French and Riviera News Thursday 1st October 2020

Local

Road accident - Two young men have been seriously injured in a road accident near Aix en Provence. The accident occurred on Wednesday afternoon at the Jas de Bouffan motorway exit on the A51 westbound.

According to witnesses one of the vehicles involved in the collision fled the scene.

An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the collision.

Bus driver physically attacked – Some of the drivers on the Marseille bus network have stopped work in support of a colleague who was attacked on Wednesday morning.

A driver on bus line 44 was attacked by a motorist during an argument. Police were quickly on the scene and the alleged attacker was arrested. The bus driver was taken to hospital, but his life isn't thought to be in danger.

Monaco Covid- 19 - Four new positive cases for Covid-19 have been reported in Monaco on Wednesday.

To date 218 residents have been affected by the coronavirus.

Seven patients are hospitalised including five residents and there are no longer any patients in intensive care. 29 people are followed by the Home Monitoring Center.

Meanwhile as part of work being carried out at the Princess Grace Hospital, a new access for motorists and pedestrian was inaugurated on Wednesday by his Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco. The Prince was accompanied by several ministers including Monaco’s Minister of State Pierre Dartout.

Appeal - An appeal against the closure of all bars and restaurants in Marseille for two weeks has been rejected by the Administrative Court. The appeal had been brought by Renauld Muselier, the President of the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region and various restaurant owners. The closures were implemented as a result of the area being placed on "maximum alert" for the coronavirus, as announced by Health Minister Olivier Veran last Wednesday. The decree closing bars and restaurants in Aix-Marseille will therefore remain in force until 11 October. However, a review will take place after it has been in force for eight days. Reports say that a further appeal is planned to the Council of State.

Meanwhile the closure of gyms has been confirmed by the administrative court of Nice despite an appeal from unions. 

The court on Wednesday rejected the request from the professional union France Active and five fitness brands which demanded the suspension of new measure.

Changes 1st October - As with every first of the month in France today marks several changes; there will be a rise in the price of gas, caregivers will be entitled to three month paid leave from today and a new family allowance service is to be introduced for single-parent families.

Design and Arts weekend cancelled - The Design and Arts Weekend scheduled to take place this weekend in Juan-les-Pins has been cancelled. Organisers have said that new dates for 2021 will be announced in the coming weeks.

Monaco - The Monaco government has announced that it will make a contribution to the cost of renovation works in private dwellings. The allowance is intended to encourage individuals to carry out work in their homes, by calling on building professionals in the Principality.  The renovation bonus can be requested by tenants and/or owners aged over 65 who wish to carry out work on their housing in the Principality by using companies from Monaco. The amount is 20% of the total of the work, including tax, capped at € 2,000. The premium will be paid directly by the State to the company chosen by the individual, on presentation of the invoice. The scheme is aimed at supporting the Monaco economy.

Clearance sale - Traders in Juan-les-Pins are holding a three-day clearance sale this weekend. All participating merchants will offer their items outside in front of their store on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Wearing a mask is compulsory throughout the clearance sale area and inside the shops.

National

French Prime Minister to meet with mayors - French Prime Minister Jean Castex is due to meet today with the mayors of Paris, Lille, Lyon, Grenoble and Toulouse to discuss the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic as well as possible measures.

The meeting comes as the National Assembly is set to vote today on health measures put in place by the government in the fight against Covid-19.

The latest figures published by Public Health France on Wednesday evening have shown that there are more than 1,200 patients in intensive with 135 being admitted in the last 24 hours. A figure well below the levels reached during the peak of the epidemic, which saw 7,000 patients in intensive care in early April.

Airforce plane - Emergency service phone lines were jammed by a large volume of callers after a loud explosion-like noise was heard in Paris and across surrounding areas at about midday on Wednesday.

The Police Prefecture quickly took to social media to explain that the loud noise wasn't an explosion but had been caused by an airforce plane breaking the sound barrier.

Business

A report by Bloomberg says that financial firms have shifted 7,500 jobs and more than 1.2 trillion pounds out of the City of London ahead of Brexit.

The report ,citing the consultancy firm EY says that more departures are set for the coming weeks as the end of the transition period looms and the UK finally leaves the bloc on the 31st of December.

