French and Riviera News Monday 26th October 2020

News

Covid-19 - France has reached a new record in the number of Covid-19 cases with 52,000 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours on Sunday. Over the last seven days 12,176 people have been hospitalized of which 1,816 are currently in intensive care.

Intensive care in Paris feels the strain - The director of the Regional Health Agency for Paris Aurélien Rousseau describes the current health situation in the capital “as accelerating each day, as the second wave hits France. Noting that 67% of intensive care beds are occupied for the Paris region. Rousseau also pointed out that half of those hospitalized are over 67 years old and the other half are under 67 years old to which he adds that “younger people are also suffering from worse forms of the virus”.

Public transport - Meanwhile speaking to French media on Sunday France’s minister of transport claimed that public transport represents “less than 1% of Covid-19 clusters in France”.

Curfew - The French government extended the 9pm-6am curfew to cover 46 million people across France with both the Var and the Alpes Maritimes regions being subjected to new curfew measures at the weekend. New restrictions were also introduced in Italy on Sunday with restaurants being told to close at 6pm.

French reluctant to get vaccinated - Meanwhile a recent study in France has shown that more than four out of 10 French people would be reluctant to be vaccinated for Covid-19 should one become available. Researchers found that 41.11 percent of French citizens indicated they would be reluctant or even refuse to be vaccinated. In the global study only Poland and Russia expressed less willingness than the French to be vaccinated.

Monaco - In Monaco 10 new cases of Covid-19 were declared on Sunday bringing the total number of residents affected by the coronavirus in the Principality to 306. Eight patients are currently hospitalised and 54 people are being cared for by the Home Monitoring Service.

French government to discuss “progress report” - France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex is to meet with ministers this morning to discuss the economic consequences due to the second wave of Covid-19.

The youth plan and professional retraining as well as employment are expected to be at the centre of discussions which are to start at 9am this morning.

In other news….

Shooting in Marseille - Marseille has experienced a weekend of violence after three people were shot dead and a fourth was taken to hospital in a critical condition in a drug related incident.

All four were aged between 18 and 27 years old and the youngest victim was an 18-year-old girl from Nice.

The series of shootings which took place between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon are believed to have been connected to a dispute between two rival drug trafficking gangs in the north of the city.

Investigation - Meanwhile police have opened an investigation after a 28-year-old man was shot and injured on Saturday night. The shooting occurred in Cavaillon in the Vaucluse shortly after 10pm.

The man managed to take shelter in a nearby grocery store. The reason behind the shooting remains unknown. The incident happened in an area which due to Covid-19 is currently under curfew from 9pm.

Weather alert - The Alpes Maritimes and the Var have been placed on a yellow weather alert with the risk of heavy rain and strong winds. Both departments were placed on alert from 3am this morning with the warning expected to be lifted by 11am in the Var and 2pm in the Alpes Maritimes.

Protests against hunting in the Var region - Demonstrators have gathered in front of the town hall of Roquebrune sur Argens in protest against an open day organised by the regions hunting federation encouraging people to “discover hunting” in the region.

Demonstrators criticised the way in which the event, which took place on Sunday in 13 different villages of the Var, was presented as a “family day out.”

France recalls French ambassador to Turkey - French President Emmanuel Macron has reacted to an attack by his Turkish counterpart and recalled the French ambassador to Turkey. 

The move came after Turkey’s Head of State criticised Macron over his attitude towards Muslims. French government sources said the comments were unacceptable.

In early October, Macron said there would be a clampdown on what he called Islamist separatism. He said there was a risk it was taking over some Muslim communities in France.

Miss Côte d’Azur - 22-year-old Lara Gautier has been crowned Miss Côte d’Azur. The new miss was chosen among 16 candidates who were in the running during a ceremony held in Mandelieu-la-Napoule. The Niçoise now hopes to win the crown of Miss France in the Puy-du-Fou on December 12.

 

Business

Asian stocks have had a subdued start to the week as surging coronavirus cases in Europe and the United States threatened the global outlook while China’s top leadership met to discuss economic policy.

The markets re-opened after the weekend with the United States seeing its highest-ever number of new cases of Covid-19 while France registered a record high of new cases and Spain declared a state of emergency. Cases of the virus are also rising rapidly in the UK ,Germany and Italy with various restrictions on movement in force and some countries in Eastern Europe moving towards full lockdown measures.

