Evening Update Friday 4 December 2020

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has said that the validity of 2020 meal vouchers will be extended to 1 September 2021. The daily payment limit will remain at 38 euros instead of the usual 19 euros. Speaking on French television today the minister also said that the universal solidarity fund, which pays up to 1,500 euros per month to businesses who have lost fifty per cent of their turnover, will end on 31 December.

The minister for small and medium sized businesses Alain Griset has said that the winter sales in France will begin on 20 January and will last for a period of four weeks. The new date follows representations from business associations made to the Fench government earlier this week.

An earthquake of a magnitude of 3.5 was recorded in Strasbourg this morning. The tremor, at 6.59am, was followed by two others later in the morning. According to reports, a local geothermal power plant has confirmed that the earthquakes are linked to recent tests.

Meteo France have a yellow warning for high waves and costal flooding in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes until midnight tonight. In addition there are also yellow warnings in the Alpes Maritimes in force until late this evening for icy conditions, heavy rain and flooding and storms. There's also an avalanche warning for the Alpes Maritimes until at least 4pm tomorrow, Saturday. You can get full details of the warnings at www.meteorance.com

The funeral of former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaign will take place tomorrow in the town of Authon in the Loir-et-Cher department. The private family funeral is expected to be followed by a formal tribute ceremony in Paris during the course of next week.

A gold medal for courage and dedication has been awarded to firefighters in the Var for their work in the floods of November and December 2019. The Prefect of the Var announced the award this morning on the day of Sainte-Barbe, the patron saint of fireighters. Ceremonies have been held by firefighters throughout France today. The mayors of Nice and Antibes, Christian Estrosi and Jean Leonetti, are amongst local elected officials who have paid tribute to the work of firefighters.

The fairground market and flea market in Antibes are being moved to a new temporary location from today until mid-January to allow the holding of events during the end of year celebrations. The markets will now be held on the the Place des Martyrs de la Resistance. You can find full details and opening times on the municipality's website  https://www.antibes-juanlespins.com


Employers in the United States added 245,000 jobs last month, a figure below many economists' expectations. The Labor Department said that about 10.7 million people remain out of work.

The Danish government has said that it will end all new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, as part of a wider plan to stop extracting fossil fuels by 2050. Greenpeace Denmark described the announcement as a "watershed moment". Denmark is the largest oil producer in the European Union.

New car registrations in the UK fell by 27.4% in November compared to last year according to data released today by trade body the Association of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Just over 1.1 million cars were registered, as ‘click and collect’ capability and deliveries help offset showroom closures during the lockdown in England. The market for new vans increased for the third month in a row, with registrations up 8.8% in November compared to last year.

Discount retailer Lidl has become the latest UK retailer to announce that it's repaying business rates relief it received from the government during the pandemic. The company said it was "incredibly grateful" for the government support. The move comes after several other UK retailers agreed to repay business rates relief in the last few days.



Motorsports...  George Russell set the fastest time in first practice at the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain this afternoon. Russell is deputising for Lewis Hamilton who has tested positive for the coronavirus. Max Verstappen was in second place and Alexander Albon in third.

Football... Patrick Vieira has lost his job as manager of OGC Nice. The club have been defeated in their last five games, including yesterday's loss to Bayer Leverkusen that confirmed their exit from the Europa League. Adrian Ursea, who was Vieira's assitant, is taking over as head coach.

In tomorrow’s English Premier League Burnley play Everton, Manchester City play Fulham, West Ham face Manchester United and Chelsea play Leeds United. On Sunday West Brom play Crystal Palace, Sheffield United play Leicester, Tottenham face Arsenal and Liverpool play Wolverhampton. On Monday Brighton play Southampton at 9pm.

Cricket.... Today's South Africa against England ODI has been postponed after a South Africa player tested positive for coronavirus. The match was scheduled to get underway at midday our time today but will now take place on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.

Kane Williamson has hit 251 in the opening game of the two-match series against West Indies in Hamilton. The New Zeala