French and Riviera News Monday 16th November 2020

News

Shots fired in Saint Roch - Police have been deployed and line 1 of the tramway in Nice came to a standstill in the Saint-Roch district after shots were fired on Sunday morning.

The area was cordoned off after a dispute between neighbours led to shots being fired.

A 67-year-old man was taken to hospital and police have opened an investigation to determine the exact circumstances.

Demonstrations against Covid-19 lockdown measures - Local traders in Nice have demonstrated against Covid-19 restrictions which they say are “killing their businesses”. At the weekend 1,500 people gathered at Place Garibaldi in Nice.

Restaurant owners denounced the decision to close bars and restaurants despite many respecting “barrier gestures” and accusing the government of taking the decision despite “little, if any data, to prove that cases of contamination were more frequent in bars and restaurants than elsewhere”.

Churchgoers gather calling for the resumption of religious services - Meanwhile churchgoers also gathered in front of the Notre-Dame church in Nice on Sunday demanding the resumption of religious services which have been banned to the public since the introduction of lockdown on October 30th.

250 worshipers gathered to demonstrate peacefully in Nice as several similar demonstrations took place in front of churches across France.

Since lockdown churches have effectively remained open, but ceremonies with the public are prohibited due to health restrictions.

On a national level a petition launched on the website pourlamesse.fr has go far gathered over 100,000 signatures.

France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex is to meet this morning with religious representatives in order to discuss current regulations under which ceremonies could be held again in places of worship depending on the health situation.

Monaco - At the weekend 8 new cases of Covid-19 were declared in Monaco bringing the total number of residents affected by the coronavirus to 545. 18 people are currently hospitalised and 67 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Meanwhile a meeting held by the Joint Covid-19 Monitoring Committee here in the Principality has taken place at the Ministry of State.

For nearly two hours, the Prince's Government and representatives of the National Council discussed the decisions taken and to be taken in the context of the health crisis and its social and economic consequences.

Figures show that even if contaminations are on the rise, for the time being Monaco's incidence rate remains lower than that of neighbouring regions

The Joint Committee looked at future developments in testing in the Principality with the Government announcing the deployment of antigenic tests for the public, which will be available from next week in some pharmacies.

The curfew measures which came into effect on November 1st are considered to be adapted to the situation in the Principality, protecting the population while ensuring the operation of many shops in compliance with health regulations.

The Government and the National Council have agreed on the importance of continuing economic support with CARE (Economic Recovery Support Commission) continuing its support missions for businesses impacted by the health crisis.

The next Joint Monitoring Committee will take place on November 24th.

Meanwhile this morning HSH Prince Albert II will inaugurate the brand new P3 laboratory at the Scientific Center of Monaco. Equipped with a state-of-the-art machine, this new equipment will significantly increase PCR testing capacities in the fight against Covid-19 in the Principality.

Covid-19 - According to French health ministry data published on Saturday. The number of confirmed new COVID-19 cases and deaths in France rose sharply in the last 24 hours.

France registered 32,095 new COVID-19 cases over the previous 24 hours. Deaths in hospitals in France from COVID-19 rose by 359 over a 24-hour period to reach a total of 44,246.

France’s Health Minister - In an interview published today France’s Health Minister Olivier Véran has said that “he wants to be optimistic and that “even if we have not yet conquered the virus", "everything suggests that we have passed a peak".

In the interview Véran also mentions the potential arrival of a future vaccine against Covid-19, adding "We must not get carried away” warning that “once all the data from the study has been sent to the American and European health authorities, France will have to check them".

A recent Ipsos poll conducted in 15 countries showed that the French are the most reluctant to be vaccinated in the coming months.

Ignoring lockdown - Many are still ignoring strict lockdown rules. Over the weekend, the organisers of a party that brought together hundreds of people near Paris, in defiance of the lockdown, were taken into police custody.

The two men were arrested for organizing the party in a private residence on Friday night "in total disregard of health rules" in the Val-de-Marne just outside Paris.

Alerted by residents, police intervened to interrupt but were assaulted. Unhappy with the intervention, party-goers threw bottles at the policemen. The officers then used gas grenades to disengage them and evacuated the guests.

One man was injured during the party and taken to hospital. He later tested positive for Covid-19.

In a press release, the Prefecture of Police invited all those present "to get tested as soon as possible and to isolate themselves at least until they received the results of their tests.

Auction of Marie Antoinette’s silk shoe - A silk shoe that belonged to Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France who was executed during the French Revolution, has gone up for auction with a starting price of €10,000.

The shoe bears her name on its heel and she is thought to have worn it regularly during daily life at the palace. During the French Revolution, the shoe ended up in the possession of Marie-Emilie Leschevin, a close friend of the queen's head chambermaid, and whose husband was later killed by the guillotine. Her family held on to it for generations before it came to auction 227 years after her death.

Business

Asian shares have hit record highs today as vaccine optimism and strong economic data from China and Japan offset concerns about rising coronavirus cases.

