French and Riviera News Tuesday 10th March 2020

Local

Fatal road accident - A motorcyclist and passenger have been killed in a road accident. The accident happened on Monday morning when the motorcycle collided with a lorry, on the road from Laghet to La Trinité. Despite a quick intervention from emergency services the 34-year-old and 40-year-old died at the scene.

The exact circumstances of the collision remain to be determined. The truck driver has been questioned by police.

Young man dies while climbing in the Esrérel massif - A 20-year-old from Fréjus in the Var has died while walking in the Estérel massif. The young man was at the time with a friend and had attempted to climb around the Pic de l’Ours but due to rock fall he fell six metres and died instantly. The victim’s friend was taken to hospital by the emergency services on site.

Coronavirus - Two new patients have tested positive for the coronavirus in the Alpes Maritimes. The two aged 41 and 63 were diagnosed on Monday in Nice and have been hospitalised. Investigations to identify contact cases are underway by the PACA Regional Health Agency.

Corsica recorded its first death from the coronavirus with the death of an 89-year-old man at Ajaccio hospital on the night of Sunday March 8 to Monday March 9. According to the latest assessment Sunday evening from the Regional Health Agency of Corsica, 28 people on the island were infected with the coronavirus, including 23 in Ajaccio. Among these cases, "three were in intensive care".

The Prefect of Corsica has since closed all schools in Ajaccio for 14 days and banned all demonstrations gathering more than 50 people. The measure applies to cinemas, theaters, performance halls as well as all sports halls, discos or places of worship.

To date there have been 22 cases of the virus in the Alpes Maritimes, nine in the Var and 1,412 cases nationally. 25 people have died from coronavirus in France.

As France prepares for local elections on 15 March, one question – other than who will win – is what impact will coronavirus have? So far, the government has ruled out postponing the vote, but with over 1,000 confirmed cases, polls have suggested that voters could be tempted to stay away.

Meanwhile in Italy the government has extended strict quarantine measures across the whole country on Monday. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ordered people to stay home and seek permission for essential travel.

Two-year-old escapes from nursery - A mother and father have filed a complaint after their two-year-old boy managed to leave his nursery school unnoticed by staff. The incident occurred last Friday at the Lou Mistoulin private nursery in the west of Nice. The child was later found wandering the streets by a passerby.

Management said the incident had been taken very seriously and staff had immediately alerted city authorities and an internal investigation has been opened. 

This is not the first time that such an incident has happened several similar cases have been reported in the region in recent years, most recently in Cagnes-sur-Mer a 6-year-old boy, enrolled in primary school at the Daudet 2 elementary school, left the premises without staff noticing. He was later found near his home. The boy had disappeared for an hour and walked more than 3km.

Man barricades himself in - A 68-year-old has barricaded himself in his home on Blvd Gambetta in Nice. The man, reported to suffering from mental health problems had taken refuge in his home on Monday afternoon.

Police from the RAID were deployed and the area was cordoned off. By 5pm the man gave himself up and was examined by a doctor before being taken into care.

Independent carnival - Organisers of the independent carnival in Nice have faced criticism after it ended on Sunday evening with a large papier mache head of France’s first lady Brigitte Macron, being set alight on the Place Garibaldi in Nice. The event has caused criticism especially as it coincided with International Women’s Day.

National

Emmanuel Macron walk hand in hand with Frist lady on the Champs-Elysees - French President Emmanuel Macron and First Lady Brigitte Macron have walked hand-in-hand on Paris' Champs-Elysees on Monday "to send a message of confidence to the French economy" amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The presidential couple went to see retailers on the street, famous for its luxury boutiques, but "maintained a one-metre security distance from others,"

"I'm shaking hands using my heart," Macron said as he waved at people in the street.

One of his stops was for the opening of the new Café Joyeux, a chain that employs workers with learning difficulties.

Macron told journalists. "We cannot shut down the country, but we need to protect the most fragile people."

White tigers - Three white tigers, baptized Aran, Hyun and Fouyou, have been born on the January 5th in the zoo of Amnéville in the Moselle. A rare event for this species which has not been seen in the wild since the 1950s.

The three cubs, two males and a female, "are doing well and are being fed by their mother under the supervision of staff”.

