French and Riviera News.Wednesday July 15th 2020

Macron- President Macron has said that his thoughts are “with the people” of Nice on the 4th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that claimed 86 victims on the promenade des Anglais.

In a televised interview following a scaled back Bastille Day parade  in Paris ,Mr Macron  said that his thoughts were very much with the victims of the attack and their families.

86 people died after being mowed down by a truck driven by terrorist Mohamed Bouhlel on the 14th of July 2016 and dozens more were seriously injured.

A series of ceremonies took place in Nice on Bastille Day in memory of the victims.

 

Masks-Mr Macron has said that the wearing of face masks in indoor public spaces will be made obligatory from the first of August.

In a wide ranging televised interview on Bastille Day , the French President warned that there were signs that cases of coronavirus are increasing again but pledged that France “would be ready” to deal with a second wave.

He said that masks should be worn inside shopping centres ,supermarkets and other shops or anywhere where the risk of virus transmission is elevated.

No firm date has yet been fixed for the measures but the government is expected to introduce legislation in the coming days.

More than 30,000 people have died in France since the start of the pandemic and the reproduction rate ‘R’ is currently above 1 in many French regions including the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur.

Mr Macron also said that when a vaccine for Coronavirus is available then France will be “at the top of the list” of countries to be the first supplied.

He also said that he would not take Hydroxychloroquine if he was diagnosed as having contracted Covid-19.

The controversial treatment has been recommended by the maverick French medical expert Professor Didier Raoult who says that he has had success with the drug at Marseilles hospital. Mr Macron said that he did not wish to enter the “scientific debate” surrounding various potential treatments.

 

Unemployment -President Macron says that “no one can be certain” how high unemployment will go in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been reports that the jobless total will increase by up to a million people by the spring of 2021 but Mr Macron said that everything possible was being done to keep the numbers as low as possible.

The President pointed out that the government had provided massive aid to companies and was supporting workers through furlough and partial employment schemes.

He said that youth employment would be his top priority in the next two years with the creation of an additional 300,000 extra apprentice positions and an extra 100,000 places on civilian service programmes.

 

Pension reforms-The government appears to have backpedalled on its pledge to urgently reform the state pension system.

In his televised interview on Tuesday ,President Macron said that the French Prime Minister Jean Castex would be meeting with unions and social partners “by the end of the week” to set up a timetable for future discussions.

He said that his first priority after the summer holidays would be employment but that pension reforms would have to be undertaken “in the years to come”.

Mr Macron also said that his plans to kickstart the economy would not involve rises in taxation but that there might be a pause in scrapping taxe d’habitation for the most affluent citizens.

 

In other news today.

 

Fatal road accident-Two people have been killed and one seriously injured in a road accident involving three cars and a motor scooter on the promenade des Anglais in Nice.

The accident occurred at 5pm near the Total petrol station after the motor scooter rider who was carrying a passenger lost control of his machine while attempting to pass a car on the inside. He and the passenger were killed instantly and the 60 year old driver of one of the cars involved in the crash was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The dead men were aged 25 and 20-an enquiry is underway to establish the cause of the accident.

 

Missing man-Police in the Var are appealing for urgent information about a man who’s been missing from his home in the Var since Sunday.

Romain Moura who’s 36 was last seen at his home on the Avenue des Orangers in Saint Raphael on the afternoon of Sunday the 12th of July.

Mr Moura is a jet ski instructor and didn’t turn up for work and left home without his identity papers or mobile phone. He has also not used his car.

The missing man is 1 meter 77 tall and of slim build with blue eyes and brown frizzy mid-length hair.When last seen he was wearing grey Bermuda shorts .

Anyone with information is asked to call police in Frejus on 04.94.51.90.00

 

Monaco restrictions-The Medical Inspector for Public Health in the Principality of Monaco has warned that restrictions on visitors from “at risk” areas of Europe may become necessary in order to keep cases of coronavirus at the lowest possible level.

Dr Eric Voiglio says that while there have been some cases of Covid-19 imported into the Principality in recent days ,the efficient functioning of the public health system has been able to deal with the problem and that there is “nothing abnormal” in cases of the virus for the time being.

Dr Voiglio said that anyone staying in Monaco who is not resident is required to produce a  negative coronavirus test of no more than 48 hours before they had left their home  country and failing that ,they are required to self isolate for 14 days and take a coronavirus test in Monaco.

The Medical Inspector said that there are no patients  suffering from coronavirus currently in intensive care in Princess Grace Hospital and that all people in Monaco who are currently infected are either asymtomatic or suffering with very mild symptoms.

 

Broadband-Several villages in mountain areas of the Alpes-Maritimes now have access to high-speed broadband internet.

The cabling of inland areas is part of a government plan which was set up in 2013 to get more rural areas of France up to speed with modern technology.

Residents in villages including Peymeinade ,Saint-Cezaire and Saint-Vallier can now sign up for high speed fibre-optic broadband from the usual suppliers.

In September ,more villages will come online including Luceram , Saint Martin Vesubie ,Valberg ,Isola and Breil sur Roya.

