Evening Update Wednesday 11 November 2020

Armistice Day ceremonies have been held today in towns and villages across the Cote d'Azur, including in Antibes, Cannes, Lantosque, Draguignan and Brignoles.The Prefect of the Var, Evince Richard, led a tribute at the Place Gabriel Peri in Toulon. In Roquebilliere a ceremony was held on the ground where the village's war memorial stood before it was swept away in the floods of Storm Alex. Xavier Pelletier, the Prefect's delegate in charge of the reconstruction of the valleys, attended a ceremony in the village of Fontan in the Roya Valley which was also badly affected by the storm.

In Paris, President Macron laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier and at the statute of former French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau. The president is expected to give an Armistice Day address this evening. Many ceremonies across France were attended by a limited number of people because of coronavirus restrictions.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has called for the establishment of a national curfew from 8pm to 6am. He said that this should be in addition to current confinement measures in order to limit "social interaction". He also announced that more police checks on confinement would be carried out over the coming weeks.

Local football club OGC Nice has closed its training centre until further notice because of a coronavirus outbreak. The club said that more than a dozen players and members of the professional squad's backroom team have tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result it has closed the Academy and the first-team squad's area of the premises. Reopening is planned for the start of next week after more tests.

The association Medecins sans Frontieres is launching a recruitment drive to provide medical staff to nursing homes. The association said that during the first wave of the epidemic nursing homes proved to be particularly vulnerable and accounted for nearly half of the deaths in France. It is now asking for doctors, nurses and psychologists who want to take part in providing additional support in nursing homes.

A French government minister has said that non-essential businesses won't be able to reopen "at this stage". Marc Fesneau said that the aim is to avoid physical interactions and "when we go to a shop we have physical interactions". The subject of the possible reopening of non-essential businesses is expected to be discussed at a Defence Council meeting tomorrow morning. Prime Minister Jean Castex is scheduled to give an update on the coronavirus situation at 6pm tomorrow.

There has been a sharp drop in the number of people who lost their lives on French roads in October compared to the same month in 2019. 199 people died in the month compared to 257 in the previous year. The figures from French government agency Securite Routiere also show a reduction in injuries, with 5,455 people being injured compared with 6,493 in October 2019.


BUSINESS

The Chinese government has proposed new regulations aimed at controlling some of the activities of large tech companies. China's State Administration for Market Regulation issued the draft rules which aim to control anti-competitive behaviour in the tech sector. The government intervention triggered a sell off in the shares of many large Chinese tech companies, with the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong falling by 5.6% today.

The UK government has announced plans to introduce a bill to parliament which will give it increased powers to block foreign takeovers of UK firms if they threaten national security. Companies from any country which plan a takeover in 17 security sensitive sectors would be required to tell the UK government their plans.

Engineering company Rolls-Royce has said that its proposed nuclear power stations will create 6,000 UK jobs by 2025 and 40,000 in 15 years. The company is part of a consortium which is proposing 16 small modular reactor power stations to be built over the next 20 years. Most of the power station components would be made in factories in the Midlands and North of England, before being transported to existing nuclear sites around the country for rapid assembly inside weatherproof canopies. The UK government has yet to give approval to the proposals.

Guinness has issued a recall for the non-alcoholic version of its famous stout. Guinness described the recall as "precautionary" but said "microbiological contamination" might mean some products were unsafe. The company urged anyone with cans of Guinness 0.0 not to drink them. No other Guinness drinks have been recalled.
 

SPORT

Cycling... Dylan Groenewegen has been banned for nine months for causing the crash that left Fabio Jakobsen in a coma at the Tour of Poland. The UCI said he would also take part in a number of events to the "benefit of the cycling community".

Cricket... In New Zealand, West Indies players have been banned from training and confined to their hotel rooms  after breaching quarantine regulations. West Indies are scheduled to play three Twenty20 internationals and two Test matches, starting with a T20 on 27 November.

Rugby League... In Australia, New South Wales have beaten Queensland in the State of Origin series. The final score was 34-10. There'll now be a deciding match in Brisbane on 18 November.  

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