Evening Update Friday 21 August 2020

A woman is in a serious condition in hospital after a diving accident in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin this morning. Reports say that the woman is suffering from decompression sickness after rising too quickly from deep water. She was taken by helicopter to the Pasteur II hospital in Nice.

OGC Nice have said that two players have tested positive for the coronavirus. The club hasn't named those involved. The side are due to play Lens on Sunday. AS Monaco has also said today that one person has tested positive and that they are doing well, but the person hasn't been named. Meanwhile, local team Carros have cancelled training and friendly matches after a team member tested positive for the virus. The club is asking anyone who has been to their stadium recently to take a test.

The organisers of the Cannes Yachting Festival have confirmed that the event won't be taking place in September because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Festival was scheduled to take place from 8-13 September in the Vieux Port and Port Canto.

Several areas in the Gulf of Saint Tropez are experiencing water shortages following a leak in one of the main pipelines in Cogolin which was detected this morning. Work is currently being carried out on the pipeline. Areas affected include Gassin, Ramatuelle, Saint-Tropez, Cogolin and Grimaud. Residents are asked to avoid using water supplies for gardening or swimming pools. Bottled water should be distributed in the affected towns by this evening.

The controversial decree banning the wearing of Paris Saint Germain football shirts in the centre of Marseille has been repealed. PSG are playing Bayern Munich on Sunday in the city. The restriction had been introduced as a public order measure after violent clashes between Marseille and PSG fans after a Champions League match against Leipzig on Tuesday but has now been repealed after a public outcry.

Several hundred firefighters from all parts of France have arrived in the Bouches-du-Rhône department to reinforce local fire personnel. Strong Mistral winds are expected over the next three days and present a very severe risk of fire outbreaks. The forest massifs in the department have been closed as from today.
 

BUSINESS

UK government debt has risen above £2 trillion for the first time ever. The figure for July was £227.6bn more than last year. The Office for National Statistics said that the national debt stood at 100.5% of Gross Domestic Product. It's the first time national debt been above 100% of GDP since the 1960-61 financial year. The recent rise in public debt reflects the UK government's measures introduced to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that UK retail sales volumes rose above pre-pandemic levels in July. Retail sales volumes rose by 3.6% between June and July, meaning that sales are now 3% higher than February before lockdown began.

The Crossrail project in London has announced further delays. The project's board today said that the central section of the line will now be ready to open in the first half of 2022. It also said that an extra £450m may be required. Construction on the 117km railway line running west to east across London began in 2009 and was originally set to fully open in 2018.

A widely watched survey of UK purchasing mangers suggests that the manufacturing and services sectors grew at the fastest rate for nearly seven years during August. The IHS Markit survey gave a preliminary reading of 60.3. A figure above 50 indicates expansion. However, many respondents to the survey said that it could take more than a year for output to return to pre-pandemic levels and that they were reducing their number of employees. The equivalent figure for France was 51.7 in August, down from 57.3 in July.

 

SPORT

Motorsports... The Williams Formula 1 team has been bought by US-based investment firm Dorilton Capital. Deputy team principal Claire Williams said it's "the end of an era for Williams as a family-owned team, but we know it is in good hands." The team will retain the Williams name and remain at their base in England. The team was founded by Sir Frank Williams and Sir Patrick Head in 1977.

Football... Next season's Championship fixtures have been announced. The opening weekend beginning on 12 September will include Wycombe Wanderers against Rotherham United, both teams having being newly promoted from League One. Other matches include Bournemouth against Blackburn, and Watford against Middlesbrough. Norwich play Huddersfield and Coventry play Bristol City.

Manchester United have said that Harry Maguire is "fully co-operating with the Greek authorities" following an "alleged incident" on the island of Mykonos where he's currently on holiday. In a statement isssued today the club said that it will be making no further comment at this time.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has said that the club has rejected an offer for Ryan Kent from Leeds United worth about £10m. Gerrard said that the offer had been "strongly rejected" and that the player "is not for sale".

Cricket... The first day of the England against Pakistan Third Test is underway in Southampton today. England won the toss and decided to bat. Pakistan have an unchanged team from the last test. England have made one change - Sam Curran has been replaced by Jofra Archer.

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