French and Riviera News Wednesday 28th October 2020

News

New lockdown expected to be announced this evening by French President as Covid-19 cases “explode” - French President Emmanuel Macron is to address the nation at 8pm this evening to announce new restrictions concerning the second wave of Covid-19 in France.

Described by some in the medical profession as an “explosion of cases currently sweeping across France”, the government is believed to be in favour of a national partial lockdown of at least four weeks.

According to government sources, the new lockdown could be implemented from midnight tomorrow night, Thursday 29th October. New measures are thought to see restaurants, bars and nonessential shops close and teleworking is to be reinforced in companies. The question on schools remains open with the possible closure of high schools and universities but nurseries, primary and colleges remaining open.

While the French government seems to have made a u-turn having previously ruled out a return to national lockdown it would appear that following a defense council held on Tuesday 27th October figures showed an “alarming rate” in the rise of positive cases and the number of people being admitted to hospital and intensive care.

Public health France warned on Tuesday that if “stricter measure weren’t introduced immediately then France’s hospitals would be saturated by the 15th November”. Over 500 deaths were reported in 24 hours on Tuesday of which 288 were declared amongst hospital patients and 235 in retirement homes. To date 35,541 people have died in France from Covid-19.

Emmanuel Macron is to finalise the way forward during a defense council meeting this morning ahead of his announcement this evening.

Patients transferred to other parts of France to be treated for Covid-19 – Meanwhile the scenes of patients with Covid-19 being transferred to other parts of France in order to be cared for when the pandemic hit France back in March have returned, as the second wave spreads across the country.

Entire trains and medical planes have been chartered with several operations already being carried out in Hauts-de-France. On Monday, eight patients with Covid-19 were transferred to New Aquitaine from Saint-Etienne and Lyon.

According to local media between four and six patients hospitalized in the PACA region are to be treated today in Brest, a region not too badly affected by the number of cases.

According to the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, these transfers would not concern hospitals in the Alpes-Maritimes but those in Bouches-du-Rhône and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.

Monaco - Ten new positive cases for Covid-19 have been reported in the Principality with the number of residents affected to date standing at 320.

Nine patients are hospitalised and five patients are in intensive care. 54 people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Center.

Protests in Cannes - Nightclub managers and catering employees have protested in Cannes against the French government's measures in the fight against Covid-19 and their economic consequences.

About a hundred people gathered near the Palais des Festivals denouncing the lack of effective aid from the state. The protest took place on the sidelines of the Mini Cannes Film Festival which opened on Tuesday evening.

The Mini Cannes Film Festival a special three-day event was designed to put the emphasis on short films and up-and-coming directors and keep up momentum in the film world despite the cancellation of the main event last May, due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Support unit - The Cannes town hall has launched a local council unit to support the economic and social victims of Covid-19. The Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, said that the unit was being created in anticipation of what he called "the violent and very painful social crisis that we are going to experience". Identification of those in need and requiring assistance will be made on a case-by-case basis, in conjunction with associations and institutional and business partners.

The scheme, which the mayor said is the first of its kind, will have an initial budget of 200,000 euros. A free telephone number and an e-mail address have been established for local people in need to get in touch with the Cannes city council. The number is 0805 38 23 23 (open from Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6pm) and the e-mail address is soutiensocialcovid@ccas-cannes.fr

Rue d’Aubagne reopens - In Marseille, the rue d'Aubagne has reopened. Eight people lost their lives when two buildings on the street collapsed in November 2018. The street is currently open for pedestrians only and is expected to re-open to vehicles early next year. The collapse of the buildings led to the re-homing of about 4,500 people from over 570 buildings in Marseille which were deemed to be unsafe.

Pink October - As part of “Pink October” Nice University Hospital is collecting hair to make wigs. The hospital has organized haircuts for staff and their families a first in the Alpes Maritimes.

Figures show that one in 8 women is at risk of developing breast cancer. The association reminds that anyone can donate their hair, throughout the year.

Moi(s) sans Tabac campaign - For the 5th consecutive year the Principality of Monaco is giving support to the “Moi(s) sans tabac” campaign.

The goal is for smokers to give up from November 1st. It’s a collective challenge encouraging and supporting all smokers to quit. It’s built on team spirit and the support of non-smokers who encourage smokers to quit.

A free phone number for Monaco and France is available 3989 as well as an app and additional information on services available to help kick the habit at www.tabac-info-service.fr

National

Decision to close mosque validated by administrative court - An administrative court has validated the Interior Ministry’s decision to close the Grand Mosque of Pantin near Paris for a period of six months after it was found to have shared a video criticising a French history teacher which led to his murder.

France ordered the temporary closure of the mosque last Tuesday as part of a crackdown on people suspected of inciting hatred, after teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded for showing his class caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Lawyers representing the Muslim Federation of Pantin announced it would appeal the decision to close the mosque at the Council of State, France’s highest administrative court.

Anger towards Emmanuel Macron - Meanwhile anger is growing across the Muslim world at the French president and his perceived attacks on Islam and the prophet Muhammad, leading to calls for boycotts of the French products and security warnings for France’s citizens in majority-Muslim states.

