Evening Update Friday 29 December 2023

Ninety thousand police officers will be on duty throughout France on New Year's Eve, according to the deputy director general of the national police. Six thousand will be deployed in Paris alone. According to interior minister Gerald Darmanin, over 1.5 million people are expected on the Champs Elysees. Drones and helicopters will be used by police to monitor crowds from the air.

Several people are in hospital with serious injuries after a fight broke out at the prison in Grasse this morning. Firefighters said that half a dozen people had suffered injuries, including knife wounds.

Meanwhile, new figures just released reveal that a record number of inmates are detained in French prisons. The Ministry of the Interior said that as at 1 December, 75,677 people were in prison. The number of inmates was over 17,000 more than the number of available places, meaning that prison density was 123.3%. The government is aiming to construct new facilities to expand the number of places by 15,000 by 2027, a number which unions have said is insufficient.

Several municipalities in the Alpes-Maritimes have been recognised as states of natural disaster following storm Aline in October. The municipalities are Clans, Fontan, Lantosque and Tournefort. The decree was published in the Official Journal yesterday, 28 December. The Alpes-Maritimes Prefect reminded those affected that they have 30 days from the date of publication in the Official Journal to submit estimates of losses to their insurance companies if they wish to benefit from the compensation scheme.

The SNCF have said that some disruption to trains is expected between Nice and Ventimiglia this Sunday, 31 December. Disruption is also expected tomorrow and Sunday on the lines Marseille-Miramas via Côte Bleue, Marseille-Aubagne, Marseille-Aix and Avignon TGV-Carpentras.

 

BUSINESS

Shipping company Hapag-Lloyd has said today that it will continue to avoid going through the Suez Canal following recent attacks on vessels by Houti rebels in the Red Sea. The company said that it plans to re-assess the situation on 2 January.

In the UK, building society Nationwide's house price index has fallen by 1.8% this year. However, prices rose in Northern Ireland and Scotland. There was a greater fall in prices in the south of England than in the north of England.

Post Offices in the UK have seen a record amount of personal cash withdrawals on a single day. On 22 December, £62 million was withdrawn. The figure was far more than last year's high of £51.5m on 23 December.

 

SPORT

Cricket... Pat Cummins has taken a total of 10 wickets in the second Test. Australia won the series.  Cummins took 5-49 as Pakistan were bowled out for 237 in their second innings, chasing 317 for victory.

Football... In the Premier League tomorrow, Luton Town are at home to Chelsea, Aston Villa play Burnley, Crystal Palace face Brentford, Manchester City are at home to Sheffield United, Wolves play Everton and Nottingham Forest are at home to Manchester United. On New Year's Eve Fulham play Arsenal and Tottenham play Bournemouth. On New Year's Day Liverpool are at home to Newcastle.

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