Evening Update Thursday 23 July 2020

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said that he will be travelling to Nice "very soon" in connection with recent outbreaks of violence. He said that "concrete announcements" would be made in response to what he called "these inadmissible acts". On Monday, shots were fired outside a supermarket in broad daylight in the Moulins area. Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin is arriving in Nice today and is expected to travel to the Moulin district as well as meeting border police in Menton.  Several local officials made an unnanounced visit to the Moulins area late last night. The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, Bernard Gonzalez, the Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes and Nadine Le Calonnec departmental director of public security were in the area at about midnight last night to hold a press conference regarding police reinforcements. According to reports, local residents were involved in heated discussions with the mayor and a projectile was thrown as he later left the area under the protection of CRS officers.

Train services along the coast have been disrupted late this afternoon. A lorry became stuck under a railway bridge between Cagnes-sur-Mer and Cros-de-Cagnes at about 3.00. Train services gradually resumed at 4.00 after engineers had inspected the bridge to ensure its safety. SNCF said that some residual delays are to be expected.

A 59 year old man has been remanded in custody by a court in Toulon after threatening several teenagers with an axe. The incident happened last Friday at the Sablettes beach in La-Seyne-sur-Mer. The man is also charged with threatening a paramedic with a knife in February. His trial is scheduled for 7 August.

Swimming has been prohibited at a beach on the Cap d'Antibes because of possible water contamination. The municipality said that bathing at la Plage des Ondes is not permitted because of a flow of waste water from a privately owned pipe on the Boulevard Marechal-Juin. Water analysis is taking place and it's envisgaed that the prohibition will end at midday tomorrow if tests are normal.

Reports say that the man who was struck by the propellor of a boat in Villefranche-sur-Mer is out of a coma and his life is no longer in danger. The 55 year old suffered serious injuries to his thigh as he tried to get onto a boat from the water on 11 July.

The RD4 between Grasse and Cabris has been closed to traffic this afternoon after a truck carrying an excavator overturned at about 1pm. Firefighters as well as police and departmental road services have been at the scene. Nobody was injured and local traffic diversions have been put in place.

Two children were slightly injured after being struck by a vehicle in Antibes this morning. The incident occurred in a car park next to the A8 motorway junction. Although only suffering slight injuries, they were both taken to the Lenval Hospital in Nice as a precaution.

The night train from Nice to Paris is set to return to service. The announcement was made by French transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari during a statement announcing several billion euros of state aid for the SNCF. However, the Vice-President of the South Region, Philippe Tabarot said that the return of the night train may take two years because of technical factors. The train service was discontinued by Francois Hollande's government in 2016.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced a comprehensive plan aimed at decreasing youth unemployment.  6.5 billion euros will be spent over a two year period and will aim to give 4,000 euros to employers who hire a young person. The Prime Minister said that the scheme would lead to the recruitment of 450,000 people by January. The plan also relies on the signing of a large number of apprenticeship and professional training contracts and various training places and subsidised contracts.

 

BUSINESS

Sales at consumer goods maker Unilever dipped slightly in the second quarter. Sales fell by 0.3%, which is better than many analysts had been expecting. The company, which owns brands such as Lipton, Hellman's, Marmite, Domestos, Lynx and Dove soap and deodorants, said that sales of personal hygeine products fell in the quarter but ice cream and tea sales increased as lockdowns were put in place.

Australia has reported its biggest budget deficit since the Second Word War. For the year ended June 2020 the defecit was 85.8 billion Australian Dollars. Government Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that the defecit is predicted to grow to 184.5 billion this financial year.

Vehicle manufacturer Daimler has said that total sales decreased by 34% in the second quarter of this year. However, it added that it was now "seeing the first signs of a sales recovery" and it was experiencing strong demand for its top-end car models and also for electric vehicles.

In the UK, a newly released survey by the CBI shows that business sentiment stabilised in the three months to July, following a record fall in April. The survey of 356 manufacturing firms saw total new orders in the three months to July fall at their fastest pace since October 1980. Domestic orders and export orders declined at a record pace. However, the survey indicated that firms expect output to begin to recover in the coming months, marking the first time that manufacturers have anticipated output to grow since the COVID-19 crisis began.

Car manufacturer Lotus has announced the creation of a new technology centre. The centre, at the University of Warwick is expected to initially employ 130 engineers. The company already has an engineering team of some 500 people at its headquarters in Norfolk.


SPORT

Football... Villarreal have appointed Unai Emery as manager. The former Arsenal manager is joining the La Liga club on a three year deal.

Cricket... Jofra Archer has been included in the England squad for the final Test against the West Indies. Archer was dropped from the second Test for breaching Covid-19 protocols.

Cycling... Women's cycling team CCC-Liv have withdrawn from two races in Spain scheduled for tomorrow and Friday because of the coronavirus. The team said that the health risks are "too great". The riders are staying together in the protected team bubble in Spain and are still aiming to take part in a race on Sunday.

Rugby Union... Premiership Rugby has revealed details of potential disciplinary measure to be taken if teams or players breach coronavirus protocols. Clubs could be fined or deducted points or have individual players banned for breaches. The third round of coronavirus test results showed two players testing positive, which is a significant reduction on prior weeks.

 

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