French and Riviera News Thursday 13th August 2020

Local

Man holds people hostage in hairdressing salon in Saint-Laurent-du-Var - Police have arrested a man in his thirties after he held people hostage in a hairdressing salon in Saint-Laurent-du-Var on Wednesday afternoon. 

Six clients and three employees along with two children were in the hairdressing salon when the man entered asking to see the director of the establishment, to which the manager replied that he was absent. It was at this point that he drew his weapon, an automatic pistol.

Police quickly arrived on site and managed to arrest the individual after about half an hour.

Road accident - Two people have been seriously injured and three others have suffered slight injuries following a collision between a tourist bus and a car on Wednesday evening in La Marte, in the Haut Var.

The accident occurred just outside a holiday village the Logis du Pin, located in the town of La Martre. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the collision.

Employee tests positive at Ikea store in Toulon - An employee at the Ikea store in La Valette near Toulon in the Var has tested postitive for Covid-19. According to management the individual immediately self-isolated and none of the other staff members working with the employee have tested positive.  The store remains open and continues to follow a strict health protocol.

Coronavirus - There's been a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region. The latest weekly report from the Regional Health Agency indicates that there were 1,711 new cases in the past week, which is 792 more than the previous week. In the Alpes Maritimes, 55 people were hospitalised with the virus, which is 20 more than the previous week. The data from the agency also showed that there was a slight improvement in the number of people in intensive care with the virus in the Var, with only one person in intensive care in the latest week, which is two less than the previous week.

Masks - The Prefect of the Var has issued a decree making the wearing of masks compulsory in all open-air markets in the department. The new measure comes into effect at 6am this Friday, August 14 and applies to everyone aged 11 and over, except people with an appropriate medical certificate. Those in breach of the decree are liable to a fine of 135 euros and up to 450 euros if it's a repeat offence within 15 days.

Busy weekend on the region’s roads - Bison Futé the national institute for traffic on France’s roads has warned of a busy weekend for motorists. Starting on Friday 14th August heavy traffic is expected in both directions on the A8 motorway from 10am to 7pm and Saturday 15th has been classified as red day for departures with traffic expected to be very busy on both the A8 motorway and A50 roads.

National

Emmanuel Macron calls for better communications between Greece and Turkey - French President Emmanuel Macron has called for Greece and Turkey to coordinate more in order to ease tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, where he announced a strengthening of the French military presence on Wednesday 12th August.

During a telephone interview with the Greek Prime Minister, the Head of State once again "expressed his concern about the tensions caused by Turkey's unilateral decisions on oil exploration, which must cease in order to allow a peaceful dialogue between neighbouring countries and allies within NATO " Macron "underlined the need for greater communication between Greece and Turkey.

Flooding due to thunderstorms - Thunderstorms have caused flooding in the west of France. The storms hit much of the west country on Wednesday causing local flooding first hitting the Atlantic coast, then Brittany and reaching the Ile de France then the Hauts de France by evening.

In Paris, the downpours turned Boulevard Edgar-Quinet into a stream. Further west, the circulation of the Caen (Calvados) tram was disrupted after the flooding of the rails. Firefighters in the region carried out more than 250 interventions.

Business

Short-term home rental company Airbnb quarterly revenue has plunged 67% as fewer people traveled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but its plans for a stock market debut before year’s end are still on, according to reports.

Revenue fell to $335 million in the second quarter ended on June 30, from more than $1 billion last year.

Facebook and Snap Inc owner of Snapchat are no longer in deal talks according to reports. It had previously been reported that Facebook and Snapchat owner Snap Inc had held talks to buy Dubsmash, putting a spotlight on pop video apps at a time when Microsoft is trying to work out a deal to buy rival TikTok.

The Dubsmash news comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to ban China’s TikTok and prohibit transactions with its parent ByteDance, if it does not reach a deal with Microsoft in 45 days. Trump has given Microsoft until Sept 15th to put together a blueprint deal, which could safeguard the personal data of Americans stored on the app.

The US has said it will hold off on a hike in tariffs on $7.5bn worth of European and UK goods that it imposed as punishment for subsidies for plane-maker Airbus.

The move comes as the two sides wrestle to put to an end their 16-year trade battle over state aid for Airbus and American rival Boeing.

And - In an unprecedented move for the entertainment industry Netflix is to stream the Diana musical next year ahead of it making its official Broadway debut.

The musical, based on the life story of Princess Diana, is now not scheduled to open on Broadway until 25 May next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A filmed version of the musical, featuring the original Broadway cast, will be made without an audience in New York. Neftlix hasn't given a date for when this will be streamed on its site.

Sport

Football – In a sensational match last night Paris St-Germain scored two late goals against Atalanta winning 2-1 making a comeback to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 25 years.

Meanwhile Barcelona say an unnamed squad member has tested positive for Covid-19. He was one of nine reporting for pre-season training, showed no symptoms and has been quarantined at his home.

Formula One - Formula 1 has delayed the first of two deadlines for teams to sign up to be part of the championship from 2021.

Teams were in line to receive a bonus if they committed to F1 by 12th August, but that deadline has been moved back six days to allow time for more talks.

Cricket - England bowler James Anderson has been backed by captain Joe Root to return to "the peak of his powers".

Anderson, England's all-time leading wicket-taker, is set to keep his place for the second Test against Pakistan, which starts today.

Golf - The Masters will be played without fans in attendance at Augusta National when it takes place from 12 November.

The event - usually golf's first major of the calendar year - was postponed in April because of coronavirus.

Weather

Sunny intervals across the Côte d’Azur with a chance of showers highs of 29 degrees in Monaco, Cannes, Antibes and Nice. Highs of 33 degrees in Saint Tropez and the Var.

This evening going down to 23 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 21 in the Var with clear skies.

Outlook for Friday and the weekend clear skies and highs of 34 degrees.

 

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