French and Riviera News Friday 28th January 2022

News 

10% of inhabitants of the Alpes Maritimes have contracted covid since January 1st - According to figures published by Public Health France nearly 10% of the inhabitants of the Alpes-Maritimes have contracted covid since January 1st. While the peak of contamination is declining in some regions, this is not the case in the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region where the peak has still not yet been reached and where the virus continues to circulate at great pace. More than 116,000 people had tested positive for covid in the first three weeks of January in the Alpes Maritimes. In France, nearly 11 million covid tests were carried out last week, a slight decline observed since the start of the school year in January. The threshold of 130,000 deaths related to covid was crossed on Thursday January 27th, less than two years after the beginning of the epidemic, according to figures from Public Health France, which has still recorded nearly 400,000 new cases in 24 hours.

Monaco - In Monaco 156 new cases of covid were identified on Thursday January 27th bringing the total number of residents affected to 8,084. Seventy-eight people are currently in hospital and 416 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Covid pill approved by the EMA - Meanwhile the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Thursday that it has approved the anti-Covid pill from the manufacturer Pfizer, marketed under the name Paxlovid and which is to become the first oral antiviral treatment against the disease authorised in the European Union.

Teleworking no longer an obligation from February 2nd in France - From 2nd February in France, teleworking will no longer be an obligation and will become a "recommendation". Speaking to French media on Thursday morning Employment Minister Elisabeth Borne confirmed the easing of the restriction, previously announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex on January 20th during a press conference. Teleworking will remain a recommendation but will no longer be an obligation. It will be accompanied by the easing of other measures such as the wearing of masks, which will no longer be mandatory outdoors, and the limitations on the number of people in places open to the public.

Italy to ease restrictions - And Italy will ease anti-Covid restrictions for travellers from European Union countries from February. Proof of vaccination, recent recovery or negative test will be required, but there will no longer be the requirement to quarantine.

In other news

Education minister to meet with unions - France's Minister of National Education is to meet with trade union organisations today Friday 28th January, to address the issue of the baccalaureate which is scheduled from March 14th to 16th. Unions are requesting that the minister "makes a decision as soon as possible on a postponement due to the pandemic which has affected students and their attendance".

Dismantling of local drug trafficking point in Juan-les-Pins - Three men are to appear in court as part of an investigation for drug trafficking in the seaside resort of Juan-les-Pins. After searching the homes of the three individuals, police discovered three kilos of cannabis resin, 1.5 kilos of cannabis herb, 100 grams of cocaine and nearly 10,000 euros in cash. Police in charge of the investigation said the searches led to the dismantling of a local drug trafficking point.

Sexual assaults; suspect arrested - Police have identified and arrested an individual suspected of carrying out sexual assaults near the Law University of Nice. Identified through his DNA the suspect was arrested on Wednesday but has since left police custody and been admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Woman wrongly accused in police investigation is still waiting for money seized from her home to be returned - A 51-year-old woman from Toulon who was wrongly suspected, as part of a police investigation, of carrying out a burglary is still waiting for her money to be returned. The woman saw her home searched and 80,000 euros seized by investigators. Exonerated from any wrongdoing the woman, who was able to attest the legal origin of the large sum of money, which was kept in a shoebox, has still not seen it returned.

Seasonal renters' express exasperation with city council rules - Those who rent seasonal accommodation in Nice have expressed their "exasperation" with new regulations from the city council declaring a "judicial war" with the town hall. The city has indeed increased the number of controls being carried out on furnished rentals for tourist accommodation, with more than 1,000 being carried out last year. The city has greatly tightened the rules applicable to the sector which has recently exploded in the region due to the appearance of platforms such as Airbnb.

Cameras used to stop illegal rubbish dumping - The town hall of Plan de la Tour in the Var has announced that the experiment in using cameras to catch people who dump waste illegally in the area, has given positive results. Elected officials had introduced the system nine months ago and say the cameras have given encouraging results in the fight against illegal rubbish dumping.

Peacocks cause a sensation in Saint-Tropez - Market goers in Saint Tropez in the Var have been treated to a spectacular scene as a couple of peacocks descended from the Citadel, where they have taken up residence, on Thursday morning causing a sensation in the streets of Saint-Tropez much to the delight of passers-by.