 

On your (water)bike -The Princess Charlene Foundation is taking its waterbike challenge a step further this year with a relay race between Calvi and Monaco.

Princess Charlene is already in training for the event which will involve two teams with support vessels tackle the 120 kilometer distance in under 24 hours on the 12th and 13th of September.

The waterbike challenge which was first held in 2017 is in support of the Princess Charlene Foundation’s drive to prevent drowning and encourage young people to learn how swim and take part in a variety of sports.

So far ,the Foundation has helped 730,000 mostly young people with three different programmes in 34 countries.

 

Business.

 

JP Morgan Chase has beaten Wall Street estimates for second quarter profit but has warned that it’s setting aside a record 10.5 billion dollars to prepare for rising defaults as the United States slides into its worst recession for decades.

The bank said that profits had been boosted by a  77 percent surge in trading revenue but added that its loan loss provision reflects the economic damage wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bond trading alone generated 7.3 billion dollars in revenue as central banks bought billions of government securities as part of the huge stimulus programmes aimed at dealing with the impact of the virus.

JP Morgan shares rose by 2.2 percent on the news but the bank warned that “this is not a normal recession” and that the telltale signs of a big downturn may only be visible early next year.

 

The British government has said that Huawei equipment will be completely removed from the country’s 5G network by 2027 in a decision that has angered China but pleased the United States.

The move comes as a relief for UK telecoms operators including BT ,Vodafone and Three who had feared that they would be required to rip out Huawei equipment much faster at a cost of billions of pounds but it also means that the rolling out of 5G in Britain will be delayed.

The decision also signals to Huawei that its telecoms equipment is no longer welcome in the West.

The UK National Security Council which is chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson has decided to ban the purchase of 5G components from Huawei from the start of next year and will order the removal of all of the telecom giant’s existing equipment from the  new network by 2027.

In January ,Mr Johnson granted Huawei a limited role in UK 5G but the government has been dismayed by a crackdown by Chinese authorities in Hong Kong and also considers that China has failed to tell the whole truth over the coronavirus.

Mr Johnson has also been coming under pressure from the United States to ban Huawei which it considers to be a risk to its national security.

 

And-The troubled airline Virgin Atlantic has finalised a rescue package worth around 1.2 billion pounds.

The deal includes support from the airline’s main shareholder ,the Virgin Group as well as loans from outside investors.

The package also includes the deferral of hundreds of millions of pounds in loans owed to both the Virgin Group and major shareholder Delta Airlines.

Virgin Atlantic had initially hoped to secure emergency funding from the British government but ministers said that could only happen as a last resort.

Funding will also be provided by a new investor ,the hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management.

The airline said that the deal paved the way for the company to rebuild its balance sheet and return to profitability in 2022.

 

Sport.

 

Football-There was one game in the English Premier League last night. Chelsea consolidated 3rd place in the table thanks to a 1-0 win over relegated Norwich at Stamford Bridge with Olivier Giroud scoring the winner.

 

There are four games in the Premier League tonight.Burnley play Wolves.Manchester City host Bournemouth.Newcastle United play Spurs and Arsenal play the champions Liverpool.

 

In the English Championship last night the big game ended West Brom 0 Fulham 0.The result means that Fulham can’t now secure automatic promotion.

In the other games Reading lost 1-0 at home to Middlesbrough.Wigan thrashed Hull City 8-0 ! Cardiff beat Derby 2-1.Luton and QPR drew 1-1.Millwall beat Blackburn 1-0 and Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield drew 0-0.

 

Leeds and West Brom are in the automatic promotion places with Brentford ,Fulham ,Nottingham Forest and Cardiff in the playoff positions.

Millwall are two points outside the playoffs with Swansea a further two points back.

 

Cricket-England’s Dom Bess says that he feels in great form despite his failure to take wickets on the final day of the 1st Test against West Indies.

The spinner took 2-51 in the first innings but failed to take a wicket in the second innings as the tourists won the match by 4 wickets.

Bess says that he’s attacking at “both edges” and is landing the ball in dangerous places.

The second Test starts at Old Trafford tomorrow with England needing to win or draw to save the series.

 

Rugby Union-Wasps have agreed new deals with 15 players including England’s Joe Launchbury.

The club said that it was delighted to see so many players committing their future to Wasps adding that the coaching team was working hard to develop a brand of winning rugby.

Several young players have also agreed new deals.

 

Golf-Tiger Woods has said that there is “no reason” why he can’t break PGA Tour history this weekend when he returns to the course at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.

Woods is chasing an 83rd PGA Tour win that would beat Sam Snead’s record of 82 which was set in 1965.

The 44 year old said that he was coming in to the event to win it.

The Masters champion has been dealing with recurring back issues and the Memorial will be his first tournament since the PGA Tour resumed following lockdown.

 

Weather.

 

Partially cloudy with perhaps some thunder inland this afternoon.

Light to moderate easterly  winds and a high of 26-28 degrees.

Overnight lows of 21 degrees on the coast and 17 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Fine tomorrow ,sunshine and showers on Friday.Highs of 26-28 degrees tomorrow and 24-26 degrees on Friday.

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