Evening Update Friday 5 February 2021

President Macron has said that he fully supports the EU's Covid-19 vaccine strategy. Speaking this afternoon after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel he said that it would be "a scene of disorder" and would be counter-productive if France and Germany were in competition for vaccines. He added that "Europe is the place in the world where we have bought the most vaccine". The President said that in recent weeks "we have greatly accelerated things" and "we will do everything to make things go faster".

The first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to arrive in France tomorrow. According to Prime Minister Jean Castex, the doses will initially be distributed to health establishments. The vaccine is the third to be authorised in France.

The public assistance hospitals in Paris have said that 11,900 of their staff have suffered from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. The figure represents about 12% of their workforce.

The ban on seasonal rentals in Nice is due to start tomorrow and continue until at least 20 February. The restriction was put in place by a decree made by Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi.

The Regional Committe for Health Education in the PACA Region is launching a website to help students  find useful information on COVID-19. The objective is to provide young people with reliable and accessible information on COVID-19 and to facilitate access to national and regional resources to deal with the health crisis. The website includes Frequently Asked Questions on the most common issues as well as various resources and useful numbers. The website address is  www.jeunesetcovid.org

A man has died from stab wounds in the Var. Reports say that the 26 year old was attacked in a property in Mons. The attacker apparently fled the scene and a search operation is underway by police.

A ceremony has been held in Frejus in the presence of mayor David Rachline to award service medals to police officers. The medals, incuding the Ministry of the Interior Medal of Internal Security and the City of Frejus medal, were awarded for conduct including the rescue of a victim of a serious crime, drug trafficking and counterfeiting arrests and the opening of a police dog training centre.

Three new electric vehicle charging stations on the Wiiiz charging network have been opened in Cannes. The stations, on the boulevard de Lorraine, in the car park on rue du Chantier Naval and in the Val d'Azur car park in Le Cannet, mean that there are now 40 such charging terminals installed in Cannes Lérins and 117 in the CapAzur territory.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi visited the Colline du Château this morning to inspect renovation works. The works include providing easier access to the site, the planting of 1,500 plants, the enhancement of historical features, the elimination of roads and parking, the preservation of the park and the installation of sixteen bird houses.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex is visiting the Lot-et-Garonne department today following serious flooding over the past few days. He is viewing rescue operations in progress and meeting local government officials.


BUSINESS

Johnson & Johnson has announced the submission of an application to the U.S. Federal Drugs Administration for authorization of the world's first single dose COVID-19 vaccine. The company said that it intends to distribute the vaccine to the U.S. government immediately following authorization, and expects to supply 100 million doses to the United States in the first half of 2021. It also said that it intends to apply to European regulators for authorisation.

Fashion retailer French Connection has said that it has received takeover approaches from two groups. The company said the talks were at an early stage and there was no certainty that an offer will be made.

German factory orders fell by 1.9% in December compared to November. However, the Federal Statistics Office said that orders were still 6.4% higher than in December 2019 and were 2.6% higher than February 2020, which was the month before coronavirus restrictions were introduced in Germany.

 

SPORT

Tennis... The draw has been made for the opening round of the Australian Open which begins on Monday. World number one Novak Djokovic starts his bid for a ninth Australian Open title against French veteran Jeremy Chardy. Dominic Thiem will begin his campaign against Kazakh player Mikhail Kukushkin. Rafael Nadal will play Laslo Djere of Serbia. Serena Williams has been drawn against Germany's Laura Siegemund. Williams withdrew from her Yarra Valley Classic semi-final against world number one Ashleigh Barty earlier today with a right shoulder injury.

Cricket-It’s been the first day of the first Test between India and England in Chennai. England won the toss and decided to bat and finished the day on 263-3 after 89.3 overs. Capain Joe Root was 128 not out. India are yet to bat.

It’s been day 2 of the 2nd test between Pakistan and South Africa in Rawalpindi. At the close of play South Africa were trailing Pakistan by 166 runs with 6 wickets remaining.

And it’s been day three of the first Test between Bangladesh and West Indies in Chattogram. Bangladesh made 430 in their first innings. In reply West Indies were 259 all out. In their second innings Bangladesh were 47 for 3 after 20 overs meaning that Bangladesh lead West Indies by 218 runs with 7 wickets remaining.

Rugby Union-The 6 Nations starts tomorrow with matches played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic. Tomorrow, England host Scotland at Twickenham while Italy host France. On Sunday Wales play Scotland.

Football...In the English Premier League this weekend, on Saturday Aston Villa play Arsenal, Burnley host Brighton, Newcastle face Southampton, Fulham play West Ham and Manchester United play Everton. On Sunday Spurs host West Brom, Wolves play Leicester, Liverpool play Manchester City and Sheffield United play Chelsea. Leeds play Crystal Palace on Monday.

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