Business

Asian markets have bounced somewhat this morning and bond yields have risen from historic lows as investors speculated on what action global central banks would take in coordinated action to calm panic selling.

The yield on benchmark 10-year US Treasury debt more than doubled to 0.70 percent  while oil prices picked up by 7 percent on hopes that markets had found a floor-for the time being.

Analysts say that talk about coordinated fiscal and monetary support has helped to calm the markets for now.

US President Donald Trump is planning a news conference later today to set out plans to deal with the crisis with reports saying that the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is pushing for radical action .

There are signs of a better day ahead for western markets with EUROSTOXX futures gaining 1.7 percent and S&P futures gaining 2.5 percent.

Markets went into a tailspin on Monday as fears of the spread of coronavirus coupled with an oil price war hitting investor sentiment badly.

It was the worst day for financial markets since the global financial crisis of 2008.

 

Oil prices have risen by 7 percent this morning from the biggest one day rout in 30 years as investors looked to the possibility of economic stimulus despite a price war breaking out between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Benchmark Brent Crude was up by 2 dollars 51 a little earlier to 36 dollars 87 with West Texas Intermediate up 2 dollars 15 to 33 dollars 28.

Both benchmarks plunged by 25 percent on Monday after talks on cutting production broke down and both Saudi Arabia and Russia pledged to open the taps,flooding global supplies despite weakening demand.

Analysts say that the bounce is only likely to be short lived as the outlook for both supply and demand remains bearish.

Demand for crude is being hit by the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

 

And-Virgin Atlantic has admitted that it’s been forced to operate some near-empty flights after bookings took a big hit from the coronavirus outbreak.

The firm says that it has been operating the flights to try and retain take-off and landing slots at major airports including Heathrow.

Under European law ,if flights are not operated then slots have to be forfeited.

The UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has written to the European Commission asking for rules on slot allocation to be relaxed during the outbreak.

Other carriers are believed to be taking similar steps or operating ‘ghost flights’ with no passengers in order to safeguard their presence at major hubs.

Sport

Rugby Union-The 6 Nations game between France and Ireland in Paris has become the latest victim of the coronavirus outbreak and will be postponed.

With the Italy game against England in Rome also postponed there’s no clear idea yet of who will win the tournament and when it will be completed.

The game between Wales and Scotland in Cardiff on Saturday is still scheduled to go ahead.

The England players Joe Marler and Courtney Lawes will appear before a disciplinary panel in Dublin on Thursday after being cited during the match against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday.

Marler was seen grabbing the genitals of the Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones during the first half which led for calls for action to be taken while Lawes was cited for a dangerous tackle.

Football-Aston Villa’s future in the English Premier League is looking increasingly precarious after they were beaten 4-0 at Leicester last night.

Jamie Vardy ended his goal drought for Leicester ,scoring twice in the win with Villa still second from bottom of the table and games starting to run out.

There are two round of 16 second leg ties in the European Champions League tonight.

Leipzig of Germany host Spurs leading 1-0 from the first leg and Atalanta take a 4-1 lead into their tie at Valencia.

Meanwhile ,Paris St Germain’s tie against Borussia Dortmund tomorrow night will be played behind closed doors because of coronavirus.

Formula 1-Fans will be allowed to attend the season opening Grand Prix in Melbourne despite fears over coronavirus.

The race chief Andrew Westacott says that “we have to keep moving through life while taking precautions”.

On Sunday ,the organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix said that the race would be staged without spectators as a precaution against the spread of the virus.

Teams coming from Italy including Ferrari and Alpha Tauri as well as staff from the tyre suppliers Pirelli will have to undergo health checks before being allowed into Australia.

Cycling-Giacomo Nizzolo of Italy has won stage 2 of the Paris-Nice race which is now being held without spectators at the start and finish lines because of coronavirus.

Nizzolo won a sprint finish at the end of the 166.5 kilometer stage between Chevreuse and Chalette-sur-Loing.

The race organisers have implemented detailed measures to comply with the French government’s ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

Public access is being restricted at the start and end of each stage.

Weather

Partially cloudy with light variable winds.

Top temperature 16-17 degrees.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Mainly fine  with highs of 15-18 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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