Evening Update Thursday 1 July 2021

The  Regional Health Agency for the PACA region is launching a large-scale communication campaign to encourage the population to get vaccinated. It's especially aimed at young people. The headline message of the camapign is "Yes, the vaccine can have desirable effects" and will feature photographs of scenes of reunion between people. The message will be placed on billboards and in bars, restaurants, sports halls and online social networks. In its weekly update released yesterday the Agency said that the level of the Delta variant had reached 43% of cases in the Alpes-Maritimes.

At a European level, the World Health Organization said today that Covid-19 cases rose last week after ten consecutive weeks of decline, with cases increasing by 10%. The WHO's European Director Hans Kluge said that the increase takes place in the context of the easing of coronavirus restrictions and the rapidly evolving situation of the delta variant in a region where millions of people are not vaccinated. The WHO expects the Delta variant to become dominant in Europe by August.

The Tour de France organization has withdrawn its complaint against the spectator who held out a sign with which a rider collided. The woman was taken into police custody yesterday. Speaking to French media this morning Tour director Christian Prudhomme said that the story had taken on "crazy insane proportions". He called on spectators to respect the riders, saying that they are the ones who deserve the television, not the people who are around them.

Transport unions are taking industrial action over the next few days which is affecting TER trains today and Ouigo services on Saturday and Sunday. However, the SNCF have said that only slight disruption is expected. Specific trains can be checked on sncf.com

Meanwhile, heavy traffic is expected nationally on the French motorway network in a southerly direction for the first big holiday weekend of the summer. Vinci Autoroutes said that heavy traffic is anticpiated from Friday to Sunday in the direction of departures in the Paris region, in the Rhône Valley and around the Mediterranean, mainly on the A9 motorway.

Charles Ange Ginesy has been re-elected as President of the Alpes-Maritimes Departmental Council by the plenary assembly this morning. He received 100% of all the votes cast. He will serve for another six year term.

Five Var massifs are classified as at "Severe" fire risk today and the other 3 massifs are at "Moderate" risk. Firefighters tackled several outbreaks in windy conditions in the department yesterday.

Three people were airlifted to safety from a yacht between Corsica and Nice in Force 5-7 winds yesterday. The Maritimes Prefecture said that the yacht had suffered a helm failure.


BUSINESS

Nissan has announced that it will build a new-generation all-electric car at its plant in Sunderland. It will create 1,650 new jobs and several thousand other jobs in its supply chain. Its partner company, Envision AESC, will also build an electric battery plant.

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has said that recent rises in inflation are likely to be temporary. His remarks in his annual Mansion House speech this morning are in contrast to the Bank's chief economist Andy Haldane who said yesterday that the Bank is underestimating the level of inflation. The governor said that the UK economy is still 5% smaller than before  the pandemic despite the recent recovery.

 

SPORT

Tour de France.. Mark Cavendish has won today's satge. It's his 32nd Tour de France stage victory and it means that he's within two stages of the all-time record held by Eddie Merckx. Mathieu van der Poel still wears the leader's yellow jersey.

Euro 2020... The quarter finals are taking place over the next couple of days. Switzerland play Spain at 6pm tomorrow and and Belgium play Italy at 9pm. On Saturday the Czech Republic play Denmark at 6pm and England play Ukraine at 9pm. The semi-finals are being played next Tuesday and Wednesday with the final at Wembley on Sunday 11th.

Tennis.... Number 3 seed Elina Svitolina was beaten in straight sets at Wimbledon today by Poland's Magda Linette. British number two Cameron Norrie has reached the third round for the first time with a straight-set win against Australian wildcard Alex Bolt. Wimbledon fourth seed Alexander Zverev beat Tennys Sandgren to reach third round today. Andrea Petkovic is out of the tournament after losing two sets to love to Barbora Krejcikova. Shelby Rogers progressesd to the next round after defeating number 15 seed Maria Sakkari. Number 3 seed Elina Svitolina was beaten in straight sets by Poland's Magda Linette. British number two Cameron Norrie has reached the third round for the first time with a straight-set win against Australian wildcard Alex Bolt. Number one seed Ashleigh Barty beat Anna Blinkova.

Rugby Union... Stuart Hogg has been appointed captain for the  British and Irish Lions tour match against the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday. There are 14 changes from the match against Japan. New additions include Jonny Hill, Hamish Watson, Chris Harris and Louis Rees-Zammit. Josh Adams, Finn Russell and Owen Farrell are all included.

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