French and Riviera News Thursday 27th February 2020

Local

Cases of coronavirus rise in the Liguria region - The president of the Liguria region in Italy Giovanni Toti has held a press conference following the rise in the number of positive cases of the coronavirus in the region.

While only one case was declared on Tuesday, the region’s president indicated on Wednesday evening that there are now 16 positive cases, one in La Spezia, and 15 in two hotels which have been placed in confinement in Alassio.

He added that “most of the patients have shown very mild symptoms”. Meanwhile In the province of Imperia, there are 33 suspected cases which are under active surveillance.

Meanwhile the French health ministry announced on Wednesday that a 60-year-old man has become the first French victim of the coronavirus in the country,

The man died overnight after being rushed to a Paris hospital in serious condition on Tuesday evening, bringing the total death toll in the country to two.

He worked at a junior-high school in the town of Crepy-en-Valois, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Paris, he is not believed to have travelled to an area affected by the global coronavirus outbreak.

30 tourists have been confined to their hotel in the Burgundy town of Beaune after the as-yet unexplained death of a tourist from Hong Kong, the regional health department said.

 The department said a tour group, which had been due to travel to Paris Wednesday, was being kept at the Ibis hotel while tests are carried out "to banish all suspicion of a case of coronavirus".

The Beaune town hall said the dead man had a heart condition.

Nice Carnaval cancelled - It’s been announced that the Nice Carnaval and the Menton Lemon Festival have both been cancelled as a preventative measure because of the coronavirus outbreak. If you have tickets to the Carnaval you can get further information on the website http://www.nicecarnaval.com  The mayor of Menton, Jean-Claude Guibal, said that he was saddened by the cancellation of the Lemon Festival.

Masks - As the coronavirus is gaining ground in Europe the emergency services in France have been overwhelmed with calls and according to local media the supply of masks in pharmacies in the region is already running low with members of the public turning to the internet seeing the price rocket to 135 euros for a box of 20 which normally costs around 30 euros.

Restaurant temporary closure - The closure of a restaurant in Nice due to the threat of coronavirus has angered unions of the restaurant profession. Staff at the restaurant Paperplane decided to close its doors temporarily. Unions claimed that the move which caused a buzz on social media “was only benefiting business” before adding that the city “cannot stop breathing and living”.

Lawyers demonstrate in Nice - Lawyers demonstrating in Nice have spent the night in the courtrooms of the Palais de Justice. Members of the profession gathered at 7.30pm on Wednesday evening.  Protests have been taking place for over a month all over France as the profession speaks out against reforms planned to be implemented by the French government.

Local elections - The former mayor of Nice Jacques Peyrat has joined the list let by the National Rally candidate Philippe Vardon for the upcoming local elections. Speaking to local media Vardon said “it was a real honour to have the support of Peyrat adding that he is “a man of convictions who was a great mayor of Nice”. The first round of voting is to be held on March 15th.

Firefighters in the Var attended numerous calls for assistance on Wednesday due to the high winds affecting the department. Emergency work carried out included dealing with fallen or dangerous trees and the securing of materials which had fallen onto roads. Lifeguards were also called out to rescue a windsurfer about 200 metres off the coast. Gusts of 127km per hour were recorded at Vidauban with 113km per hour in Saint-Mandrier and 114km per hour recorded in Saint-Raphaël.

National

Césars - France's Académie des Césars, dubbed the French version of the Oscars, has appointed an interim leader days after its entire board resigned amid controversies over the academy's attitude to women and its lack of transparency.

The appointment of film producer Margaret Menegoz comes just 48 hours ahead of the Cesars’ annual gala awards ceremony.

Paris city hall - As France's local elections are set to take place on March 15th and 22nd. 10 candidates are in the race for a place at Paris city hall.

The run-up to the elections in the capital was marked by the exit of the ruling party's candidate, who stepped down when an intimate video leaked online and was replaced by the former health minister, Agnès Buzyn.

Three women are now ahead in the polls, including LREM’s Agnès Buzyn, alongside current mayor Anne Hidalgo and Rachida Dati for the Republicans (LR).

Business

Global stock markets have been mixed over the past 24 hours as investors continue to grapple with the spread of the coronavirus.

A number of leading firms are warning that supply chains will be disrupted by measures to contain Covid-19 which has now spread to some 30 countries.

Factory production is continuing to lag ,travel restrictions remain in place and consumers in some countries are staying at home.

Moody’s Analytics estimates that the  virus is likely to reduce global growth in the first quarter by around 1 percent but warned that if its not contained it could trigger recessions in the United States and elsewhere.

