Evening Update Tuesday 29 December 2020

The Conseil du Commerce de France, which represents various federations of French traders, has said that twenty to thirty per cent of traders in non-essential sectors will have difficulty reopening and continuing with their activities. Speaking to French media this morning, the organization's president said that this was particularly the case for those businesses involved in selling clothing. He added that although revenue for the week when Black Friday took place at the end of November was good, revenue in December didn't compensate for lost revenue in November.

A French government defence council meeting was held this morning by videoconference, but the government isn't expected to make new announcements until January. Reports say that during the meeting representatives from the Grand Est region which has suffered badly during the pandemic were calling for extra local measures to be introduced.

Antibes Juan les Pins has released its weekly figures for Covid-19 at the Hospital Center. In the period from December 21 to 27, there were 36 hospitalized patients including 4 in intensive care. There were 4 deaths of patients ranging in age from 50 to 91 years old.

Sante Publique France has launched a new area on its vaccination website to provide information to the public about coronavirus vaccines. The site now provides details of the available coronavirus vaccines as well as information on possible side effects and a wide range of other vaccine information. The website address is www.https://vaccination-info-service.fr

The bodies of two people have been found in a burning car near Marseille. Authorities were called to a tunnel under the A55 motorway about 13km north-west of Marseille in the early hours of this morning. Investigations are ongoing but it's believed that it may be a settling of accounts in the criminal world.

Also in Marseille, a police officer is reportedly in hospital after being dragged several metres by a car he was checking yesterday afternoon on the Boulevard de la Liberation in the centre of the city.

Two elderly people have been injured in an explosion at their property in la Seyne sur Mer this morning. Local reports say that the cause may have been a gas leak.

The Prefect of the Var is reminding people that reserves of blood are declining and donations are needed. The Etablissement Français du Sang says that it lost almost 10,000 donations last week with the holidays, yet the need for blood remains constant.

Legendary French fashion designer Pierre Cardin has died at the age of 98. His family announced that he had passed away in hospital in Paris this morning. Cardin was born near Treviso in Italy in July 1922 and founded his eponymous fashion house in 1950, going on to achieve worldwide success. Paying tribute this afternoon, Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said that Pierre Cardin was "a visionary entrepreneur" and "a formidable ambassador for France".



The Nikkei 225 in Japan closed at its highest level in over 30 years on Tuesday, rising by 2.7% to close at 27,568. However, the index is still below its all-time high reached in late December 1989.

The FTSE100 index in London also rose earlier today on the first day the market was open following the announcement of a Brexit Trade deal on Christmas Eve.

UK chip make Graphcore has raised 222 million dollars from investors, valuing the company at 2.8 billion dollars. Graphcore creates chips designed for Artificial Intelligence computing.



Football... Paris Saint Germain have announced that the contract of manager Thomas Tuchel has been "terminated". He became manager in June 2018 and his contract was due to expire at the end of this season. Reports say that former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is the main contender to take over as manager.

In tonight’s Premier League games, Brighton play Arsenal, Burnley face Sheffield United, Southampton are at home to West Ham, West Brom play Leeds and Manchester United play Wolves.

Cricket... South Africa have beaten Sri Lanka by an innings and 45 runs in the first Test of the two-match series. The final Test starts on 3 January in Johannesburg.

India have beaten Australia by eight wickets in the second Test in Melbourne to level the series. Australia were bowled out for 200, leaving India needing only 70 runs to win.

New Zealand's Tim Southee has taken his 300th Test wicket in the first Test against Pakistan. Pakistan ended day four on 71-3 seeking 373 for victory. Southee is the third New Zealand player to take 300 Test wickets, the other two being Richard Hadlee and Daniel Vettori.

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