Evening Update Monday 8 June 2020

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has said that he wants "zero tolerance against rascism" in the police force. Speaking this afternoon he said he had asked the national police and the gendarmerie directorates to put in place a policy whereby a suspension would be considered for each suspected "racist act or speech". He also said that a method of restraint by the neck would no longer be taught in police acadamies. At a meeting yesterday President Macron asked the Minister of the Interior and other members of the government to speed up their inquiries into issues of police ethics and rascism. The President had originally asked for this to be started in January after the yellow vest protests. President Macron has also asked the French Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet to look into the case of Adama Traore, who died whilst being arrested by police in July 2016.

French Minister of Labor Muriel Penicaud has said that the government will set up a long term partial unemployment scheme which could last one or two years. She said that some employees would have a reduction in working hours partially compensated by the state. The minister also said that more than 50,000 businesses will be contacted by the end of the summer to check on potential fraudulent use of the partial unemployment scheme.

The French government is urging employers to buy protective masks which have been made in France. Secretary of State for the Economy Agnès Pannier-Runacher said in an interview this morning that about ten percent of those businesses who converted to producing masks have stocks on their hands. About 450 French companies converted their production to masks in order to help with the health crisis, often at considerable cost. However, large quantities of masks have also been offered for sale from businesses abroad, particularly in China. A meeting is being held today involving French companies who have unsold stocks in order to attempt to resolve the situation.

One person has died after a shooting in Ajaccio in Corsica. The incident occurred at 10pm yesterday evening. Two men were shot on a restaurant terrace. The second man suffered injuries to his arm. Elsewhere on Corsica, a man in his twenties was shot in the Haute-Corse yesterday. He is in a serious condition in hospital.

There's been a serious road accident in La Garde-Freinet this afternoon. A motorcycle travelling on the D558 collided with a vehicle near the petrol station on the outskirts of the village. The motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital in Toulon and his passanger was taken to the health centre in Gassin.

In Paris, the final stage of the dismantling of damaged scaffolding around the spire of Notre Dame Cathederal got underway today. The scaffolding, weighing 200 tonnes, was in place when the church was damaged by a severe fire in April last year. The scaffolding melted and became deformed by the heat of the blaze and its remaoval marks a major step towards the restoration of the building. However, only emergency measures have been taken to stabalize the cathederal so far, with the actual restoration work only likely to start next year.

Meteo France have a yellow warning for storms in the Alpes Maritimes until about 8.00pm this evening. Those storms, including hail at times, are expected to affect parts of the coast as well as inland.

 

BUSINESS

BP has announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs which is about 15% of its workforce. In an e-mail to staff, Chief Executive Bernard Looney said that the oil price has "plunged well below the level" the company needs to make a profit.

The CEO of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, has said that UK quarantine rules are a a "political stunt". Speaking to the BBC, he claimed even the Home Office acknowledged the rules were unenforceable. However, he said those Ryanair flights scheduled for July will go ahead despite quarantine rules. New rules requiring virtually all people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days have come into effect today. Those arriving by plane, ferry or train, including UK nationals, must give an address where they will self-isolate. Breach of the rules could result in a fine of 1,000 pounds.

Germany suffered a record contraction in industrial output in April. Output shrank by 18% in the month, which is the largest fall since comparable records began in 1991.

Luxury goods maker Mulberry has announced that it is reducing its workforce by about one quarter. The company said it had started a consultation process with employees.


SPORT

Football... The English Football League has published the fixtures for the restart of Championship matches. The first game will be Fulham against Brentford on 20 June. The end of the season is scheduled for 22 July, with all matches being played behind closed doors.

In Spain, La Liga matches will be televised with a virtual crowds in the stands. Audio of fans will also be added. The visual and audio effects will reportedly feature on all international television feeds of matches, but domestic Spanish televsion will have the option of broadcasting accurate footage of matches being played with empty stands.

Rugby... Fans in New Zealand are going to be allowed back into stadiums to watch rugby matches. The country's health officials have declared that there are no known active cases of coronavirus in New Zealand and all restrictions except for border controls are being lifted. Super Rugby matches are scheduled to kick off this weekend.

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