Evening Update Thursday 3 June 2021

The CEO of Orange has said that emergency service phone numbers are working normally after recent outages. Speaking on French television early this afternoon Stéphane Richard said that all emergency numbers throughout France are back to normal. However, Minister of Health Olivier Veran has said that some problems were still being experienced but not at the same magnitude as yesterday. Around midday today the Prefect of the Var said that the department was still experiencing problems with emergency numbers. Olivier Veran said that alternative numbers to access the emergency services will remain open until tomorrow.

The CEO of Orange met with government ministers this morning to take stock of the situation. He said that the outage could have been a software problem and there was no sign of it being an attack, but he said that the cause of the problem was not currently known.

Meanwhile, investigations have been opened in the Morbihan department in Brittany to establish if the death of a 63 year old man last night was releated to the problems accessing emergency numbers.

A man has been taken into police custody after barracading himself in a garden centre in the Bouches-du-Rhone and threatening to blow up the building this morning. About fifty people were evacuated from the garden centre in Senas between Aix-en-Provence and Avignon. About eight hundred premises in the vicinity had their electricity supplies cut and the nearby A7 motorway was closed in both directions as part of the police operation to deal with the incident. The motorway was reopened to traffic early this afternoon.

National strike action is being taken by civil service unions in France. The indstrial action is expected to affect many schools tomorrow, Friday June 4.

The Official Selection of films at this year's Cannes Film Festival has been unveiled. The 61 films include movies directed by Sean Penn, Wes Anderson and Australian director Justin Kurzel. This year's festival is taking place from July 6 to 17, having been postponed from its usual time in May because of the pandemic.

A women's rights march is taking place in the centre of Nice this Saturday. Organizers say that about 5,000 people are expected to attend the demonstration, many travelling from other areas of France and other parts of Europe. It's  scheduled to begin at 11.00am at the Place Massena.

 

BUSINESS

New data shows that there was a large decrease in footfall on UK high streets and shopping centres in May. The decline is partly being blamed on bad weather and limitations on dining capacity in indoor venues because of Covid-19 restrictions. Analysis by retail data company Springboard showed footfall down by 36.3% on high streets compared with May 2019 before the pandemic, followed by shopping centres with a fall of 30.3% and retail parks down by 5.7%.

However, other data released today, by IHSMarkit, suggests that the UK service sector saw the strongest expansion in 24 years in May. Firms continued to add to their staffing levels, while cost pressures remained evident. The services sector in the Eurozone also grew significantly.
David Beckham has become an investor in vehicle electrification company Lunaz. The company, which converts classic cars from manufacturers such as Bentley and Roll-Royce to run on electric power, is expanding into remanufacturing and electrifying industrial and commercial vehicles.

 

SPORT

Tennis... World number one Ashleigh Barty has retired from the French Open because of an injury. Barty was playing against Polish player Magda Linette when she left the court with the score at 2 games all in the second set. She had lost the first set 6-1. Amongst the other matches at Rolland Garros today, Elina Svitolina beat Ann Li 6-0  6-4. Sofia Kenin defeated Hailey Baptiste. In the men's singles Gael Monfils is out of the tournament after being defeated by Swedish player Mikael Ymer.  Matteo Berrettini is through to the third round after beating Federico Coria. Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Aslan Karatsev and Diego Schwartzman defeated Aljaž Bedene.

Olympics... The president of the Tokyo 2020 games has said that she's "100%" certain the Olympics will go ahead, but said that the Games "must be prepared" to proceed without spectators in the event of a coronavirus outbreak. Speaking to the BBC, Seiko Hashimoto said that they are trying to create "as complete a bubble situation as possible so we can create a safe and secure space for people who come in from overseas as well as people who are in Japan." The Olympics are scheduled to begin on 23 July.

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