Lunchtime News Wednesday 7th October 2020


Man kills himself after jumping in front of train - A man has thrown himself in front of a train at Aix-en-Provence train station. The TGV which was travelling from Lyon to Nice on Tuesday was evacuated with passengers transferred to another train.

Police confirmed that the 44-year-old man who was killed on the spot was from central France. Traffic was temporarily disrupted following the incident on Tuesday evening. 

French President pledges to support victims of the flood hit area in the Alpes Maritimes - In a message posted on Facebook French President Emmanuel Macron has promised that in the aftermath of the devasting weather which caused mass destruction in the Alpes Maritimes and north of Italy “the Nation will be present in the long term to help the victims of the exceptional bad weather which devastated the Nice hinterland”.

Macron is to visit the devastated region this afternoon.  Five days after Storm Alex hit the Alpes-Maritimes, the valley mourns its missing. In total eight people are still missing, and thirteen others have not given any sign of life since the storm.

Fire in furniture depot in Marseille - A fire broke has broken out in a furniture depot in the Saint-Pierre district of Marseille. Some 10,000 square metres have been destroyed following the blaze which broke out on Tuesday evening and saw firefighters still fighting the flames at 7am this morning.

The cause of the fire remains unknown. No injuries were reported.

Professor Raoult suggests current Covid-19 virus is more dangerous that previous wave in the summer - During an interview on French television this morning Professor Raoult of the University Hospital in Marseille has suggested that the “Covid-19 virus which was circulating during the summer was less dangerous than the current Covid-19”.

Raoult pointed out that according to figures published the previous wave of infections was less severe than those being experienced today while he also called for caution “as to the interpretation of the first data”.

Raoult went on to underline the importance of reducing social contact in order to limit the pandemic.


Restaurant owners organize an aperitif in the Paris metro - Angry restaurant owners have organized an aperitif in the Paris metro. The move came as restaurant owners denounced on Tuesday, the different treatment in the face of controlling the spread of the coronavirus in the capital with restaurants forced to close while the metro and shops “remain open and crowded”.

Study - A French study published today has shown that smoking ahead of pregnancy can harm a mother’s unborn child.

The study carried out by researchers at the University of Grenoble shows that even stopping smoking before pregnancy, can still have consequences for the placenta of pregnant women with the placenta retaining the "memory" of exposure to tobacco ahead of the pregnancy.

Smoking during pregnancy has been shown to have many harmful consequences on the health of mother and child, but "the mechanisms involved are still poorly understood”.

Toy sales accelerate in France - The sale of toys in France continues to accelerate with some products already out of stock almost three months before Christmas.

Figures show that while toy purchases fell 25% in April, since the end of lockdown sales have shot up by 80% increasing by 15% compared to last year’s figures.

The JouéClub brand, leader of the sector in France, observed a 20% growth in sales in September alone. Stores are already afraid of stock shortages on certain products which is already the case for the range of surprise dolls from Mattel Barbie Colour Reveal which have sold out in most stores.

Sold for 20 euros in August, the doll is now offered by some sellers for more than 52 euros, an increase of 160%.

And Finally 

A new study has revealed that women are more likely than men to follow guidelines provided by medical experts to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Researchers from New York University and Yale University analyzed hundreds of Americans about their preventative practices, which included social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask during the peak of the pandemic in the US. 

The team found that more than 54 percent of women wear their mask properly, while only 42 percent of their male counterparts adhere to the recommendation.

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