Evening Update Thursday 10 September 2020

President Macron has said that after a Defence Council meeting due to be held tomorrow he wants to be in a position to "give visibility over the coming weeks" regarding coronavirus measures. Speaking en route to Corsica this morning he said that decisions in the Defence Council meeting would be taken to "adapt to the evolution of the coronavirus". The President specifically addressed the role of the Scientific Council, whose president said yesterday that the government will "have to make difficult descisions". President Macron said that the role of the Scientific Council is "technical" and it is up to leaders to "make decisions".

The Alpes Maritimes Prefecture has announced the imposition of earlier closing times for bars and restaurants to limit the spread of the coronavirus. From this evening through until 15 October, restaurants and bars in municipalities with over 2,000 inhabitants will have to close at 1am. In municipalities with less than 2,000 inhabitants the closing time will be 11pm. The Prefecture added that police and gendarmes will maintain their checks to ensure that the measures are respected.

AS Monaco have said that three players at its academy have tested positive for Covid-19. The players have been isolated and the club said that their state of health isn't causing concern.

A car driver has been imprisoned by a court in Draguignan after a fatal collision on the A8 motorway on Sunday evening. The driver's car collided with a motorbike being driven by a 70 year old man who died at the scene of the accident near Mandelieu-la-Napoule. The driver left the scene without stopping but was later located by police.

French VTC drivers staged a demonstration at Terminal 2 of Nice Cote d'Azur airport this morning. Reports say that about 50 drivers blocked Monaco taxis from the airport in a dispute regarding the payment of fees to operate in the Principality.

Crime figures released for August show a rise in certain types of offence in the Var. In the month, there was an increase of 20% in incidents of intentional assault and battery reported to the police compared to the same month last year. Complaints of damage to vehicles were 30% above the levels of last August. Burgalries from main homes and thefts by pickpockets in August were at a high for the year.

The French Navy helicopter carrier Tonnerre docked in Toulon this morning. The ship had been in Lebanon as part of an operation to help the country after the explosion in Beirut on 4 August.

VINCI Autoroutes are carrying out repair work on the Menton interchange of the A8 motorway tonight. The work will require the closure of the exit ramp at Junction 59 on the carriageway towards Nice from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. tonight

Meteo France have a yellow weather warning for storms in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes until 4pm tomorrow.


BUSINESS

Airline operator IAG is raising €2.7bn from shareholders to to reduce debt and help it withstand a prolonged downturn in travel. The company, which owns British Airways, Iberea and Aer Lingus, said quarantine restrictions meant capacity this autumn would be 60% below last year's levels. It said it doesn't expect business to return to 2019 levels until 2023.

The European Central Bank has left interest rates unchanged at its meeting today. The main deposit rate for commercial banks depositing funds with the ECB remains at minus 0.5%.

In the United States, there were 884,000 initial claims for unemployment benefits last week. The US Department of Labour figures were unchanged from the previous week.

Insurance market Lloyd's of London has reported a half-year loss of £400m. It made a profit of £2.3bn in the first half of 2019. It expects to pay out up to £5bn for coronavirus-related claims.

BP has entered a strategic partnership with Norwegian energy company Equinor in a deal worth 1.1 billion dollars. BP has taken a stake in offshore wind farm projects in the Unites States being developed by Equinor and the two companies will work together in further US offshore wind projects.


SPORT

Tour de France... Swiss rider Marc Hirschi has won stage 12 today from Chauvigny to Sarran. It was the longest stage on this year’s Tour at 218 kilometers.

Motorsports... It's been confirmed that Sebastian Vettel is joining the Aston Martin Formula 1 team next year. The team is currently known as Racing Point but is being renamed. Aston Martin said Vettel had signed for "2021 and beyond" but they haven't announced the length of the contract.

Cricket.. England players Eoin Morgan and Jason Roy have been declared fit for the ODI series. The first game in the three-match series starts on Friday at 2pm French time.

Rugby Union...The Autumn Nations Cup schedule has been announced. The tournament will feature the Six Nations sides plus Fiji and Georgia and will be played over four weekends starting on 13 November. The opening games are Ireland against Wales, England against Georgia, Italy take on Scotland and France play Fiji.

A limited number of spectators will be allowed into Gloucester's stadium on Monday for their match against Harlequins. Fans will be allowed to be present as part of a pilot programme by the government to assess the safety of spectators returning to watch live sport. Pilot programmes are being run across a range of sports including cricket and snooker.

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