Evening Update Thursday 19 May 2022

President Macron and newly appointed Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne have said that it takes time to appoint a new cabinet and announcements should not be expected today. Speaking to journalists this afternoon President Macron said that the work is continuing "in a serious way". Elisabeth Bourne called for patience and said that "we want the best team" and "we are not going to put pressure on ourselves".

French statistics agency INSEE has published new data on the number of so-called "excess deaths" during the Covid-19 epidemic. It said that 95,000 more deaths than expected had occurred from March 2020 to December 2021. In that period the deaths observed were significantly higher than those expected in the absence of a Covid-19 epidemic. The 95,000 excess deaths from all causes combined is lower than the number attributable to Covid-19, estimated at between 130,000 and 146,000. INSEE said that the number of fatalities linked to Covid-19 includes those of fragile people who would have died even without the epidemic in 2020 or 2021. In addition, the impact of the epidemic is reduced thanks to certain deaths avoided, for example road accidents avoided during confinement.

A man has been arrested after brandishing a replica weapon in Nice this afternoon. Reports say that the man and his wife were both arrested after apparently having a disagreement with the manager of a shop on rue d'Italie and brandishing a replica Kalashnikov. Police intervened and took the couple into custody.

Disruption of the Monaco Grand Prix by French taxi drivers has been avoided after an agreement was reached between Monegasque authorities and French taxi unions. Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi expressed his thanks to the Minister of State of the Principality who he said, along with the Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes, was able to find a satisfactory solution for Nice taxis.

As the heatwave continues, a new record has been set, according to Meteo France. Expected normal temperatures for the season have now been exceeded for 38 consecutive days. With temperatures continuing to be high this weekend, Meteo France have said that this month will probably end up being the hottest May since the Second World War. It's expected to reach 35 degrees in parts of the Var on Saturday.

The Saint-Charles railway station in Marseilles was evacuated this afternoon after a suspect bag was discovered. As a security measure, train traffic was interrupted to allow the intervention of the police. The baggage proved to be harmless and the station re-opened later in the afternoon.

The Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard has inaugurated several streets in the town. The Vingt-Quatre Aout, Freres Casanova and Hélène Vag-liano have been renovated to enhance the attractiveness of the city centre. Since 2014, the Town Hall of Cannes has been carrying out renovation operations and the latest works are part of the ongoing modernization program for the centre of the city. 

 

 

BUSINESS

New figures released by the US government this afternoon show that a higher than expected number of people filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week. There were 218,000 claims, which was an increase of 21,000 on the previous week.

Sri Lanka has defaulted on its debt for the first time in its history as it struggles with the financial crisis. It comes after the expiry of a 30 day grace period to repay $78m of unpaid debt interest payments. The governor of Sri Lanka's central bank said the country was now in a "pre-emptive default".

 

SPORT

Cricket... England fast bowler Jofra Archer will miss the entire season after suffering back injury. He has a stress fracture of the lower back. He's already had two elbow operations and hasn't played since last July. He is also set to miss the T20 World Cup this autumn. At the moment, no timeframe has been set for his return.

Football... In an historic decision, FIFA named three female referees for the World Cup in Qatar. They will be supported by three female assistant referees. In total, 36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials have been chosen for this year's tournament.

 

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