French and Riviera News Monday 8th June 2020

Missing - Police say there is little hope of finding a 31-year-old man alive, after he went missing in the Haut Var, while out canyoning at the weekend. Rescue services were deployed on Saturday following the disappearance of the man who was at the time part of a group of five people canyoning around Le Jabron river. The rescue operation was halted shortly after 5pm on Sunday after the victim's helmet was found.

Coronavirus - Figures released on Sunday have shown that France reported its lowest number of deaths due to Covid-19 since March 14th with 13 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total number of deaths now stands at 29,155 since the start of the epidemic, including 18,805 in hospitals and 10,350 in nursing homes. The number of people hospitalised in intensive care continues to decline, standing at 1,053.

Court rejects appeal against Ecovallée in Nice - The highest French administrative court has rejected an appeal against the Ecovallée project for the Plain du Var in Nice. In 2015, the Collective association for ecological achievements (Capre 06) had challenged in court the development with concerns over the impact on the environment. The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has welcomed the decision saying in a press release that it just "confirms the reality of the environmental approach of this vast urban project which makes it possible to combine ecology and the economy".

Testing – Testing for coronavirus continues at the Grimaldi forum in the Principality for employees. For details go to www.covid19.mc. For residents in Nice, registration is open online from today at depistagecovid19.nice.fr.

Monaco – Meanwhile, the Monaco Town Hall has announced the reopening of several facilities as part of the gradual lifting of lockdown measures. The Princesse Antoinette Park will be open from Wednesday, June 10th. The Stade Nautique Rainier III on the port of Monaco will be open from Monday, June 15th as will the Hercule Fitness Club and the Mediatheque at all its sites. However, the Jardin Exotique will remain closed until January 2021 to allow major works on the rocks and repairing the walkways. Several other venues will also remain closed until September this year. You can find more details at www.mairie.mc

Mother’s Day - To mark Mother's Day on Sunday, Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco has visited the maternity ward at the Princess Grace Hospital. The Princess met with new mothers on Sunday morning as part of the traditional visit organised with the Monegasque Red Cross and its volunteers.

World Ocean Day - As part of World Ocean Day today, a major cleaning up operation has been organised on the beaches of Marseille. During the collection, different coloured bags will be distributed to volunteers to sort the different types of waste. All waste will be sorted with parts of plastic being used to make jewelry. 

Protests - Despite a police ban, protestors have gathered in Paris to call for justice in the killing of black American George Floyd, while denouncing racism in France. Crowds turned out to demonstrate in Paris and other cities, including Bordeaux, Lyon, Lille, Rennes and Marseille, where some clashed with police. Protestors showed up despite coronavirus warnings, wearing face masks and holding signs reading 'Black Lives Matter'.

Savills Monaco's annual report shows the the Principality continues to lead global prime residential markets in price and exclusivity - Savills Monaco's annual report on the Monaco residential market has been launched: a little later than usual due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but reporting that the sovereign city-state continues to draw the world’s wealthy due to its strong economy, lifestyle, and world-class sporting events. Ambitious development projects are underway, but these schemes will barely make a dent in the supply shortage. Take a look at the report here.

Business

Asian markets have risen this morning and US stock futures are up again on the back of Friday’s surprise recovery in US unemployment numbers. The non-farm payroll data has given further confidence that a quick economic recovery will now take place following weeks of lockdowns aimed at controlling the coronavirus pandemic. US S&P futures were up by half a percent a little earlier, standing at their highest level since mid February. Non-farm payrolls rose by 2.509 million last month in contrast with consensus estimates of a fall of 8 million job. The US unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May from 14.7 percent in April. Economists had forecast the rate to rise to 19.8 percent.

Oil prices have risen this morning after Opec, Russia and its allies agreed to extend record production cuts until the end of July. Opec + had initially agreed in April to cut supply by 9.7 million barrels per day during May to June to prop up prices that had collapsed due to the coronavirus crisis. The cuts were due to taper to 7.7 million barrels per day between July and September. Brent crude was up by more than 2 percent a little earlier to 43 dollars 32 with West Texas Intermediate up 2 percent to 40 dollars 36.

The former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has said that public investment will be the key to recovery of the global economy from the coronavirus crisis. In an interview with the BBC, Mr Summers said that central banks are going to become “less relevant” as interest rates are going to be near zero for much of the time. Mr Summers said that fiscal policies are going to be more important in supporting economic expansion and public investment is going to play a large part.

Sport

Football - English Premier League teams have been preparing for the season restart with friendly and training games inside empty stadiums. Matches are to resume on the 17th June and leading sides have taken to the pitch with Manchester United playing a “home and away” teams practice match at Old Trafford while Arsenal played a friendly game against Championship strugglers Charlton at the Emirates. Arsenal play Manchester City away in their first competitive fixture on June the 17th.

Rugby Union - The former France captain Jefferson Poirot has retired from international rugby because he says that he lacks “motivation”. The 27 year old said that he’d been struggling since France’s World Cup quarter final defeat by Wales last year. He said that he didn’t feel that his motivation was at maximum and he didn’t want to play for France unless he could give 100 percent.

Tennis - World number one Novak Djokovic has said that coronavirus protocols planned for the US Open are “extreme”. The tournament is due to start on the 31st of August at Flushing Meadows and players would not be allowed into Manhattan and would have to stay at airport hotels. There would also be a restriction on players teams with only one person allowed to accompany a player to the venue which Djokovic says would be “impossible”.

Racing - The Aiden O’Brien trained Love has won the 1,000 Guineas behind closed doors at Newmarket. The 4-1 shot charged through the centre of the field to finish more than 4 lengths clear of Cloak of Spirits. It’s the 4th time in 5 years that O’Brien has claimed the race and it was his 36th British Classic victory. The 11-4 unbeaten favourite quadrilateral finished in third.

Weather

Sunshine and thundery showers developing from lunchtime onwards. Moderate westerly winds and highs of 22-24 degrees. Overnight lows of 16 degrees on the coast and 12 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday - Partially cloudy tomorrow morning with heavy storms developing in the afternoon. Sunshine and showers on Wednesday. Highs of 20-23 degrees.

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