French and Riviera News Tuesday 16th June 2020

Man stabbed in Aix-en-Provence - An 18-year-old man has been stabbed in Aix-en-Provence. The stabbing occurred in the west of the city shortly after 7pm on Monday evening. The victim was taken hospital in Marseille. Police have appealed for any witnesses to come forward as they investigate the reason for the attack.

64-year-old dies in car accident - A 64-year-old man has died in a car accident after hitting a tree head on. The accident occurred on Monday evening shortly after 5.30pm on the Chemin de l’Aubarede in Le Cannet.

Emergency services were unable to save the victim as traffic was diverted in the area. Local police have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the accident.

Number of deaths on French roads declines - Meanwhile the number of people killed on the roads in France has fallen by 15.6% in May.

May which marked, the last month of lockdown in France saw 205 people die on the roads, 38 less than last year. The months of March and April, during which the French were in lockdown also unsurprisingly marked a spectacular decline.

The drop in the number of deaths mainly concerns motorists, with 52 fewer people killed. Motorcyclists however were on the rise with an additional 21 killed, as well as cyclists with 7 additional deaths compared to May 2019.

Covid-19 testing - After four weeks of testing for Covid-19 the Principalities screening campaign has ended. According to figures almost 35,000 people were tested and less than 1% of the population have been exposed to Covid-19.

For those who may have missed the chance to be tested, all residents and employees in the Principality can still be tested on a voluntary basis and free of charge for four more weeks, on Tuesday the 23rd and 30th June and 7th and 14th July, at the Espace Léo Ferré from 8.30am to 6pm.

Covid-19 vaccines - Meanwhile four European countries, including France have signed a pre-order for millions of Covid-19 vaccines with the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. Designed to provide for all EU members, the doses would be available at the end of 2020 if the group's current trials prove successful.

Cycling paths in Cannes - After a month’s trial the city of Cannes has announced plans to extend the new cycling path which was set up during the lockdown. The path will run from the La Croisette to Palm Beach much to the delight of cyclists.   

Violent clashes in Dijon - France’s Secretary of State to the Minister of the Interior Laurent Nuñez will be in Dijon this morning following three days of violent clashes in the Grésilles district of the city.

150 additional officers were deployed to the area on Monday evening. A judicial investigation has been opened "to determine the circumstances of the violent clashes, which are thought to have broken out between rival gangs." Authorities aim to identify those involved and "bringing them to justice as soon as possible."

French government backs down - Meanwhile following pressure from police, the French government has backed down on a ban on chokeholds during arrests.

Last week, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced the government would ban the use of chokeholds following protests over French police brutality and racial injustice unleashed by George Floyd’s death in the US. But French police responded with five days of counter protests, arguing that the ban deprived them of a key tool to subdue unruly suspects. They also objected to being compared to police in the US.

Survey - A recent survey published on Monday has shown that 41% of respondents found the French President Emmanuel Macron “rather convincing” during his speech on Sunday, 6% said he was “very convincing” and 53% claimed he was “not convincing”.  

It was Macron’s fourth address since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic in which the President announced the lifting of lockdown measures in France.

Business

A report by Bloomberg today says that the UK and the European Union look set to reach a deal on their future relationship with sources in Brussels confident that Boris Johnson is willing to compromise over a free trade agreement.

Mr Johnson said on Monday that the prospects for an accord are “very good”.

Bloomberg says that an hour-long video call between Mr Johnson and the bloc’s leadership has injected fresh momentum into the deadlocked negotiations and that the EU inferred from his comments that he is willing to soften his position.

In a television interview following the conference ,the British Prime Minister said that “I don’t think we are actually that far apart”.

It was Mr Johnson’s first direct intervention in the discussions since the UK left the EU at the end of January and it marks the start of 6 weeks of intensive negotiations in a bid to reach an agreement.

 

The European Union is set to charge Amazon with anti-competitive behaviour for its practice of running an online store as well as selling its own products on the same platform.

At the centre of the EU’s concerns is the data that Amazon has access to and how it uses it.

The firm can see sensitive information on third party products including volume and price.

The EU wants to establish if Amazon is using the data to give its own products an unfair advantage.The firm is also suspected of promoting its own products at the expense of other sellers.

Amazon has rejected the claims but if found guilty then the firm could face a huge fine possibly totaling billions of euros.

 

And-BP has forecast lower oil prices for several decades as governments speed up plans to cut carbon emissions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The oil giant has cut price forecasts by around 30 percent and expects Brent to average 55 dollars a barrel from now until 2050.

The firm says that as a result it will revise down the value of its assets by between 13 billion and 17.5 billion dollars.

BP says that it will have to become a “leaner ,faster moving and lower-cost organisation”.

 

Sport

Football-Fans on big screens ,new camera angles and piped in crowd noise will be just some of the features when the English Premier League resumes tomorrow night.

Some viewers will be given the option to listen to games with or without crowd noise but players will not hear the noise.

Players have also been told that they must not surround officials to protest decisions and there should be no spitting or nose cleaning on the pitch.

There are two games tomorrow night with a full programme over next weekend.

 

Formula 1-The Mercedes engine chief is to leave the firm.

Andy Cowell led Mercedes through the development of the turbo hybrid engine which has seen the team dominate the sport for the past 7 seasons.

Mr Cowell who’s 51 says that he’s leaving Mercedes to “seek a new engineering challenge”.

He’ll leave the firm at the end of June but will work with his replacement Hywel Thomas to help the transition to new leadership.

 

Rugby Union-World Rugby remains at odds over how to reschedule the 2020 calendar following a meeting on Monday although the prospect of a global fixture agreement remains alive.

Key figures recognise  the need for a revamped schedule but clubs and unions have yet to agree on how the remainder of the year will look following the coronavirus pandemic.

More talks will now take place as a matter of urgency with a World Rugby Council meeting scheduled for Japan at the end of the month.

 

Racing-Royal Ascot gets underway behind closed doors later today and without the presence of the Queen.

Jockeys will wear facemasks and there will be none of the traditional glitz and glamour.

The feature race on the opening day is the King’s Stand Stakes which is off at 4.35 French time.

It’s a group 1 race over 5 furlongs with Battaash partnered by Jim Crowley the odds-on favourite.

Weather

Sunshine and afternoon showers with more thunder inland.

Light to moderate south westerly winds and highs of 23-25 degrees.

Overnight lows of 18 degrees on the coast and 16 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Sunshine and showers with highs of 22-25 degrees.

 

 

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