Evening Update Thursday 21 October 2021

Northern areas of France are gradually getting back to normal after the storm which affected the area last night and early this morning. Gusts of 175 km/h were recorded in the Seine-Maritime and 153 km/h at the Eiffel tower in Paris. 250,000 Enedis customers were without electricity this morning, spread over the northern half of France, including 80,000 in Normandy. The company said that at midday half of the homes were re-supplied with electricity and teams were hard at work to reconnect the remaining 120,000 households. The company advised residents in affected areas to take care and to stay away from electrical wires that have fallen to the ground. Several tree falls related to the weather conditions last night disrupted the movement of trains in certain regions, especially in Brittany, Normandy, Ile-de-France, Hauts-de-France and the Grand-Est. The SNCF has said that services in many areas have gradually been returning to normal but this evening it announced that there will be no main line trains between Paris and Normandy until tomorrow, Friday, morning because of storm damage.

The SNCF have also said this evening that due to strike action TGVINOUI and OUIGO services will be reduced on the Atlantic lines, with nine out of ten trains running tomorrow and two out of three on Saturday and Sunday. Timetables for the next day's trains throughout rance are released by SNCF at 5pm each day and can be found on the SNCF website or the SNCF Assistant mobile app.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex is expected to discuss possible measures to counter rising energy costs for households when he appears on French television this evening. The Prime Minister is due to appear on TF1 at 8pm.

The French National Assembly has approved a bill which would allow the government to mandate the use of the health pass until the end of July next year if it wished. The bill passed by 135 votes in favour and 125 against and will now go on to the Senate for its consideration next week.

Navy divers and bomb disposal personnel have been working today to deal with an explosive device in waters off the Bouches-du-Rhône. The Maritime Prefect issued a decree regulating navigation, anchoring, scuba diving and swimming, at the exit from the port of Carro in the municipality of Martigues while the operations are taking place.

The 21st edition of Duo Day is taking place across France on 18 November. The day is an opportunity for employers and disabled people to meet each other for the day in an informal atmosphere. For people with disabilities, it is the opportunity to discover a work environment, For employers, it is the opportunity to discover the abilities and professional qualities of workers with disabilities. If you'd like to participate you can find more details on the website www.duoday.fr

 

BUSINESS

UK government borrowing fell in September compared with a year earlier. It stood at £21.8bn, which is £7bn less than in September last year but the figure was still the second-highest for September since monthly records began in 1993. Government debt stood at more than £2.2 trillion at the end of September which is the higest level since the early 1960s.

Consumer goods company Unilever has reported underlying sales growth of 2.5% for its third quarter compared to 2020 with price growth of 4.1%,which it said is a step up from the first half of the year as the company took pricing action to offset rising commodity and other input costs. It said that cost inflation remains "at strongly elevated levels, and this will continue into next year".

 

SPORT

Cricket... Dom Sibley has withdrawn from the England Lions squad for the tour of Australia. Sibley was named in the squad last week but England said that he'd decided to work on his batting at home this winter in a bid to regain a place in the Test team. Yorkshire's Harry Brook has now been included in the Lions squad.

Rugby Union... Greg McWilliams has been appointed as Ireland women's head coach. He'll take over from Adam Griggs at the end of the November internationals.

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