Evening Update Wednesday 4 August 2021

The Regional Health Agency for the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur has announced that the so-called "white plan" has been put into operation in the region. The plan aims to free up capacity in hospitals for Covid-19 patients by cancelling non-urgent operations and bringing back staff who are on leave. The move follows the introduction of the white plan for hospitals in Corsica yesterday.

The Constitutional Council is due to deliver its decision tomorrow on the proposed legislation which extends the use of the health pass in France. A wide range of objections have been raised by those who oppose the extension. Socialist deputies have said that the proposed legislation is a "violation of the principle of equality before the law, of the freedom to come and go, the right to lead a normal family and social life, the freedom to conduct business". The health pass came into force for on 21 July for places of lesisure and culture admitting more than 50 people. If the Constitutional Council approves the bill, the use of the pass will be extended to all cafes, restaurants and fairs as well as long distance travel and also to shopping centres if authorized by the local prefect.

President Macron has said that France will provide 100 million euros of additional aid over the next 12 months to help the people of Lebanon. He added that  500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be sent over the next few weeks. The president was speaking at an international conference held via video link in support of the people of Lebanon one year after the explosion in the port of Beirut in which over 200 people lost their lives.

Four people have been arrested in a squat in Cannes in a joint municipal and national police operation this morning. The Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard said that the squat had been monitored after thefts and the four individuals were thought to be in an irregular situation and had been handed over to the court system.


BUSINESS

The number of passangers carried by Ryanair in July rose to 9.3 million from 5.3 million in June. The airline operated over 61,000 flights in July with an 80% load factor.

The volume of retail trade was up by 1.5% in the euro area in June compared with May according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Meanwhile, the eurozone economy has grown at the quickest rate since June 2006, according to a survey of purchasing managers. The IHS/Markit purchasing managers index rose to 60.2 in July to surpass June's 15-year high of 59.5. A similar survey in the UK has pointed to a slower expansion of the UK services sector in July than in June. Staff shortages and supply issues were linked to the slowdown. Meanwhile, input and output price inflation hit record highs. The French Services Sector survey showed another sharp expansion in business activity in July as rising new orders encouraged firms to boost their output and employment levels.

 

SPORT

Olympics...Canada's Andre de Grasse has taken gold in the 200m final. He had already won bronze in the 100m final on Sunday.

Italy broke their own world record to win the men's team pursuit cycling event for the first time in 61 years. Denmark won silver.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson is out of heptathlon after suffering a calf injury during the 200m.

In showjumping Ben Maher won individual gold.

Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre won a 470-class sailing gold medal.

13 year old Sky Brown has become Great Britain's youngest ever Olympic medal winner after winning a  bronze in the skateboarding.

The USA's Sydney McLaughlin took  gold in the women's 400m hurdles, breaking her own world record.

The Netherlands are through to the women's hockey final after beating Great Britain 5-1.

Tennis... Andy Murray has been given a wildcard to compete in the Cincinnati Masters. The tournament, which Murray won in 2008 and 2011, starts on 14 August.

Football... Louis van Gaal has been named head coach of the Netherlands. It's his third time in the role, having been in charge from 2000-2002 and from 2012-2014. He replaces Frank de Boer, who quit last month.

Aston Villa have signed Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen. He plays for Jamaica at national level. His new contract with Villa runs until 2025.

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