France is increasing security at religious sites as the interior minister said on Tuesday that the country faces a “very high” risk of terrorist threats, amid growing geopolitical tensions.

France’s national police have called for increased security at religious sites around the All Saint’s holiday this coming weekend, particularly noting online threats from extremists against Christians and moderate French Muslims.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on France-Inter radio that the terrorist threat remains “very high, because we have a lot of enemies from within and outside the country.”

Business

A Reuters poll has found that the outlook for the US economy has dipped in the run-up to next week’s Presidential Election with the recent resurgence in coronavirus cases running a high risk of halting the recovery.

Fresh coronavirus infections have touched record levels in recent days and the number of Americans receiving hospital treatment for the virus has reached a two month high.

The rising case count and uncertainty over a new fiscal relief package has driven the steepest sell off in stocks in more than a month resulting in a flattening of the US Treasury yield curve.

The Reuters poll of 59 economists found that there was a high risk that the US economic rebound could be halted by the surge in coronavirus cases.

The poll also found that a Democratic victory in next week’s election would be the best outcome for the economy as an economic stimulus package would almost certainly be agreed and implemented.

75 percent of the 59 economists questioned also said that Democratic control of the Senate along with a Joe Biden victory would yield a stronger near-term economic recovery.

 

Mercedes-Benz is to increase its stake in Aston Martin-Lagonda as part of the UK carmaker’s recovery plan.

Mercedes will increase its holding stake from 5 percent in stages to 20 percent.

The announcement ,which was made after the London Stock market closed on Tuesday said that the deal was a “strategic technology agreement”.

The move comes after the Formula 1 team owner Lawrence Stroll took a majority stake in Aston Martin-Lagonda back in the summer.

The fresh deal will give the UK luxury carmaker access to Mercedes’ electric car technology.

It first teamed up with the German manufacturer in 2013 by taking a 5 percent stake which saw the two firms work on engine development.

 

And-Microsoft has beaten Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue and profit mainly due to an uptick in its cloud computing business.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a move towards cloud computing which has been helping firms like Microsoft , Amazon and Alphabet.

The crisis has also boosted Microsoft’s windows operating system for laptops and its Xbox gaming services.

Revenue growth for Azure ,Microsoft’s flagship cloud computing business came in at 48 percent ahead of Wall Street estimates of 43.45 percent while net income was 13.89 billion dollars up from 10.68 billion at the same time last year.

Sport

Football-In the European Champions League last night Manchester City cruised past Marseilles with a 3-0 win at the Stade Veledrome in Group C while Liverpool were 2-0 winners over FC Midtjylland in Group D.

Zinedine Zidane gave himself some breathing space at Real Madrid as his side came from 2-0 down to snatch a late draw away at Borussia Monchengladbach in Group B.

There are 8 more ties tonight including FK Krasnodar against Chelsea in Group E and Manchester United against RB Leipzig in Group H . Paris St Germain visit Istanbul Basaksehir also in Group H while Rennes of France visit Sevilla in Group E

In the English Championship last night Barnsley beat QPR 3-0.Reading were 4-2 winners at Blackburn.Brentford and Norwich drew 1-1.Middlesbrough beat Coventry 2-0.Swansea beat Stoke 2-0 and Wycome Wanderers and Watford drew 1-1.

Formula 1-McLaren’s Lando Norris has apologised for comments he made at last weekend’s Portugal Grand Prix.

Norris swore at Lance Stroll after they crashed during the race and later played down Lewis Hamilton’s achievement of a record breaking 92 Grand Prix victories.

In a statement on Tuesday ,the 20 year old said that he’d been “stupid and careless” and hadn’t shown respect to “certain people”.

Rugby Union-The Wasp’s flanker Jack Willis is “ready” for Test match rugby according to the England forwards coach Matt Proudfoot.

Willis has returned to the England squad  two years after injury ruined his chances of a first international cap.

Proudfoot said that the flanker’s physical game stands out and he is learning really quickly.

England play their final 6 Nations game against Italy on Saturday and could win the Championship with a bonus point and if France beat or draw with Ireland.

Athletics-The world 100 meter champion Christian Coleman has been banned for three years for missing three drugs tests.

The 24 year old American will now miss next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympics unless an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport is successful.

Cycling-Michael Woods of Canada  has won stage 7 of the Vuelta e Espana with Richard Carapaz of Ecuador retaining the overall race lead.

Woods broke away from a group of 4 leading riders with one kilometer to go to take the stage.

Carapaz has an 18 second overall lead over Hugh Carthy of Great Britain heading into stage 8.

Weather 

Mainly fine with light to moderate variable winds.

Top temperatures 19-21 degrees.

Overnight lows of 12 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Mainly fine with highs of 19-20 degrees.

And Finally 

A lucky UK ticket-holder has won Tuesday's £79 million EuroMillions jackpot. The National Lottery EuroMillions winning numbers are 13, 15, 28, 44, 32 while the winning Lucky Star numbers are 03 and 12. 

Players are now being urged to check their tickets online via the National Lottery app or website, or in their local store. 

Camelot's Andy Carter, senior winners' adviser at The National Lottery, said: 'It's amazing news for a UK ticket-holder who has scooped tonight's amazing £79 million EuroMillions jackpot. 

 

 

 

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