Lunchtime News Monday 21st December 2020


Marseille has a new mayor - The socialist Benoît Payan has been elected mayor of Marseille following the resignation of Michèle Rubirola. Payan received all 53 votes. At 42, he becomes the youngest city councilor to be elected mayor of the city.

France’s Health Minister warns of new strain of Covid-19 - France’s Minister of Health has said that while “the new strain of Covid-19 had not yet been identified in France; this does not mean that it is not already circulating”.

Olivier Véran gave the warning on French radio this morning. Adding that since the weekend all attention has been turned towards the new strain of the coronavirus, first identified in the United Kingdom and suspected of being more contagious.

As a precaution, France suspended traffic from the United Kingdom on Sunday evening for 48 hours. The decision, taken at the end of a National Defense and Security Council (CDSN), concerns "all movements of people, including those linked to the transport of goods, by road, air, sea or rail".

Crack down on selling drugs in France - France’s Interior Minister has announced the creation of a platform which will allow residents to report to police the selling of drugs in their neighbourhood.

Nearly 4,000 places have been identified in France according to the Minister who has made the fight against drug trafficking a priority since his appointment within the government.

Data shows that the capital’s Seine-Saint-Denis region has the most “points of sale” dedicated to selling drugs. The platform will be put online from 2021 and aims to give citizens "the means to help the government" said the minister.  

New certificate for pet owners – France’s Minister of Agriculture Julien Denormandie has presented the government’s new regulations for pet owners. The minister insisted that "an animal is neither a consumable product, nor a toy", adding that 100,000 pets, especially dogs and cats, are abandoned each year in France.

To fight against this phenomenon, the government is counting on "a compulsory awareness certificate for anyone who adopts or purchases a pet”. The document will specify what the purchase or adoption involves "in terms of obligations of care, vaccination, the need to exercise the animal and the financial cost” the certificate will be introduced next year.

Bedbugs - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry for rat control, insect control and disinfection has recorded a 76% increase in professional interventions linked to bedbugs in France between 2019 and 2020.

According to figures, professional interventions for bedbugs exploded in France in 2020. Whether in private homes, hotels, public transport, movie theaters or retirement homes, bedbugs were everywhere with interventions between 2018 and 2019, to eradicate them increasing by 30%.

An action plan has been launched and the government has et up website online and created a number providing advice on action to be taken in the event of of an invasion: 0806.706.806.

In an attempt to get rid of bedbug’s authorities say it is advisable to wash your bedding and clothes at a temperature above at least 60 ° or to freeze them in bin bags at -20 ° C for at least 72 hours. If the situation persists, it’s necessary to call in professionals specialized in eradicating them.

Christmas star - In an event which occurs only once every twenty years the two largest planets in our solar system will “meet” this evening. The planets Jupiter and Saturn are set to “meet” and the event is expected to be visible from France at around 7.22pm with both planets being perfectly aligned and appearing as “one planet”. Known as the “great conjunction” the space news service has also named it “the Christmas star.

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