Evening Update Tuesday 1 February 2022

Exceptional measures have been introduced in Marseille to deal with refuse as the strike of bin collectors continues. Mayor Benoit Payan said that in the face of dozens of garbage can fires and weather alerts, he has informed the Prefect of the Bouches-du-Rhone that he is going to derogate from the distribution of powers between the City and the Metropolis. He said that starting tomorrow, trucks will pick up the refuse where there is danger for local people and the environment.

Employees of French pole emploi labour exchanges are taking industrial action today. Staff are protesting at the lack of purchasing power and their work conditions. About 23% of employees participated in the day of action organized by unions and about 36% participated in a one hour walkout, according to figures provided by management. Almost all of the labour exchanges remained open today, despite the strike action.

The Aude department has become the latest area of southern France to be placed on an Orange Meteo France weather warning for high winds, with gusts of 100 to 120 km per hour. Several nearby departments close to the Spanish border are on a Yellow level alert. No weather warnings are in place this evening for the Alpes-Maritimes or the Var but there are still expected to be strong gusts, reaching 90 km per hour in places, in the Var tonight and tomorrow.

The French government is reviewing its military presence in Mali following the expulsion of the French ambassador. France has more than 5,000 troops in the country to fight Islamic extremists. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian last week said the country's government, which seized power last year, was "illegitimate" and "out of control", comments which the Mali governemnt called "outrageous".

The Municipality of Cannes has installed the first digital information terminal on major risks in France. The free access touch terminal, installed near the Palais des Festivals, has information in French and in English, and  includes weather alerts issued by Meteo France in the Alpes-Maritimes with a colour display depending on the level of alert as well as weather and marine forecasts for Cannes. It also makes it possible to consult a description of the major risks.


BUSINESS

The jobless rate in the Eurozone fell to a record low in December. EU statistics agency Eurostat said that the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.0%, down from 7.1% in November 2021 and from 8.2% in December 2020. However, Eurostat estimates that just over 11.4 million people were still unemployed in the Eurozone in December.

Supermarket operator Tesco has said that 1,600 roles are at risk of redundancy because of changes it says are being made as part of its efforts to serve customers in the best way possible in a competitive market. It is moving overnight stock replenishment to daytime trading hours and closing seven stores trading under the Jack's brand. It said that it aims to offer alternative roles for as many of those affected as possible.

Latest data for the UK’s manufacturing sector has pointed to another strong expansion in January. According to research from IHS Markit, manufacturing production rose at its fastest rate in six months. It said that strong upticks in output and employment underpinned growth. Price pressures persisted, however, but the rates of inflation eased.


SPORT

Rugby Union... England's Joe Marler has returned to training following Covid-19 isolation. He tested positive on 25 January but will now be available for Saturday's Six Nations match against Scotland.

Football... Republic of Ireland Under-17 captain Cathal Heffernan has joined AC Milan on loan from Cork City. The 16-year-old has been on trial at AC Milan and it's expected that he could sign a permanent deal in the summer.

 

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