French and Riviera News Tuesday 17th November 2020

News

Lockdown - Due to the current health crisis bars, cafes and restaurants look set to remain closed until at least January 15th according to the French government. Prime Minister Jean Castex is expected to make an announcement along with a specific support plan next week.

A specific date is yet to be confirmed as authorities confirm that it will be difficult to reopen bars and restaurants before the Christmas holidays.

Discussions are also continuing around the reopening of other so-called "non-essential" businesses. At present representatives of the sector are unanimously asking to be able to reopen from Friday 27th November, to coincide with "black friday".

Meanwhile France’s Minister of Health Olivier Veran has urged people not to relax their efforts in fighting the coronavirus. He said that even though there are "signs of improvement" the virus had not yet been conquered. The minister was speaking during a visit to a hospital in Lyon on Monday.

Covid-19 figures in the Alpes Maritimes – The latest figures for Covid-19 in the Alpes Maritimes have shown that 460 people are currently hospitalised including 76 in intensive care. 1,749 patients have returned home and the total number of deaths due to Covid-19 in the Alpes Maritimes to date, stands at 351 since the start of the epidemic.

Var - In the Var 455 patients are hospitalised including 66 in intensive care. 1,784 patients have returned home and the total number of deaths due to Covid-19 in the Var to date, stands at 320 since the start of the epidemic.

Monaco - In Monaco four new cases of Covid-19 were declared on Monday bringing the total number of residents affected by Covid-19 in the Principality to 552. 23 people are currently hospitalised and 53 people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Christmas trees - Despite the lockdown and the ban on the sale of non-essential products France’s Minister of Agriculture has announced that Christmas trees will go on sale in time for Christmas although a date has not yet been fixed.

In France, 6 million Christmas trees are sold each year, mainly in supermarkets, DIY stores and garden centers.

Bird flu - A first French outbreak of bird flu has been detected in a pet store in the Haute-Corse.

The case was identified in the animal department of a garden center located near Bastia. Specific measures to monitor and limit movement around the Haute-Corse outbreak have been put in place to prevent any spread.

Investigations are underway to identify the origin of the contamination.

Masks - The city council of Antibes Juans-les-Pins has extended its distribution of free masks for another week. Up to and including Saturday, masks will be available from three locations: the Salle du 8 mai, the Palais des Congrès and the Maison des Association. Opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The French Minister of Housing, Emmanuelle Wargon, has launched an "Observatory of Unpaid Rent" to identify those who are having difficulties paying their rent because of the crisis. The minister said that almost 5,000 additional places had already been reopened in emergency accommodation centres.

Storm Alex – The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi and Alpes Maritimes Deputy Eric Ciotti have been in the Vesubie valley to review progress in the reconstruction of infrastructure after Storm Alex. The two were amongst local elected officials at the construction site of the RM6525, the main access road to the valley. The road was reopened last week after a temporary solution was put in place, but a permanent surface is now being installed. The officials also visited Saint-Jean-la-Riviere to look at the restoration of a major water supply facility for the area which suffered damage estimated at 2 million euros in the storm. 150 employees of Regie Eau d'Azur have been mobilised to make supplies of drinking water available to virtually all homes affected by the storm.

Road safety - A campaign has been launched with the aim of lowering the number of deaths on French roads. According to government statistics, in 2019 406 people were killed during work-related travel, or 12.5% of road fatalities. Road accidents result in the loss of 4.1 million working days per year. French government agency Securite Routiere is launching a new call to employers to increase the safety of their employees on the road. Several major French employers such as Total, Airbus, SNCF and La Poste have already signed up to the campaign.

Meeting to discuss French sport and Coivd-19 – French President Emmanuel Macron is to meet with the sports industry today to discuss the economic consequences of the health situation and to help French sport cope with Covid-19.

In recent days, the former leader of the French basketball team and owner of ASVEL Tony Parker has demanded support from the state. Parker has said that the industry “has the feeling of not being taken seriously” adding that the envelope of 110 million euros for all sport, will not be enough to save amateur and professional sport" he concluded that "this is too little compared to the 2 billion which has been mentioned for Culture. "

Business

Global share prices have surged following news of a second breakthrough Covid-19 vaccine following last week’s positive developments at Pfizer.

