Evening Update Wednesday 26 February 2020

It’s been announced that the Nice Carnaval and the Menton Lemon Festival have both been cancelled as a preventative measure because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Battle of Flowers and the night parade as part of the Carnival on Saturday are cancelled. Reports say that the traditional burning of the king will take place on Sunday evening but only with a small group of people. The Battle of Flowers scheduled to take part this afternoon as part of the Carnaval was already cancelled because of high winds. If you have tickets to the Carnaval you can get further information on the website http://www.nicecarnaval.com  The mayor of Menton, Jean-Claude Guibal, said that he was saddened by the cancellation of the Lemon Festival. The parades planned in Menton this Thursday evening and on Sunday afternoon are cancelled and the exhibitions and the orchid fair are also being closed.

The Nice University Hospital has said that five suspected coronavirus cases have been treated at l'Archet hospital. They have been tested for the coronavirus and the results are expected later today.

Meanwhile, in Italy, three more people have tested positive for the virus in Liguria. The three had all been staying in the same hotel in Alassio. A 70 year old tourist who was staying in the hotel also tested positive for the virus yesterday. Over 120 people have been quarantined in two hotels in Alassio since Monday.

Firefighters in the Var have attended numerous calls for assistance this afternoon because of the high winds affecting the department. Emergency work carried out included dealing with fallen or dangerous trees and the securing of materials which had fallen onto roads. Lifeguards were also called out to rescue a windsurfer about 200 metres off the coast. Gusts of 127km per hour were recorded at Vidauban this afternoon with 113km per hour in Saint-Mandrier and 114km per hour recorded in Saint-Raphaël.

An apartment in the centre of Nice was destroyed by fire late last night. The fire broke out on the fourth floor of a five storey building on rue Trachel. Firefighters stopped the blaze from spreading to nearby properties but seven people have had to be rehoused by the town hall.

A couple and their Yorkshire terrier have been rescued from their sailboat by a Navy helicopter. As weather conditions worsened on Tuesday evening the rescue team intervened at around 5pm 80km off the coastline of Toulon in the Var. The couple were airlifted and taken to hospital in Hyères.

 

BUSINESS

Drinks maker Diageo has said that the coronavirus could cost it £200m in lost earnings this year. Miner Rio Tinto warned the virus could hit its operations in the next six months. Food group Danone also cut its 2020 forecast for sales, blaming the outbreak and reduced global growth. Meanwhile, US oil company Chevron has said it is closing its London office in Canary Wharf over coronavirus fears and has asked staff to work from home.

Samsung is the latest company to make a charitable donation to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. It said that it would give 23 billion won (that’s about $18.9m) to "support relief efforts for individuals and communities" affected by Covid-19. Several other multinational businesses including Microsoft, Dell and Cargill have already donated, along with Chinese company Alibaba.

Lloyds Banking Group has confirmed it will cut the equivalent of 780 full-time jobs this year across its branch network. Among the roles to go are customer advisers, banking consultants and branch managers. Also, UK insurance company Direct Line has revealed plans for 800 job losses across various sites between 2021 and 2022. The company blamed changing customer behaviour.

UK housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has reported a 6.4% rise in revenue to £4.3bn. however, underlying profit before tax fell by 4.1%.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union...The Ireland against Italy Six Nations games scheduled for the 7 and 8 March have been postponed because of the coronavirus. Irish Health Minister Simon Harris met with the Irish Rugby Football Union this morning and a statement followed confirming the postponements. The Ireland's men were scheduled to face Italy at the Aviva Stadium on 7 March before the women's game the following day in Dublin. The under-20’s game on 6 March has also been postponed.

Football... Manchester City's appeal against their two-year ban from European club competition has been registered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Premier League champions were also fined 30m euros for "serious breaches" of Uefa's financial regulations. CAS arbitration procedures involve an exchange of written submissions between the parties with a panel of arbitrators being convened to hear the appeal.

Winter Sports.... The women's World Cup alpine skiing races in Italy will go ahead but be scaled back. Reports say that a limited number of spectators will be allowed to attend in La Thuile, between Turin and the Swiss border.

Cricket.... Pakistan have beaten West Indies by eight wickets in the Women's T20 World Cup in Canberra. England also beat Thailand by 98 runs.

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