Evening Update Wednesday 24 June 2020

Investigations are continuing after a family of four were hit by a car opposite Port Vauban in Antibes yesterday evening. Both adults and two children, including a one year old, were taken to hospital. Reports say that the accident is thought to have been caused by the driver of the car losing consciousness because of illness. Although the father was seriously injured, the lives of the family are not thought to be in danger.

According to figures from the Regional Health Agency, five people died as a result of the coronavirus in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes last week. In it's weekly report released yesterday, the agency said that for several weeks the indicators of circulation of the virus have been falling or have remained low in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. However, the number of deaths increased slightly last week. There were four deaths in the Alpes Maritimes and one in the Var. There are currently 66 people in hospital with the virus in the Alpes Maritimes and 106 in the Var. Only one person is in intensive care in the Alpes Maritimes and four in the Var.

Two elementary schools in Paris have been closed after three cases of the coronavirus were detected. The regional health agency said that the schools had been closed as a precautionary measure but said that neither school is a "source of contamination".

Temporary workers in the catering industry have staged demonstrations in Cannes, Bordeaux and Paris today. They aim to draw attention to their lack of income during the coronavirus crisis and are demanding an extension of unemployment rights. In Paris, the demonstrators, many of whom served at state functions, gathered on the place de l' Hotel de Ville. Most of the protestors were dressed in their formal uniform of dark suit and bow tie or in chef's work attire.

Disruption is expected in Montauroux in the Var tomorrow as an operation to remove three large chlorine containers from the area around the well resevoir gets underway. A 300 metre security perimiter will be established and local buildings will be evacuated as a precautionary measure. Nearby roads will be closed to traffic. A special telephone helpline has been set up by the municipality for further information - it's 04 94 50 41 00.

An activist has vandalised a statue outside the French parliament building in Paris. The statue was of Jean-Baptiste Colbert who helped write the Code Noir or Black Code in the 17th Century which defined slavery and race in France's empire. The protestor sprayed a slogan in red paint before being deained by police.

The heatwave is expected to continue over the next couple of days, with temparatures in some inland parts of the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region reaching 35 degrees tomorrow and Friday. According to Meteo France, the temperatures are two to four degrees above the seasonal norms but two to three degrees below last year's temperatures.

 

BUSINESS

There has been an increase in French business confidence according to new data fom French statistics body INSEE. It's business climate index increased to 77.8 this month, up from 55.9 in May. INSEE noted that although the index has risen to above the level recorded in March 2009 during the financial crisis, it is still well below it's long-term average.

Aviation services company Swissport is planning to cut more than half of its UK workforce. According to the GMB union, the company has started a consultation on cutting up to 4,556 jobs. Chief executive Jason Holt said the company had to reduce the size of its workforce to survive. Swissport operates at airports across the UK, including Heathrow and Gatwick.

Th US government is cosidering imposing tarrifs on a range of goods from the UK, France, Germany and Spain. The Office of the US Trade Representative      has opened a consultation on imposing new tarrifs on various food products and machinery including chocolate, olives, malt beer and gin. Comments on the proposals close on 26 July this year.

Segway is ending production of its original two-wheeler, the Personal Transporter. Production will cease on 15 July. The self-balancing vehicle was launched in 2001 and the company was bought by Chinese rival Ninebot in 2015.

 

SPORT

Athletics... The New York City Marathon has been cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers made the announcement this afternoon, saying that although it was "incredibly disappointing" for all those involved, it was clearly the course that needed to be followed from a health and safety perspective. The next race is now scheduled to take place in November 2021.

Golf.... Graeme McDowell has pulled out of the Travelers Championship which starts tomorrow in the United States because his caddie has tested positive for coronavirus. McDowell said he was withdrawing for the protection of others players and his own physical and mental wellbeing.

Football... Arsenal have announced that David Luiz has agreed a new one-year contract with the club. Dani Ceballos has extended his loan deal with the Gunners from Real Madrid until the end of this season and defenders Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares will also join the club on a permanent basis at the end of their loan deals.

Baseball... Major League Baseball in the US is to resume in July with a shortened 60-game season. Games are set to restart on 22 or 23 of July and players will be able to start training from the beginning of the month with health checks in place.

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