Evening Update Friday 25 September 2020

Two suspects are in custody after an attack near the former offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris this morning. Reports say that a man armed with a meat cleaver or similar knife attacked members of the public on rue Nicolas-Appert in the 11th arrondissement just before midday today. Two people suffered serious stab injuries. A security cordon was set up and the public were told to avoid the area. Prime Minister Jean Castex visited the scene of the attacks this afternoon. He said the lives of the two victims were not in danger. The attack comes as the trial of 14 people is underway in Paris in connection with the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people lost their lives.

French Minister of Health Olivier Veran has been visiting La Timone Hospital in Marseille this afternoon. A crowd of demonstrators gathered outside the commercial court earlier to protest against new coronavirus restrictions. The Minister also met with the Prefect and local elected officials during his visit to the city. He defended the new measures, saying they are "temporary, necessary but not arbitrary". He said he did not want to risk filling up intensive care units and having to un-schedule already scheduled operations en masse.

After the Minister's visit the President of the PACA Region Renauld Muselier announced that the closure of all restaurants and bars in the Aix-Marseille region would now take place on Sunday evening and not on Saturday as previously envisaged. He also said that the situation will be reassesed after seven days and an extra 17 million euros will be provided to hospitals in Marseille.

The Monaco government has said that a patient suffering from Covid-19 has died at the Princesse Grace hospital. The 91 year old had previously been admitted to the hospital for a cause other than Covid-19 and subsequently tested positive for Covid in accordance with the hospital's admission protocol.

Meteo France have a yellow warning for strong winds in the Var until 4pm tomorrow and the Alpes Maritimes until 6am tomorrow.

Authorities have reportedly been in attendance at an animal refuge in the Alpes Maritimes today. A number of animals suffering from malnutrition as well as many dead animals have allegedly been found at the refuge near Berre-les-Alpes in the arriere pays of Nice.

Ceremonies have been held today to remember the  Algerian nationals who served as auxiliaries in the French Army during the Algerian War of Independence from 1954 to 1962. Today is a national day of commemoration for the soldiers. Ceremonies were held at several locations on the Cote d'Azur including in Brignoles, Toulon and Antibes.

The number of "Category A" unemployed in France has fallen for the fourth consecutive month. Nevertheless, the number of Category A unemployed is still over 385,000 higher than it was in February before the pandemic began. Unemployed people in Category A are actively looking for work. However, as has been the case in recent months, the fall in Category A numbers has been accompanied by a rise in Categories B and C which cover people in reduced activity.

 

BUSINESS

In the UK, the Office for National Statistics has released figures which show the impact of the coronavirus crisis on government finances. August public sector net borrowing reached its third highest level since records began in 1993. The ONS said that it estimated brrowing to have been £35.9 billion in August, which is £30.5 billion more than in August 2019. it also said that borrowing between April and August this year is estimated to have been £173.7 billion, which is £146.9 billion more than in the same period last year and the highest borrowing in any April to August period since 1993.

New figures have shown a large fall in UK car production in August. Trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that production fell by 44.6% in the month. It added that falls in production so far this year meant a loss of 348,821 units worth more than £9.5bn to UK car makers. Commercial vehicle production also fell in August, by 11.5%.

 

SPORT

Motorsports... Valterri Bottas was fastest in both first and second practice for the Russian Grand Prix. In this morning's first practice Daniel Ricciardo was second and Max Verstappen third. Second practice this afternoon saw Lewis Hamilton in second place and Daniel Ricciardo in third.

Football.. Tottenham have been given a bye into the Carabao Cup fourth round. Spurs were due to play Leyton Orient but several of Orient's players have tested positive for the coronavirus and match has had to be called off.

In the English Premier League this weekend on Saturday Brighton play Manchester United, Crystal Palace host Everton, West Brom play Chelsea and Burnley host Southampton. On Sunday Sheffield United play Leeds, Spurs host Newcastle, Manchester City play Leicester and West Ham play Wolves. Fulham play Aston Villa and Liverpool host Arsenal on Monday.

Rugby Union...Former Australia coach Michael Cheika has been hired as an advisor to the Argentinian national team. The 53 year old will work with Argentina for the rest of this year.

Cricket... Australia have announced match postponements because of the pandemic. The test against Afghanistan and the three one-day internationals against New Zealand will now take place in the 2021-2022 season.

Cycling... American rider Chloe Dygert has been hospitalized after a crash during the World Championships time trial in Italy. She's had surgery on a leg injury in a hospital in Bologna.

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