French and Riviera News Monday 7th September 2020

Local

Motorcyclist killed in road accident - A motorcyclist has died following an accident on the A8 motorway. The accident happened shortly before 10pm on Sunday at Les Adrets de l'Estérel westbound. Another vehicle was involved in the collision. Police have opened an investigation to determine the cause of the fatal collision.

Hiker dies after fatal fall - A thirty-year-old hiker has died in Saint-Martin-Vésubie in the Var after a fatal fall. The incident occurred at around 8.30 on Sunday morning on the ridge of Saint Robert. A second hiker alerted the emergency services but despite rescuers efforts the victim died at the scene.

Meanwhile a couple in their sixties have been airlifted to safety after becoming lost and disorientated in the Estérel massif near Saint Raphael. Mountain rescuers intervened on Sunday evening after the couple got into difficulty.

Corsica classified as a “red zone” - Corsica has been classified as a “red zone” due to the active circulation of Covid-19. Authorities made the announcement on Sunday adding that all bars would have to close at midnight.

French authorities added seven more departments to the “red zone” list on Sunday including Corsica, Lille, Strasbourg and Dijon. In total out of 101 mainland and overseas departments 28 are now considered to be “red zones”.

Marseille has 20 intensive care bed available out of 70 - Health professionals in the Bouches-du-Rhone have warned that out of 70 intensive care places for patients with Covid-19 20 are currently available.

The department which is on high alert due to the circulation of the coronavirus saw 282 people hospitalised on Saturday for Covid-19 among which 50 were placed in intensive care mainly in Marseille.

Concerned doctors have said that even though the figures have not reached those of April 9th which saw the last peak of the health crisis with 107 intensive care beds occupied, and 230 people hospitalized, it is still a worrying situation to see an influx in the last 24 hours and have urged people to respect barrier gestures and the obligation to wear a mask.

Covid-19 – On a national level according to Public Health France nearly 25,000 new cases of Covid-19 have been declared in France in the last three days. Friday saw the number of cases peak at nearly 9,000 new cases, a record since the start of the epidemic in France. 58 new clusters have been reported in the last 24 hours and to date 30,701 deaths have been linked to Covid-19.

Recovery plan for Monaco to be unveiled this week - This week the Monegasque government is set to unveil its recovery plan. The plan will be presented following meetings between representatives from the major sectors of the economy and the new Minister of State Pierre Dartout.

Demonstration - Demonstrators have descended on a migrant detention centre in Marseille demanding its closure. Protestors claim that undocumented migrants are being held in the administrative detention centre (CRA), where several have begun a hunger strike.

Most of the demonstrators are immigrant rights activists voicing concern claiming that “people are sick inside and as the borders are blocked, they are held for months without any prospects”.

British engineer received nationality papers from Emmanuel Macron - A British engineer has received French nationality papers directly from the French President. Matthew Ridealgh who lives in Antibes and works for a telecoms company has been in France since 1993. Born in Eton in England in 1970 the President congratulated him and told him that he had been “French at heart for a very long time”.

Ridealgh was one of five people who received their “livret de naturalization” personally from Mr Macron during the ceremony in Paris.

Man blows up home while trying to kill a fly - An 80-year-old man has blown up part of his house while trying to swat a fly. The incident occurred when the man used an electric racket, designed to kill bugs, but was unaware that a gas canister was leaking at his home in the Dordogne.

A reaction between the racket and the gas caused the explosion, destroying the kitchen and partly damaging the roof of the home. According to local media, the unnamed man had a lucky escape, sustaining just a burn to the hand.

National

Chronically ill man - Facebook has blocked the live broadcast of a chronically ill man, who intended to livestream his death on the platform. Alain Cocq had appealed to French President Emmanuel Macron for a medically assisted death, which is currently not permitted in French law.

Cocq had planned to livestream the end of his life, which he expects to happen over the coming days due to his decision to stop all food, liquids and medicines - except he will keep taking painkillers.

A message on his account on Saturday said Facebook had blocked him from posting videos until Tuesday.

Business

Talks on Britain’s future trading relationship with the European Union are set to be plunged into chaos with the UK government planning fresh legislation that would override a key part of the withdrawal agreement.

