French and Riviera News Monday 24th May 2021


Number of people hospitalised with covid in France drops below 20,000 for the first time since October - The number of covid hospitalisation in France has dropped below 20,000 for the first time since October 2020. Public Health France reported 19,765 hospitalisation on Saturday, as intensive care patient numbers also dropped to 3,544 – down from more than 6,000 in April. France has been gradually loosening its lockdown since the start of May and hopes to lift all major restrictions by the end of June.

Vaccination stepped up in Bordeaux following cluster of variant - Meanwhile in Bordeaux, some 19,000 doses have been released in order to vaccinate the entire adult population of the neighbourhood of Bacalan after a cluster of around 50 cases of a "worrying" variant, related to the British variant, were reported. A temporary vaccination centre is expected to be set up from Wednesday to assist with the operation. Nearly 23 million people have now received a first injection of the covid vaccine in France, with 9.7 million having both jabs. The French government is targeting 30 million first injections by mid-June.

Regional vaccination figures - Figures published for the region on Sunday May 23rd show that in total 221,438 people have received both doses of the vaccine against covid representing 20% of the population of the Alpes-Maritimes and 426,815 have received at least one dose, accounting for 39% of the population. More women have been fully vaccinated in the Alpes Maritimes with just over 125,000, compared to 95,000 men.

Covid figures for the Alpes Maritimes - Meanwhile two deaths from covid have been reported this weekend in the Alpes Maritimes. Since the start of the epidemic, covid has killed 1,955 people in the department (1,507 in the hospital, 448 in nursing homes). The number of people hospitalised stands at 314 with a slight rise in the incidence rate on Sunday to 50 compared to 45 the day before.

Monaco reports no new cases of covid on Sunday - No new cases of covid have been declared in Monaco on Sunday with the total number of residents affected standing at 2,501. Two nonresidents are currently in hospital in the Principality and seven residents are being followed by the Home Monitoring centre.

25 classes closed today in the Var region - And in the Var, at least 25 classes will not open in the department this morning Monday 24th May. Due to the health protocol introduced by France’s National Education Ministry, one case of covid now results in class closure. Here is the full list;

- Lycée Léon-Blum in Draguignan

- René-Cassin elementary school in Figanières

- François-Fabié elementary school in Valletta

- Jean-L'Herminier College in La Seyne

- Henri-Matisse College in Saint-Maximin

- La Florane nursery school in Toulon

- Jean-Aicard nursery school in Toulon

- Jean-Aicard elementary school in Toulon

- Django-Reinhardt College in Toulon

- Paul-Cézanne College in Brignoles

- Maurice-Genevoix College in Toulon

- Montenard College in Besse-sur-Issole

- Petit-Prince nursery school in Cavalaire

- General-Ferrié College in Draguignan

- Cais nursery school in Fréjus (two classes)

- Cais elementary school in Fréjus (two classes)

- Jacques-Yves Cousteau College in La Garde (two classes)

- Jules-Ferry elementary school in Valletta

- Jean-Jaurès elementary school in Luc

- Pierre-de-Coubertin College in Luc

- Gapeau Valley College in Solliès-Pont

- Peiresc College in Toulon

In other news

Cable car fall kills at least 14 people - At least 14 people have died and one child is seriously injured after a cable car plunged to the ground in northern Italy. According to initial news reports, the accident in the region of Piedmont occurred around 300 meters from the summit and was believed to have been caused by a cable snapping at the top of the system.

France warns UK not to play games with trading rules for Northern Ireland - France's European affairs minister Clement Beaune has warned Britain not to play games with special post-Brexit trading rules for Northern Ireland. Speaking in The Hague on Saturday, the minister urged London to be "responsible" over the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol. Beaune said, "We cannot accept that there is political game with such a sensitive issue".

Rise in popularity for both French President and Prime Minister - French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Jean Castex have seen a 3 and 4% rise in their popularity ratings. According to the recent Ifop poll 40 percent of French people say they are satisfied with the head of state, particularly among young voters, with a rating of 51 percent among 18-24-year-olds. This marks an increase of 8 points compared to April. As for Prime Minister Jean Castex, his popularity now stands at 38 percent, the highest in six months.

Eurovision - There was disappointment for France at the Eurovision this weekend, as French singer Barbara Pravi, came agonisingly close to ending France’s 44 years of hurt since its last Eurovision win with her number "Voila". French President Emmanuel Macron gave solace to the French contestant, tweeting: "Bravo and thank you...for making France shine at Eurovision." Barbara managed second place behind Italy who were crowned the winners.

