French and Riviera News Thursday 23rd September 2021

News

Hospitals lacking staff - Health workers in the region have warned that hospital services are at risk of closing in the Alpes Maritimes due to lack of staff. The shortage of caregivers affects almost all public and private hospitals as medical teams warn that the situation is causing a severe deterioration in health care.

Wearing a mask to be lifted from 4th October for some regions of France – Meanwhile as a result of Wednesday’s Health defense council meeting the French government has announced that from Monday, October 4th all school children from CP upwards will no longer be required to wear a mask. The measure will only apply to those regions in France where the incidence rate has been below 50 for 5 consecutive days. The measure will not affect teachers and adults, who will continue to wear the mask in class.

According to the latest figures available, 91 departments have an incidence rate of less than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and, among them, 41 departments have fallen below the threshold of 50.

Those missing after storm Alex declared dead - Almost a year after storm Alex, those reported missing will be declared dead. The investigation into the victims of the floods of October 2, 2020 is now closed just a few days ahead of its sad anniversary. The death toll stands at 18 victims, 10 of whom have been found.

Team of burglars dismantled - Police have dismantled a team of burglars operating along the Côte d'Azur. Eleven people have been identified and are suspected of being involved in fifteen burglaries carried out in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var, with up to 1.6 million euros of valuables being taken.

Naval Group to send invoice to Australia - The French industrialist Naval Group has announced that it will issue Australia a "detailed and quantified invoice" of "costs already incurred and to come" after the breach of the contract for the construction of 12 submarines”.  According to the CEO of the company "Australia terminated the contract for 'convenience', which means that Navel Group are not at 'fault'.

Naval Group was selected in 2016 by Australia to supply 12 conventional (non-nuclear) propulsion submarines derived from the French Barracuda nuclear submarines which France is starting to acquire. The total amount of the contract, of which only the first phases have been concluded, amounted to 50 billion Australian dollars (31 billion euros) at the time of signing, or 90 billion dollars taking into account inflation on program duration and cost overruns.

Qualified as the "contract of the century" in France, it was the largest contract for defense equipment ever signed by both a French industrialist and Australia. But on September 15, Australia announced that it was breaking the contract to finally acquire nuclear-powered submarines as part of a new partnership in the Indo-Pacific region with the United States and the United Kingdom.

France to send ambassador back to Washington - Meanwhile France is to send its ambassador back to Washington next week after French President Emmanuel Macron and President Joe Biden agreed in a phone call on Wednesday to meet next month over the submarine dispute. According to a statement from both the White House and the Elysée Macron and Biden will meet in Europe at the end of October.

Minister of Transport rejects suggestion of lowering speed limit on France’s motorways - France’s Minister of Transport has said that he is not in favour of lowering the speed limit on France’s motorways or lowering taxes on fuel. His comments come following a proposal from the mayor of Paris and presidential candidate Anne Hildalgo, who has suggesting that “slower speeds results in fewer accidents” adding that she would like to see the speed limit lowered from 130km hour to 110km/h.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z living the dolce vita - Beyoncé and Jay-Z have decided to live la dolce vita spending their summer holidays between the French Riviera, Italy and Corsica. The superstar couple hired a yacht, casting off in Nice a few days ago after dinner at La Petite Maison restaurant. The star couple and their children have according to local reports chartered the Flying Fox, a 136-meter-long mega-yacht priced at 400 million euros and available for charter from 3 million euros per week.

Monaco Yacht show - Meanwhile as the Monaco Yacht show gets into full swing here on the Port of Monaco Henry Smith, Partner & Director of Cecil Wright & Partners, Monaco has announced that “two of the three exceptional yachts they have for sale in this year’s Monaco Yacht Show are under contract to be sold”.  Smith said “It’s been an incredible year for us as a brokerage and this news is the perfect way to kick off the 2021 show”. The Monaco Yacht show is on until Saturday September 25th for more information go to www.monacoyachtshow.com

Business

The US central bank is revising its inflation forecasts upwards and could slow down “soon” its asset purchases. The key rates are maintained. The Fed is less optimistic about US growth because of the Delta variant "which slows the recovery". The central bank now expects growth of 5.9% of GDP this year compared to 7% estimated in June. It forecasts 3.8% in 2022 and 2.5% in 2023.

