Evening Update Thursday 2 July 2020

A student at a school in Monaco has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Monaco government said that the 6th year student at the College Charles III caught the virus from a household member who had been abroad. Another member of the student's household has also tested positive. Pupils and teachers who could have been potentially infected will be contacted directly to receive a test. However, the government said that the risk of infection is "very low" because the student worse a mask in class and respected barrier measures.

The French Minister of Health, Olivier Veran, has said that the government has identified over two hundred coronavirus "clusters" in France but the situation is under control. He said that contact tracing and isolation measures had prevented the virus from spreading more widely in the population. The minister added that a plan had been prepared in case of a second wave in order to avoid reintroducing "a general containment solution".

The South Region of France is to receive further funding from the European Union because of the pandemic. The region will receive 43 million euros to be spent on areas such as the purchase of masks, the development of distance learning and the support of small and medium sized businesses.

The driver of a vehicle involved in a serious accident in Rocbaron in the Var yesterday has died of his injuries. The man in hs fifties was the driver of a van which was in collision with a heavy goods vehicle on the RD43.

Investigations are underway into the cause of a serious accident on the Voie Rapide in Nice in the early hours of this morning. Reports say that a driver crashed at high speed into the central reservation near the Magnan exit at around 1.30am. Emergency services found the driver in a critical condition. She’s receiving treatment at the Pasteur 2 hospital.

A police officer in the north-eastern city of Nancy has taken his own life with his service weapon this morning.  The 49 year old held the rank of brigadier-chef in the National Police. His death is the third suicide in the police force this week. Two security assistants took their own lives in separtae incidents - one in Marseille and the other in Rouen.

France has temporarily pulled out of a NATO security operation because of a disagreement with fellow NATO member Turkey. The French defence ministry accused Turkey of violating an arms embargo against Libya. Relations between the two countries have become increasingly strained over the past few months because of disagreements about the Libyan civil war and Turkey's role in northern Syria. Earlier this week President Macron accused Turkey of "historic and criminal responsibility" in the Libyan conflict.

The French government has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for its treatment of three asylum seekers. The court said that there had been a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights because the three asylum seekers had been left on the streets in "inhuman and degrading" conditions after lodging their applications in 2013 and 2014.

Meteo France have a Yellow alert for storms in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes until about 9pm this evening, but they are expected to be mostly inland.


US payroll numbers have increased by a record 4.8 million people in June. It's the largest increase since the US Labor Department began keeping records in 1939. The numbers have been helped by the reopening of certain businesses. However, separate data also showed that initial claims for unemployment fell only slightly in the week ending 27 June compared to the previous week.

Retailer Primark has reported a 75% fall in sales in the last quarter because of the coronavirus pandemic. It said that the crisis would cost it over 600 million pounds in lost earnings. Primark is owned by Associated British Foods, which disclosed the figures in a trading update. Primark was particularly affected by lockdown measures because it doesn't have an online store. However, the company said that as of today, 367 Primark stores have reopened with the remaining eight expected to follow in the near future. It also announced plans to open new stores in the US, France and Poland.

Unemployment in the Eurozone rose slightly in May. According to new figures from EU statistics agency Eurostat unemployment stood at 7.4%, up from 7.3% in April. 16% of individuals aged under 25 were unemployed across the Eurozone in May, amounting to just over 2.2 million people.

The High Court in England has ruled against Venezuela's government in a legal action concerning access to $1bn of gold stored at the Bank of England. The dispute centres around whether President Nicolás Maduro's government is recognised as the legitimate government of Venezuela. In its ruling, the High Court said that the UK had "unequivocally recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president", rather than Mr. Maduro. Lawyers for the Venezuelan Central Bank, which brought the case, said they would appeal against the judgement.



Tennis... The French Tennis Federation has given further details of this year's Open at Roland-Garros. The Federation said that the number of spectators admitted to the stadium will be 50-60% of the usual number. A protocol will be in place involving the separation of groups of ticket holders. The final will be limited to 10,000 spectators instead of the usual 20,000. The President of the Federation said that the number of tickets may vary according to the progression of the virus.

Cricket.... West Indies players held a minute's silence and wore black armbands today in tribute to cricketing legend Sir Everton Weekes who has died at the age of 95. They were playing in a warm-up match at Old Trafford, where flags flew at half mast. England players also wore black armbands at Southampton today. Weekes is the only player to have scored five consecutive centuries in Test cricket.

Rugby Union... The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a search for a new women's head coach to lead the team through the 2021 World Cup and 2022 Commonwealth Games. Previous head coach Rowland Phillips officially left the role back in March.

Football... There are two games in the English Premier League tonight. Sheffield United play Spurs and Manchester City host champions Liverpool.


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