Evening Update Monday 10 January 2022

French Health Minister Olivier Veran has said that the Delta variant "seems to have started to decrease". He said that this was "good news" but that he remained cautious. He was speaking before the French Senate, which is examining the bill to convert the health pass into a vaccination pass. As regards the possible generalisation of FFP2 masks, the health minister said that he had received the recommendations of the High Council of Public Health and would be publishing it this evening or tomorrow. He said that the recommendations mainly concern caregivers.

President Emmanuel Macron has made several major announcements concerning law enforcement and security during a visit to the Alpes-Maritimes today. He announced that the security budget would be increased by almost 25% over five years and that he wanted to "double the police officers on the ground by 2030". Speaking in Nice before elected officials he also announced the creation of a force which would intervene on a temporary basis in neighbourhoods which are seeing a surge in crime such as drugs trafficking. He said that the number of officers dealing with domestic violence would be increased from 2,000 to 4,000 within five years and that it should be possible to file a complaint online by next year. He also talked of increasing the police presence on public transport and the introduction of fixed fines for all offences which carry a prison sentence of less than one year. The measures proposed today are expected to be put before the Council of Ministers in March and would be put before parliament after the Presidential election in April, should the winner of the election decide to press ahead with the measures.

During his visit President Macron laid the foundation stone of a new police building in Nice which will bring together the national and municipal police under one roof and is estimated to cost 220 million euros. This afternoon he has been visiting the Roya valley which was deavasted by Storm Alex in October 2020.

Meteo France weather warnings coninue to be in force for many departments in south-west France. Several hundred homes were without power earlier today with reports saying that at least a dozen roads had been blocked.

Authorities have warned of a new wave of fraudulent emails claiming to have been sent on behalf of the National Police. Authorites advise not responding to such e-mails and to report them on the website https://www.signal-spam.fr/


BUSINESS

Unemployment in the Eurozone has fallen, according to the latest data from EU statistics agency Eurostat. In November, the euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.2%, down from 7.3% in October and down from 8.1% in November 2020.

Discount retailer Aldi has said that it's had its "best ever Christmas" in the UK. Sales in December rose by 0.4% compared to the previous year, when grocery spending was higher than usual due to the national lockdown and temporary closure of bars and restaurants. It's sales were also up 8.1% on 2019. Last year Aldi announced plans to create 2,000 jobs in 2022 and invest £1.3bn over two years, opening 100 new stores as well as distribution centres, and refreshing existing stores.

 

SPORT

Tennis... Novak Djokovic has said that he is "pleased and grateful" that a judge overturned the cancellation of his visa. On Twitter he said that "despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete in the Australian Open". Earlier today a judge in Australia ordered that Djokovic be released from immigration detention. The Australian government had argued that Djokovic's recent Covid infection did not qualify him for an exemption from travel rules. The government acknowledged in court that the player was not given enough time to respond following the notification to cancel his visa. However, reports say that the govenment may still go ahaead and cancel his visa, despite the court's decision.

Football... There's just one FA Cup third round match tonight. Manchester United play Aston Villa. Kick-off is at 8.55pm French time.

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