French and Riviera News Thursday 18th November 2021

News

Regional health agency reports two new covid related deaths - The Regional Health Agency (ARS) for the Alpes Maritimes on Wednesday 17th November, reported two new covid related deaths in hospitals in the region. Since the beginning of the epidemic, covid has caused 2,170 deaths (461 in nursing homes and 1,709 in hospitals). The agency has also recorded an increase in the region in the number of hospitalisations, while the number of patients in intensive care remains stable.

Booster jab recommended to pregnant women - Meanwhile in a statement published on Wednesday 17th November, gynaecologists in France have recommended a third dose of the covid vaccine for pregnant women, six months after the second injection. The booster jab is currently open to those over 65 and those at risk of contracting a severe form of the disease, it will also soon be available for those over 50.

French politician calls for free covid testing to be reinstated - Leader of the far-left party France insoumise Jean-Luc Mélenchon has called for the return of free covid testing. Speaking on Wednesday evening Mélenchon said that the health pass gave "a false sense of security" adding that the free covid testing which ended on October the 15th should be reinstated.

French government spokesman defends Prime minister and Interior minister - French government spokesman Gabriel Attal has said that "there may be, from time to time, a failure to pay attention" from ministers. Attal on Wednesday was defending Prime Minister Jean Castex and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who were criticized following a video on Tuesday showing them shaking hands, without masks, in defiance of barrier gestures. For several days, many political voices have been raised to denounce the relaxation of barrier gestures at a time when France is facing a fifth wave of the covid pandemic. France registered more than 20,000 new confirmed coronavirus infections on Wednesday for the first time since August 25th as the fifth wave of the epidemic picks up speed.

Husband missing while on a business trip in Colombia - The wife of a 56-year-old man from Grasse in the Alpes Maritimes has appealed for help following the worrying disappearance of her husband, during a business trip to Colombia. Cédric Aad has not given any sign of life since September 1st. He had left France on August 18th and was due to return on September 5th. Isabelle Aad last spoke to her husband by phone on September 1st and has since had no news. The 56-year-old had invested in a perfumery and was responsible for the direct sales network in Colombia. The prosecutor's office of Grasse has since launched an investigation into his whereabouts.

A British F35 fighter jet crashes in the Mediterranean - A British F35 fighter plane from the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has crashed in the Mediterranean. The pilot was able to eject safely. According to the spokesman of the British Ministry of Defence, the incident occurred on Wednesday, November 17, at around 10 am. The cause of the crash remains unknown for the moment, but an investigation has been opened. The plane, which costs 100 million pounds, is still believed to be at sea and has not been recovered, for the moment.

HSH Prince Albert II gives an update on the health of his wife Princess Charlene of Monaco - Ahead of tomorrow's National Day of Monaco HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco has said that he hopes to soon be able to visit his wife HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco who is at present in convalescence adding that the princess "is getting better but still needs rest and tranquillity".

196 luminous drones to replace fireworks during Monaco's National Day - Meanwhile as part of the Festivities for the National Day 196 luminous drones will this evening at 8pm fly above the Prince's Palace. The "ballet of the drones" is to replace the traditional firework display offering the public an unforgettable and unprecedented moment.

Marseille football fans banned from travelling to Lyon this weekend - Fans of Marseille's football club the "Olympique de Marseille" have been banned from travelling to Lyon on Sunday 21st November for the Ligue 1 match against the Olympique Lyonnais.

A8 motorway - Vinci Autoroutes has started work to modernise the directional signs on the A8 at the Monaco interchange eastbound, towards Italy. The work will lead to disruptions at night between 9pm and 6am and speed will be limited to 70km. The work is to last until the end of February 2022.

Cold snap - France is expected to experience a major cold snap next week, with a significant drop in temperatures. The cold snap is expected to begin on Sunday in the north of the country and then spread to other regions over the course of the week. According to forecasts the maximums should show "a drop ranging from 3 to 6 degrees. However, the cold snap should be temporary. Temperatures are expected to rise as early as the middle of next week.

Business

The Paris CAC 40 continues a sequence of increases not seen since 1999. Thanks to a very slight gain on Wednesday, the CAC 40 has accumulated 14 sessions in the green in the space of 15 days. A sequence that had not been observed since November 1999.

Google will begin paying Agence France-Presse for its news content as part of a broad five-year partnership announced on Wednesday. It marks one of the biggest licensing deals struck by a tech giant under a new French law.

From 19 January 2022 it will no longer be possible to pay on Amazon with a VISA credit card issued in the UK. E-commerce giant Amazon announced on Wednesday that it would no longer accept Visa credit card payments issued in the UK as of January 19, 2022, pointing to the "high fees" charged by the US payment services company.

For the first time, Apple is to allow customers to repair their own equipment, rather than going to an Apple Store or an authorized repairer. The brand will market spare parts of its products to allow everyone to repair them themselves. Apple has long been the target of many consumer associations, which encourage it to make more accessible the original parts but also the repair instructions of its various devices.

Markets – The FTSE 100 closed down 0.49% on Wednesday 17th November, the Dow Jones was down 0.58% while the CAC 40 closed up 0.06%. Exchange rates – The British pound will buy 1.19 euros and the USD will buy 0.88 euros.

Sport 

Cricket - Former England international Alex Hales says he "categorically and absolutely" denies any "racial connotation" in naming his dog, following allegations made by Azeem Rafiq. The ex-Yorkshire player Rafiq had told a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee that former team-mate Gary Ballance used the name 'Kevin' as a "derogatory" term to refer to any player of colour. Rafiq said that Hales, named his dog Kevin "because it's black".

Formula One - Mercedes will make their case for a review of the decision not to penalise Max Verstappen at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix to officials today. The hearing is to establish whether the criteria for a review of the decision have been met. It will take place at 3pm French time. The Red Bull driver was not punished for forcing Lewis Hamilton off the track as the seven-time champion tried to overtake.

Rugby Union - South Africa's director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has been banned from all rugby for two months and from involvement with the Boks on matchdays for a year. The 49-year-old has been punished for an hour-long video criticising the refereeing in July's first Test defeat by the British and Irish Lions. World Rugby found the video contained "multiple abusive and insulting comments and attacks on the officials".

Cycling - Britain's most decorated Olympian Jason Kenny is "not very optimistic" of being at Paris 2024 because of injuries. Track cyclist Kenny, 33, who has nine Olympic medals, won his seventh gold and his second silver at Tokyo 2020.

Football - Non-league Stockport County recovered from conceding two goals in the first six minutes to secure a memorable FA cup upset over League One Bolton Wanderers with a 5-3 win.

Weather 

Clear skies. Highs of 18 degrees in Nice, 19 degrees in Marseille, 16 degrees in Vence and Valbonne, 17 degrees in Biot and Cannes with a moderate breeze. This evening going down to 12 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 8 degrees in the Var with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend – Remaining fine tomorrow and Saturday feeling increasingly cooler by Sunday with highs of 14-15 degrees.

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