Japan’s Nikkae 225 was trading at a 29 year high with strong gains for South Korea’s Kopsi exchange as well as the Australian ASX 200.

S&P futures are also up as are European stock futures as investors become more certain that a coronavirus vaccine will be able to bring the world back to some sense of normality by the spring of next year.

Currencies and commodities have been a little more circumspect with the dollar down a touch against the yen and oil prices firming somewhat after falling on Friday.

Japanese economic growth and better than expected industrial output from China added to the enthusiasm as did the weekend trade deal between 15 Asia-Pacific nations.

 

15 nations have formed the world’s largest trading bloc ,covering nearly a third of the global economy.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is made up from 10 Southeast Asian countries plus South Korea ,China ,Japan ,Australia and New Zealand.

The deal excludes the United States which withdrew from a rival Asia-Pacific trade pact in 2017 and India which pulled out of talks last year on concerns about lower  tariffs which it said would hit domestic producers.

The new deal is being seen as an extension of China’s influence in the region and was signed on the sidelines of a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Vietnam.

Leaders are hoping that the agreement will help to spur recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the new free trade bloc will be bigger than both thw US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the European Union.

 

And-A group of left-wing politicians from a number of countries have said that the UK ,Germany ,Spain and other large European nations should move to a four day working week to help them recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The coalition of left leaning politicians which includes the former UK shadow chancellor John McDonnell has sent a letter to the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ,the German Chancellor Angela Merkel ,the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez as well as other European leaders in which they claim that a four day working week would help to deal with the economic fallout from the pandemic.

The letter highlights the “long history” of workers agreeing to shorter hours in order to save jobs and also the “opportunity” to rethink working patterns and help to reduce energy usage.

Proposals for  a four day working week have been more-and-more talked about in recent years with some firms  arguing that it increases productivity and improves workers’ mental health.

However , there’s also stiff opposition from some business groups as well as right-of-centre politicians  who argue that it would harm living standards.

Sport

Golf-World number one Dustin Johnson has won his first Masters title with an emphatic win at the Augusta National.

Johnson finished with a record breaking low score of 20 under par after posting a final round of 68 to win by 5 shots from Cameron Smith of Australia and Sungjai Im of South Korea.

A final round  charge from Rory McIlroy came too late as he finished  9 shots back and tied for fifth.

Defending champion Tiger Woods had a nightmare at Amen Corner as he carded a 10 on the par-three 12th but he recovered with 5 birdies to finish on one under par.

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton has won a record-equaling 7th world championship with victory in the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton secured his 94th Grand Prix win in treacherous wet conditions in Istanbul and was overcome with emotion at the end of the race.

He said that winning 7 drivers’ championships was simply “unbelievable”.

Sergio Perez finished second in the Racing Point with Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari third.

 

Football-The former Liverpool ,Spurs and England goalkeeper Ray Clemence has died at the age of 72.

He was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2005 and died peacefully at his home on Sunday surrounded by his family.

Clemence won 5 league titles and three European Cups with Liverpool between 1967 and `1981 and made 470 league appearances for the club before joining Spurs where he clocked up a further 330 appearances.

He won 61 England caps during a period where he battled Peter Shilton for the goalkeeper’s jersey.

The former Liverpool manager Sir Kenny Dalglish said that Clemence had been a “true legend”.

England have failed to qualify for the Nations League finals after losing 2-0 away  to Belgium.

Two early goals by the home side settled the match with England having plenty of possession but lacking a cutting edge up front.

Also on Sunday Scotland lost their 9 game unbeaten run with a 1-0 away defeat to Slovakia but Steve Clarke’s side are still one point clear of the Czech Republic in Group B2 with one match to play. Victory against Israel on Wednesday will see them win the group and gain them promotion.

Wales beat the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in Group B4 to leave them at the top but Northern Ireland lost 2-1 in Austria and are threatened with relegation from Group B1.

Rugby Union-The Autumn Nations Cup match between France and Fiji on Sunday had to be called off because of a coronavirus outbreak in the Fiji camp.

There was one game in the Guinness Pro 14. Munster beat Ospreys 38 -22.

There are three games tonight.Zebre play Ulster.Cardiff Blues play Benetton and Leinster play Edinburgh.

Tennis-Rafael Nadal has won his opening match at the ATP Finals in London.

Nadal was in ruthless form as he dispatched Andre Rublev 6-3 6-3.

Also on Sunday Dominic Thiem beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets.

Weather

Partially cloudy with moderate north westerly winds across the Var.

Top temperatures 18 degrees.

Overnight lows of 12 degrees on the coast and 10 degrees inland   with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday -Clear skies  with highs of 16-19 degrees.

And Finally

Scientists at the University of Oxford have claimed that playing video games could have a positive impact on a person's wellbeing.

The scientists, found that players experiencing genuine enjoyment from the games saw an improvement in their mental health.

The lead author of the study and director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute, said the findings show 'video games aren't necessarily bad for your health' and there are other psychological factors which have a significant effect on a person's wellbeing. 

 

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