Data from the US firm Moderna has suggested that its vaccine is highly effective in preventing people from contracting the virus and works across all age groups.

Last week ,global markets surged on news of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and hopes were raised that the business world might return to normal next year.

The fresh development from Moderna has seen a number of large firms in the tourism and aviation sectors given a major boost to their share price.

The prospect of an end to lockdowns has also boosted the price of oil with both Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate up by around 3 percent.

However ,analysts have issued a note of caution and say that until coronavirus vaccines can be successfully rolled out then cases will continue to increase.

 

The US President-elect Joe Biden has said that he will work with other democracies to rewrite the rules of international trade.

Mr Biden has signalled a shift from the policies of Donald Trump who’s pulled out of multilateral trade pacts and ramped up tensions with China.

The next occupant of the White House says that the US makes up 25 percent of the world’s trading capacity and needs to be aligned with other democracies so that we can “set the rules of the road”. He said that failure to achieve co-operation would see China and other dictate outcomes because they are “the only game in town”.

Mr Biden stressed that he is not looking at “punitive trade” and that the idea that America is “poking our finger in the eyes of our friends and embracing autocrats makes no sense”.

 

And-The personal fortune of the US tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has rocketed by some 15 billion dollars after Tesla was accepted into the S&P 500.

Mr Musk is set to become the world’s third richest person as Tesla shares surged by 14 percent in New York following the news that it was being added to the index.As he owns 20 percent of Tesla stock , he’s now worth an estimated 117.5 billion dollars.

It’s been an eventful few days for Mr Musk with his rocket firm SpaceX sending four astronauts into space.He’s also tested positive for coronavirus.

 

Sport

Formula 1-The Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that he expects to start new contract talks with 7 time world champion Lewis Hamilton “within days”.

Hamilton wrapped up a record-equaling 7th drivers’ championship with victoru n the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday.His contract expires at the end of the season but he says that he wants to remain at Mercedes.

Wolff says that he and Hamilton will “talk about it” within the next few days.

Football-Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling will both miss England’s Nations League match against Iceland tomorrow because of injury.

Sterling has a calf issue and Henderson has a problem with his leg.

Both players have returned to their clubs for assessment.

Cricket-Two former umpires have accused the England and Wales Cricket Board of “institutionalised racism”.

Former Test unpire John Holder said that it looked “more than suspicious” that he had not received a reply from the ECB when offering to be a mentor while Ismail Dawood said that he’d heard racist language used in front of senior ECB staff which went unchallenged.

The two umpires have called for an independent investigation from the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission to challenge the ECB.

The last BAME umpire to be added to the ECB’s first class list was Vanburn Holder 28 years ago.

An ECB spokesman said that the organisation wanted to see more BAME representation and recognised that it had a “long way to go” to achieve the objective.

Rugby Union-Wales have called up the Cardiff Blues back rower James Botham to their squad for the rest of the Autumn Nations Cup.

Botham is the grandson of the cricketing legend Lord Botham and the son of former Cardiff winger Liam Botham.

The 22 year old has already played for Wales under 18s ,under 20s and the Sevens side and has been in impressive form for his club.

Tennis-Novak Djokovic has won his opening group match at the ATP finals in London.

The top seed beat Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-1 at the O2 Arena.

Also on Monday Daniil Medvedev beat Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-4.

The season ending event is being played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Weather

Clear skies with light ,variable winds.

Top temperature 19 degrees.

Overnight lows of 12 degrees on the coast and 9 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies with highs of 17-19 degrees.

And Finally

A study has found that cynical people are more likely to develop heart disease because of their constant negative responses to stressful situations.

New research shows cynical people are more adversely affected by stressful situations than people who respond to unfortunate events with anger or aggression.

The findings reveal a greater tendency to engage in cynical hostility can be harmful not only for our short-term stress responses but also our long-term health.

 

 

 

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