The combined effect of the surge in new cases of the virus and no clear progress on a new US stimulus programme has left investors extremely cautious and markets tepid.

Several central banks are holding policy meetings this week including the Bank of Japan ,the Bank of Canada and the European Central Bank. No major movements are expected but the ECB is expected to sound a cautious note on inflation and growth but is not expected to ease further for the time being.

 

Crude has extended last week’s losses ,falling by nearly two percent as a surge in Covid-19 infections prompted concerns over demand with the prospect of increased supply also hitting sentiment.

Brent Crude was down by 1.7 percent a little earlier to 41 dollars 07 cents while West Texas Intermediate was also down by 1.7 percent to 39 dollars 16.

Brent fell by 2.5 percent last week with WTI down 2.5 percent.

The market has also reacted negatively to signs that Libya  appears to be returning supply to the market quicker than expected.

The country’s National Oil Corp said on Friday that production would reach 1 million barrels per day within 4 weeks and that exports from two of its major ports would be ramped up.

Analysts say that the last thing the market needs at the moment is an increase in supply with demand still weak and the outlook for the global economy still uncertain.

 

And-The US dollar has found support this morning as surging coronavirus cases and the lack of progress towards a new stimulus package in Washington put investors on the back foot.

The dollar has been treading water in Asian trade after having fallen broadly last week .It’s picked up 0.2 percent against the euro  and has also risen slightly against the Australian dollar.

Sterling has held steady on hopes of a trade deal between the UK and the EU coming through.

The Japanese Yen has slipped a fraction against most major currencies and was trading at 104.85 against the dollar a little earlier.

Sport 

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton has broken Michael Schumacher’s all time record for victories after winning the Portugal Grand Prix at a canter on Sunday.

Hamilton has now notched up 92 Grand Prix wins and is closing in on a record equaling 7th drivers’ championship.

Valtteri Bottas finished second at a distance on Sunday with Max Verstappen in the Red Bull in third.

It wasn’t a complete cake-walk for Hamilton as he lost the race lead at the start before fighting back to dominate the rest of the proceedings.

The Mercedes star leads the drivers’ championship with 256 points with Bottas on 179 and Verstappen on 162.

Cycling-Tao Geoghegan Hart has become only the second British rider to win the Giro d’Italia as he swept to victory on the final day in Milan.

The 20 year old won stage 20 on Saturday to share the overall lead with Jai Hindley before finishing 39 seconds ahead in Sunday’s 15.7 kilometer time trial.

It was quite a feat for the young Briton as he was down in 126th place after the first stage and only took on the role of Ineos Grenadiers team leader when Geraint Thomas pulled out with a fractured hip.

He was still more than 3 minutes off the lead at the end of stage 15 but catapulted himself into contention with a stunning performance in the mountains.

Football-There were 3 games in the English Premier League on Sunday with Everton losing their unbeaten record as they went down 2-0 at Southampton. Wolves and Newcastle drew 1-1 and Arsenal lost 1-0 at home to Leicester.

There are two games tonight.Brighton play West Brom and Burnley host Spurs.

In the Scottish Premiership on Sunday Aberdeen and Celtic drew 3-3 and Rangers beat Livingston 2-0. Rangers are 6 points clear of Celtic at the top of the table but have played a game more.

Rugby Union-There were two games in the Guinness Pro 14 on Sunday. Ulster beat Dragons 40-17 and Connacht were 37-26 winners at Edinburgh.

There’s one game tonight. Munster play Cardiff Blues.

Golf-Patrick Cantlay of the United States has won the Zozo Championship in California.

Cantlay started the final round three shots behind Justin Thomas but came back to post a 7 under par 65 to reach 23 under.

Thomas ended second on 22 under with Jon Rahm of Spain third on 19 under par.

Weather

Yellow weather alert in force for the Alpes-Maritimes and Var.

Rain and thunderstorms this morning ,clearing this afternoon with light to moderate south easterly winds.

Top temperature 18 degrees.

Overnight lows of 13 degrees on the coast and 10 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Mainly fine with highs of 17-18 degrees.

And Finally 

A study has claimed that women  with deep voices are more likely to stray.  Gravelly tones are linked to higher testosterone which according to scientists fuels sexual desire.

They analysed voice data on 931 adults and asked if they cheated. The risk of straying went up “significantly” for each drop in pitch.

The study also showed that men with deeper voices also had more affairs. 

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