Evening Update 04 Aug

The Director General for Health has said that, for the first time since May, the number of Corona virus cases in intensive care is increasing. Locally a new cluster has been declared in the Gulf de St-Tropez were 18 people have tested positive. A new case has also been reported in Monaco with a resident who reportedly caught it from outside of the Principality.

The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has promised to come down hard and close bars and restaurants who fail to comply with social distancing measures. The warning comes on the heels of new rules making masks obligatory in main outdoor areas of the city from the train station down to the Promenade des Anglais.

Meanwhile in Northern France, a father-of-two is recovering after being assaulted when he asked three customers to wear masks in his laundrette.

Soldier patrols have been re-introduced along the coast from Théoule-sur-mer up to Cagnes-sur-mer. The measure is in place just until the end of August to complement the existing police force and keep the area secure. The Mayor of Cagnes-sur-mer has welcomed the move saying their presence has a dissuasive but positive presence.

President Macron took some time out of his holiday in the Var to visit elderly residents and their carers in Toulon this morning. He told press that people who wish to live out their old age at home, should be allowed to do so for as long as possible. To help that he announced the state would release €80m to help pay home helpers for their work.

ATM cash machines are slowly disappearing from France according to a report out today from the Minister of Economy. Currently there are 50,000 ATM’s across the country compared to almost 60,000 in 2015. The report says the drop is due to increasing use of online banking and contactless card payments.

BUSINESS

EU antitrust regulators have opened a new investigation into Google’s $2.1 billion bid for fitness tracker Fitbit saying the deal would further entrench the company’s clout in the online advertising markets. The EU say a pledge by Google not to use Fitbit’s data for advertising was insufficient.

Easyjet is expanding UK based operations to cope with increasing demand from holiday makers. The airline had expected to operate at just 30% of its normal capacity, but is expanding its schedule to 40% as more people look to escape lockdown.

Microsoft have been given 45 days by Donald Trump to buy the Chinese app Tik Tok or he will ban it from the US. The American President also said the government should receive a substantial cut from the sale if it goes ahead. Wall Street is expected to pull back today as tensions rise while the world slips into recession.

SPORT

Football - AS Monaco have completed a €14m deal with Reims for for French central defender Axel Disasi. There was intense competition to sign the 22 year-old between Monaco and UK premiere club Arsenal.

Fans are getting set for a frenzy of European matches as the Champions League and Europa league get to the semi-final stages following a five month shutdown from Corona virus. 26 games over two and a half weeks promise a feast of football with Juventus' five-time Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, four times a winner with Barcelona, both featuring.

Rugby - The Allianz Riviera Stadium is to host the semi-finals of the Rugby Top 14 in two years time. The games will take place on June 19th and 20th, 2022.

Tennis - Tour level games resumed today after a five month break with the beginning of the Palermo Ladies Open in Italy. About 1,500 fans watch sixth-seed
Donna Vekic beat Arantxa Rus 6-1 6-2 in the first official match for men or women since early March.

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