Evening Update Wednesday 8 July 2020

Buses and trams will stop for one minute in Nice at 7.30pm this evening. Lignes d'Azur said it was inviting its employees to observe one minute's silence in tribute to a bus driver who was violently assaulted in Bayonne on the west coast of France on Sunday evening. The 58 year old is reported to be brain dead in hospital as a result of the assault. His faimily are staging a march in Bayonne at 7.30 this evening. Two people have been charged in connection with the incident. According to reports, the two were charged with attempted homicide, one other person has been charged with failure to assist a person in danger and a fourth person with concealment of a criminal.

Sante Publique France have published a new study which suggests that about a quarter of Covid-19 cases show no symptoms. The figure is much higher than previously thought. The agency today released a summary based on what it called "a quick and non-exhaustive selective search of the data available in literature on June 2". It said that 24.3% of infections "remain asymptomatic". It added that, as a result of analysing the data from contact tracing, it estimated that about half of coronavirus transmissions occur during the pre-symptomatic phase of the patient. It said that the period of contagiousness would be at a maximum from 2 to 3 days before and up to 8 days after the onset of symptoms. It said that contact tracing should therefore include "potential transmission events" in the 2 to 3 days before the appearance of symptoms.

A man has received a prison sentence after setting fire to a car in Frejus last weeekend. He had been in an argument with the owner of the car, a house painter from Lithuania who was on a job nearby. Authorities first spotted the blazing vehicle on security cameras and were able to identify the perpetrator.

A man has died outside a supermarket in Antibes this morning. The seventy year old apparently suffered a stroke near the entrance to the Carrefour supermarket at about 10am. Security officers and firefighters were quickly on the scene but the man didn't regain consciousness.

Traffic was severely disrupted on the Promenade des Anglais this morning after an accident near the airport. Delays affected the westbound carriageway near Les Bosquets.

The Lenval Hopsital in Nice have warned about a fraudulent text message which claims to come from the hospital. On its Facebook page the Lenval Foundation said that a text was circulating purporting to be about a hospital appointment and requiring a response to be made. The hospital pointed out that its SMS messages regarding appointments don't require any response from the recipient.

Two police officers have received prison sentences on appeal for the illegal and violent arrest of a refugee in Marseille. A 27 year old man from Afghanistan was detained and beaten by the officers on the Old Port of Marseille and subsequently dumped in a remote area of Châteauneuf-les-Martigues about 30km away. A third member of the CRS group received a suspended sentence.




UK bus and train operator FirstGroup has warned it faces an uncertain future as it announced annual losses of more than £150m.  The company warned about its ability to continue as a going concern although it said there is enough funding to get through the next year.

Clothing brand Boohoo has ordered an independent review of its UK supply chain following allegations of poor working conditions at a factory in Leicester. Next and Asos have dropped Boohoo goods from their stores amid claims workers were underpaid and not socially distancing. Boohoo said it was "shocked and appalled" by the allegations.

Auditor Ernst & Young has said that the future of AirAsia as a going concern is in “significant doubt”. Ernst & Young highlighted the airline’s large debts in a statement to the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange and said that the fall in demand for air travel had impacted the group's financial performance and cash flows. The airline’s founder and chief executive Tony Fernandes said that the coronavirus crisis was  "by far the biggest challenge" since the airline began in 2001. He said that the group had now been restructured "into a leaner and tighter ship". Air Asia is Asia's largest budget airline.

Uber has announced a tie up with London river bus service Thames Clippers. When the service launches later this summer, Thames Clipper's boats will be branded as "Uber Boats" and tickets will be sold via the Uber App as well as through existing sales channels.



Golf... This year's Ryder Cup has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was due to be held from 25-27 September in Wisconsin but has now been put back to 24-26 September 2021.

Motorsports... It's been confirmed that Fernando Alonso will be driving for the Renault Formula 1 team next season. Alonso, who turns 39 later this month, won the world championship twice with Renault, in 2005 and 2006. Alonso has signed for at least two years.

Cricket.. Rain delayed the start of the England against West Indies First Test this morning. Play got underway early this afternoon. Players from both teams as well as match officials took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before play began. The match is being played behind closed doors and is the first international cricket to take place since March.

Football...  Tottenham player Eric Dier has been given a four-match ban and fined £40,000 by the Football Association for climbing over seats to confront a fan. The incident happened after Spurs were knocked out of the FA Cup by Norwich in March. Dier was also warned about his future conduct by the FA.
In the English Premier League this evening Manchester City play Newcastle, Sheffield United face Wolves, it's West Ham against Burnley and Brighton play Liverpool.

Athletics... Australian Olympic snowboarder Alex Pullin has died while spearfishing in Queensland. Pullin was found unresponsive in the water and couldn't be revived.  Pullin had been part of the Austalian Olympic team three times and was Australia's flagbearer at the 2014 Winter Olympics.


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