Evening Update Wednesday 12 August 2020

A woman is in police custody after firing a gun several times in the centre of Nice this afternoon. Authorities said that the woman in her fifties had fired three shots from a pistol loaded with gas cartridges in front of the police station on the Place Saetone, not far from the main railway station. Reports say that she also assaulted two police officers. She is now awaiting a psychiatric report.

There's been a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region. The latest weekly report from the Regional Health Agency indicates that there were 1,711 new cases in the past week, which is 792 more than the previous week. In the Alpes Maritimes, 55 people were hospitalised with the virus, which is 20 more than the previous week. The data from the agency also showed that there was a slight improvement in the number of people in intensive care with the virus in the Var, with only one person in intensive care in the latest week, which is two less than the previous week.

The Prefect of the Var has issued a decree making the wearing of masks compulsory in all open air markets in the department. The new measure comes into effect at 6am this Friday, August 14 and applies to everyone aged 11 and over, except people with an appropriate medical certificate. Those in breach of the decree are liable to a fine of 135 euros and up to 450 euros if it's a repeat offence within 15 days.

The body of a man in his thirties suffering from gunshot wounds has been found in Corsica. Police were alerted early this morning and found the man next to his car in a parking lot in Ota in the south of the island. An investigation has been opened for intentional homicide.

The heatwave is improving slightly in the north of France. Meteo France has this afternoon lifted the red alert level for heat which had been in place in 13 departments, incuding Paris. However, 44 departments in the north-east of France are still under an orange alert for high temperatures. 47 departments, mostly in the west of the country, are also on an orange alert for thunderstorms, which Meteo France says could include hail and high winds.

A French agricultural union has called for the release of emergency funds to help livestock farmers affected by drought. The Modef union asked for the release of funds at a national level and at EU level and also demanded action against the rising prices of hay and straw.

Nicolas Sarkozy is visiting Toulon today. The former French president is signing copes of his new book, Le Temps des Tempetes, at a store in the town, where queues had already formed this morning in advance of his arrival.

 

BUSINESS

Newly released figures show that the UK economy contracted by a record 20.4% in the April to June quarter compared to the first quarter of this year. It was the second quarter in a row of economic contraction and means the UK was in recession for the first time since 2009. The economy grew 8.7% in June compared to May as lockdown measures began to be eased. The contraction in the UK was the worst of any of the G7 nations during the quarter.

New Zealand's central bank has announced an expansion of its quantative easing programme. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said that its asset purchase scheme would be increased from 60 billion  to 100 billion New Zealand dollars.

Industrial production in the Eurozone increased by 9.1% in June, following an increase of 12.4% in May. However, industrial production still remains well below levels at the same time last year.

 

SPORT

Cycling... it's been announced that the UCI Road World Championships will not be taking place in Switzerland in September because the Swiss government has extended its restrictions on gatherings of more than 1,000 people to 1 October. The UCI said that it was still hoping to stage the event in September but at a different venue, if possible elsewhere in Europe.

Athletics... This year's Paris Marathon has been cancelled. The event was due to take place in November after being rescheduled twice from its original date in April. Organisers said they would now be working with authorities in Paris on a marathon to take place in 2021. The Paris Half Marathon, which was due to take place in October, has also been cancelled.

Football... Barcelona have revealed that one of their players has tested positive for Covid-19. The club said that the player, who hasn't been named, is asymptomatic and is in quarantine at home. Barcelona also said that he hadn't been in contact with any of the players who are due to play against Bayern Munich in the Champions League "final eight" in Lisbon on Friday.

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