.

An orange alert is in force for 12 departments with the Pyrenees-Atlantiques  among the worst affected areas.

A gust of wind registering 216 km/h has been picked up at Iraty near the Spanish border as the storm makes its way up from the Iberian Peninsula with the Massif Central expected to be hit later today.

Wind speeds in Toulouse have been picking up to 130 km/h and there are reports of some structural damage and dozens of trees down.

The storm has also brought a mass of warm air with it with temperatures in Les Landes department registered at 24 degrees Celsius at 4am this morning.

There are no reports of any extensive flooding so far.

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