Less than 10,000 covid patients hospitalized in France - For the first time since mid-October France has less than 10,000 hospitalized covid patients. According to figures from Public Health France, 167 people have been admitted in the last 24 hours. There are 1,509 patients in intensive care with 42 admissions in 24 hours, compared to 47 the day before. 2,320 new cases of covid have been detected since Tuesday and 33 people have died from covid in the last 24 hours.
Monaco - In Monaco three new cases of covid were identified on Wednesday bringing the total number of residents affected to 2,557. One non-resident is currently in hospital and 31 people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.
Delta variant - Meanwhile French government spokesperson Gabrial Attal has said that the government is paying particular attention to the circulation of the Delta coronavirus variant in two departments. The departments concerned are the Landes in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south west France and the Bas-Rhin in Alsace. He said that the variant accounts for 70% of cases in the Landes. Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Olivier Veran will be visiting the department today. Gabrial Attal said that nationally the variant accounts for between 9 and 10 per cent of cases.
European loan - French President Emmanuel Macron and the President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen have approved France’s recovery plan. On Wednesday it was announced that France will receive 39.4 billion euros as part of an unprecedented common European loan. In total, the French government has planned a recovery scheme of 100 billion euros, including 39.4 billion financed by these direct subsidies.
Almost half of European aid will be dedicated to the ecological transition, with 5.8 billion euros for the energy renovation of buildings, 4.4 billion to modernize the rail network and 1.9 billion to develop hydrogen carbon-free.
A little more than 8 billion euros will be devoted to the digitization of companies, schools and administrations, while the rest must finance, in particular, expenditure in favour of employment, modernization of the health system and vocational training programs.
Regional and departmental elections 2021 - La Poste has resumed distribution of 5 million electoral envelopes entrusted to Adrexo. The private company, responsible for distributing electoral documentation alongside La Poste, was questioned on Wednesday after it was estimated that 9% of electoral envelopes were not sent to their recipients ahead of the first round of regional elections in France on Sunday June 20th leading to tens of thousands of French people unable to make an informed choice.
Social media campaign to encourage people to vote this weekend in France – Meanwhile French Minister Delegate in charge of Citizenship, Marlene Schiappa has said that a social media campaign is being launched to encourage people to vote in the second round of the departmental and regional elections this Sunday. 66.7% of people abstained in last Sunday's first round according to the Ministry of the Interior.
Trial of thefts who targeted celebrities in Paris - Seven men and a woman have gone on trial over a string of thefts carried out against celebrities in Paris. The defendants, aged between 27 and 31, are accused of targeting high-profile figures with an estimated €4.2m in jewellery and other valuable items being taken from homes in the French capital.
Film screening – Cannes city council is offering Cannes residents the opportunity to attend a screening of a film presented as part of the official selection at this year's film festival. The draw for tickets will take place on July 5th. Online registration is open until Saturday July 3rd at 1 p.m. at the website www.cannes.com.
The crushing impacts of climate change - A leaked UN report has warned of the crushing impacts of climate change which are expected to hit sooner than expected – with millions of people afflicted by hunger, drought and disease in the coming decades. Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change say species extinction, extreme weather, ecosystem collapse and the spread of disease will be deeply felt within the next 30 years. The draft report, which was seen by AFP but which will not be made public until next year, is the most comprehensive assessment on how global warming will affect both the planet and humankind.
The US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that inflation should retreat by the end of the year from its current elevated level as supply bottlenecks get worked out. Speaking to a Senate subcommittee on the Biden administration’s budget proposals, Ms Yellen said that the economy has been on a bumpy path during its reopening after months of restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19. She said that she saw little evidence that inflation expectations are becoming unanchored adding that she thought it would be at around 2% by later this year or early in 2022. The Treasury Secretary echoed other policymakers including Fed chair Jerome Powell by blaming the recent surge in price pressures on supply bottlenecks and shortages that arose in spring as the economy recovers from COVID-19 shutdown that threw it into recession last year.
The billionaire Warren Buffett has donated another $4.1 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares to charity. Mr Buffett, who is regarded as the world’s most successful investor has already given away huge sums of his wealth to charity. In a statement, he said that “society has a use of my money, I don’t”. The donation takes Mr Buffett half way to meeting a 2006 pledge to give all of his Berkshire Hathaway shares to 5 organisations including the Gates Foundation. Mr Buffett said “over many decades I have accumulated an almost incomprehensible sum, simply by doing what I love to do. I have made no sacrifice nor has my family." He added that his decision was “no swansong" and that he continues to enjoy his work.
The antivirus software entrepreneur John McAfee has been found dead in a prison cell in Barcelona hours after a Spanish court agreed to extradite him to the United States to face tax evasion charges. The Catalan Justice Department said that prison medics tried to resuscitate him but were not successful. The Department said that everything indicates that Mr McAfee took his own life. The entrepreneur was a controversial figure in the tech world and his company released the first commercial antivirus software. McAfee VirusScan helped to spark a multi billion dollar industry in the computer world and was eventually sold to technology giant Intel for more than $7.6 billion. In October last year, Mr McAfee was arrested in Spain and accused of failing to file tax returns for four years, despite earning millions from consulting work, speaking engagements, crypto currencies and selling the rights to his life story. The US Justice Department alleged that Mr McAfee evaded tax liability by having his income paid into bank accounts and crypto currency exchange accounts in the names of nominees.
Euro 2020 – The final group games in the tournament have been played with France and Germany moving through to the last 16 along with Sweden and Spain. In group E Spain thrashed Slovakia five nil while Sweden beat Poland 3–2. In group F Germany and Hungary drew 2–2 and France and Portugal through 2–2. Portugal also made it through to the last 16 as one of the best third placed teams.
So here is the lineup for the last 16. On Saturday Wales will play Denmark and Italy face Austria. On Sunday the Netherlands play the Czech Republic and Belgium play Portugal. Next Monday it’s Croatia against Spain and France against Switzerland and on Tuesday England face Germany and Sweden play Ukraine.
Cricket – New Zealand have pulled off an unexpected and remarkable victory to be crowned the first ever Test World Champions. The match against India in Southampton had gone into a sixth day after rain affected much of the contest. A draw looked the most likely outcome at the start of play before India were bowled out for 170 in their second innings leaving New Zealand a target of 139 to win the match. They got there in a total of 140–2 to win the match by eight wickets. Kane Williamson was the star of New Zealand’s second innings making 52 not out.
Tennis – The second seed Elina Svitolina and Coco Gauff are both out of the Eastbourne International. Svitolina was beaten 6-4 7-6 by Elena Rybakina while Gauff lost in 3 sets to Anastasija Sevastova. The Canadian third seed Bianca Andreescu was also beaten 6-4 6-4 by Anett Kontaveit.
Mainly fine with moderate to strong south easterly winds. Top temperatures 27-30 degrees. Overnight lows of 20-22 degrees with clear skies.
Friday and the start of the weekend - Clear skies with highs of 26-31 degrees.
The world's best dad joke has been revealed after thousands of "funny" fathers battled it out in a competition. The winning joke at #BestDadJokes was:
I once hired a limo but when it arrived, the guy driving it walked off!
I said "Excuse me? Are you not going to drive me?"
The guy told me that the price didn't include a driver…
… so I'd spent £400 on a limo and have nothing to chauffeur it!