Evening Update Tuesday 27 December 2022

Humanitarian association SOS Mediterranee has said that it has rescued 113 people in an operation in the Mediterranean last night. The organization said that the migrants were rescued from an overloaded inflatable boat in total darkness. Among the survivors who were taken on board the ship Ocean Viking were 23 women, some of whom are pregnant, around thirty unaccompanied minors and 3 babies, the youngest of whom is only 3 weeks old. The Ocean Viking left Marseille a week before Christmas and this is the ship's first rescue mission since leaving port.

The Number of Category A jobseekers in France fell by almost 66,000 in November compared to October according to new data from the French employment ministry statistics office. Category A jobseekers are those without any activity. However, there are still just over three million such jobseekers in France. The number of jobseekers in total, including those on reduced activity, fell by 0.4%.

The head of a French health body has said that a "very insufficient" number of elderly people are up to date with their Covid-19 vaccines. Speaking to French media this morning Brigitte Autran, the head of Covars, which took over responsibility from the Scientific Council, said that only forty per cent of French people over seventy had received a new vaccination since the beginning of October. She said that the organization would like the figure to be almost 100%.

A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a teenager in Montpellier after the France against Morocco World Cup match on 14 December. The suspect, who is alleged to have hit the 14 year old with his car, was detained early this morning in Perpignan. The Prefect of the Herault department congratulated the police forces involved in the arrest and thanked investigators involved in the case.

President Macron is spending this week in the Var. He arrived at the Fort de Bregancon, the official retreat of French presidents, on Sunday evening and is expected to leave at the end of the week in time to be back in Paris for the New Year's Eve celebrations.



The Chinese government has announced that it will scrap quarantine for travellers from 8 January. Chinese citizens will also be able to travel overseas, according to a statement from the immigration authority.

In the UK, train passengers are being warned to expect disruption to continue after the latest round of strikes by rail workers comes to an end. Members of the RMT union who work for Network Rail ended their latest walkout over pay and conditions at 6 am UK time this morning. However, rail strikes will restart between 3 and 4 January as well as from 6 to 7 January. In the meantime, there is an overtime ban by RMT members at 14 train companies, which is scheduled to run until 2 January. Network Rail has said that it hopes service levels will increase to 90% in the days ahead but it expects this will drop to 20% of normal service levels once the next set of strikes begin in early January.



Cricket.... It's been confirmed that England will travel to Bangladesh in March for a re-arranged series of three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals. The tour was postponed in 2021 because of high Covid numbers and a busy cricketing calendar.

Australia are leading South Africa by 197 runs with seven wickets remaining in the second Test in Melbourne. Opener David Warner retired on 200 after tea on day two of his 100th Test.

Football... Dean Smith has been sacked as Norwich City head coach after a run of just three wins in 13 Championship matches. Assistant manager Craig Shakespeare and first-team coach Liam Bramley have also left the club. Steve Weaver and Allan Russell have taken charge in caretaker roles.



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