Evening Update Tuesday 20 October 2020

Deputies in the French National Assembly have  paid tribute this afternoon to Samuel Paty, the teacher who was attacked in a Paris suburb last Friday. A minute's silence was observed by deputies gathered on the steps of the National Assembly building. A national tribute will be paid tomorrow during which M. Paty will be awarded the Legion d'Honneur posthumously. A "white march" is being organised this evening in front of the college where M. Paty taught. President Macron and Interior Minister Gerald Darminin are attending a meeting at the prefecture in Bobigny this afternoon to be updated on the progress of policies against separatism in the Seine-Saint-Denis department. The Interior Minister has called for increased vigilance around schools and teachers in order to prevent any similar attacks. According to reports, one person who was previously released from custody has been re-arrested today in connection with the attack, meaning that 16 people are now in custody.

Locally on the Riviera, a ceremony to pay tribute to M. Paty was held in Frejus this morning in the presence of the mayor David Rachline. A ceremony is also planned in Menton at midday tomorrow in the the town hall square. The Mayor of Menton and the President of the French Riviera as well as local teachers are expected to be present.

The French Insurance Federation said today that Storm Alex caused damage estimated at about 210 million euros in the Alpes Maritimes. It's estimated that about 14,000 insurance claims will be made. The amount of claims is divided between damage to homes (72%), professional and agricultural property (25%) and cars (3%). It doesn't include damage to public infrastructure that isn't insured. Those estimates could be revised in the coming days when all of the affected areas have been made accessible and all claims have been made. The Federation said that insurers have extended the legal deadline for declaring claims, so that victims can declare their damage until November 15.

A volunteer firefighter was injured whilst attending a fire in Saint Martin Vésubie last night. Alpes Maritimes Deputy Eric Ciotti praised the work of the firefighters in tackling the blaze.

Two minors have been charged with committing a total of 21 burglaries in Marseille. They were identified from security videos and witness statements in connection with the string of burglaries in the 7th arrondissement over the summer. They are still being held in custody after an an initial appearance before a jeuvenile judge in Marseille.

The number of fatalities on French roads once again declined in September. 275 people died in the month compared to 310 in September 2019. Mortalities among people aged 18-24 and people over 65 were the lowest in the last ten years for the month of September. However, the figures from government agency Securite Routiere also show that the number of cyclists who lost their lives on French roads increased, with the figures being the highest in the last decade.

A dozen departments in south-west and south-central France are under a Meteo France Orange alert for high winds as Storm Barbara arrives. Gusts are expected tonight which could reach 160 to 200 km per hour on mountain ridges, 100 to 130 km per hour in "medium" mountain areas and 80 to 100 km per hour in the valleys and the foothills of the Pyrenees.

An event has taken place in Monaco to commemorate the life of Prince Albert I. 2022 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Prince's death and commemorations are planned over the next two years. Yesterday Prince Albert II attended the launch of the commemorations and the presentation to the public of the program of the celebrations. The gathering at the Lycée Albert Ier included the launch of a promotional video trailer and the unveiling of highlights already planned to take place over the next two years. The Committee's website www.princealbert1.mc was also unveiled which will be gradually enlarged to become a documentary portal. Information will also be available on  social networks.


The US government has started an antitrust case against Google, accusing it of abusing its dominance to preserve a monopoly over internet searches and online advertising. The lawsuit, filed in Federal court, was brought by the US Department of Justice and 11 US states. Google called the case "deeply flawed".

Several airlines flying from Heathrow Airport have begun offering coronavirus tests to passangers. The results of the saliva swab tests are available in one hour and are aimed at helping those passangers flying to a country which requires a negative coronavirus test to permit entry.

UK housebuilder Bellway has announced a fall in pre-tax profits for the year to the end of July. Profits were down by 64% after exceptional items and revenue was down 30%. However, the company announced the resumption of a dividend payment for the 2020 finacial year.



Cycling.... Fernando Gaviria is out of the Giro d'Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus. It's the second time this year that the UAE Team Emirates rider has tested positive. So far a total of four riders in the race have tested positive.

Cricket... England limited overs captain Eoin Morgan has said that players will be free to withdraw from tours if living and playing in bio-secure bubbles is having an effect on their mental health. Morgan said that he thinks the situation is "untenable" and "it's probably one of the more challenging times for anybody involved in the cricket industry."

Football... Former France goalkeeper Bruno Martini has died aged 58. He suffered a cardiac arrest during a training session. Martini played 31 times for France and played for Auxerre and Montpellier.

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