Evening Update Wednesday 8 September 2021

The trial of twenty defendants alleged to have been involved in the Paris attacks of November 13, 2015 has got underway this afternoon. Of the twenty, eleven will appear before the court which is taking place at a purpose-built facility in Paris. The sole surviving attacker, Salah Abdeslam spoke at the trial this afternoon, saying that he was "a fighter of the Islamic State".

The trial is scheduled to last nine months and involves about 330 lawyers and 1,800 civil parties. About 300 witnesses will be heard, including survivors and former French President François Hollande, who was President at the time of the attacks. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said today that more than a thousand police and gendarmes are specifically mobilized in Paris to provide security around the trial. He said that the terrorist threat in France is high, especially at times such as the trial, and called on all prefects to be vigilant.

The funeral has taken place today of the two Monaco firefighters who lost their lives in a road accident on 31 August. The mass was held at Monaco Cathedral this morning. The two men were part of a group of four motorclyclists who were hit by a car on the RD6202 in Puget-Theniers. The other two motorcyclists were injured in the accident but have now been released from hospital.

The French Order of Physicians has requested that doctors and all healthcare professionals have access to a vaccine booster against Covid-19. The organization said that it is asking that physicians and all healthcare professionals be considered "a priority for access to a booster, as they were at the start of the vaccination campaign, to protect themselves and their patients".

The PACA Regional Health Agency has said that there has been a fall in the number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 in all departments in the region in the week to 7 September. The Alpes-Maritimes saw 26 fewer patients receiving "conventional" hospital treatment and the number of patients in intensive care was unchanged. In the Var, the number of patients receiving conventional treatment for Covid-19 in hospital fell by 15 to 118 and the number in intensive care fell by 6 to 48.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin is meeting the UK Home secretary Priti Patel to discuss disagreements between the two countries regarding migrants crossing the Channel. Over 700 migrants arrived in the UK in boats on Monday and the Maritime Prefecture for the Channel and the North Sea said that several dozen others had been picked up by French government vessels yesterday. The latest disagreement follows a warning from the UK that it could withhold over £54 million it had agreed to pay France to help deal with migrants, unless more boats are intercepted.

 

BUSINESS

UK supermarket group Morrisons has proposed an auction process to resolve a bidding war between two private equity companies which are seeking to acquire the business. It said it had engaged with the two private equity companies and the Takeover Panel to begin discussions around an orderly framework for the resolution of the competitive situation between the two groups.  

The UK's largest cycling retailer, Halfords Group, has become one of the latest UK businesses to report that it's been affected by supply chain issues. In a trading update for the 20 weeks to 20 August, Halfords said that the global cycling supply chain continues to experience considerable capacity constraints, leading to low availability of bikes throughout the period. It added that it expects the issues to continue for some time.

 

SPORT

Cricket... Cricket Australia has said that it hopes the Ashes series against England in December will be played in front of full crowds despite a rise in Covid-19 cases in Australia. Chief executive Nick Hockley said he was optimistic the series would be played as scheduled and with fans present because of rising vaccination rates.

Football.. Eight Premier League players are expected not to play for their clubs between 10-14 Sepember after Brazilian football authorities triggered a Fifa rule to prevent them appearing. Players at Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Leeds United are affected. The Brazilian football association is taking the action after the English clubs refused to release Brazilian players for international duties because they would have to go into 10 day quarantine on their return.

There are more World Cup qualifying matches tonight including Poland against England, Northern Ireland against Switzerland and Wales against Estonia, Iceland against Germany and Greece against Sweden.

 

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