Evening Update Tuesday 8 December 2020

French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Minister of Health Olivier Veran are expected to hold a press conference at 6pm on Thursday. It's believed that they will address the issue of whether coronavirus numbers are low enough to permit the deconfinement scheduled for next Tuesday, 15 December. President Macron is due to chair a meeting of the Defence Council tomorrow morning.

The prosecution in the trial of those accused of involvement in the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015 has requested sentences of between five years and life in prison. Fourteen people are on trial in Paris accused of various forms of support for the three people who carried out the attack against the magazine and also against a supermarket in Paris and a policewoman from Montrouge. The verdicts are expected to be announced next week.

An investigation has been opened after the discovery of a body on the beach in Frejus earlier today. Authorities have said that the corpse of the woman in her forties was discovered by a walker in the area. Police are currently trying to establish the cause of death.

A judicial investigation is continuing into the sinking of a fishing boat off the coast of the Herault department last week. One person was rescued after the sinking of the Romain Luca but two people lost their lives. The wreckage was located by the French Navy at a depth of 60 metres and the two bodies were recovered. The judicial investigation is being carried out under the authority of the Béziers public prosecutor's office.

A man has been rescued off the coast of Carry-le-Rouet in the Bouches-du-Rhône department after his speedboat suffered engine problems last night. The operation coordinated by Crossmed involved the French Navy, Bouches-du-Rhone firefighters and SNSM lifeboat personnel. The Maritime Prefecture said that the man was safe and well and had been brought ashore.

The town hall in Antibes is opening a book of condolance for Valéry Giscard d'Estaing who died on December 2. A national day of tribute will be held tomorrow in memory of the former French president. The City of Antibes Juan-les-Pins is providing a register at the Town Hall on the Cours Masséna starting tomorrow to allow everyone to pay a written tribute. The register will remain available at the town hall until the end of the week.

VINCI Autoroutes are drawing attention to the dangers faced by their employees. The motorway operator said that last night one of their trucks towing a large illuminated sign was hit by a car on the A64 motorway in the Haute-Garonne department in south west France. 48 VINCI intervention vehicles have been struck by other vehicles so far this year. The company says that collisions with emergency vehicles are, in the great majority of cases, the result of drowsiness or a lack of attention on the part of drivers.

 

BUSINESS

The Japanese government has announced new economic stimulus measures worth 73.6tr yen, which is about  $708bn. Revised data released today shows that the Japanese economy suffered its worst post-war contraction in the second quarter, shrinking by 8.2%, although the economy started to rebound in the third quarter.

New data has shown a large increase in spending on groceries in the UK. Take-home grocery sales rose by 11.3% during the 12 weeks to 29 November. The figures from data company Kantar show that November was the single largest month ever for UK supermarkets, with £10.9 billion spent over four weeks.

China has removed 105 apps from its app stores. The Cyberspace Administration of China said that all the apps violated one of three cyber-laws. Authorities said that the ban was in response to content the public "deemed offensive".

 

SPORT

Cricket...New tests have shown that the two people in the England touring party suspected of having coronavirus do not in fact have the virus. The tour of South Africa was abandoned yesterday. England said that the two have been given the all-clear by "independent virologists in Cape Town and London". England will fly home on Thursday.

Australia have beaten India by 12 runs in the final Twenty20 international in Sydney. India's defeat means that their 10 match T20 winning run has come to an end, but they have still won the series after going 2-0 ahead on Sunday.

Rugby Union... It's been confirmed that England will be playing Australia and South Africa at Twickenham in the Autumn Intenational series next year. The matches will take place in November 2021.

Football..The final group games in the European Champions League are being played tonight and tomorrow. Group E winners Chelsea are at home to Krasnadar while Manchester United need at least a draw to qualify for the knockout phase when they visit RB Leipzig in Group H. Paris St Germain are at home to Istanbul Basaksehir.

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