Two people are missing after extreme weather affected parts of central southern France today. The Gard department was placed on a rare Meteo France red alert for storms, heavy rain and flooding for a time earlier today and several nearby departments are on an orange level alert. The A9 motorway was cut between Nimes and Gallargues because of torrential rain and flooding. Vinci Autoroutes said at about 5pm this evening that vehicles stuck at the head of a traffic jam on the A9 in the Nimes area are gradually being evacuated but access to the motorway remains prohibited. The VINCI Autoroutes teams are continuing to clean, repair and check the infrastructure. Rail traffic was also suspended for a time between Montpellier and Nimes.
President Macron has announced the creation of a new body to oversee the police. Speaking at a police academy in Roubaix in northern France this morning, he also announced several other measures including the doubling of the number of police and gendarmes on public highways in less than ten years, the filing of complaints online by 2023 and the simplification of criminal procedures. He said that a reserve police force and a reserve gendarmerie force would be created consisting of 50,000 reservists in total. President Macron's announcements mark the end of the Beauvau de la Securite consultation process on the role and work of the police.
President Macron will be in Nice this evening for the Assises de l'economie de la Mer conference at the Accroplois. The two day event is a major meeting place for the French maritime industry and is in its 16th edition this year.
The Monaco government has released the latest figures on Covid-19 testing in the Principality. In the period from 6 to 12 September 4,280 PCR and antigen tests were carried out on resident and non-resident individuals. The test positivity rate was 1.85%. The government said that the incidence rate was 109.52 per 100,000 people, down from 132.99 the previous week.
The municiplaity of Antibes-Juan-les-Pins has said that from September 6 to 12 at the hospital in Antibes there were 17 Covid-19 patients with 3 in intensive care and there were two deaths of people aged 82 and 89. Regarding Covid-19 tests carried out at Fort Carré, out of 1,338 tests performed 4.68% were positive.
The deputy mayor of Nice, Anthony Borre, has announced an action plan against bedbugs, which he said are a public health problem that can't be ignored. As of 1 October, an information point will be set up at the Maison de l'Habitant to inform people and to provide financial support to eradicate the problem.
The French government has announced the allocation of 370 million euros to support innovation in recycling between 2021 and 2027. The financial support aims to promote research and development into more efficient recycling solutions. The sum is in addition to the €200 million already allocated for recycling for the year 2021-2022. France produces 350 million tonnes of waste a year, of which almost 120 million is not recycled.
The government has also announced €170 million annually until 2024 to support the operation of rail freight services. The government is aiming to double the share of goods transported by rail in France by 2030.
Newly released data shows the UK labour market is continuing to recover. The number of payroll employees showed another monthly increase, up by 241,000 to 29.1 million in August, returning to pre-pandemic levels. The number of job vacancies in the June to August quarter was 1,034,000, which is the first time vacancies have risen above 1 million since records began, and is now 249,000 above its pre-pandemic level.
Travel industry body ABTA is calling for a significant overhaul of the UK government’s traffic light travel system, including ending the widespread use of PCR testing. Data from its members suggests that new summer foreign holiday bookings for 2021 were down 83% on 2019. Almost half of travel companies also reported they have seen no increase in 2021 bookings compared to last year, despite the rollout of the vaccine programme. 58% of bookings with departure dates in July or August this year had to be postponed or cancelled. The UK government is expected to review the requirements for international travel by 1 October.
Motorsports... Aston Martin team owner Lawrence Stroll has said that it's the team's "firm intention" to continue with Sebastian Vettel "next year and beyond." Vettel has a contractual option he can exercise to continue with Aston Martin after this season and Stroll said he expected an answer on Vettel's future "imminently". He was speaking at the unveiling of a new F1 factory at the team's base at Silverstone which he said will cost between £150-200m.
Football... Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that Harvey Elliott is having surgery on his injured ankle in London today. Elliott was carried off on a stretcher during Liverpool's match against Leeds at the weekend.
Brazilian football legend Pele is to be moved out of intensive care shortly, after having surgery to remove a tumour from his colon at a hospital in Sao Paulo. His daughter said that he "is doing well post surgery, is not in pain and is in a good mood".