Evening Update Tuesday 16 November 2021

A 40 year old man has been given a five year sentence by a court in Aix-en-Provence for throwing a cigarette butt which started a large wildfire in the Bouches-du-Rhône. Four years of the sentence are suspended and the reamaining one year will be served with an electronic bracelet. The fire in August 2016 consumed more than 2,600 hectares and affected over 200 buildings, with estimates of damage being put at almost 65 million euros.

It's been announced that HSH Princesse Charlene will be unable to attend Monaco's National Day celebrations this Friday because of health reasons. In a joint press release issued today the Princess and her husband HSH Prince Albert II said that they have both decided that a period of calm and rest is necessary to ensure the very best recovery for Princess Charlene’s health. Having battled with poor health over the past few months, the Princess is currently convalescing and will continue to do so for the coming weeks, allowing her time to recover from a state of profound general fatigue. Information on the Princess’ health will be communicated again in due course, ahead of the Christmas holidays.

French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal has confirmed that no lockdown is currently planned by the government. Speaking to FranceInter this morning he said that nothing is excluded "in principle" but a reconfinemenet is not currently planned "neither near nor far" but added that the "immunity conferred by the vaccine must continue" and eligible people should get their booster injection.

The Monaco government has released the latest Covid-19 data for the Principality which shows a sharp increase in the incidence rate. 3,596 PCR and antigen tests were carried out on resident and non-resident individuals between 8 November and 14 November inclusive with a positivity rate of 2.45%. The incidence rate was 106.91 per 100,000 people, which is almost double the previous week's figure of 54.76. As of yesterday evening, 8 people were hospitalised in the Princesse Grace Hospital with Covid-19 and one other person was being treated in intensive care at the hospital. As at Monday evening, 30 people were being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

The decree on compulsory mask wearing in the Var has been extended until November 29 inclusive. The Prefecture said that wearing a mask therefore remains compulsory for anyone over 11 years old in all the municipalities of the department in outdoor food and non-food markets, flea markets and garage sales, unpacking sales, fairs and fun fairs and at any public event generating a large gathering of the population such as festivals, outdoor concerts and outdoor sporting events and firework displays. Wearing a mask remains compulsory on all public transport and in all establishments open to the public not subject to the health pass, such as shops. Full details can be found on the Prefecture's website www.var.gouv.fr

The Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, is standing for election as president of the organization which represents the mayors of France. Mayors from across the country are attending the 103rd edition of the Congress of Mayors and Intermunicipal Presidents of France in Paris. The three day event which started today allows delegates to debate, exchange views and challenge the public authorities on major issues. The results of the vote on who will be the next president of the organization are expected to be announced on Wednesday.



The number of workers on UK payrolls rose by 160,000 in October, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. The rise comes despite the furlough scheme coming to an end. The employment rate in the July to September quarter increased by 0.4 percent and was driven by a record high net flow from unemployment to employment. The ONS also said that the number of job vacancies in August to October  continued to rise to a new record of 1,172,000, an increase of 388,000 from the pre-pandemic level of January to March 2020.

Google has announced a major investment in its Australian operations. The company said that it will invest A$1bn over the next five years to build a research hub, increase its cloud computing capacity and fund partnerships with local organisations. It's expected to create 6,000 jobs directly and support 28,000 jobs overall.



Rugby Union... Australia captain Michael Hooper won't be playing in the match against Wales because of injury. James Slipper is taking over as captain for the match.

Cricket.... The venues have been announced for the  Men's T20 World Cup in Australia next year. The tournament, which was postponed from 2020 because of the pandemic, will be held from 16 October to 13 November 2022. A total of 45 matches will be played in Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. The final is scheduled to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Motorsports... The Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team has signed Chinese driver Guan-yu Zhou for the 2022 season. He becomes Formula 1's first ever Chinese driver and will team up with former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.

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