Rugby - Toulouse beat La Rochelle in a dramatic finish to the Champions Cup final at Twickenham on Saturday to be crowned European club rugby union kings for a record fifth time.

Football - And in football Lille claimed their first Ligue 1 title since 2011.


Crypto currency mining operators are suspending operations in China after Beijing stepped up efforts to crackdown on bitcoin mining and trading.
A Chinese State Council committee announced a crackdown at the end of last week, the first time the council has targeted virtual currency mining.
Crypto currency mining is big business in China and accounts for as much as 70% of the world’s supply.
Crypto miners are using increasingly powerful, specially designed computer equipment to verify virtual coin transactions in a process which produces newly minted cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
Investor protection and prevention of money laundering have become a major preoccupation for governments and financial regulators who are considering how to regulate the cryptocurrency industry.
Last week ,the chair of the US Federal reserve Jerome Powell turned up the heat on cryptocurrencies and warned that they pose a risk to financial stability.
Bitcoin has taken a hammering since the news broke and was trading at $35,400 a little earlier this morning.

The UK finance Rishi Sunak is facing growing pressure to support US proposals for a minimum rate of corporation tax.
Labour is expected to trigger a Commons vote today designed to force the government to back the plan put forward by US President Joe Biden.
The plan is being negotiated between more than 130 nations with the hope of securing an agreement this autumn.
Under the proposals, multinational corporations would be prevented from shifting profits across borders to exploit the most attractive low tax locations. A minimum global corporation tax rate would also be set.
The Biden administration initially proposed a rate of 21% but last week said that it should be at least 15% and discussions should continue to push it higher.
Labour says that it will table an amendment to the finance bill due in the House of Commons today to force  the government to back the proposal.
A senior government source said that it was engaging with the United States and other countries on a global minimum corporation tax rate but that any agreement must come as part of a package including a solution on fair taxation of large multinational digital companies.

And –Sir Leonard Blavatnik has topped the latest Sunday Times Rich list after seeing his fortune swell to £23 billion.
The Ukrainian born oil and media magnate saw his wealth increase by £7.2 billion last year.
He takes the title of Britain’s richest person from Sir James Dyson whose wealth only increased by one hundred million pounds to 16.3 billion.
There are now a record 171 billionaires in the UK with their wealth rising by 21.7% during the pandemic to £597.2 billion.
The property investor brothers David and Simon Reuben are in second place as their fortune grew by £5.46 billion to 21 .46 billion.
The study found that the richest 250 people in the UK this year are worth £658.1 billion up by 565 .7 billion on last year,a rise of 16.3%.


Formula One – Max Verstappen has won the Monaco Grand Prix after pole sitter s Charles Leclerc was forced to pull out the race owing to a problem with his driveshaft.

The drama unfolded following the Ferrari driver’s crash at the end of qualifying which saw him take pole and the session stopped because of a red flag.

On Sunday, when the Ferrari came out of the pits for its reconnoissance lap it became clear that he wouldn’t be able to compete.

Verstappen controlled the race with Valtteri Bottas running second before disaster struck in the pits and the team couldn’t get his front right tyre off forcing him to abandon.

Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari finished second with Lando Norris claiming another podium finish for McLaren in third.

Lewis Hamilton had a disappointing race and could only finish seventh but he did get an extra point for the fastest lap.

Max Verstappen now leads the drivers’ championship by four points from Hamilton with Lando Norris in third.

Next stop is the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on the 6th of June, another circuit that may favour Red Bull.

Golf – Phil Mickelson has become the oldest player to win a Major with victory at the US PGA Championship at Kiaweh Island.

Mickelson held on to win following a final one over round of 73 putting him 2 clear of Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen.

Padraig Harrington finished on 2 under alongside Shane Lowry and Paul Casey.

Rory McIlroy had another disappointing tournament finishing on five over par.

Football – Liverpool and Chelsea took the final two Champions League spots on the final day of the English Premier League season.

Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 2–0 while Chelsea lost 2–1 at Aston Villa. The London club just hung on to 4th place with Leicester missing out after losing 4–2 at home to Spurs.

In the other results Arsenal beat Brighton 2–0. Fulham lost 2–0 at home to Newcastle. Leeds beat West Brom 3–1. Manchester City thrashed Everton 5–0. Sheffield United beat Burnley 1–0. West Ham beat Southampton 3–0 and Wolves lost 2–1 at home to Manchester United.

Leicester and West Ham make the Europa League next season but Spurs have to settle for a place in the new Europa Conference League.


Rain clearing away by lunchtime with partially cloudy skies and moderate westerly winds.

Top temperature 20 degrees.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Clear skies,moderate to strong westerly winds and a high of 20-23 degrees.






















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