Evening Update Thursday 18 June 2020

President Macron has travelled to London this afternoon to mark the 80th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle's BBC broadcast to occupied France.  Before travelling to London, he visited the Liberation Museum in Paris and the Mont Valerien memorial in the Hauts-de-Seine, which was the scene of the execution of many French resistance fighters. President Macron met Prince Charles at Clarence house this afternoon and is presenting the Legion d'honneur to the city of London. The President is also meeting the UK Prime Minister for talks on the pandemic and other issues, including travel between the UK and France.

Members of the French government's scientific council have been testifying today before the National Assembly's commission of inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak. The council's president, Jean-François Delfraissy said that he "did not sleep for three or four nights" following the decision to impose confinement. He said that he only became aware of the seriousness of the crisis around 20 February and it was the data coming from Italy and from intensive care units that made him alert the Elysee. He said the scientific council considers that "the risk of a real second wave, coming from the southern hemisphere, is a risk which must be considered".

The Ministries of Economy and Health have said today that they want the entire production chain of paracetomol to be taking place within France in three years time. President Macron first mentioned the plan during a visit to a vaccines plant in Lyon earlier this week. The departments said that work is already underway with three pharmaceutical companies, Seqens, Upsa and Sanofi to realise this goal.

One person has been killed in a shooting in Corsica this afternoon. The victim, a 28 year old man, was shot in Ajaccio by two people on a motorcycle while he was sitting on the terrace of a restaurant on the Cours Grandval.

Six people have been taken into police custody today in connection with recent violence in Dijon. The local prosecutor said that searches had been carried out "in several cities" and an investigation has been opened on several counts including "attempted murder in an organized gang" and "aggravated violence".

A swimming area in La Seyne-sur-Mer has been temporarily closed due to "micropollution of biological origin", according to the municipality. The closure affects an area of Mar-Vivo beach. Tests are being carried out, the results of which should be known by Saturday.

 

BUSINESS

The Bank of England has announced that it's increasing its bond buying programme by 100 billion pounds. The Bank also decided to keep interest rates at 0.1%. However, the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee said there was growing evidence that the impact on the economy would be "less severe" than initially feared.

Shares in German payments company Wirecard fell heavily today after the firm said its auditor had raised questions over cash balances worth €1.9bn. Auditors refused to sign off on Wirecard's accounts, saying it was unable to confirm the money existed. Wirecard said there was evidence of what it called "spurious" figures intended "to deceive the auditor".

Tesco has agreed to sell its Polish business to Danish retailer Salling Group for £181m. Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said the company was continuing to see "market challanges" in Poland. The sale involves 301 stores in the country.


SPORT

Football... Chelsea have confirmed they've reached an agreement with German club RB Leipzig to sign Timo Werner. He will remain at the club for the rest of the Bundesliga season and join Chelsea in July, subject to passing a medical.

Rugby Union..The Pro14 is to return in August. Derbies will take place from 22 August with teams from the same nations playing each other at home and away, followed by semi-finals and a final.

Cricket... The England Women's team are returning to training. Twenty four players will resume individual training on Monday at six venues. The ECB said that training would take place under the same guidelines as have been appled to the England Men's team.

 

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