Evening Update Thursday 30 January 2020

A quarantine centre is to be opened in the Bouche du Rhone for individuals being repatriated from China because of the coronavirus outbreak. Reports say that returnees will be held at a holiday center in Carry-le-Rouet for 14 days. About 300 French citizens are due to be repatriated from China on Friday night. It’s also reported that another quarantine centre will be opened near Aix-en-Provence in due course. Meanwhile, Air France has announced that it has suspended flights to and from mainland China until the 9th of February. The airline said that it will operate special flights to and from Shanghai and Beijing with volunteer crews to ensure the return of its customers and employees.

Doctors and pharmacists in our region have called for “calm” telling worried members of the public “that there is no reason to wear masks” due to the recent coronavirus outbreak. The main concern of health professionals in the Alpes-Maritimes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d´Azur is the seasonal flu. Each year, the seasonal flu kills nearly 10,000 people in France. The Monaco health department has released information regarding the coronavirus, describing those people who are at risk from the virus and giving instructions and contact information - you can find that release in the News section of the Riviera Radio website.

Over two hundred businesses in our region are set to benefit from a fund set up to help those affected by the floods in late November and early December last year. Almost half of the three million euro fund set up by the PACA region will be distributed to 237 businesses in the Alpes-Maritimes, Var and Vaucluse departments.

A fire broke out in an abandoned villa in Vallauris this morning. The fire, at the property on Chemin de la Colle was quickly brought under control by pompiers. It’s not currently known how the fire started.

The European Court of Human Rights has criticized the overcrowding of French prisons. The French government was ordered to pay half a million euros in a case brought by a group of prisoners, including some who were in prison in Nice. The court recommended that the French government take steps to reduce overcrowding, but didn’t compel the government to take action, as it has done in a recent case against the Italian government.  

The French treasury is considering European plans to phase out one and two-cent coins in the coming years. A new work programme by the European Commission has included plans to phase out the coins across the eurozone. The plan was first put forward in 2013 and has now been raised again by the President of the European Commission.

 

BUSINESS

The Bank of England has held interest rates at 0.75%. In Mark Carney's final interest rate meeting as governor, the Monetary Policy Committee voted 7-2 to keep rates unchanged.

UK car production sank to its lowest in almost a decade in 2019. Data from industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that UK car factories produced 1.3 million units last year, down 14.2% on the 2018 figure and the third consecutive year of decline. The body blamed structural changes in the industry, Brexit uncertainty, and weak exports.

Unilever has announced its slowest quarterly growth in a decade. The firm said its sales in the final three months of 2019 were up 1.5%. However, it said it expected a stronger performance in 2020. Unilever said it is reviewing all options for its tea business in the light of changing consumer tastes, including a partial or full sale. Unilever’s tea brands include PG Tips and Lipton.

 

SPORT

Tennis…. Novak Djokovic is through to the Australian Open men’s final after beating Roger Federer. The final score was 7-6 6-4 6-3. Meanwhile Garbine Muguruza beat Simona Halep 7-6  7-5 to reach the women’s final.

Rugby Union… Six Nations news - George North will start at outside centre in the Wales match against Italy, with uncapped Johnny McNicholl taking his place on the wing. This will be North's 92nd Test. Meanwhile, Edinburgh player Nick Haining will make his Scotland debut against Ireland on Saturday. The starting XV has 10 changes from the one that faced Japan in Scotland's final match of the Rugby World Cup.

Motorsports…Formula 1 says that it’s monitoring the outbreak of the Coronavirus in China and is in close contact with the organisers of the Chinese Grand Prix. The race is due to take place in April and Formula 1 says that it’s waiting to see how the situation develops. The last Grand Prix to be cancelled as a result of an emergency situation in the host country was the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2011 after protests erupted as part of the Arab Spring.

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