Evening Update Thursday 28 December 2023

The Var prefecture has issued temporary orders on the grounds of safety during the New Year celebrations. They cover the use of fireworks by individuals and the retail sale and transportation of fuel. The orders can be consulted on the prefecture's website www.var.gouv.fr Similar measures are also in force in the Alpes-Maritimes. Details can be found on www.alpes-maritimes.gouv.fr

A judicial investigation for attempted murder has been opened after a man was discovered with critical injuries in the Vaucluse department. The man in his twenties was discovered unconscious and severely beaten near a burning car in the town of Sarrians.

A local collection centre operated by charity Secours Popularie suffered a break in on Christmas Day. Almost 10,000 euros worth of goods was stolen from the center in Saint Andre de la Roche to the north of Nice. A collection center in Isere run by the organization was also ransacked earlier this month. In a post on social media, Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi reiterated his full support to the charity's teams in the face of what he called "these despicable attacks against an association whose sole aim is to help those who need it most".

A ban on oyster fishing has been imposed in an area of ​​​​the Gironde department on the west coast of France after reports of food poisoning. A temporary ban on fishing, harvesting and marketing for consumption of all shellfish from the Arcachon Basin and the Banc d’Arguin has been put in place. The local prefecture said that several cases of food poisoning have been brought to the attention of the services responsible for health and safety. Traceability investigations are underway but several reports indicate that oysters from the Arcachon Bay are involved, according to the prefecture. Analysis carried out on oysters farmed in the bay confirms the presence of norovirus. The symptoms are those of acute gastroenteritis but no serious cases have been reported so far. People who have shellfish from those areas are asked not to consume them and to return them to the point of sale.

The cost of many types of household and motor insurance in France is set to rise from 1 January 2025. The government today published two decrees relating to contributions due to the natural disaster compensation scheme and to the victims' guarantee fund. The first decree provides for the increase in the rates of additional damage insurance premiums financing the natural disaster compensation scheme. The so-called "Cat Nat" contribution rate will increase on January 1, 2025, from 12% to 20% on insurance contracts for damage to residential and professional property, and from 6 to 9% on theft and fire of automobile contracts. In addition, the second decree provides for an increase of 60 cents, from July 1, 2024 in the annual contribution for property insurance contracts, including auto, home and professional contracts, to the Guarantee Fund for victims of acts of terrorism and other offenses.

French statistics body INSEE has published the latest data on population numbers. As at January 1st, 2021, just over 67.4 million people lived in France excluding Mayotte, representing an average growth of 0.3% per year since 2015. Between 2015 and 2021, population growth was twice as high in urban areas as in rural areas.



New data shows that on Boxing Day, 26 December, footfall was up 10% in central London and 8.8% nationally on the UK's high streets, according to retail analysts MRI Software. However, when taking into account data from retail parks and shopping centers, footfall was only up 4% over last year.

Vinyl LP purchases have risen for the 16th consecutive year in the UK in 2023 and are growing at their fastest rate this decade, according to the BPI, which represents UK record labels. With just a few more days to go to year-end, it said that vinyl LP sales rose by 11.7% compared to last year, to 5.9 million units. Seven of the ten biggest vinyl LP sellers in the year to date is a 2023 new release, led by 1989 "Taylor's Version" by Taylor Swift.



Cricket... Australia ended day three of the Test with a lead of 241 runs over Pakistan. Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith scored 153.

Football... In the Premier league this evening, Brighton are at home to Tottenham and Arsenal against West Ham.

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