Evening Update Thursday 25 June 2020

The French Minister of Health, Olivier Veran, has announced a virological testing programme on what he called a "very large scale". He said that the aim is to identify possible "dormant clusters" of the coronavirus. Initially, tests will be offered to 1.3 million people in the Ile-de-France, who will each receive a voucher inviting them for a test. He said that the testing scheme could then be extended to other regions. The Minister added that "the peak of March to April is behind us but we are not finished with virus" and reminded people to "avoid large gatherings and risky behaviour".

President Macron has instructed an independent commission on the management of the coronavirus crisis to begin work. The group will spend six months examining decisions taken by the public authorities since the beginning of the epedemic. It is expected to publish a preliminary report in the autumn and a final report at the end of this year.

According to data released today by the Ministry of Labor and Pôle Emploi, the total number of unemployed people in all three categories of unemployment in France in May stood at 6,125,400, which is the highest figure since 1996. The Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region saw a slight decline in the number of registered jobseekers. The figure fell by 2.2% since last month. However, the number is still 31% more than a year ago. On a national level, as well as a local level, the number of job seekers without any activity fell slightly in the month of May, but there was a large increase in the number of unemployed in partial activity.

A man in his fifties died yesterday evening at a beach in Nice. The man was pulled from the water by a swimmer but firefighters were unable to revive the victim when they arrived at the scene on Carras beach in the west of the city. Meanwhile, a woman in her sixties was rescued from the sea in Hyeres this morning. She apparently lost consciousness whilst in the water. Rescuers were able to revive her and she was taken to the Sainte-Musse hospital.

A 21 year old has been rescued by helicopter after falling in the Esterel mountains near Saint-Raphael this morning. He was taken to hospital in Frejus suffering from a knee injury.

A man was taken to hospital yesterday evening after apparently being shot with a pellet from an air rifle. Reports say that the man in his sixties was eating a sandwich on the avenue Martin Luther King in the Moulins district of Nice when the incident happened. He wasn't seriously injured.

One person has been arrested in Marseille in possession of over 227,000 euros, suspected of being the proceeds of drug trafficking. He and a second person were stopped by police in the 3rd arrondissement when they ran a stop sign on their scooter. The whole incident was filmed by a TV crew making a documentary about the work of the police in Marseille.

A 70 year old from Six-Fours-Les-Plages is recovering after being lost for five days in the mounains of the Sainte-Baume Massif. Andre Treget set out on a hike last Thursday but lost his way. A helicopter search was launched but after five days with little to eat or drink he managed to retrace his steps to his starting point. He lost 3kg in weight and was taken to hospital but was discharged yesterday.

Simple Minds have postponed their concert which was due to take place in Monaco this summer. It was originally planned for August 7 at the Salle des Etoiles as part of the band's european tour but has now been postponed to July 23, 2021. Ticket holders are invited to contact the place where they bought their ticket for further information.

Meteo France have a Yellow warning for storms in the Alpes Maritimes until about 9pm this evening. Those storms are expected to be mostly inland.

 

BUSINESS

In the UK, Royal Mail has announced plans to cut 2,000 jobs. The job losses are part of a restructurig of management at the business. Royal Mail said that it aims to save about 130 million pounds in costs from next year and reduce capital expenditure by 300 million pounds. It said that it's business had not adapted quickly enough to market changes with more parcels and fewer letters being sent, and Covid-19 had accelerated those trends.

Chinese technology company Huawei has received planning approval for a 50,000 square metre site in Cambridgeshire for a research centre. The company is currently under a security review that could lead the UK government banning the use of its 5G network equipment. However, the local council said that "wider comments" could not be considered in the application.

German payments business Wirecard has filed an application to open insolvency proceedings. The company said that the move was due to "impending insolvency and over-indebtedness". The company announced last week that 1.9 billion euros was missing.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union... The dates for this year's Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals have been confirmed. The Champions Cup quarter-finals and semi-finals will be held in September. The final is scheduled for 17 October. The Challenge Cup quarter and semi finals will also be held in September, with the final in Marseille on 16 October. However, European Professional Club Rugby said that those dates will depend on travel restrictions and government guidance.

Talks are underway for an historic cross-code rugby match, according to New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson. The match between New Zealand rugby union's All Blacks and Australian Rugby League's Kangaroos could take place later this year.

Motorsports.. Formula 1 is setting up a foundation to fund apprenticeships and scholarships aimed at increasing diversity in the sport. The initial 1m dollars of funding is being provided personally by F1 chairman and chief executive Chase Carey, with other donations expected to follow from those inside and outside the sport.

Cricket... Jofra Archer is joining England's training group in Southampton today after testing negative for coronavirus. A member of his household felt unwell over the weekend but they later tested negative for the coronavirus. Archer himself had two negative tests and was allowed to join the group.

Football... Manchester Council's safety advisory group has said that Manchester City's match against Liverpool can take place at the Etihad Stadium next Thursday.

There are three games in the English Premier League tonight. Burnley play Watford. Southampton face Arsenal and Chelsea host Manchester City.

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