French and Riviera News Monday 10th January 2022

News 

French President visits the region today - French President Emmanuel Macron will be visiting our region today. His visit will this morning begin in Nice to discuss security, followed by a visit this afternoon to the Roya Valley to observe the reconstruction of the area following storm Alex in October of 2020.

Speaking of the Head of State's visit on Sunday, the mayor of Tende Jean-Pierre Vassallo, said that "the arrival of the President was important and that he welcomed his visit and wanted to thank him, adding that Macron was responsible for triggering the restoration work following the deadly floods".

Ciotti to boycott Macron's visit - Macron's visit has however been met with contempt from local MP and member of the Republican party Eric Ciotti who has announced the "boycott of his visit". Speaking to local media Ciotti claimed that the visit is "not a presidential one but is part of his campaign in the run up to the presidential elections".

Demonstrations - Meanwhile there have been demonstrations in Nice in protest against both comments made last week by the French President which were considered "derogatory" and the obligation to get vaccinated.

Bill to be presented to the Senate today - Following turbulent parliamentary debates last week on the transformation of the health pass into a vaccination pass, the bill will be presented to the Senate today, Monday 10th January. Despite the delay in getting the bill through parliament the French government still hopes for its implementation on January 15th. From this date it will be necessary for those over 12 years of age to be able to justify a vaccination status in order to access leisure activities, restaurants, bars, fairs and public transport. A negative test will no longer be enough, except to access health facilities and services.

New measures in Monaco - Several new covid measures are being introduced in Monaco. As of January 17th, people whose work is essential to the business continuity of certain companies or public entities providing essential services to the Principality will have to present a health pass.

On Friday January 7th new measures were announced concerning restaurants from Saturday January 8th. The number of guests at restaurant tables was reduced from 12 to 8 people and the spacing between tables has been increased. There are also modifications of the protocol relating to isolation periods. Full details of the new measures can be found on the Monaco government's website: https://www.gouv.mc/A-la-Une-du-Portail/Covid-19-Amenagement-du-dispositif-sanitaire-et-extension-du-pass-sanitaire

Meanwhile 152 new cases of covid have been identified in the Principality on Sunday January 9th, bringing the total number of residents affected to 6,007. Forty-one people are currently in hospital and 362 people are being cared for by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Teaching unions announce strike action - Several teaching unions have called for strike action in France this Thursday, 13 January, in protest at the government's health protocols for schools. One of the unions said that they wanted Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer to understand that staff can no longer keep up with what it called "impractical" protocols which change "from day to day". Another union said the Minister of Education continues to make the choice to keep schools open "whatever the cost" and said that "the situation is no longer tenable".

New vaccination centre opens its doors today in Toulon - A new vaccination centre is opening in Toulon today Monday 10th January. The centre will eventually have a capacity of 1,000 injections per day. Appointments are open for booking on the website www.doctolib.fr

National Theatre of Nice - The final performance at the National Theatre of Nice has been held on Sunday ahead of its destruction and relocation. The project, met by opposition from local MPs and several associations was announced two years ago by the mayor Christian Estrosi and was confirmed by the city council on December 10th.

Flood warning in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques - Five departments in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques have remained on a red weather alert due to the risk of flooding. The prefecture has called for the utmost caution and for people to limit "travel to the strict minimum."

Business

Asian shares have been muted today as investors watch for the latest US inflation numbers which could set the seal for an early rate hike in America which would put pressure on stocks and see bond yields rise. The explosion of global coronavirus cases is also giving markets the jitters on concerns that consumer spending and growth could be affected just as the Fed is considering reducing stimulus. The US consumer price report which is out on Wednesday is forecast to show that core inflation has risen to 5.4 percent and would certainly put the Fed on track to hike rates as soon as March. Despite Friday's disappointing Non-Farm Payroll numbers, the Fed considers that the labour market is getting close to or already is at maximum employment with wage pressures growing.

The dollar has firmed on the foreign exchanges this morning as traders bet that the US inflation report will bolster the case for higher interest rates. The dollar dipped on Friday but has risen against the euro and the Japanese Yen this morning. The US currency is set to strengthen further on expected hawkish comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell but may eventually run out of steam towards the end of the week or as soon as markets price in a rate hike in March. Sterling has also rallied this morning on expectations that the Bank of England will likely hike rates in tandem with the US Federal Reserve.

Oil prices have edged up again this morning as supply disruptions in Kazakhstan and Libya combined with concerns about rapidly rising global coronavirus infections. Brent crude futures were trading up 0.2 percent a little earlier at 81 dollars 91 with West Texas Intermediate also up 0.2 percent at 79 dollars 05 cents. Oil prices spiked by 5 percent last week after unrest in Kazakhstan hit production while pipeline maintenance in Libya as well as continued political unrest saw supplies reduced. Further concerns surround tension between the United States and Russia and if Russia were to invade Ukraine, it could push prices even higher.

Sport

Football - The draw has been made for the 4th round of the FA cup with some of England's smallest clubs still in the hat. There was a shock on Sunday with Nottingham Forest of the Championship beating Arsenal 1-0. Forest will now play the holders Leicester City in round 4. Cambridge United of League 1 who beat Newcastle on Saturday have been drawn at home to Luton Town while of the non-league sides still in the competition, Boreham Wood visit Bournemouth and Kidderminster Harriers host West Ham. There's one third round tie tonight. Manchester United play Aston Villa.

Cricket - England escaped the 4th Test against Australia in Sydney with a draw escaping a series whitewash. The tourists clung on for the last 13 balls with Stuart Broad and James Anderson frustrating the bowlers as England got to 270-9 when the match ended. The 5th and final Test starts in Hobart on Friday.

Rugby Union - Leicester's 11 match winning streak in the Gallagher Premiership came to an end on Sunday as they were beaten 16-13 at Wasps.

Sunday's other match ended Bath 22 Worcester 19. That was Bath's first win of the season but they stay rooted to the foot of the table.

Tennis - Novak Djokovic is fighting to be allowed to compete at the Australian Open with a court hearing currently taking place. The world number one's legal team says that he should be allowed to compete with a medical exemption having contracted coronavirus in December. Government lawyers argue that a medical exemption for a prior infection can only be granted to Australian residents. If Djokovic is ordered to leave the country, it could cost him prize money of up to 3 million dollars.

Weather

Clear skies with light to moderate westerly winds. Top temperatures 12-14 degrees. Overnight lows of 3-6 degrees on the coast and -1 degree inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday - Clear skies with highs of 12-14 degrees.

And Finally 

A recent study has revealed if men or women are more vain. The study was achieved by analysing the length of time young adults spent in front of the mirror and by tracking their gaze to see where they were looking at any given point and it's official, modern men are more vain than women. 

The results found that the men stared at themselves for five seconds longer than women. A group of 68 adults – mostly students in their early 20s – were recruited to help experts study mirror exposure therapy. The men spent 80 seconds on average checking out their own faces – while women took just 75 seconds.

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