Business

A poll of leading economists carried out by Reuters has found that most think that inflation will persist this year with the global economy also affected by falling demand and interest rates which may rise faster than assumed. The shift in sentiment marks a big change from a poll carried out three months ago when leading economists were siding with central banks with the view that the surge in inflation, driven in part by pandemic-related supply bottlenecks would be transitory. In its latest quarterly survey of 500 economists taken throughout January, inflation forecasts for most of the 46 countries covered have been raised. While price pressures are expected to ease in 2023, the inflation outlook is more preoccupying than three months ago. Economists have also downgraded global growth forecasts for 2022 from 4.5 percent predicted in October to 4.3 percent. Growth is also forecast to slow further in 2023 to 3.6 percent and to 3.2 percent in 2024.

Apple has posted record sales for the festive period, beating estimates while forecasting that its shortfall of computer chips is falling. The tech giant, which is the world's largest firm by market capitalisation appears to have handled supply chain challenges such as factory shutdowns and shipping delays better than any of its rivals. Apple sales rose by 11 percent in the fourth quarter to a record 123.9 billion dollars with purchases skyrocketing during the pandemic with people spending more time online. The firm's other products including music, TV and fitness services helped it to soften the blow of the lower availability of devices with Apple saying that it now has 785 million paying subscribers across 7 subscription products. Profit for the quarter came in at 34.6 billion dollars compared with forecasts of 31 billion. Apple shares rose by 4 percent on the news.

Mondelez says that it expects to face a larger impact from supply-chain issues in its key North American market in the current quarter as it wrestles with higher inflation and labour shortages. The confectionary giant which makes Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolate is being hit with soaring shipping and labour costs while a surge in demand for ingredients including wheat and sugar has driven up raw material costs. The firm is also recovering from a 6 week strike of around 1,000 workers that took place in August. Despite the issues resulting in a hit to its margins, Mondelez boosted its fourth quarter revenue to 7.66 billion dollars, up 4.9 percent on the previous quarter thanks to higher prices and strong consumer demand.

Sport 

Tennis - The women's final at the Australian Open will be between Ash Barty and Danielle Collins. The world number one and home favourite beat Madison Keys of the United States to become the first Australian player to reach the final in Melbourne for 42 years. Collins of the USA beat Iga Swiatek 6-4 6-1 to reach her first ever Grand Slam final, less than a year after undergoing surgery for endometriosis.

It's men's semi finals day today. Rafael Nadal has taken the first two sets in his match against Matteo Berrettini of Italy while later, Daniil Medvedev plays Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Football - There's one game in the English Championship tonight. Huddersfield Town play Stoke City.

Cricket - The England captain Eoin Morgan will miss the final two T20 internationals against West Indies because of a thigh injury. Morgan missed the third game after feeling some pain in the warmup and tests show that he's picked up a right thigh muscle injury. West Indies lead the 5 match series 2-1.

Formula 1 - The sport's governing body is planning a new race-management structure in a bid to avoid any repeat of the fiasco at last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The FIA has been seeking the teams' view on the matter amid widespread acceptance that the race director Michael Masi failed to follow the rules correctly during a late safety car period in the title decider which was won by Max Verstappen. The Abu Dhabi enquiry is still ongoing and no firm conclusions have been reached.

Rugby Union - There's one game in the Gallagher Premiership in England tonight. Bath play Harlequins while in the United Rugby Championship Dragons play Benetton and Ulster play Scarlets.

Weather

Mainly fine with light variable winds. Top temperatures 13-15 degrees. Overnight lows of 4-7 degrees on the coast and -2 degree inland with partially cloudy skies.

The weekend - Mainly fine with highs of 13-16 degrees.

Last local news

Evening Update Wednesday 18 May

Newly appointed French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has been carrying out wide ranging consultations before deciding on her new cabinet... Evening Update Wednesday 18 May Read More

18/05/2022

Heatwave

As 34 degrees is expected in Toulouse, France is preparing to break new records for the month of May. Since the beginning of May, France has been stuc... Heatwave Read More

18/05/2022

French and Riviera News Wednesday 18th May 2022

The opening of the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday evening was marked by the video intervention of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Z... French and Riviera News Wednesday 18th May 2022 Read More

18/05/2022

Evening Update Tuesday 17 May 2022

Elisabeth Borne has been to the National Assembly on her first full day as French Prime Minister. She spoke at a meeting of LREM deputies this morning... Evening Update Tuesday 17 May 2022 Read More

17/05/2022

Man injured following accident with chainsaw

A man is in a serious condition after an accident with a chainsaw. The accident for which the exact circumstances remain unclear, occurred this mornin...  Man injured following accident with chainsaw Read More

17/05/2022