Bloomberg says that more than 400 job locations from London to continental Europe have been announced in the past month and the figure is likely to accelerate between now and the end of the year.

EY has been tracking 222 of the largest financial firms with a presence in the City since the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016 and most of the departures have been to the benefit of Dublin ,Frankfurt and Luxembourg.

From next year ,firms in the City will almost certainly lose their passporting rights to offer services across the EU  and will have to rely on the bloc granting them equivalence for them to do business in Europe.

Customers in the EU currently account for up to a quarter of all revenue at London based financial firms.

 

The US tech firm Palantir has achieved a market value of 22 billion dollars after making its debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

The firm ,which has been mired in controversy for supplying data-sifting software to government agencies has never hit a profit  and relies on public bodies for nearly half of its business.

Palantir was launched in 2003 with backing from the right-wing libertarian tech investor Peter Thiel  and the CIA.

The firm builds programmes that integrate data sets and release connections and patterns in user-friendly formats.

Palantir has been described as “the scariest” of America’s tech giants and supplies software to police departments ,public agencies and corporate clients.

Critics say that the firm’s software enables surveillance and analysis of data from driving licenses to social media posts and DNA swabs that may infringe privacy rights.

 

And-The trial has started in Germany of the former Audi boss over the dieselgate affair.

Rupert Stadler appeared before a Munich court on Wednesday charged with fraud which he denies.

The owner of Audi ,Volkswagen has admitted to installing software that was capable of cheating emissions tests in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

Two VW employees have been jailed in the United States over the scandal but so far ,no executive has been convicted in Germany.

Mr Stadler is accused of knowingly selling cars which had manipulated engine software and did not comply with environmental standards.

Sport

Tennis-Serena Williams’ dreams of a record equaling 24th Grand Slam Title are on ice again after she withdrew from the French Open in Paris ahead of her second round match.

The 39 year old pulled out with an Achilles injury and said that she needed 4-6 weeks complete rest.

Elsewhere ,the 10th seed Victoria Azarenka and Coco Gauff both lost but Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina both won their second round matches.

In the men’s event ,the 12 time champion Rafael Nadal is through to round 3 thanks to a straight sets win over Mackenzie McDonald and the 6th seed Alexander Zrevev moved into round 3 after a 4 hour thriller against Pierre-Hugues Herbert which he eventually won in 5 sets.

Football-There were 4 fourth round ties in the League Cup in England last night.

Newcastle came through on penalties against Newport town after the scores were tied at 1-1 after extra time. Manchester United were 3-0 winners at Brighton. Manchester City were 3-0 winners at Burnley and Everton beat West Ham 4-1.

There are three more ties tonight.Brentford play Fulham.Aston Villa host Stoke and Liverpool play Arsenal.

Cricket-Jonny Bairstow has lost his central England contract but remains contracted for limited-overs.

The 31 year old has been in patchy form and wasn’t selected for the summer’s Test series against West Indies and Pakistan.

England director of men’s cricket Ashley Giles said that the decision would come as “a blow” for Bairstow but that he still had a big part to play in Test cricket.

Rugby Union-There were 3 games in the Gallagher Premiership in England last night. Bristol thrashed Leicester 40-3 .Exeter lost 22-19 at home to London Irish and Worcester beat Saracens 40-27.

Weather

Partially cloudy with some rain developing this evening and light to moderate south westerly winds.

Top temperatures 22-23 degrees.

Overnight lows of 17 degrees with outbreaks of rain.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Rain and thunderstorms tomorrow,partially cloudy on Saturday.Highs of 19-21 degrees.

And Finally

Researchers in the UK say that due to millions of Brits working from home many multi task and are actually working for longer.

Traditional office hours of 9am to 5pm no longer apply. Instead, the average start time is now 8.12am, while clocking off time is at 5.13pm. And the busiest time of the working day is 10.13am.

One in three people now begin work before they have their morning coffee and 37 per cent before they have a shower or bath.

Meanwhile, 36 per cent start work before they have brushed their teeth and a third before getting dressed.

And according to the poll nearly one in five begins work before they even get out of bed.

 

 

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