French and Riviera News Monday 16th August 2021

News

Covid figures - Latest figures from Public Health France published on Sunday 15th August have shown that 9,798 people are currently hospitalized in France with covid, including 1,852 in critical care.

78% of French people have received at least one dose of vaccine - Meanwhile, according to the latest ifop survey published in the journal de dimanche, 78% of French people have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine and 72% of French are in favour of the vaccine while 57% are in favour of the health pass.

The Ifop survey also showed that 50% are opposed to the protests against the health pass, 34% support the protests and 16% are in different. Amongst those against the health pass a majority declared its down to “moral” reasons with 19% saying it was due to “scientific” reasons and 13% "political". The survey showed that the French rely on television media for information on Covid (51%) followed by the internet and social media (33%) followed by radio.

Nearly 215,000 people demonstrate against health pass - On Saturday 14th August, 214 845 people demonstrated against the health pass across France according to the interior ministry, marking a slight drop in numbers compared to last weekend. The prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes confirmed a downward trend in the region with 6,000 demonstrators compared to 10,000 last week.

In other news 

French President to speak this evening about the situation in Afghanistan - French President Emmanuel Macron will speak at 8pm this evening about the situation in Afghanistan. The Head of State said on Sunday evening that France is currently “doing everything possible to ensure the safety of the French still in Afghanistan”.

Drug trafficking on the rise in France - France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, has announced that nearly 8,000 drug trafficking rings were dismantled between January and June of this year. Figures for 2021 have shown an increase of   34%, compared to the same period last year.

Since January 1st, 62,000 fixed-rate fines have been issued. The minister also announced the creation of ten new “witness districts” in France, a campaign launched this year where police officers “harass drug traffickers” with an increase in the number of police, as well as using video protection. The campaign in the long term will see in particular the entire city of Marseille become a “witness district” with the help of 300 additional police officers.  

The minister also expressed his concern about the increase of drugs at the wheel announcing an awareness campaign for September, as well as the increase in the number of tests for motorists. According to the minister, "20% of fatal road accidents involve at least one driver under the influence of drugs."

High fire risk in the PACA region - 60 Firefighters from the South West of France have arrived in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region. The reinforcement, including 32 from the Dordogne and 16 from the Landes region took place at the weekend due to the high fire risk in the region.

SNSM warns of increase of sea rescue operations in Var - The National Society for Rescue at Sea the SNSM, has reported an increase in the number of interventions in the Var region. Latest figures show that there have been sixty sea rescue interventions since the beginning of August. The SNSM has sent a prevention message for those navigating in the region’s waters as well as a reminder of the emergency number 196.

Air pollution - The prefecture of Var has triggered the level 1 air pollution alert for the Var on Sunday. People in the Var are advised to reduce or postpone physical and sporting activities and to limit the use of motor vehicles and to favour trips by carpooling, public transport or on foot or bicycle and to postpone maintenance or cleaning work that requires the use of solvents, paint or varnish.

 “Every can counts” cleanup operation - A cleanup operation has taken place on the Promenade des Anglais. The team of “Every can counts” began collecting cans on the Prom on Sunday. They had previously collected 800 cans on the Cannes coast.

August 15th - Crowds have gathered in coastal towns in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes on Sunday to celebrate and pay tribute, as every year, to soldiers that died during the landing of Provence on August 15th, 1944.

The event marked the history of the region and of France. It was two months after the first landing in Normandy at dawn on August 15th, 1944 that Provence was liberated as the French African army and allied troops landed on 18 beaches between Toulon and Cannes to liberate the French from German occupation.

The soldiers arrived by sea on 18 beaches on August 15, 1944. 260,000 soldiers disembarked aboard 2,000 ships. A few hours earlier, 9000 parachutists had arrived in the hinterland between the Massif des Maures and the Estérel.  It took two weeks for the armies to liberate Provence.

Between August 15 and August 29, 1944, the French army lost 933 soldiers. 19 missing and 3,732 injured. The US military lost more than 900 men. On the German side, 10,000 soldiers lost their lives and there were 35,000 prisoners.

Business

New covid outbreaks and floods have disrupted China's business operations. As factory output and retail sales growth slowed sharply and missed July expectations, adding to signs that the economic recovery is losing momentum.

China's economy has rebounded to its pre-pandemic growth levels, but the expansion is losing steam as businesses grapple with higher costs and supply bottlenecks. New COVID-19 infections in July also led to fresh restrictions, disrupting the country's factory output already hit by severe weather this summer. 

Meanwhile oil prices fell more than 1% on Monday, dropping for a third session, as government-imposed restrictions on mobility to counter the spread of the Delta variant raised worries about a recovery in fuel demand.

India is set to spend 100trn rupees (£972bn) on a national infrastructure plan to boost economic growth and help the country meet its climate goals. Speaking as part of Independence Day celebrations in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the programme will "create job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young people".

And in the UK according to property website Rightmove house prices have fallen for the first time this year. It said the average price of property coming to market in August was down 0.3%, a drop of £1,076. That was prompted by the ending of the stamp duty holiday and a subsequent fall in demand for bigger homes.

Sport

Football - Germany legend Gerd Muller has died at the age of 75. Miller was one of the best strikers in history scoring 68 goals in 62 appearances for West Germany, including the winning goal in the 1974 World Cup final against the Netherlands.

In the Premier league; Brentford beat Arsenal 2-0, Manchester United were back to their winning ways thrashing Leeds 5-1 mainly thanks to Paul Pogba, Brighton best Burnley 2-1. Chelsea beat crystal palace 3-0 the match was highlighted by 22-year-old Trevoh Chalobah, crying after scoring his first goal for a team that he has been with since the age of 8. Everton best Southampton 3-1, Leicester beat Wolves 1-0, Watford beat Aston Villa 3-2. Liverpool beat Norwich 3-0 however the match was marred by homophobic chants aimed at on loan Norwich midfielder Billy Gilmour. On Sunday, West ham beat Newcastle 4-2 and Tottenham made light of the absence of unsettled Harry Kane to start the Premier League season with a 1-0 win against Manchester City.

Tennis - Roger Federer says he will be sidelined for "many months" as he prepares to have further knee surgery. The 40-year-old Swiss, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, had two knee operations last year. Federer was knocked out in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in July and then missed the Tokyo Olympics.

Weather

Sunny with highs of 31 degrees in Nice and Saint Paul de Vence, 33 degrees in Saint Tropez with gusty winds. This evening going down to 22 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 20 degrees in the Var with clear skies.

The outlook for Tuesday sunny intervals in Nice with highs of 29 degrees, clear skies in Saint Tropez and a moderate breeze.

And Finally

A rural town in England has become the most romantic town of England and Wales following a wedding frenzy. The market town of Clitheroe, in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire, was one of only six local authority areas that saw an increase in marriage over the past 50 years.

A report by the Office for National Statistics, published last week, identifies the town as having the sharpest increase across the country. 

In Clitheroe, the proportion of people married at each census had gone up 8 percentage points, and in Blackburn rural district, marriage was up 4 percentage points. According to the Sunday Times Clitheroe's marketing managers have since called the area 'Ribble Valley wedding heaven'.

 

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