French and Riviera News Monday 9th March 2020

Local

Coronavirus - With 19 deaths and 1,126 confirmed cases, France is reportedly approaching stage 3 of the coronavirus epidemic.

At present, 1,126 people have been infected on French territory. Three new deaths have been reported, bringing the total for those who have died to 19.

There are now 21 patients hospitalized for coronavirus in the Alpes-Maritimes, and five cases detected in the Var.

Meanwhile following a meeting with the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, the Regional Health Agency (ARS), regional education officials and doctors from Lenval hospital on Sunday it was confirmed that all schools with remain open despite the rise in cases of coronavirus.

Speaking on Sunday evening the mayor said he wished to reassure the public adding that staff and students had not yet been affected by the virus.

However, in the Var the The Font-de-Fillol secondary school in Six-Fours, where a student was diagnosed with Coronavirus, will be closed from today for a period of 14 days.

In Monaco no new cases have at this point been reported. It has been announced however, that due to the outbreak, the World Congress of Anti-aging Medicine due to take place in the Principality has been postponed.

Road accident - Four people have been injured in a road accident on the A570 near La Crau. The accident occurred on Saturday night when shortly after 11.15pm several motorists where hit head on by a vehicle traveling at high speed in the opposite direction. The injured were taken by the emergency services to hospital in Hyères and Toulon. Police have opened an investigation to determine the exact cause of the collision.

International woman’s day - Tens of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Paris and cities around France on Sunday to mark International Women’s day.

In Paris, Lyon, Nice, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Nancy, people gathered to highlight issues of equality and women’s rights in all parts of life.

Meanwhile there was criticism of police reaction to a march in Paris on Saturday night organised by feminist groups not involved in Sunday’s march. Several thousand women took to the streets to call for an “antiracist feminism”.

Police used teargas to disperse the crowd at Republique, and nine people were arrested.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said she was shocked by violence against the women by the police.

National

National assembly confirms coronavirus cases - The National Assembly in France has announced 3 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the lower house of parliament.

The National Assembly did not name the patients who recently caught the disease but said the third case was a female parliamentarian.

France on Sunday banned all gatherings of more than 1,000 people in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Chocolatier - A French chocolatier in the Finistere has created an edible representation of the coronavirus.  The 3D model which consists of a chocolate shell sprinkled with red almonds has apparently proved to be a hit with customers.

Business

Asian stock markets have plunged this morning after oil prices collapsed to their lowest level since the first Gulf War.

Stocks and US government bond yields tumbled as the prospect of a crude oil price war hit markets which have already been battered by the spread of the coronavirus.

The price of crude fell by 30  percent to as low as 31 dollars 02 cents after Opec members led by Saudi Arabia  failed to agree on deeper production cuts in the face of plunging demand.

The ten-year US treasury yield dived on the news by more than a quarter of a percentage point while S&P futures pointed to a drop of more than 5 percent when Wall Street opens later.

Energy stocks as well as those of travel firms and airlines have once again been the hardest hit with no sign of when the market rout will end.

Both gold and the Japanese yen-seen as safe havens have jumped  while the dollar lost ground against a basket of currencies with the dollar index dropping  by 0.7 percent.

 

The row between Saudi Arabia and Russia over cuts in oil production is putting serious pressure on the future of the Opec+ group and could lead to wild swings in prices over the coming days and weeks.

Attempts by Opec to stabiise prices came unstuck over the weekend after Russia refused to make further steep output cuts while Saudi Arabia said it would boost production in April ,effectively starting a price war.

The disintegration of the Opec+ group ends three years of cooperation on supporting the market.

The move by Saudi Arabia to boost production above 10 million barrels a day is being seen as an attempt to punish Russia ,the world’s second largest producer for not supporting the cuts proposed last week by Opec.

Analysts say that the standoff could last for several weeks until prices are so low that views will change in Moscow and Riyadh.

 

And-Many of the City of London’s largest banks are taking steps to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Many of JP Morgan’s UK based staff are being moved to a different office with similar moves by Goldman Sachs and HSBC.

Last week an HSBC employee who’s recently returned from Asia was diagnosed with Covid-19 resulting in 100 staff from the 10th floor of the bank’s Canary Wharf offices being sent home.

The building has been deep-cleaned and HSBC said that it would be keeping the offices open after taking medical advice.

The Financial Conduct Agency has said that it doesn’t mind staff working from back-up sites or even from home as long as certain standards are met.

Sport

Rugby Union-The Grand Slam in the 6 Nations has proved elusive as France, the last team in with a chance of doing it this season lost away at Scotland on Sunday.

Scotland won the game 28-17 with France down to 14 men after Mohamed Haouas was shown the red card for punching Jamie Richie.

The defeat means that England move to the top of the table thanks to their 33-30 win over Wales on Saturday.

France will need to win with a bonus point against Ireland in Paris next weekend but even that might not be enough to secure them the Championship.

Wales will host Scotland and the match between Italy and England in Rome has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Football-There were 2 games in the English Premier League on Sunday.Chelsea beat Everton 4-0 while Manchester United kept up the pressure for a Champions League place with a 2-0 win over Manchester City at Old Trafford.

There’s one game tonight.Leicester host Aston Villa.

In the Scottish Premiership on Sunday Rangers were 1-0 winners at Ross County while in the English Championship Derby beat Blackburn 3-0.

Tennis-The Indian Wells tournament has been cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Organisers say that they’re disappointed but the health of players ,staff and fans must come first.

Formula 1-The Bahrain Grand Prix will be held without spectators over coronavirus fears.

Organisers say that the race on the 22nd of March will have to be “participants only” because allowing spectators in would not be the right thing to do.

Cycling-Max Schachmann has won the first stage of the Paris-Nice race in a four man sprint finish at Plaisir.

The 26 year old finished the 154 kilometer stage in a time of 3 hours 32 minutes and 9 seconds.

Seven teams including Team Ineos have withdrawn from the race because of the spread of coronavirus.

Weather

Partially cloudy with occasional showers this afternoon and a moderate to strong Mistral across the Var.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with partially cloudy.

Monday and Tuesday-Partially cloudy with highs of 15-17 degrees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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