French and Riviera News Monday 14th June 2021

News

Number of covid patients and deaths from covid continues to decline in France - The number of hospitalised patients and deaths from covid continues to decline in France with Public Health France reporting 13 deaths from covid in the last 24 hours. 12,480 patients are currently in hospital, the lowest figure since mid-October and 2,106 are in intensive care. 2,855 new cases have been identified over last 24 hours, compared to more than 5,000 recorded the previous Sunday. 30.25 million people have received at least one injection of the covid vaccine, and 15.76 million are fully vaccinated. From tomorrow Tuesday 15th June the vaccination campaign will be open for all 12 to 17-year olds.

In other news

Young man stabbed during fight in Cagnes-sur-Mer - A young man has been stabbed in the back following a fight in Cagnes-sur-Mer. The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning on the Avenue de Nice in Cagnes sur mer. Police have opened an investigation to determine the exact circumstances surrounding the stabbing.

Fatal weekend on the region’s roads – It was not a good weekend on the region's roads with three motorcyclists killed in the Var and the Alpes Martimes. Emergency services have called for caution following the deaths of two men and a woman. Six other serious road accidents were also reported.

Oil pollution off coast of Corsica - According to the Maritimes prefecture oil pollution off Corsica has drifted to the south of the island on Sunday. The pollution was detected on Friday June 11th and stretched in two layers over 35 kilometers as French authorities launched a plan at the weekend to protect the coast, including a ban on going to certain beaches on the east coast of the island. An investigation has been opened by the Marseille public prosecutor's office. At this point, three ships present in the area around the pollution are to be checked.

Forest fires - Firefighters in the Bouches-du-Rhône have called for vigilance as the region enters the season of forest fires. 20 hectares of land was destroyed in a blaze in Arles at the weekend. With the hot weather, lack of rain accompanied by strong winds, firefighters have called on the public to be extra careful. Warmer temperatures were felt across France at the weekend and will continue today with highs of 30 degrees and Meteo France predicting up to 34 in Toulouse.

Protest - Thousands of people have marched across France against the rise of ‘the far right’. Protestors marched in 140 towns at the weekend in The Marche des Libertés to denounce what they called “attacks on freedom” due to the rise in support for far-right parties, and laws that they say are “killing freedoms”.

French far-left political figure pelted with flour – Meanwhile police in Paris have arrested a man suspected of pelting flour at French far-left political figure Jean-Luc Mélenchon during the march. A second man was also placed in police custody. The suspect has been charged with "voluntary violence" over the incident. 

Business

Global stock markets are holding firm near record highs today while US bond yields are flirting with three month lows as investors expect the Federal Reserve to stick to its dovish mantra later in the week. Analysts say that equity markets are basking in the prospect of a broadening economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and anticipation of continuity in monetary policy from the US Federal Reserve. The rally came even as US inflation data on Thursday exceeded market expectations. A major factor is that the Fed has been saying that inflation will be transitory and that it will maintain loose monetary policy. While some Fed board members have said that the bank should start discussing tapering its bond buying, most investors think a majority of policymakers still prefer to wait a bit longer.

G-7 leaders have pledged to work together to tackle carbon emissions just weeks before the European Union is due to propose a world first plan to impose CO2 costs on imports of certain polluting goods. In a joint communiqué issued on Sunday, leaders said that they acknowledge the risks of carbon leakage and will work collaboratively to address this risk and to align trading practices with the commitments of the Paris agreement. They said that the policy to put a price on CO2 will help them decarbonise their economies. However, no mention was made of carbon border fees, an idea that will gather attention next month when the EU will propose its long-awaited plan to force importers to pay for their emissions. EU policy is likely to require importers of iron and steel, aluminium, cement, fertilisers and electricity to buy digital certificates to get their goods over the EU border. After the meeting, European Council President Charles Michel said that “carbon pricing matters” and we need to address carbon leakage to create a global level playing field.

Oil prices are holding near multi-year highs today underpinned by an improved outlook for demand as increased COVID-19 vaccinations help to lift travel curbs. Brent crude was trading up 0.2% a little earlier at $72.83 with West Texas Intermediate also up 0.2% at $71.05. On Friday, oil prices reached their highest level since October 2018. Vehicle traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels in North America and much of Europe and more planes are in the air as lockdowns and other restrictions are being eased. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency says that OPEC needs to open the taps to keep the world oil market adequately supplied. Last week, Goldman Sachs said that it expected Brent to rise to $80 per barrel this summer as the rollout of inoculations boosts economic activity around the world.

Sport

Euro 2020 – The Danish team doctor says that Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest when he collapsed in the match against Finland on Saturday night. The former Spurs midfielder is stable in hospital and has sent greetings to his national teammates. The 29-year-old collapsed shortly before half-time in Denmark’s opening Euro 2020 fixture against Finland. Dr Morten Boesen said that “He was gone. We did cardiac resuscitation, it was a cardiac arrest”. He added that the reason it happened has not yet been explained.

On the pitch, there were three games at the tournament on Sunday. England got their campaign in group D underway with a 1–0 victory over Croatia at Wembley. In group C Austria beat North Macedonia 3–1 and The Netherlands beat Ukraine 3–2. There are three more games today. Scotland play their opening game against the Czech Republic at 3 pm. In group E Poland play Slovakia and Spain play Sweden.

Tennis – Novak Djokovic came from two sets down to win the French open against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Paris on Sunday. The 34-year-old Serb was in deep trouble against his Greek opponent before rediscovering his energy to come through 6–7 2–6 6–3 6–2 6–4. Victory for Djokovic brings him his 19th Grand slam title, just one behind the men’s record which is jointly held by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Cricket – England slumped to an 8 wicket defeat to lose the second Test and the series against New Zealand. It took the tourists less than an hour on the fourth morning of the match at Edgbaston to wrap up the win as England were bowled out for just 122 in their second innings. New Zealand then got to the modest target of 38 in a total of 41-2. It was England’s first home series defeat since 2014 and New Zealand’s first success in England in 22 years. The win will give them a major confidence boost as they head into the World Test Championship Final against India which starts In Southampton on Friday.

Rugby Union – Saracens have all but booked their return to the English Premiership as they hammered Ealing Trailfinders 60–0 in the first leg of the Championship play-off final. The huge margin of victory has rendered next Sunday‘s return leg little more than a formality with Saracens effectively ensuring their absence from the top tier of English rugby will be for one season only.

Weather

Mainly fine with light to moderate south easterly winds. Top temperatures 25-27 degrees in coastal areas, up to 30-31 degrees inland in the Var. Overnight lows of 20-22 degrees with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday - Mainly fine with highs of 26-30 degrees.

And Finally

Experts have warned that alien contact could result in 'the end of all life on earth' and we should stop trying to communicate with extra-terrestrials. A group of astronomers are pushing back on humanity's preoccupation with communicating with aliens beyond our galaxy, warning that alien contact could result in 'the end of all life on earth’. The team says that we shouldn't assume that these possible aliens are coming in peace.

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