The main concern is China where the virus originated with the country’s economy being seriously hit.

Leading firms including the drinks maker Diageo as well as Microsoft and the miner Rio Tinto have all warned that Covid-19 is affecting sales targets and earnings.

 

Apple has said that the coronavirus outbreak may affect the timeline for the introduction of its new iPhones.

Travel restrictions have prevented Apple engineers flying to Asia to put the finishing touches to the new range of handsets.

High volume manufacturing is not expected until the summer but the process of smoothing assembly procedures is being affected.

Foxconn ,which is the world’s largest electronics maker and a key player in Apple’s assembly process has delayed re-opening iPhone factories in China but hopes to resume half of production by the end of this month.

Last week ,Apple warned investors that it was unlikely to meet revenue targets for the first quarter and that global iPhone supplies would be limited.

 

And-Oil prices have fallen again as the growing number of coronavirus cases outside China stoked fears that the global economy will slow and lower demand for crude.

Brent crude is now at its lowest level since January 2019 with a barrel priced at 52 dollars 66.

West Texas Intermediate was down by 1.6 percent to 47 dollars 93.

Brent prices have fallen  by 11 percent in the past five trading sessions-Its biggest percentage loss since August last year.

Sport

Rugby Union-The future of the rest of the 6 Nations Championship is in doubt after the match between Ireland and Italy on March the 7th was postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Irish Health Minister had been leading calls for the match to be called off over concerns about a large influx of fans from Italy which is the epicentre of the outbreak of Covid-19 in Europe.

The women’s 6 Nations match has also been called off and the organisers are now looking at the match between Italy and England which is scheduled to be played in Rome on March the 15th.

Other international sporting fixtures could also be in doubt including the football match between England and Italy which is due to be played at Wembley on March the 27th.

 

Football-Manchester City came from behind to beat Real Madrid 2-1 away from home in the first leg of their round of 16 European Champions League tie.

Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne scored the goals to give City a precious advantage heading into the second leg.

The other tie last night ended Lyon 1 Juventus 0.

In the Europa League last night Rangers stunned Sporting Braga 1-0 away to reach the last 16.

 

In the English Championship last night Leeds United gave themselves some breathing space in their battle for promotion with a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough.

In the other results Blackburn and Stoke drew 0-0.Fulham beat Swansea 1-0.Hull lost 1-0 at home to Barnsley.Millwall and Birmingham drew 0-0.Sheffield Wednesday beat Charlton 1-0 and Wigan were 3-0 winners at Reading.

 

Formula 1-The Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has said that Mercedes has the fastest car at the moment.

Speaking as final pre-season testing started in Spain on Wednesday ,Binotto said that he believed that in lap times ,Ferrari will be behind at the start of the season.

He added that Mercedes had been “very impressive” and that they remain the best team so far.

Headline lap times in pre-season testing are notoriously unreliable.

 

Cricket-Australia have beaten South Africa by 97 runs in the final T20 international in Cape Town to take the series.

Australia batted first and made 193-5 from their 20 overs.South Africa could only manage 95 all out from 15.3 overs.

 

Tennis-The 5 time Grand Slam champion  Maria Sharapova has retired from the sport at the age of 32.

The Russian star said that her body had “become a distraction” after struggling with shoulder injuries.

She won her first Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2004 and completed the career Grand Slam by winning the French Open in 2012.

In 2016 she served a 15 month ban after testing positive for meldonium and failed to recapture her best form when she returned.

 

Weather

Hazy sunshine in the Alpes-Maritimes ,some rain in the Var with a moderate to strong westerly wind across the region.

Top temperature 14 degrees.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 8 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Clear skies tomorrow with a high of 16.Overcast with outbreaks of rain on Saturday and a high of 15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last local news

Evening Update Tuesday 7 April 2020

French Secretary of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, has estimated that the immediate impact of the coronavirus on the tourism sector in the south of Fran... Evening Update Tuesday 7 April 2020 Read More

07/04/2020

Lunchtime News Tuesday 7th April 2020

Speaking this morning on French television France's Health Minister Olivier Véran has said that "Every day, we are breaking the record never reached o... Lunchtime News Tuesday 7th April 2020 Read More

07/04/2020

French and Riviera News Tuesday 7th April 2020

France has recorded its worst daily toll on Monday, of deaths due to the coronavirus.  Since the start of the epidemic, a total of 8,911 deaths have o... French and Riviera News Tuesday 7th April 2020 Read More

06/04/2020

Evening Update Monday 6 April 2020

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has announced that the wearing of face masks will be mandatory in the streets of Nice... Evening Update Monday 6 April 2020 Read More

06/04/2020