At the same time, with soaring commodity and energy costs, the Fed has raised its inflation expectations. It should increase by 4.2% in 2021 compared to 3.4% initially forecast before slowing down to 2.2% in 2022 (+0.1 point).

While French manufacturers are not seeing any difficulties in obtaining CO2 supplies for the time being, they do not rule out some tensions in the months to come as gas prices continue to soar. In the UK there are reports of running out of turkey and soft drinks for Christmas? A threat hanging over the UK as the British food industry warns of a shortage of carbon dioxide, an essential element for the production of medicines, sodas, but also for the preservation of meat. This is due to the surge in natural gas prices which has led to the closure of two fertilizer factories belonging to the American group CF Industries, which produce 60% of the CO2 in the United Kingdom.

If an agreement was reached on Tuesday evening with the government to restart the production of carbon dioxide, it will cost taxpayers "several million" pounds, warned the British Environment Minister, George Eustice, adding that he in any event, there would be a sharp increase in the cost of CO2, probably going from around 200 pounds per tonne to almost 1000 pounds per tonne.

So, could France soon be affected? The surge in gas prices is not just for the UK. The whole of Europe is affected as the reopening of economies after lockdowns has led to an explosion in demand in Asia. Contacted by French media, the National Association of Food Industries (ANIA) indicates for the moment that it has not received an alert from its members on shortages or problems in the supply of CO2. An observation which is at this stage, shared by French manufacturers specializing in industrial gases.

Sport

Formula One – Ferrari's Charles Leclerc will start this weekend's Russian Grand Prix from the back of the grid as a result of using a new, upgraded engine. The new power-unit features a revised hybrid system that provides a significant performance upgrade. Leclerc has already used his permitted number of engines this season so a new one means an automatic grid penalty.

Meanwhile Formula One has announced that the Monaco Grand Prix is set to undergo a historic change of format next season by changing to a three-day weekend. The Monaco Grand Prix is traditionally held over four days, with the first practice day on Thursday, and Friday being a free day for Formula 1 teams and drivers. But to add flexibility to F1's calendar choices, the event will follow the same format as other races from 2022.

Football - West Ham gained revenge for Sunday's Premier League defeat against Manchester United by knocking their hosts out of the League Cup at Old Trafford. Meanwhile Chelsea reached the last 16 at Aston Villa's expense in a penalty shootout.

And a supporter of OGC Nice has been handed a suspended prison sentence after kicking Dimitri Payet. On August 23, the match between OGC Nice and the Olympique de Marseille had to be interrupted after the invasion of the field by Nice supporters. At the time of the incident Nice was leading 1-0, but the match was interrupted after the players of the Olympique de Marseille refused to resume the match which will now be replayed on neutral ground.

Meanwhile Monaco beat Saint Etienne 3-1 in Wednesdays match here in the Principality.

Rugby Union - In an attempt to prevent injuries and protect player welfare contact training will be reduced across rugby union. World Rugby guidance will limit full-contact training to 15 minutes a week after research showed 35-40% of injuries occurred in training.

Weather

Clear skies highs of 24 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Cannes. 26 degrees in Saint Tropez and the Var with a light breeze. This evening going down to 18 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 15 degrees in the Var with clear skies.

Outlook for Friday and the start of the weekend - remaining fine and sunny on Friday becoming increasingly cloudy by Saturday with sunny intervals and a chance of showers inland. Highs of 25-27 degrees.

And Finally 

A recent study has revealed that the T.Rex and other dinosaurs wagged their tail from side to side when running, similar to how humans swing their arms during movement. Tail wagging was a feature of not just the Tyrannosaurus, but other bipedal dinosaurs including the agile Coelophysis and the intelligent and ferocious Velociraptor. 

The study shows an impressive biomechanical link between dinosaur and human, despite being separated by more than 300 million years of evolution. Researchers claim it could help to inform more accurate animation in future dinosaur films and documentaries, like in future installations in the 'Jurassic Park' franchise. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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