Evening Update Monday 1 March 2021

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to three years in jail - two of them suspended - for "corruption and influence peddling". The former president was found guilty of trying to bribe a magistrate by offering a prestigious job in Monaco in return for information about a criminal inquiry into his political party. In the ruling, the judge said that he could serve house arrest with an electronic tag. This afternoon his lawyer announced that M. Sarkosy would be appealing against his conviction.

President Macron has called for people to "hold on" for a further four to six weeks before the loosening of coronavirus restrictions. The President was speaking during a visit to a youth training centre in the Seine-Saint-Denis department the Île-de-France this morning.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has said that she is opposed to a weekend lockdown. She proposed that classes in schools be held outside whenever possible and that windows are opened in classrooms during lessons. At the end of last week local authorities asked for Paris to be placed under a strict three week lockdown but Prime Minister Jean Castex described the plan as "nonsense".

Nice deputy mayor Anthony Borre has paid tribute to what he celled "the spirit of responsibility of the people of Nice" during the weekend confinement. He said that they have "overwhelmingly" given this confinement "a chance to overcome the epidemic once and for all".

Almost seventy Monaco police officers were involved in  carrying out controls in the Principality over the weekend, which saw a lockdown in neighbouring areas of France but not in Monaco. In total, more than 4,000 checks were carried out including 2,500 vehicles checked, with 245 of those being denied entry and 410 railway station users were checked, 45 of whom were denied entry. In addition, 555 customers of restaurants in Monaco were checked and all were found to be in order. The control operations are due to be repeated next weekend.

The municipality of Antibes Juan-les-Pins has released its weekly update on the number of Covid-19 patients at the Antibes Hospital. In the period from February 22 to 28, there were 36 hospitalized patients including 9 in intensive care. There were 10 deaths of people aged from 67 to 95 years old. The municipality also published the results of coronavirus tests carried out at Fort Carré during last week. Out of 2,166 tests performed on symptomatic subjects and priority contacts: 7.85% were positive.

A French soldier is in a serious condition after the vehicle in which he was travelling fell into a ravine near Sospel. Three other soldiers were also in the vehicle. President of the South Region, Renaud Muselier has expressed his solidarity with the soldiers and wished them a speedy recovery.

Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard has inaugurated new public emergency call points. The points have a sound and video link to the Urban Protection Center of the Municipal Police. The four emergency call points are in the public space in front of the SNCF station, near the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès , on the esplanade of Macé beach on the Croisette and on Place Roubaud in La Bocca.

Today is World Civil Protection Day. In France 32,000 volunteers are involved in more than 400 local civil protection branches throughout the country. Volunteers and reservists are mobilized on a daily basis to support the elderly, distribute meals and arrange accomodation. Civil Protection also trains more than 110,000 people in first aid each year. You can find out more about their work at https://www.protection-civile.org/


BUSINESS

UK manufacturing output in February grew at it's slowest rate since last May according to  widely watched survey, partly due to supply chain disruption and rising cost pressures. However, business optimism reached a six and a half year high according to the IHS Markit survey.

Chinese investment in Australia fell by 61% in 2020 according to newly published data. The Australian National University's Chinese Investment in Australia Database recorded just over 1bn Australian dollars in investment last year, which was  the lowest amount in six years.


SPORT

Cricket.... England have appointed Marcus Trescothick, Jon Lewis and Jeetan Patel as elite coaches. Trescothick becomes batting coach, Lewis will be in charge of fast bowling and Patel in charge of spinners.

Tennis.... Novak Djokovic has equalled Roger Federer's record of 310 weeks ranked as world number one. Djokovic has 12,030 points - more than 2,000 points ahead of the second ranked player, Rafael Nadal, meaning that Djokovic is guaranteed to break Federer's record next week.

Football...Police have entered and searched the premises of FC Barcelona today. The club said in a statement that the entry and search had been by order of a court in Barcelona which is in charge of a case relating to "the contacting of monitoring services on social networks". The club said that they have "offered up their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities".
 

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