Evening Update Tuesday 29 November 2022

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has called for the public to wear masks on public transport and in contact with fragile people as protection from Covid-19. Speaking to the National Assembly this afternoon she said that the Covid-19 epidemic "is starting again" with over 40,000 cases and 400 deaths last week.

There has been a significant increase in the Covid-19 incidence rate in Monaco according to the latest government figures. In its weekly update on Covid numbers the government said that the incidence rate per 100,000 people at November 27 was 401, up from 240 the previous week. 157 new positive cases of Covid-19 were detected in the week. As at Sunday November 27, 10 people, including 3 residents, were hospitalized at the Princess Grace Hospital. Two people were being treated in intensive care. 91 people were being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

French government spokesperson Olivier Veran has said that the energy sobriety plan is already showing results. Speaking after this morning's Council of Ministers meeting he said that, taking account of milder temperatures recently, the plan is showing a daily reduction in electricity consumption of 5%. He added that the coming weeks will be marked by an increase in electricity demand, especially because of the need for heating, and "it could be that production and demand for electricity are not completely aligned on certain very cold days" or if the winter is "very harsh". He said that the situation could be difficult if people didn't adapt some of their consumption habits at the most critical times.

President Macron is starting an official three day visit to the United States today. He'll be meeting President Joe Biden at the White House and will visit Arlington National Cemetery. He'll also travel to New Orleans. They will be aiming to improve relations between the two countries after the row over the cancellation of a French submarine contract with Australia last year.

French data protection body the CNIL has sanctioned energy company EDF with a fine of 600,000 euros, in particular for not having respected its obligations in terms of commercial prospecting and the rights of individuals. The regulator said that between 2020 and 2021, EDF carried out a commercial prospecting campaign by electronic means without being able to demonstrate that it had obtained prior valid consent from the individuals concerned. The CNIL also said that the company had committed other breaches of data protection laws including not responding to complaints quickly enough and giving inaccurate information on the source of the data collected as well as not taking into account opposition to receiving commercial prospecting.

Emergency telephone numbers in Monaco have been partially out of action this evening. At about quarter past six this evening the government sent out an alert to subscribers to its alert service saying that due to a breakdown the emergency numbers 17, 18 and 112 were only accessible from mobile phones.

Meteo France has said that it will start providing weather warnings for the two coming days instead of one day as at present. Since 2001 the warnings on the Meteo France website have been informing the public of dangerous weather phenomena within the next 24 hours. From now on, the publication of warnings is extended in mainland France until midnight the next day.

 

BUSINESS

Easyjet Chief Executive Johan Lundgren has said that the airline had seen strong demand for flights over half term, Christmas and New Year despite the "pressure" on households. However, speaking to the BBC, he said that demand outside peak periods remained below usual levels. It came as the company reported a headline loss before tax of £ 178 million for the year to 30 September, down from a £ 1.136 billion loss last year. The company said it had faced "multiple headwinds" in the period, including Covid restrictions and the impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which drove up fuel prices.

It's been announced that French energy company EDF will become the joint owner of a new nuclear power plant in the UK. The company and the UK government will each own fifty percent of the Sizewell C plant in Suffolk. The government's investment will amount to £700m. The two-reactor plant is expected to generate about 7% of the UK's electricity needs.

 

SPORT

Motorsports... It's been announced that Mattia Binotto will leave his position as Ferrari team principal at the end of the year.  Ferrari said that the 53-year-old had resigned from his role and that the process to identify a replacement was underway. He's been with Ferrari since 1995.

 

WORLD CUP

Ecuador lost to Senegal 2-1 this afternoon.

The Netherlands beat Qatar 2-0. The Netherlands therefore finsh top of Group A, ending Qatar's World Cup hopes. It means they became the first host nation to exit the tournament with three group-stage losses, finishing bottom with no points.

This evening there are two matches starting at 8pm our time. Iran take on the USA and Wales play England.

 

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