Evening Update Wednesday 25 August 2021

There have been demonstrations on Place Garibaldi in Nice this afternoon, protesting Mayor Christian Estrosi’s comments against welcoming Afghan refugees to the city. The Mayor evoked terrorist attacks in Nice as a reason for not welcoming people who are fleeing the Taliban.

A spokesperson for the protestors said the Mayors position was shameful and encouraged hatred which is already palpable in the city. She said the Mayor needs to realise there is a difference between refugees and terrorists, and the city of Nice should follow the example of Bordeaux, Lyon and Paris who are accepting Afghan exiles.

Meanwhile government spokesman Gabriel Attal has said France has established a ‘triple safety net’ to ensure that evacuated Afghans do not present security risks. This includes checks in Kabul, in Abu Dhabi and on their arrival in France. He added that France has so far evacuated 2,500 people from the airport at Kabul.

David Lisnard, the Mayor of Cannes, has confirmed his candidacy to lead the Association of Mayors for France. It follows the announcement that the current president François Baroin is to step down. Monsieur Baroin has nominated Lisnard as his chosen successor.

An application by French fire-fighters against compulsory vaccination against Covid has been rejected by the European Court of Human Rights. The court said the application was outside the scope of Article 39, which allows it to rule against an emergency procedure, when the applicants are exposed to a real risk of irreparable damage.

A British study is the latest to show that the effectiveness of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines decreases significantly after six months. Many countries now recommend a third ‘top-up’ dose, with France’s High Authority for Health recommending a booster for those over 65 years of age. These new injections should start mid-September.   

Eleven new magistrates are being sent to Marseilles, after a bloody summer which has seen a dozen people, including a 14 year-old boy, murdered in tit-for-tat drug-gang wars. Karine Sabourin, the vice-president of the city’s judicial court, described the settling of scores between gangs as apocalyptic where the current overload of the magistrates were unable to deal with the scale of the problem.

BUSINESS

The number of unemployed people in France declined again in the month of July, dropping 1.6% compared to June. It brings the total number of people looking for work to just under six million.

Credit Suisse, who are pushing ahead for a return to the office by October, has told unvaccinated employees in the US, to continue working from home until they receive a vaccination or new guidance. The Swiss banks Covid policy puts it in line with Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, who have all made employee vaccination obligatory for entry into offices in the United States.

Xiaomi’s second-quarter revenue has jumped 64% year-on-year as the company grew its share of the global smartphone market. US government sanctions against their rival Huawei has allowed Xiaomi to become the world’s second best-selling brand behind Samsung and ahead of Apple.

SPORT

Football - With less than seven days to go to the transfer deadline, Real Madrid have just made a €160m bid for Paris St Germain forward Kylian Mbappé. Since moving from AS Monaco to Paris in 2017, Mbappé has scored 133 goals in 174 games, and was instrumental in France’s last World Cup win. PSG have yet to respond to the offer.

England captain Harry Kane has confirmed he is to remain with Tottenham Hotspur after a move to Manchester City failed to materialise. Kane has three years remaining on his Spurs contract.

In Champions League, AS Monaco are set for the second leg of their match against Shakhtar Donetsk tonight. Last week the Ukrainians scored a key away goal to win the first leg 1-0 at State Louis II. However, they may have been just lucky, as Monaco dominated that game with 16 shots on goal compared to Shakhtar’s six. The game kicks off at 9pm this evening.

Tennis - Serena Williams has become the latest high-profile player to pull out of the upcoming US Open. This afternoon, the six-time champion said she needed time to allow her body to heal completely from a torn hamstring.  Williams joins defending men's champion Dominic Thiem, plus Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in pulling out of this year's Grand Slam which starts at Flushing Meadows in New York on Monday.

Meanwhile, in the run up to the US Open, Andy Murray has been knocked out of the Winston-Salem Open after being beaten 7-6 6-3 by the American Frances Tiafoe. French player Lucas Pouille is also out after a 3-6 6-4 6-1 win by Britain’s Dan Evans … who progresses to meet another Frenchman in the last 16 Richard Gasquet.

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