French and Riviera News Monday 2nd March 2020

Local

Coronavirus - 7 cases of Coronavirus have been reported in the Alpes Maritimes since last week, including two which were diagnosed in Monaco. All have been hospitalised and are reportedly in a “stable condition”. 16 patients are currently being tested for the virus, of which 6 were reported negative on Sunday.

On a national level 130 cases have been reported with the hardest hit areas being in the L’Oise and the Haute-Savoie where, as a precaution, schools will remain closed today. Here in the region schools are open and those returning from a “risk area” will be allowed to attend classes. Although this morning is was announced that the exception would be to those returning from L'Oise, Haute Savoie or China. 

Several local events have been cancelled due to the coronavirus including the “Mipim” real estate fair in Cannes, the “Foire de Nice” and the “semi marathon” in Cannes however,  the Carnaval in Mouans-Sartoux still went ahead on Sunday following a decision from the town’s mayor.

Meanwhile at Marseille airport Twinjet has announced that they will be suspending all flights from Marseille to Milan until March 15th due to the coronavirus. The company said that all passengers would be reimbursed. Founded in 2001 in Marseille Twinjet normally provides four daily round trips between the two cities.

Man shot on motorway - A man has been shot at the wheel of his car on the A7motoway between Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. The man, in his forties was reportedly blocked by another vehicle as the shots were fired on Friday evening. Emergency services were unable to save the victim who was declared dead at the scene. The incident led to the motorway being closed westbound towards Marseille. Police have opened an investigation.

Using article 49.3 for the pension reform - The French government has come under strong criticism from other political parties after, following an urgent summit on the coronavirus of Saturday they announced that article 49.3 will be used for the pension reform.

This article of the Constitution allows the head of government to take responsibility for a law and have it passed without a vote by Parliament.

The move led to demonstrations in Nice on Sunday afternoon with unions gathering at place Garibaldi opposing the decision.

Several demonstrations took place elsewhere in France, and in particular in front of the National Assembly, where approximately 500 people gathered to demonstrate against the use of this 49.3. Other rallies were held in Bordeaux, Lille and Toulouse.

Météo France warmest winter on record - According to Météo France, this winter has been the warmest recorded in France since recordings began in 1900.

The temperature was 2.7 ° C higher than the average "placing it 1st in the ranking of the hottest winters over the period from 1900-2020”.

National

Louvre museum - The Louvre museum, the world's most visited, has closed to visitors after staff on Sunday refused to work due to fears over coronavirus.  Around 300 staff met in the morning and voted "almost unanimously" not to open, leaving many would-be visitors disappointed.

César awards - Several actresses have walked out of the César awards ceremony in Paris after Roman Polanski won best director. Polanski's An Officer and a Spy received 12 nominations earlier this year. The Polish-French director has been wanted in the US for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl since the 1970s. He has since faced other accusations of sexual assault.

Business

Asian stock markets have stabilised this morning after the Bank of Japan promised to help protect markets from the effects of Coronavirus.

Investors are pegging their hopes on a coordinated global monetary policy response to the virus with suggestions that leading central banks including the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates as soon as this Wednesday.

Fears of a pandemic pushed markets off a cliff edge last week ,wiping more than 5 trillion dollars from global share values with stocks slumping to their lowest levels in more than a decade.

Markets have now priced in policy responses from the US Federal Reserve ,the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Futures are now implying a full 50 basis point cut by the Fed while the Reserve Bank of Australia is believed to be about to make a quarter of one percent cut.

Markets have also been calmed after the Governor of the Bank of Japan said that the central bank would take the necessary steps to stabilise the situation.

 

However-US stock futures have tumbled after trading resumed on Sunday night with investors still unnerved by the coronavirus outbreak and taking little comfort from weekend comments by officials.

On Sunday ,senior White House officials attempted to reduce the concern about a global recession ,saying that the US public had “overreacted” after numerous cases of the virus were reported in America.

They said that stocks would rebound due to the economy’s underlying strength.

The futures market appears to be unconvinced by the attempt at reassurance with the S&P 500 down around 1 percent which indicates another bad day for the benchmark index which fell by more than 11 percent last week,its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.

 

One more story this morning-The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to “drive a hard bargain” as he set out the UK’s negotiating position for a post Brexit free trade deal with the United States.

The government says that a deal will boost the UK economy by 3.4 billion pounds and particularly benefit Scotland as well as northern England and the Midlands.

Mr Johnson has pledged to maintain food standards and says that the National Health Service will not be for sale.

Talks between the UK and the EU will also start today in Brussels aimed at reaching a trade deal before the end of the year.The signs from both sides so far are not promising.

Sport

Football-Manchester City have won the League Cup in England for the third successive year with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley.

All the goals came in the first half with Aguero and Rodri putting City two-nil up before Samatta pulled a goal back for Villa.

The Cup victory will be consolation for City this season as they’re almost certain to lose their Premier League title to Liverpool.

In the English Premier League on Sunday Everton and Manchester United drew 1-1 and Spurs lost 3-2 at home to Wolves.

In the Scottish Cup quarter final on Sunday Celtic were 1-0 winners at St Johnstone.

FA Cup fifth round ties are being played this week as the busy football schedule means that there’s no other place for them.

Portsmouth of League 1 host Arsenal tonight  and there are more ties tomorrow including Chelsea against Liverpool.

Formula 1-Some teams have expressed anger after the sport’s governing body the FIA said that it had reached “agreement” with Ferrari over last year’s engine controversy.

Other teams say that the decision is opaque and unsatisfactory and are considering their response.

There’s concern that the FIA has attempted to draw a line under the issue and the decision does not make it clear whether Ferrari’s 2019 engine was illegal or not.

Ferrari has declined to comment.

Several teams expressed concerns about Ferrari’s engine last season owing to its superiority in straight-line speed.There have been suggestions that there was manipulation of the fuel-flow meter that could have allowed the engine to exceed the maximum permitted fuel flow which would be against the rules.

Rugby Union-in the Gallagher Premiership on Sunday Wasps were 36-26 winners at London Irish and Bristol were `19-13 winners at Bath while in the Guinness Pro 14 Connacht were 29-19 winners at Southern Kings.

Boxing-Deontay Wilder has invoked the clause in his contract that guarantees him a rematch with Tyson Fury.

Fury’s US promotor Bob Arum says that the fight will take place before the Olympics in July  and that he’s been formally notified by Wilder’s team that he wants the rematch.

The news puts a possible heavyweight unification fight between Fury and Anthony Joshua on ice with Joshua now expected to face Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria in a mandatory IBF contest in London in June.

Weather

Overcast with heavy rain at times and a moderate to strong westerly wind developing across the region.

Top temperature 14 degrees.

Ovenight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 6 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday with highs of 15-17 degrees.

Finally 

A recent survey has shown that women in Southampton are Britain's biggest sinners with two thirds of them cheating on their chaps. 

Surprisingly Southampton's men are the nation's least likely to cheat with just 15% admitting to it. The worst place in the UK for male offenders is Plymouth. 

In second place on just 24 per cent, were the women of Belfast, then Glasgow on 21%. The fewest female cheats were in Sheffield, Norwich, Cardiff and Newcastle. While as for men after Plymouth the worst place was London. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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