Evening Update Wednesday 22 April 2020

The administrative court in Nice has ruled in favour of the City of Nice in a case regarding the curfew. The League for Human Rights had brought the case, alleging that the mayor's extension of the curfew to begin at 8pm in nine districts of Nice was an attack on fundamental freedoms. The League said that it plans to appeal against the court's decision.

The President of the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Region, Renaud Muselier, has said that a first batch of 5 million masks delivered from China will be distributed to health workers and security personnel. One million of the masks will be given to small municipalities of less than 20,000 residents in the PACA region. He said that by the end of May, he expected 25 million masks to have been delivered to the region.

The Elysee has announced that President Macron will hold a video conference tomorrow morning with 15 mayors from across France. Although not confirmed by the Elysee, local reports suggest that the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, and the Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, will participate. The meeting is part of President Macron's fact finding mission in preparation for the gradual deconfinement in France from the 11 May. President Macron will also hold a separate video conference on Friday which will concentrate on plans for the tourism, leisure, hotel and restaurant sectors.

Distribution of food baskets to the over 65's has officially begun in Nice today. The baskets contain good to the value of 25 euros including fresh produce and dry foods such as pasta as well as hygeine products. They will be distributed by a network of people, including volunteers. Christian Estrosi said today that 1,500 people had expressed an interest in receiving the baskets since Saturday.

Religious leaders have said that places of worship will not reopen on the 11 May. Leaders held a tele-conference with President Macron yesterday. An assessment is being planned to evaluate the possibility of re-openings sometime in June but the president reportedly said that there would be no large gatherings until the end of the summer.


BUSINESS


A widely watched survey has shown steep falls in the retail sector in Scotland. The SRC-KPMG retail sales monitor showed a total drop in sales of 13% in March compared with the same month last year. It's the lowest figure recorded since the survey began in 1999.  Scotland's chief economist has warned that GDP could decline by as much as 33% due to the impact of the virus.

Delta Airlines has reported a net loss of 534 million dollars in the first quarter of this year. The airline also reported total operating revenues down by 18 per cent and was buring through cash at the rate of 100 million dollars per day at the end of March.

The Turkish Central Bank has cut interet rates for the eigth successive time. It made a reduction of 1% to 8.75%. The bank said that it expected inflation to be lower because of the fall in oil prices and the drop in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

 

SPORT

Rugby... Australian Rugby League commissioner Wayne Pearce has said that the league has been given the go-ahead by the Australian government to resume on the 28 May. It's believed that training will start again on 4 May. Matches were suspended on the 23 March. Pearce said that the league table and points would remain the same as at the time of suspension. However, the chief executive of the Rugby League Players Association says further clarity is required before 28 May is "considered a definitive date" to restart the season.

Football... Michael O'Neill has left his position as Northern Ireland manager. Uefa is proposing to reschedule Northern Ireland's Euro qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina until the autumn and O'Neill said that he felt now was the right time to step aside. He will continue in his role as Stoke City manager.
West Ham and Crystal Palace have cancelled their plans to travel to Australia in July. The teams were due to play matches in Queensland. The sides said they hoped to reschedule for a later date.

Golf... Rory McIlroy has become one of the latest players to call for the postponement of the Ryder Cup. He said "A Ryder Cup without fans is not a Ryder Cup" and said it wouldn't be a great spectacle and there would be "no atmosphere". The tournament at the moment is still scheduled to take place in September.

Snooker... The World Snooker Tour has announced that the World Champonship has been re-scheduled to start on the 31 July. The organization said that its preference would be to stage it with the usual number of spectators present at the Crucible in Sheffield, as in previous years, but said that if that wasn't possible, careful consideration would be given to other scenarios, including staging the tournament behind closed doors.

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