French and Riviera News.Tuesday July 14th 2020

Nice Attacks-Tributes will be paid to the victims of the Nice terrorist attacks today as the city remembers the events of 14th of July 2016.

86 people died and dozens more were injured when a 19 tonne truck driven by Mohamed Bouhlel smashed into crowds celebrating the French National Bastille Day holiday on the promenade des Anglais.

Police opened fire and killed Bouhlel but not before he’d left a trail of death behind him.

Several ceremonies will be taking place in Nice throughout the course of the day.

 

Esteron death-Gendarmes investigating the discovery of a body in a mountain stream at Aiglun in the Esteron Valley on Sunday say it’s that of a 58 year hiker.

Authorities say that the man slipped and hit his head on rocks before ending up in the water.

The alarm was raised by the victim’s companion on Sunday but emergency services who arrived at the scene by helicopter were too late to save him.

 

Tubing accident-A man who suffered a severe injury to his thighs in a tubing accident in the Bay of Villefranche has been placed in a medically induced coma following surgery.

The victim was being pulled on an inflated tube from the back of an 8 meter semi rigid motor boat on Saturday when his leg became entangled with a moving winch.

He suffered a heart attack and severe leg injuries and was operated on at the Pasteur 2 hospital in Nice where his condition is described as still critical today.

 

Zone in difficulty-Police unions have called on the new French Interior Minister to put the Alpes-Maritimes on a list of troubled regions with more officers drafted in to fight organised crime and drug gangs.

The demand was made as Gerald Darmanin visited Nice on Monday.

Police unions say that they are short of at least 90 officers and that services are badly overstretched.

In an interview with the local paper ,Mr Darmanin has promised to increase police numbers in the department.

 

Nice accident-A woman is in a serious condition in Nice hospital today following an accident involving a truck and a motor scooter.

The accident happened at the junction of the rue Arson and rue Barla near the port causing traffic chaos for a considerable time on Monday and completely blocking neighbouring roads.

The woman was rushed to hospital suffering from multiple injuries.The truck driver was unhurt.

 

Fatal brawl investigation -15 people are still being questioned by police about a fatal brawl in the Var on Sunday night.

A 17 year old youth was stabbed to death during the fighting which took place near the communal sports stadium at Bras near Brignoles at around 8pm on Sunday night.

The victim ,from Manosque died at the scene while an 18 year old suffered serious injuries.

The state prosecutor’s office at Draguignan is leading the investigation.

The fight is reported to have involved rival gangs of youths who went to the area masked and armed with baseball bats ,knives and other weapons.

 

In National News.

 

Face Masks-The government is considering tightening the rules on the wearing of face masks in enclosed spaces.

Face masks are already compulsory on public transport but with the ‘R’ creeping up around the county including in the Provence Alps Côte d’Azur, leading scientists are calling on authorities to tighten the rules.

Statistics show that only one in five people are now wearing masks in supermarkets and ministers are concerned that the public has become complacent about the risks of Covid-19 transmission.

The French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said that he’s reviewing the situation and that stricter measures on the wearing of face masks have not been ruled out.

The ‘R’ is now above 1 in several regions including the south of France.

 

 

Bastille Day-President Macron will address the French nation this afternoon to mark Bastille Day at a crucial time for his leadership.

Mr Macron has just proceeded with a major reshuffle of his cabinet which included replacing Edouard Philippe as Prime Minister with Jean Castex.

The President is likely to speak about the severe economic situation caused by the corona virus pandemic as well as pension reforms and changes to the retirement age.

Mr Macron will be interviewed by two leading French journalists following a scaled down military ceremony to mark Bastille Day.

The President’s approval ratings have been falling recently and with less than two years to go before the next elections ,he is said to want to kickstart his programme with a series of voter-pleasing policy announcements.

 

Vital reforms -The French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has insisted that reforms to the French pension system are “absolutely crucial” as unions say that they will refuse to discuss them in “the immediate future”.

Mr Le Maire says that reforms are urgent because of the spiraling pensions deficit  and because people are living longer and will have to work harder to enable France to climb out of a deep financial hole caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new French Prime Minister Jean Castex has already pledged to tackle the state pension deficit but has moved to appease unions by promising that reforms -and in particular special agreements with some sectors can be delayed “for the time being”.

The French State pension deficit is expected to reach a record 30 billion euros this year.

 

Sales-The French summer sales will start tomorrow and will last for 4 weeks.

This year’s sales have been delayed as the government attempts to help struggling retailers who’ve been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Small traders have been the worst hit by the crisis and ministers have been urging the public to “go out and spend” as a way of kickstarting the economy.

Sales in France are highly regulated and happen only twice a year ,once in January and again in the summer with dates set by the government.

 

Business.

 

The US Federal Reserve’s 3 trillion dollar package to stave off an economic crisis is resulting in a stock market “bonanza” according to analysts.

Experts say that Covid-19 is now inversely related to the markets because the more the pandemic worsens ,the more stimulus the Fed will bring.

Near- zero interest rates and credit support for large swathes of corporate America are driving yield-hungry investors into equities with both the S&P and Dow Jones Industrials up by 40 percent since they hit rock bottom on the 23rd of March and the Nasdaq up by nearly 60 percent.

The stock market euphoria has now spilled over to initial public offerings and other stock sales.

A record 184 billion dollars was raised in US equity capital in the second quarter along with 8.9 billion dollars worth of IPOs-the highest level since the third quarter of 2014.

 

Google is to invest 10 billion dollars in India over the next five to seven years.

The chief executive of Google’s parent company Alphabet made the announcement at the annual Google for India event which was held online this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sundar Pichai said that the investment will be used to build projects and services for India and to help businesses go digital.

Mr Pichai said that the investment is a reflection of Google’s confidence in the future of India and its digital economy.

 

And-The world’s leading oil producers are set to announce an increase in output this week amid signs of rising demand.

Opec will hold a two day meeting today and tomorrow to discuss its next moves.

It’s expected that major producers will agree to ease supply cuts that were imposed in April to help prop up prices.

Opec and its allies cut production by 9.7 million barrels per day as the coronavirus pandemic saw demand plummet and prices collapse.

China in particular is driving demand as businesses and factories reopen while demand  is also increasing in Europe and North America.

 

Sport.

 

Football-There was one game in the English Premier League last night.

Manchester United missed out on the chance of going 3rd in the table after being held to a 2-2 home draw by Southampton.

 

There’s one game tonight.Chelsea can consolidate third place in the table when they play relegated Norwich at Stamford Bridge.

 

Formula 1-The sport’s managing director Ross Brawn has said that Ferrari face “a long road ahead” as they attempt to be competitive.

Ferrari have only qualified towards the back of the front 10 in the two races so far this season and they had a disastrous Styrian Grand Prix last Sunday with the cars of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel colliding on the first lap.

Brawn says that Ferrari need to find out whether there’s a fundamental problem with the car  and that they need to find out fast as they are clearly some way off the pace.

 

Rugby Union-Sale have signed the England centre Manu Tuilagi following his departure from Leicester.

The 29 year old had been linked with a move to France but his switch to Sale means that he will still be available for England selection.

Tuilagi left Leicester after a 20 year association with the club after refusing to sign an amended contract.

Sale are currently in second place in the Gallagher Premiership and will play Harlequins on August the 14th in the first English domestic match since the season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Weather.

 

Partially cloudy with some light showers in places this afternoon.

Light variable winds and a high of 26-27 degrees.

Overnight lows of 21 degrees on the coast and 16 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Partially cloudy with highs of 26-30 degrees.

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