Evening Update Monday 25 January 2021

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said that a decision on a possible reconfinement will be taken this week. The Prime Minister was speaking during a visit to the Ile de France Regional Health Agency today. It's expected that a meeting of the Health Defence Council will be held on Wednesday morning during which the latest data on the effect of the 6pm curfew will be analysed and the possibility of a reconfinement discussed.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has announced that September 15 this year will be "the irrevocable date for the reopening of all cultural activities in Nice". He said that the metropolitan health security agency is working towards allowing such a reopening. The mayor added that he also wanted to reassure those who bring culture to life in Nice by announcing the maintenance of cultural budgets this year as well as aid already in progress such as the reduction of rents or support for activities. He said that the city is already working on the return of major summer events such as the Book Festival and the Jazz Festival as well as a summer program which will see multiple events.

The Institut Pasteur has announced that it's halting the development of one of its Covid-19 vaccine candidates. The decision not to pursue the development of the vaccine follows the review of interim results of phase I trials. The institute said that the vaccine candidate was well tolerated, but the induced immune responses were lower than in people recovered from a natural infection as well as those observed with the vaccines which are currently authorized. The institute said that it will continue to develop other vaccine candidates.

The vaccine was being developed in collaberation with American company Merck, which today also announced that it was discontinuing develpoment of another of its vaccine candidates, saying that it would now concentrate on covid-19 research and treatments.

Several teaching unions have announced industrial action for tomorrow, January 26. The action is to draw attention to what the unions claim is mismangament of the health crisis in schools and to protest against current salary levels.

The Prefect of the Var is reminding people that the validity period of 2020 meal vouchers is extended until September 1, 2021, not just for the Var but for the whole of France. The vouchers are valid for click and collect as well as for deliveries.

The Nice town hall has issued a reminder that the wearing of a mask is mandatory throughout the city. You're liable to a fine of 135 euros if you're not wearing one.

 

BUSINESS

Online fashion retailer Boohoo has bought the Debenhams brand and website for £55m. All of Debenhams' 118 High Street stores, including its flagship store on London's Oxford Street, are now expected to close with the potential loss of up to 12,000 jobs. Debenhams was founded with a single store in London in 1778 and grew to be one of the UK's largest retailers.

A new survey shows that business confidence in Germany has fallen in January. The ifo business climate index fell to 90.1 from 92.2 in December. The expectations of business managers also fell.

The World Economic Forum usually held in the Swiss town of Davos every January has moved online for this year's edition. The gathering, which brings together leading figures from government and business, is taking place until 29 January.

 

SPORT

Football... Frank Lampard has been sacked by Chelsea after 18 months as manager. Chelsea have only won one game in their past five league matches. As a player, Lampard is still Chelsea's all-time record goal scorer with 211 goals between 2001 and 2014.

Cricket... England have completed a six wicket win against Sri Lanka to take the series 2-0. Dom Sibley hit 56 not out and Jos Buttler made 46 not out.

Motorsports....  It's been announced that Jenson Button will compete in the new Extreme E racing series for his own team. Button said that he had followed Extreme E "with great interest" and "what they have managed to create is nothing short of incredible". The series is scheduled to begin in April this year and will feature ten teams in off-road electric SUVs.

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has said that he tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month. Wolff said that he had no symptoms and he is out of quarantine.

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