Lunchtime News Thursday 31st December 2020

News

Weather warning - The departments of the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes have been placed on a yellow weather alert with thunderstorms, snow - ice and avalanches warnings in place. The warning is in place until 6am tomorrow. 79 other departments across France are also on alert with bad weather conditions expected.

Fire in an apartment in Biot - A mother and a child have been evacuated from their apartment after a fire broke out this morning on the ground floor of the two-story building. Firefighters intervened shortly after 6am on the route des Lucioles in Biot.

End of strike action in Marseille - Binmen in Marseille have ended strike action after 14 days. The meeting between employers, unions and the authorities on Wednesday resulted in an agreement and collections resumed on Wednesday evening in the 2nd, 15th and 16th arrondissements impacted by the strike.

Alcohol ban for New Year’s Eve - Meanwhile several departments in France have issued an order banning the sale of alcohol for New Year's Eve. In the Pyrénées-Orientales, this measure came into force on Wednesday evening.

The ban on the sale of alcohol to take away was part of the recommendations sent by the Minister of the Interior on Monday in a document sent to the prefects. This measure was taken in several departments of France for the evening of December 31st and to avoid festive gatherings on public roads.

French President’s speech - French President Emmanuel Macron will according to French media, this evening at 8pm bring a “message of hope concerning the health crisis thanks to the vaccine and seek to bring the French together” during his speech.

From the Élysée Palace, in a recorded speech that will last between 10 and 15 minutes the President hope to “be closer to the French and to address the whole population” according to the Elysée. The Head of State will not make any announcement concerning the possibility of a third lockdown or the extension of the curfew mentioned in certain departments. His speech will be articulated around three notions: hope, truth, and unity. He will also want to shed light on the scientific uncertainties that remain, on the looming economic crisis and on what awaits the French more generally for 2021.

And Finally 

The UK's randiest red squirrel has retired. Radish sparked a population boom of the endangered animals at his wildlife park. The five-year-old superdad has worked his bushy tail off to produce 12 kittens, some of which have been chosen at Wildwood Escot in Devon  for release projects.

Senior keeper Ben Gregory said: “Radish is a star. He played a crucial role in breeding.” “We are sorry to see him go but he has certainly earned retirement.” Radish has been the engine behind a successful breeding programme at the centre near Ottery Saint Mary.

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