Lunchtime News Friday 13th November 2020


Lockdown - France's prime minister Jean Castex has said it would be "irresponsible to lift or even relax" the lockdown restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.

The Prime MInister said during a press conference on Thursday evening that although there were hopeful signs with new COVID-19 contaminations down 16%, this hasn't yet been reflected in the hospitalisations. Officials will therefore, not issue any stricter measures, but cannot yet lift restrictions.

France has one of the highest incidence rates of COVID-19 in Europe and COVID-19 patients now make up 95% of the intensive care units. Castex went on to say that "a patient is hospitalised every thirty seconds with COVID-19 and that 40%  of those who are in intensive care are under the age of 65. 

French officials said that they hope the epidemic peak will be early next week and that hospitalisations will begin to decrease.

“Clean up your kilometre” - A young man from Marseille has launched an ecological hashtag during lockdown entitled “clean up your km”.

Benjamin de Molliens has suggested through social media that everyone picks up litter during the daily outing, which is currently restricted to an hour due to Covid-19.

"Nettoie ton km" is a new challenge for Benjamin who is also the co-founder of Plastic Odyssey, a project aiming to measure the effects of lockdown on microplastics at sea.

The principle of his new challenge is that people go out and pick up rubbish for an hour. Once done, you take a picture of yourself with your collection and post it on your social media account, you then invite three others who must take up the challenge.

Terrorist threat - France’s Minister of the Interior has announced that 48 people in an irregular situation and suspected of radicalization "have been expelled" from France since he became Minister of the Interior and a list of 231 foreigners followed for radicalization has been established.

Speaking to French media this morning Gérald Darmanin added that “the terrorist risk today in France remains very high”.

The Minister comments come as France is commemorating the victims of the terror attack in Paris five years ago with ceremonies where the attacks took place. 

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and France's Prime Minister Jean Castex, along with other ministers and representatives of victims' organisations are visiting the sites of the attacks and laying flowers, starting at the Stade de France, where the attacks began.

There will be fewer public mourners this year because of the current coronavirus lockdown.

Former French President asks Macron “is everything okay are things not too hard at the moment?” - Speaking on France Inter this morning former French President François Hollande has said that in the face of the current health crisis and the terrorist threat President Emmanuel Macron "cannot do it alone”. Hollande went on to say that the Head of State “must dialogue, he must consult, the President of the Republic, even with all the means available to him, cannot manage alone to overcome the current accumulation of crises".

The comments come after François Hollande was seen asking his successor during the commemorations of November 11th if everything was “okay and not too hard at the moment?"

François Hollande defended his comments to Macron, insisting that "If we want there to be an acceptance, the decision must be shared so that it is then understood and that the public can adhere to it.”

Shopper in his underpants - A customer of a Leclerc supermarket near Brest has been seen shopping in his underpants, to denounce the closure of non-essential selves and businesses due to the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. The images have been widely shared on social media.

The mystery shopper explained that he wanted "to send a message" and wanted "people to wake up" in the face of the restrictions imposed by the Government to fight against Covid-19. The man is already known locally for having posted warning messages on the facade of his house and for wearing a gas mask to ironize the wearing of the mask made mandatory in certain areas.

Italian shows support to wife - At 81 year old Italian man has serenaded his wife hospitalized with coronavirus. Unable to visit his wife due to Covid-19 restrictions the Italian played his favorite tunes on his accordion outside her bedroom window to show his support.

A moment of emotion and grace which went viral on social media.

And Finally

An adidas and football fan in the UK has gone out of his way to make sure he can still pull a pint during the lockdown and has built his own “adidas shoebox bar” in his garden.

John Clark who owns 150 pairs of adidas trainers and supports Manchester City can now enjoy a lager while watching football in his garden in his “man cave”.

The Man City fan, said the idea came about when he got the shed’s plans. He said: “The proportions looked like a trainer box, so I said, ‘Why don’t we make it look like it has a lid?’.”

He admitted: “The missus said, ‘You’re having laugh’ while one UK paper led with the headline “fancy a sneaker pint?”.







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