French and Riviera News Tuesday 13th October 2020

Local

Covid-19 - French President Emmanuel Macron is to meet with the government’s defence council this morning to discuss new measures in the fight against the spread of Covid-19, with the possibility of a curfew being introduced to those areas the worst affected.

Macron will address the nation in a televised speech tomorrow evening as well as discussing new restrictions he is also expected to speak of the launch of the new StopCovid application and the support measures intended for professionals in the hotel, catering and arts sector.

More officers to carry out controls - Meanwhile the Prefect of the police for the Bouches du Rhone has asked the mayor of Marseille to make more police officers available in order to step up controls on bar restaurants in the region which continue to fail in respecting social distancing measures.

To date five establishments have been closed in the city for failure to comply to the health measures in place. On Monday it was announced that the current restrictions in place for Nice and the Alpes Maritimes will be extended

Covid-19 figures - The latest figures from Public Health France show that 96 deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded in the last 24 hours with the number of Covid-19 patients hospitalised in intensive care continuing to rise.

The number of people being treated in French intensive care units for Covid-19 exceeded 1,500 on Monday for the first time since May 27 raising fears of local lockdowns being imposed across the country.

The new figure of 1,539 is still almost five times lower than an April 8 high of 7,148 but also four times higher than a July 31 low of 371.

Eric Caumes - Speaking on French television on Monday evening the head of the infectious diseases department at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris Eric Caumes and author of “Health emergency” spoke of a “very worrying situation” saying that it was absolutely essential that “barrier gestures be respected in order to control the spread of coronavirus”. Caumes who has met with the Head of State on several occasions went on to say that “the number of beds in intensive care was not the issue” saying that it’s “the lack of doctors and nurses to care for the sick which is the issue”. A problem that in his view “has been apparent in France’s health system for many years and is not new”.

Half term - As schools get ready to break up on Friday France’s minister of state for tourism Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, has encouraged people to go ahead and book their October holidays despite the rise of Covid-19 infections, urging travellers to respect hygiene restrictions to limit the spread of the virus. 

Lemoyne remarked that the government was doing everything in order that “the tourist season until Christmas can take place.

Missing - Police in the Var are searching for a young girl who has disappeared from Solliès-Pont. 16-year-old Julianne Philippot has not been seen since last Saturday October 5th. She is of slim build with long brown hair and was at the time of her disappearance wearing blue jeans and a white jacket. Anyone with information is asked to call the police.

19-year-old girl left brain dead - A young girl has been left brain dead and another seriously injured after a shooting in Marseille believed to be related to a settlement of accounts between drug traffickers. According to reports the two young girls were in a parked car at the time of the shooting. Both victims were taken to hospital by emergency services.

Solidarity after Storm Alex - 30 renowned chefs are to help the victims of Storm Alex in Vésubie. From Beaulieu to Monaco via Menton, 30 chefs have mobilized help the victims of Vésubie by concocting 3,000 meals.

Each meal will be packaged and distributed to victims of the Vésubie Valley. Launched by Philippe Joannès, from the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer group in Monaco, 30 chefs have agreed to to take part in the initiate which will begin on Thursday, October 15th.

Meanwhile Monaco’s Prince Albert has flown over Saint-Martin Vésubie and visited Roquebillière to see first-hand the devastation caused by Storm Alex and show Monaco’s solidarity and support for the victims of the recent storm. The Prince chose not to visit the hard-hit La Roya region as he didn’t want to disrupt the busy air corridor that crosses the valley to supply landlocked villages of Tende and St-Dalmas de Tende with food and materials.

Business

The Walt Disney Corporation has announced that it’s restructured its media and entertainment businesses to boost growth at Disney + and its other streaming services.

Disney says that it’s made the move as more and more customers gravitate to digital viewing.

Under the changes ,the firm will separate the development and production of programming from distribution  in order to be more responsive to customer demands.

Disney + was launched in November last year and has exceeded its own targets by drawing in more than 100 million streaming customers worldwide.

In comparison ,Netflix has 193 million subscribers but has built the number up over the past 13 years.

Disney has also said that it intends to increase investments in content but has not said whether it will cut its dividend to finance the strategy.

Johnson & Johnson has announced that it’s temporarily halted clinical trials of its proposed Covid-19 vaccine due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.

The proposed vaccine has been one of the highest profile efforts to contain the global pandemic  and the participants illness is now being reviewed and evaluated by an independent data and safety monitoring board.

Johnson & Johnson is due to report quarterly results later today and said that such pauses are normal in big trials which can include tens of thousands of participants.

The firm stressed that the pause in the trial was different from a “regulatory hold” which is imposed by health authorities.

And-British Airways has replaced its chief executive as the airline navigates what it says is “the worst crisis” facing the airline industry.

Alex Cruz is being immediately replaced by the Aer Lingus boss Sean Doyle.

Mr Cruz joined BA in 2016 .He’s to stay on as non-executive chairman for a transition period before Mr Doyle assumes both roles.

British Airways has been involved in a long running dispute with trade unions over redundancies and pay cuts.

The firm is cutting some 10,000 staff  which has drawn criticism from unions and politicians  who claim that the airline has been following a “fire and rehire” policy.

The shakeup is the first major move by Luis Gallego, the new chief executive of BA’s parent group IAG who replaced long-standing boss Willie Walsh last month.

Sport

Football-The chairman of English League 2 side Leyton Orient has said that some English Football League clubs could go to the wall within 5-6 weeks unless they receive urgent financial support.

Nigel Travis said that ‘Project Big Picture’ -the controversial new plans by Liverpool and Manchester United to reform the English football pyramid was a “great idea”.

Many football clubs in England have been suffering increasing financial problems since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the absence of fans in stadiums is exacerbating the crisis.

In an interview with the BBC ,Mr Travis said that the current situation was untenable and clubs would start to fold very quickly if urgent financial support is not forthcoming.

Rugby Union-Finn Russell has been included in a 40 man Scotland squad after missing 6 Nations matches in February for breaching team protocol.

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend said that Russell had been available for selection since the end of the 6 Nations and that “ongoing discussions” with the player are continuing.

Russell was suspended by Scotland for a breach of protocol and later criticised Townsend in a newspaper interview.

Scotland will play a warmup game against Georgia at Murrayfield on October the 23rd before completing their 6 Nations campaign against Wales in early November.

The Ireland back Jordan Lamour will miss the rest of the 6 Nations after dislocating his shoulder.

Lamour was injured last weekend while playing for Leinster against Benetton and will undergo surgery later this week.

Ireland host Italy on the 24th of October and complete their campaign against France the following week.

Cycling-Stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia today is a 177 kilometer mountain route between Lanciano and Tortoreto.

Joao Almeida of Portugal is still wearing the leader’s Pink Jersey with a 30 second advantage over Wilco Kelderman of the Netherlands.

Pello Bilbao of Spain is a further 9 seconds back with home favourite Domineco Pozzovivo in fourth.

Weather

Clear skies with  moderate  westerly winds.

Top temperature 19- 20 degrees.

Overnight lows of 13 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Sunshine and showers tomorrow.Partially cloudy on Thursday. Highs of 17-18 degrees.

And Finally

A study in the UK has found that being invisible is the one superpower that most parents wish they had.

More than nine in 10 parents wish they had a superhero power to help with their kids - with being able to fly, time travel and never feeling tired among the top picks.

x-ray vision to allow them to see what their kids are up to through walls would also be on the wish list.

Another 24 per cent dream of having healing abilities so they could easily deal with any bumps and bruises their kids pick up.

And more than one in 10 would simply settle for a superpower that made kids keep their bedrooms tidy.

 

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