Evening Update Wednesday 30 September 2020

An appeal against the closure of all bars and restaurants in Marseille for two weeks has been rejected by the Administrative Court this afternoon. The appeal had been brought by Renauld Muselier, the President of the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region and various restaurant owners. The closures were implemented as a result of the area being placed on "maximum alert" for the coronavirus, as announced by Health Minister Olivier Veran last Wednesday. The decree closing bars and restaurants in Aix-Marseille will therefore remain in force until 11 October. However, a review will take place after it has been in force for eight days. Reports say that a further appeal is planned to the Council of State.

The French government has announced the extension of partial unemployment until the end of this year. In an interview today Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne said that partial activity is being retained with zero charges for all protected sectors. She named culture, events and sports as examples of such sectors, in addition to the hotel and catering sectors for which an extension was announced yesterday.

Some of the drivers on the Marseille bus network have stopped work in support of a colleague who was attacked this morning. A driver on bus line 44 was attacked by a motorist during an argument in this morning's rush hour. Police were quickly on the scene and the alleged attacker was arrested. The bus driver was taken to hospital but his life isn't thought to be in danger.

The town hall in Antibes Juan-les-Pins has announced the closure of the stade nautique in Antibes as from today. The town hall said that the closure was being made pursuant to Monday's prefectural decree but added that the closure only affects users who are not supervised and the facility will therefore remain open to schools and clubs.

The Design and Arts Weekend scheduled to take place this weekend in Juan-les-Pins has been cancelled. Organisers have said that new dates for 2021 will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Monaco government has announced that it will make a contribution to the cost of renovation works in private dwellings. The allowance is intended to encourage individuals to carry out work in their homes, by calling on building professionals in the Principality.  The renovation bonus can be requested by tenants and/or owners aged over 65 who wish to carry out work on their housing in the Principality by using companies from Monaco. The amount is 20% of the total of the work, including tax, capped at € 2,000. The premium will be paid directly by the State to the company chosen by the individual, on presentation of the invoice. The scheme is aimed at supporting the Monaco economy.

Traders in Juan-les-Pins are holding a three day clearance sale this weekend. All participating merchants will offer their items outside in front of their store on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Wearing a mask is compulsory throughout the clearance sale area and inside the shops.

The French Department of the Interior has released statistics showing the work of firefighters in France. As at December 31 last year there were 253,000 firefighters in France and they carried out 4,819,900 interventions in the year. Traffic accidents accounted for 6% of call outs, fires for 7% and the rescue of victims or to offer help to individuals 79%.

Emergency service phone lines were jammed by a large volume of callers after a loud explosion-like noise was heard in Paris and across surrounding areas at about midday today. The Police Prefecture quickly took to social media to explain that the loud noise wasn't an explosion but had been caused by an airforce plane breaking the sound barrier.

 

BUSINESS

Oil company Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it plans to cut between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs. The company currently employs about 83,000 people. It plans to implement the cuts by 2022. The number of job losses includes 1,500 people who were taking voluntary redundancy.

Online fashion retailer Boohoo has announced a rise in first-half profits of 51%. Pre-tax profits increased to £68.1m in the six months to 31 August, up from £45.2m a year earlier. The increase comes despite controversy regarding the pay and working conditions of some workers involved in making its products.

UK bank TSB has said that it will close 164 branches and will cut 969 jobs. It will, however, create 120 new jobs. The bank said it had seen a shift to digital banking by its customers but said that it would still retain one of the largest branch networks in the UK.


SPORT

Tennis.. Serena Williams has withdrawn from the French Open ahead of her second-round match today. The three time champion said at a press conference this morning that she was suffering from an achilles injury and was struggling to walk. She said that it's not an acute injury, but wasn't sure that she would play in another tournament this year.

Tenth seed Victoria Azarenka is out of the French Open after being defeated by world number 161 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the second round. the final score was 6-2 6-2.

Fifth seed Kiki Bertens is through to the third round after defeating Sara Errani. Bertens suffered from severe cramp during the match and left the court in a wheelchair.

In the mens singles Stan Wawrinka beat Dominik Koepfer to go through to the third round.

Cricket... Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope and Dom Sibley have all received England Test central contracts for the first time. However, Jonny Bairstow hasn't been given a central contract but remains contracted for limited-overs matches. Tom Curran has been given a white-ball contract. The contracts run for 12 months from 1 October.

Football... Aston Villa have signed Ross Barkley from Chelsea on a season-long loan. The England player has been with Chelsea since 2018 and was previously with Everton.

There are four English League Cup ties tonight. Newport County play Newcastle, Burnley host Manchester City, Brighton play Manchester United and Everton play West Ham.

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