Evening Update Friday 3 November 2023

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has said that two people lost their lives and forty-seven were injured in Storm Ciaran. She said that the country had suffered significant material damage and the situation would be "evaluated" to see if it is "necessary" to declare a state of natural disaster. The prime minister was speaking during a visit to a fire station in the Calvados department in Normandy. President Macron, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and several other ministers have been in Brittany this afternoon to assess damage caused by the storm and to meet local emergency workers. Energy company Enedis said that 450,000 homes, the vast majority of which are in Normandy and Brittany, were still without electricity at midday today.

Locally, several roads in our region are still closed because of storm damage. However, the RM2205, which was cut off to traffic in both directions between Saint-Sauveur-sur-Tinée and Isola after a landslide yesterday, has now reopened.

Ten communes in the Alpes-Maritimes have been recognised as states of natural disaster following damage caused by Storm Aline on 20 October. The decree was published in the Official Journal today, 3 November, and those entitled have 30 days to lodge a claim detailing damage with their insurance companies.

President Macron has announced a "humanitarian conference" on the Israel Palestine conflict. It's scheduled to take place in Paris on 9 November. Speaking during his visit to Brittany today he called for a "humanitarian truce" and said that "the fight against terrorism does not justify the sacrificing of civilians".

The Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has banned a pro-Palestinian demonstration which was due to take place in Nice tomorrow. Reasons given by the Prefect were the risk of disturbances to public order, clashes, the persistence of the terrorist threat and the increase in anti-Semitic acts. Organizers not respecting the ban risk a sentence of 6 months imprisonment and a fine of €7,500. Participants can be fined €750.

French Minister of Energy Transition, Agnes Pannier-Runacher has said that electricity prices will not increase by more than ten per cent this winter. She said that the government would put an energy shield in place to block any increase in excess of that amount even if prices on international markets rose strongly.

French armed forces minister Sebastien Lecornu has announced that a French Navy helicopter carrier will be sent to the eastern Meditteranean off the coast of Gaza. The Dixmude is currently undergoing conversion to a hospital ship in the port of Toulon before its departure in mid-November. France has already sent one Navy ship to the region recently.

If you're in Nice and you've noticed that the pebbles on the beach seem to have disappeared, there's no need to worry. Authorities have said that the pebbles are still on the beach, but have been covered by a layer of sand after yesterday's storm. The beach is expected to return to normal shortly.

 

BUSINESS

Shipping company AP Moller-Maersk has announced plans to cut a further 3,500 jobs due to lower freight rates and reduced demand. The business has already cut 6,500 jobs earlier this year. It said profits had fallen by 92% in its most recent quarterly results.

The United States economy added fewer jobs than expected in October. The government said that employers had hired 150,000 people in the month. It also revised down provisional figures for August and September. It said that the unemployment rate had risen from 3.8 to 3.9 per cent.

The UK Competition & Markets Authority has said that it has secured commitments from two of the largest digital players, Amazon and Meta, in 2 separate cases. It means that investigations into the two companies will be closed. The CMA said that the commitments will help protect fair competition on each of their retail platforms – Amazon Marketplace and Facebook Marketplace.

 

SPORT

Cricket...Afghanistan have beaten the Netherlands by seven wickets in the World Cup. The Netherlands batted first and were all out for 179. Afghanistan were 181 for 3.

England Test captain Ben Stokes has said that he will have surgery after the World Cup to deal with his ongoing knee problems. He's been unable to bowl in the World Cup because of the problem and has been playing only as a batter.

Meanwhile, it’s been announced that New Zealand bowler Matt Henry is out of the rest of the tournament with a torn hamstring.

Rugby Union... New Zealand captain Sam Cane will spend a season at Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath. He's decided to take up a sabbatical option in his club contract and will miss the 2024 New Zealand Super Rugby campaign.

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