Evening Update Thursday 11 June 2020

A major police operation is underway in the Liserons area in the East of Nice this evening after gunshots were heard. Reports say a man has suffered serious stab injuries. An area around the Route de Turin has been cordoned off and traffic diversions have been put in place.

The use of restaurant vouchers will be increased to 38 euros as from tomorrow. The decree bringing the increase into force was published in the Official Journal today. According to the text of the decree, the aim is to encourage the use of meal vouchers in restaurants and hotel-restaurants and thereby help the economic difficulties of those establishments.

The SNCF has revised some of its train timetables over the summer period due to lack of demand. Last month, the company put on sale three million tickets at 49 euros each. The occupancy rate at the moment for July services is reportedly 10 to 15 per cent and for August it is only 6 per cent. However, the company said that only about 5 per cent of summer trains are affected by the timetable changes and trains are often booked at the last minute. They added that trains were 50 per cent full last weekend.

The European Commssion has recommended that travel restrictions within the EU and the Schengen area be lifted by next Monday, 15 June. It will be up to each member state and Schengen state to make the final decision on when to reopen its borders. The Commission recommended yesterday that the EU's external borders be reopened on 1 July.

A cousin of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco has died at the age of 73. Baroness Elisabeth-Anne de Massy was widely involved in the Principality's associations and charities, including as President of the Monegasque Tennis Federation and the Monte-Carlo Country Club.

A person has been seriously injured after falling from a coastal path near Hyeres in the Var this morning. Firefighters had to intervene on land and at sea in a difficult to access area. The victim was eventually moved into a rescue boat and taken to the hospital in Hyeres.

A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of involvement in three robberies in Nice. It's alleged that he attempted to rob several elderly people when they were returning to their residences. The 17 year old is currently in pre-trial detention in Grasse prison.

A refuse collector in Normandy has taken his own life after being dismissed from his job. According to local reports, he had accepted two cans of beer as a gesture of goodwill from a member of the public and was later found to have a raised blood alcohol level. The man had been working at the same company for 26 years. His family are reported to be filing a complaint.

Alpes Maritimes MP Eric Ciotti has visited the Alpha Parc wolf park, which has reopened to the public. The area, in the Mercantour National Park, is expecting the arrival of three white wolves from an animal park in Belgium at the end of this month. Health protocols have been put in place for the reopening.

 

BUSINESS

Further job losses have been announced in the aviation sector. Lufthansa has announced that it will cut 22,000 jobs from its current workforce of 135,000. The company said that it hopes to agree the job losses with unions by 22 June.

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has announced that it's cutting 5,000 jobs this year. It said it's making the cuts to "arrest the decline" of the company. Half of the senior leadership team of 40 will leave by the end of August.

Anglo-Dutch consumer goods business Unilever is to combine its two businesses into one structure in the UK. Currently the two firms' shares are listed independently in London and Amsterdam. Unilever announced plans in 2018 to combine its businesses into one Dutch company with headquarters in Rotterdam, but the plans were abandoned after objections from UK shareholders. Unilever said no jobs would be lost in the latest move, and its existing headquarters in Britain and the Netherlands would remain.

Just Eat Takeaway has agreed to buy US rival Grubhub in a $7.3bn deal. The combined business will have more than 70 million active customers.The deal still needs approval from shareholders and regulators.


SPORT

Football... Pemier League clubs have agreed a range of protocols for the restart of the season at a meeting today.There will be strict limits on those allowed into stadiums on matchdays and grounds will be split up into zones, disinfection will be carried out and protocols will be put in place regarding how squads and coaching staff travel to and from games. One minutes silence will also be observed before the first matches to resume as a mark of respect for victims of the coronavirus.

Uefa will hold a video conference meeting on 17 June to decide how the Champions League and the Europa League seasons will conclude. The agenda for the meeting includes discussing the “round of 16 onwards and related determinations” for both competitions.

Rugby League... Scrums could be scrapped when UK rugby league resumes.The recommendation has been made by the RFL’s Laws Committee. Matches without scrums would reduce face to face contact by players but it hasn't yet been decided what would replace them. The recommendations will now be considered by Betfred Super League, Championship and League 1 clubs, with forums created for feedback beore the next RFL Board meeting in early July.

Athletics... The Birmingham Commonwealth Games, expected to take place in the summer of 2022, will now begin a day later than originally scheduled. The move is to accomodate changes in the sporting calendar resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.

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