Ministers are said to be planning to move to eliminate the requirement for new Northern Ireland customs arrangements which have been designed to prevent the return of checks at the border with the Irish Republic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to say that if no agreement with the EU is reached by the 15th of October then both sides should “move on”.

Over the weekend ,the UK’s chief negotiator David Frost said that Britain was “not scared of walking away” from the talks.

Another round of discussions between the two sides is set to start later today aimed at securing a deal to allow firms in the UK and EU to trade without taxes or customs checks.

However ,reports say that the new UK Internal Market Bill would tear up the agreement struck less than a year ago.

It would also override provisions on state aid which has been one of the key sticking points in the talks.

Asian shares have been on the defensive today as investors struggle with sky high valuations against a backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic and falling demand for crude.

China’s stock market opened lower while both the Hang Seng and Nikkae were down too on concerns over the blacklisting of a leading semi-conductor manufacturer to US trade restrictions.

Oil prices have fallen by more than a dollar per barrel hitting their lowest level since July after Saudi Arabia made the deepest monthly price cuts for supply to Asia in 5 months.

Brent Crude dropped by 1.1 percent to 42 dollars 16 with US light crude down 1.3 percent to 39 dollars 24.

The dollar has remained flat against the yen ahead of a week of big macroeconomic data with figures on consumer spending ,current account and GDP due out tomorrow.

The euro has held steady at US dollar 18 while the pound was slightly weaker at 1 US dollar 32.4 ahead of a new round of Brexit talks.

And-Samsung Electronics says that its won a 6.64 billion dollar order to supply wireless communications solutions to Verizon in the United States.

The deal is a major victory for the South Korean firm in the next generation 5G network market.

Verizon had already been a Samsung customer and said last year that it does not use any equipment provided by Huawei of China.

Analysts say that the contract will help Samsung expand its telecom equipment business overseas and potentially give it the leverage to negotiate with other countries.

Samsung had a three percent share of the global market for telecoms equipment in 2019.

Sport

Cycling-Primo Roglic is the new holder of the Yellow Jersey as Tadej Pogacar won stage 9 of the Tour de France on Sunday.

Previous race leader Adam Yates lost contact with the front runners on the final climb of the day on the 153 kilometer route from Pau to Laruns and has dropped to overall 8th in the standings.

Pogacar edged out Roglic in a sprint finish one and a half kilometers from the line.

Today is a rest day before stage 10 tomorrow which is 168.5 kilometers on the flat between Ile d’Oleron and Ile de Re.

Formula 1-Pierre Gasly of France has won his maiden Grand Prix at the end of a stunning race which saw Lewis Hamilton handed a 10 second penalty after being called in by Mercedes while the pit lane was closed.

The Alpha Tauri driver came home first ahead of Carlos Sainz in the McLaren and Lance Stroll in the Racing Point.

Hamilton was dominating before the error that led to his penalty.Two safety cars in quick succession then mixed up the order and Gasly took the lead after the World Champion had served his penalty.

Hamilton battled back well from 18th to 7th but couldn’t get near the podium.

The 6 time World Champion still leads the drivers’ championship on 164 points ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas on 117 and Max Verstappen on 110.

Tennis-Top seed Novak Djokovic has been disqualified from the US Open after hitting a line judge with a ball during his 4th round match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain.

The world number one took a ball out of his pocket and hit it behind him in a show of frustration after losing his serve in the first set.

Under Grand Slam rules the incident was classed as a court violation and he was defaulted.

The line judge was shaken up but not hurt.

Djokovic left Flushing Meadows without talking to the press.

Cricket-England have beaten Australia by 6 wickets in the second T20 in Southampton to wrap up the series.

Australia batted first and made 157-7 from their 20 overs.

In reply ,England got to the total in 18.5 overs in a score of 158-4.

Jos Buttler top scored with 77 not out.

Weather

Mainly fine in coastal areas ,some thunder inland later and moderate to strong easterly winds.

Top temperature 26 degrees.

Overnight lows of 22 degrees on the coast and 18 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Mainly fine with highs of 26-28 degrees.

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