Evening Update Tuesday 14 December 2021

Train services across our region could be disrupted by industrial action during the Christmas holidays. Unions said today that they are calling for strike action which would affect services in the South-East for the three holiday weekends. Unusually, long-distance TVG services would be affected. Unions are also planning strike action affecting several other regions of France. They are calling for improved working conditions and pay increases. Discussions between unions and management are continuing in the hope of resolving the dispute.

Speaking in the National Assembly this afternoon French Minister of Health Olivier Veran has said that the target of 20 million booster vaccinations will be achieved before Christmas. Meanwhile, several hundred thousand people who are over 65 risk having their health pass deactivated as from tomorrow. From 15 December, the health pass will only be available to over 65's who have received their second vaccine dose over 7 months ago if they have also had a booster dose. About 400,000 people in France are therefore expected to have their pass deactivated tomorrow.

The Monaco government has announced figures relating to Covid-19 testing. 7,051 PCR and antigen tests were carried out on resident and non-resident individuals between the 6 and 12 of December inclusive, of which 5.38% were positive. The incidence rate as of last Sunday was 544.98, per 100,000 people, up from 409.39 in the previous week.

A temporary vaccination center is opening for two days in Saint-Zacharie in the Var. The center is open tomorrow, Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 December. Registration can be made with the municipal police on 04 42 32 63 39. There are also 12 permanent vaccination centers in the Var. More information on vaccination in the Var and other departments in our region can be found on the Regional Health Agency's website www.paca.ars.sante.fr

A 43 year old woman has died after being stabbed in the Marne department in the Grand Est region of France. According to a statement by the prosecutor in Chalons-en-Champagne, the woman's husband then took his own life by getting in his car and deliberately crashing into an oncoming truck. The driver of the truck suffered only slight injuries. According to the prosecutor, the couple have three children, aged between 16 and 21 years old.



The number of employees on UK payrolls in November far exceeded the number in the month before the pandemic took hold in the UK. The Office for National Statistics said that the number of payrolled employees in November was up by 257,000 on the revised October level and up by 424,000 on the pre-coronavirus February 2020 level. 

A senior Bank of England official has said that crypto-currency assets could pose a danger to the established financial system. Speaking on the BBC's Today program deputy governor Sir Jon Cunliffe said that if their value fell sharply, it could have a knock-on effect and the Bank of England needed to be ready to contain those risks. He said that at present, about 0.1% of UK households' wealth was in crypto-currencies. 



Football ... Arsenal have announced that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be their club captain, and will not be considered for selection for tomorrow's match against West Ham. In a statement, the club said that the action was being taken "following his latest disciplinary breach last week" and "we expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed". Arsenal added that they are "fully focused" on tomorrow's match.

Cricket… England captain Joe Root says that England are optimistic about the second Ashes Test despite their heavy defeat in the opening match of the series. He said that “it doesn't feel like previous tours… where we have been battered and completely on the wrong end of the result”. The second Test begins on Thursday in Adelaide. 

US Basketball… Two Chicago Bulls games have been postponed because of a Covid-19 outbreak. The NBA said that the games against the Detroit Pistons today and the Toronto Raptors on Thursday are postponed. They are the first games called off in the NBA because of the virus this season. 

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