Evening Update Tuesday 24 November 2020

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has ordered police to provide a full report into the dismantling of a makeshift migrant camp in the centre of Paris last night. Police clashed with migrants and activists in violent scenes during the operation in which dozens of tents were removed from Place de la République. The minister tweeted that some of the scenes were "shocking". The Minister said that he had asked the General Inspectorate of the National Police to submit its conclusions within 48 hours and that he would make them public. The action of the police has been denounced by several French political figures. First secretary of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, said that he was "stunned" by what he saw. However, Alpes Maritimes deputy Eric Ciotti has said that Gerald Darmanin's "reaction to the illegal camp on Place de la République is cowardly". He said that "the orders received by the police were fair and legitimate". Humanitarian organization Medecins Sans Frontieres have said that they will probably file a complaint against the Paris police prefect for endangering the lives of others.

President Macron attended a Defence Council meeting this morning before his address to the nation on coronavirus measures scheduled for 8.00pm this evening. Although the contents of the President's address aren't known, French media have quoted government sources indicating that non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen shortly with new sanitary protocols in place. Prime Minister Jean Castex suggested recently that places of worship may be allowed to reopen on 1 December. It's believed that the President may indicate that cafes won't be allowed to reopen until at least January.

The confidence of French businesses has hit a five month low according to a new survey. Government statistics agency INSEE said that its survey, conducted between 28 October and 19 November, showed that pessimism particularly affected the retail trade and services sector but also manufacturing.

The municipality of Antibes Juan-les-Pins has released its weekly data on covid-19 patients at the hospital. In the period 16-22 November there were 46 hospitalised patients including 9 in intensive care. Five people, aged between 80 and 91, lost their lives. The municipality has also published the results of coronavirus tests carried out at Fort Carré last week. There were 1,549 tests performed on symptomatic subjects and priority contacts, of which 10.7% tested positive.

Authorities in Antibes are reminding locals that a new warning siren is being tested this Thursday morning. The new siren, installed on Chemin des Groules in La Brague, was set up as part of the fight against flooding in the area. The test is scheduled for 9am on Thursday.

The annual Restos du Coeur campaign is getting underway today. The charity distributes food packages and hot meals to those in need including the homeless and those with a low income. In recent years it has also branched out into finding housing and offering other support to those in need. The event is in its 35th edition this year and in 2019 distributed over 1.6 million meals in the Alpes Maritimes alone. The organization has a centre in Cagnes-sur-Mer and one in La Garde in the Var as well as many others throughout France. If you'd like to make a donation or find out more information go to the website https://www.restosducoeur.org/


Shares in many UK travel companies rose earlier today after the UK government announced changes in the quarantine period for travellers arriving in England. The government said that its "Test and Release" scheme, under which quarantine can be reduced to as little as five days in certain circumstances, is expected to be in place from 15 December.

The number of property transactions in the UK in October increased by 9.8% compared to the previous month. There were over 105,000 transactions in the month according to provisional data from HMRC. The number was 8.1% higher than October last year.

German defence business Rheinmetall has secured a contract worth 860 million pounds to manufacture vehicles for the British Army. The company said that more than 200 jobs would be created in and around its site at Telford in Shropshire.


Athletics... The provisional schedule for next year's Diamond League has been announced, including a meeting in Monaco. There are 14 meetings in total, starting in Rabat in May and ending in Zurich in September. The Monaco meeting is scheduled for 9 July. There's also a meeting at the London Stadium on 13 July, which is just 10 days before the start of the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

Rugby Union... Eric O'Sullivan has been included in the Ireland squad for Sunday's game against Georgia. He's being called up because of fitness issues involving Ed Byrne and John Ryan. It's the Ulster player's first time in the squad.

Motorsports... Andy