French and Riviera News Friday 26th June 2020

Teenager drowns - A 14-year-old boy has drowned in a river in Sorgues in the Vaucluse. Emergency services intervened shortly after 4pm in Thursday but were unable to save the teenager who was at the time swimming with friends. Police have launched an investigation to determine the exact circumstances.

Bus catches fire - A bus has caught fire on the RM 6202, near Saint-Jeannet. The incident occurred on Thursday afternoon. Traffic was disrupted in both directions as firefighters intervened managing to prevent the flames from spreading.

All passengers along with the driver managed to evacuate the vehicle, no injuries were reported.

Large scale testing for coronavirus - The French government has announced plans to launch "large scale" coronavirus testing in the greater Paris region. The move comes in an attempt to identify possible coronavirus clusters.

France’s current ‘test and trace’ system offers tests, on prescription, to people with possible Covid-19 symptoms, or those who had been in contact with a sick person.

Under the new scheme, even those who display no symptoms would be able to be tested.

Professor Didier Raoult - Meanwhile at a parliament hearing on Wednesday the head of the university hospital in Marseille Didier Raoult has denounced the French government's ‘archaic’ virus testing as well as the ban on an anti-malarial drug to treat Covid-19 patients.

The doctor, who advocates the use of hydroxychloroquine to combat Covid-19, accused his critics of a conflict of interest with pharmaceutical companies.

Professor Raoult was quizzed by lawmakers for over three hours, as they sought to evaluate the government’s handling of the health crisis and Raoult’s role in it.

Tour de France - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, has confirmed that the second stage of the Tour de France will take place on September 6th passing through Saint Martin, Turini and Eze.

It’s the first time that this stage of the race will take place in the region with more than 10,000 cyclists expected to take part.

The Alpes Maritimes and the Var – Figures have shown that the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var are the most popular destinations in France this summer. The two regions come top of list for the most reserved destinations in France on online rental platforms.

Concert cancelled - Simple Minds have postponed their concert which was due to take place in Monaco this summer. It was originally planned for August 7 at the Salle des Etoiles as part of the band's European tour but has now been postponed to July 23, 2021. Ticket holders are invited to contact the place where they bought their ticket for further information.

Business

The US Federal Reserve has warned that America’s banks could be hit by losses of up to 700 billion dollars in a severe downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The central bank said that it would require banks to put money aside to guard against the risks.

The Fed said that it was introducing a ban on share repurchases and would limit dividend payments until at least October.

The US central bank said that the measures are intended  to preserve the high levels of capital in the banking system and to guard against the high level of uncertainty in the current crisis.

The announcement came as the Fed released the results of its latest stress tests on banks which were set up after the financial crisis of 2008.

In a scenario where the unemployment rate climbed to 19.5 percent ,the country’s largest 33 banks could face losses totaling 700 billion dollars.

The Fed did not say how individual banks fared under the simulation.

 

The payments firm Wirecard has collapsed with debts of some 4 billion euros after disclosing a gaping black hole in its finances that the auditor EY says was the result of a “sophisticated global fraud”.

Wirecard filed for insolvency at a Munich court on Thursday saying that 1.3 billion euros of loans due this week could not be assured.

The development comes just a week after EY refused to sign off on its accounts leading to the firm admitting that 2.1 billion euros of its cash “probably didn’t exist”.

EY said that while completing Wirecard’s 2019 audit ,it was provided with false confirmations with regard to escrow accounts and reported them to the relevant authorities.

Wirecard is the first member of the DAX stock index to go bust ,barely two years after gaining a spot in Germany’s top 30 companies.

 

And-The US telecoms operator Verizon has joined a boycott on Facebook advertising over the social media giant’s handling of controversial posts.

The firm joins Ben and Jerry’s ,Patagonia and the North Face in the protest.

In a statement ,Verizon said that “Our brand safety standards haven’t changed and we’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we’ve done with YouTube and other partners”.

Verizon is thought to be the largest firm so far to join the Stop Hate for Profit campaign.

Facebook said that it remained committed to removing hate speech from its platforms which also include Instagram and WhatsApp.

Sport

Football-Liverpool have secured their first English League title for 30 years without kicking a ball as nearest rivals Manchester City were beaten 2-1 at Chelsea last night.

It’s Liverpool’s 19th top flight title and their first since the Premier League was formed.

Thousands of fans congregated outside Anfield to celebrate despite being urged to stay at home by the city’s mayor.

Manager Jurgen Klopp said that winning the title was “unbelievable” adding that it was quite an achievement given the three month break because of the coronavirus.

 

In last night’s other games Burnley beat Watford 1-0 and Southampton lost 2-0 at home to Arsenal.

 

There’s one game in the English Championship tonight.Brentford play West Brom.

 

It’s FA Cup quarter finals weekend in England.Norwich play Manchester United tomorrow and on Sunday Sheffield United play Arsenal.Leicester host Chelsea and Newcastle play Manchester City.

 

There are only two games in the English Premier League this weekend.Aston Villa play Wolves tomorrow and Watford play Southampton on Sunday.Crystal Palace play Burnley on Monday.

 

Cricket-West Indies coach Phil Simmons says there are no injury concerns over skipper Jason Holder who took little part in their first warm-up game ahead of the Test series against England.

Holder has a slight ankle niggle but is expected to play in the next 4 day warm-up game.

 

Golf-Mackenzie Hughes of Canada leads after the first round of the Travelers Championship following a 60 ten under par.

Hughes narrowly missed out on a round of 59 and leads by 3 shots from Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffle.

Phil Mickleson and Sergio Garcia are on 6 under.

The event at Cromwell ,Connecticut went ahead despite one player and two caddies testing positive for coronavirus.

 

Weather 

Clear skies in coastal areas-some thundery showers inland this afternoon and light variable or south easterly winds.

Top temperatures 27 degrees in coastal areas 30 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 20 degrees on the coast and 17 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Partially cloudy with some afternoon showers inland.Highs of 26-30 degrees.

 

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