Evening Update Wednesday 23 June 2021

French government spokesperson Gabrial Attal has said that the government is paying particular attention to the circulation of the Delta coronavirus variant in two departments.  The departments concerned are the Landes in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south west France and the Bas-Rhin in Alsace. He said that the variant accounts for 70% of cases in the Landes. Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Olivier Veran will be visiting the department tomorrow. Gabrial Attal said that nationally the variant accounts for between 9 and 10 per cent of cases.

Divers have this afternoon found the body of the teenager who had been missing after storms and floods in Beauvais in the Oise department in northern France. The 17 year old hadn't been seen since the storms of Monday night when he fell into the river in the town. Meteo France still have flooding alerts in place for several rivers in the region.

Authorities have declared tap water unfit for consumption in an area of northern France. The warning applies to eight communes to the south of Amiens in the Somme department. The area has been affected by the major storms and flooding over the past two days but a local mayor said that bacterial contamination found in water samples was not caused by the storms as the samples were taken on 18 June.

French Minister Delegate in charge of Citizenship, Marlene Schiappa has said that a social media campaign is being launched to encourage people to vote in the second round of the departmental and regional elections this Sunday. 66.7% of people abstained in last Sunday's first round according to the Ministry of the Interior.

Eight people have gone on trial in Paris accused of stealing valuable items from the homes of celebrities. The seven men and a woman aged between 27 and 31 are accused of carrying out the burglaries in 2018 and 2019. Those allegedly targetted include footballers, a chef, a French rapper and a TV host.

The national police have raided a building on the route de Turin in Nice in a major anti-drugs operation this morning. A dozen people were arrested and several thousand euros in cash, weapons, narcotics and vehicles were seized.

5,000 m² of undergrowth has been destroyed in fires in the Bouches-du-Rhone this afternoon. 7 machines and around 20 firefighters were mobilized to stop the spread of the fires in an area between Nîmes and Salon-de-Provence. Firefighters said that the cause of the fires was the bursting of a truck tire on a nearby road.

Two firefighters were injured last night after the explosion of a gas cylinder in the old town of Nice. Alpes-Maritimes deputy Eric Ciotti expressed his gratitude to the firefighters and said today that they had recovered from their injuries.

The municipality of Cannes is offering Cannes residents the opportunity to attend a screening of a film presented as part of the official selection at this year's film festival. The draw for tickets will take place on July 5. Online registration is open until Saturday July 3 at 1 p.m. at the website www.cannes.com

 

BUSINESS

Eurozone business activity grew at the fastest rate for 15 years in June according to a new survey. The IHS Markit survey of purchasing managers rose to 59.2, it's highest since June 2006. France recorded 57.1. A figure above 50 indicates economic expansion. However, prices charged rose at a record pace giving rise to increasing concerns about inflation. Data for the UK showed a further expansion in business activity at 61.7 in June, down slightly from its record high in May.

LEGO has unveiled a prototype LEGO brick made from recycled plastic from discarded bottles. The company said that over the past three years, materials scientists and engineers had tested over 250 variations of PET plastic materials and hundreds of other plastic formulations resulting in the prototype. The team will continue testing and develpoment work and then assess whether to move to the pilot production phase.

 

SPORT

Euro 2020...The final group games in the competition are being played today. In group E Slovakia play Spain and Sweden play Poland. Both games kickoff at 6 pm. Then at 9pm Germany play Hungary and Portugal play France in Group F. All four teams could yet finish top of the group.

Cricket... New Zealand have beaten India to become Test world champions, winning by eight wickets on the sixth day of the final in Southampton.

Golf... Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell have been named as vice-captains for this year's Ryder Cup. They join Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson in Padraig Harrington's backroom staff for the European team.

Cycling... Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has said that masks will be compulsory for all roadside spectators along the route, saying that it's necessary to protect the riders and to protect people themselves. Speaking on French television today he added that "it's not yet a year of selfies with the champions". The Tour begins in Brest in Brittany on Saturday.

 

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