Evening Update Tuesday 7 July 2020

Results from the free covid-19 testing programme in Nice have shown that only about 1.3% of participants had suffered from the coronavirus. The free  serological  screening programme was available from 10 June to the 4 July and 53,000 people were tested. Anthony Borré, the First Deputy Mayor Nice said that the 1.3% positive rate showed that Nice was "very little affected" and attributed this to the respecting of the confinement rules and the town hall's attentiveness to enforcing strict distancing rules.

The Regional Health Agency has released its weekly update of coronavirus statistics this afternoon. There have been no further deaths from the virus in the Alpes Maritimes in the week. There are currently 33 people in hospital with the virus in the department. Only one person is in intensive care. In the Var, one person has died from the virus during the week. As in the Alpes Maritimes, the number of people in hospital has been slowly declining in recent weeks, with 87 hospitalised. Four people are in intensive care in the Var.

A kayaker missing off the coast of the Var has been located safe and well. The man was reported missing by his employer late last night and an air and sea rescue operation was launched, which included a French Navy helicopter. However, the kayaker had taken refuge in a cove because of strong winds and his phone had stopped working. He was able to return to land at about 5am this morning.

A 64 year old grandfather from Nice has been jailed for 3 years with 18 months suspended for drugs offences. Police who raided the man’s apartment in Nice discovered 225 grams of cocaine along with precision scales and 820 euros in cash. He admitted to selling small amounts of cocaine to “pay for his food and rent” but said that he had “been looking after the drugs for someone else”.

Traffic was disrupted in central Nice early this afternoon after an accident on the Voie Mathis. The incident, which happened just after 1.30pm on the side of the road towards the Acroplis, had a knock-on effect on traffic in surrounding areas incuding the Promenade des Anglais.

A motorbike rider was seriously injured in an accident on the A50 motorway this lunchtime. Traffic was severely disrupted in the direction towards Marseille.

A brush fire broke out in La Trinite late last night, consuming about 100 square metres of undergrowth. The blaze was brought under control by a dozen firefighters and there were no injuries.

Four people suspected of involvement in an attack on a bus driver in western France have had their detention in police custody extended. The 58 year old bus driver was attacked on Sunday evening in Bayonne and is reportedly brain dead in hospital. Bus drivers on the same network as the victim have suspended work. A march is reportedly being planned by the man's family.

A judicial investigation has been opened concerning former French Prime Minister Edourd Philippe and ministers Agnes Buzyn and Olivier Veran. The investigation is in to their management of  the coronavirus pandemic and whether they "abstained from fighting a disaster" under French law. Ninety complaints have reportedly been filed against members of the French government regarding their handling of the pandemic.
 

BUSINESS

The European Commission has forecast that EU economies will contract by 8.3% this year and then grow by 5.8% next year . It said that French GDP is expected to fall by 10.6% this year. The German economy is expected to contract by 6.3% according to the Commission.

Video App TikTok has said it will quit Hong Kong after China imposed a new security law on the city. Reports say that the company's exit from Hong Kong will happen "within days". The controversial national security law in Hong Kong has given Chinese authorities sweeping new powers, raising concerns about data privacy.

UK newspaper and magazine owner Reach has announced plans to cut 550 jobs, which is about 12% of its workforce. The company owns titles including the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Star as well as OK! Magazine and various regional newspapers.  Revenue fell almost 30% in the quarter to June. Reach said it would achieve annualised savings of £35m through the job losses and by other means.


SPORT

Football... There are three games in the English Premier League tonight. Crystal Palace play Chelsea, Watford host Norwich and Arsenal play Leicester.

Tennis... The ATP has announced a revised system for calculating the men's tennis world rankings. The rankings have been determined by a player's best 18 results over a 12-month period but this will now be extended to 22 months.

American Football... Patrick Mahomes has signed a 10-year contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs. Although details haven't been released, reports say that the deal could be worth up to $503m. If so, it would be the biggest contract in the history of North American team sports and will keep the player at the Chiefs until 2031.

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