Evening Update Tuesday 11 January 2022

Industrial action in French education establishments is still scheduled to go ahead on Thursday. Unions are calling the industrial action because of  greivances connected with the government's implemetation of Covid-19 protocols in schools and colleges. The strike action is taking place despite Prime Minister Jean Castex announcing a simplified protocol yesterday evening. Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer said this morning that the strike doesn't solve the problems and "we do not strike against a virus".

The World Health Organization has said that at current rates, more than 50% of the population in its Europe region will be infected with Omicron in the next 6-8 weeks. WHO Europe Director Hans Kluge said that the Omicron variant "represents a new west to east tidal wave sweeping across the region, on top of the Delta surge that all countries were managing until late 2021". He reiterated that the currently approved vaccines "continue to provide good protection against severe disease and death, including for Omicron".

According to reports in French media, a video conference is being organized between French Prime Minister Jean Castex, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and the declared presidential election candidates or their representatives. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the organisation of the presidential election in April in the context of Covid-19.

Many rivers in south-west France are still under Meteo France alerts for flooding. The region was affected by heavy rainfall over the past few days. The body of a missing woman who was in her seventies was found yesterday evening in a village to the north of Toulouse.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has expressed his sadness at the death of David Sassoli, who was President of the European Parliament. The mayor said that he was "deeply European and attached to the values of the Union".

 

BUSINESS

Heathrow Airport has said that at least 600,000 passengers cancelled travel plans from the airport in December due to the Omicron variant and what it said was the uncertainty caused by swiftly imposed government travel restrictions. 19.4 million passengers used the airport in 2021, which is less than one quarter of 2019 numbers. The airport added that there is "significant doubt over the speed at which demand will recover".

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has said that inflation across its member states hit a 25 year high. Consumer prices rose in November by 5.8% annually. The price of energy was the main contributor to the rise and food prices also increased.

 

SPORT

Cricket... New Zealand have beaten Bangladesh by an innings and 117 runs to draw the Test series. Ross Taylor ended his Test career by taking the winning wicket. Taylor has played for New Zealand in 112 Test matches.

Tennis... Emma Raducanu is out of the Sydney Tennis Classic in the first round. She was beaten 6-0 6-1 by world number 13 Elena Rybakina.  Andy Murray is through to the second round of the tournament after defeating Viktor Durasovic 6-3  6-1. Both British players are set to take part in the Australian Open which starts in Melbourne next Monday.

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