French and Riviera News Tuesday 24th August 2021

News 

Booster jab - The High Health Authority in France is today Tuesday 24th August, to decide on the introduction of a booster jab against covid in September, for the over 65s. Speaking to French media on Monday the Minister of Health Olivier Veran, announced that the peak of the fourth wave could be reached in a “a few days”. According to the latest report published by Public Health France, 2,215 patients are currently hospitalized in intensive care.

Hospitals of Marseille raise the alarm - Meanwhile the hospitals of Marseille have raised the alarm following a record influx with a risk of saturation in intensive care and the lack of staff. The warning came on Monday evening as two new patients including a 22-year-old, were evacuated to intensive care units in Strasbourg.

Of the 67 patients in intensive care, 89% have not been vaccinated, the average age in intensive care has dropped to 54 years, with a ratio of women higher than previous waves. The AP-HM warns that it will hardly be able to go beyond the 67 intensive care beds dedicated to Covid patients, due to the leave of caregivers and difficulties in recruiting nurses, denouncing a "critical situation".

French President to visit Marseille and present “a plan of action” - French President Emmanuel Macron is to visit Marseille next week. The Head of State is expected to announce “a plan of action” for the city, which is currently plagued with repeated settlements of accounts related to drug trafficking, with four killed in one week. Macron is expected to arrive on Thursday 2nd September, to coincide with the start of the school year. He will spend several days in Marseille and will be present for the opening of the "Nature World Congress" on Saturday, September 4th.

Sanctions following football match - The prefect of the Alpes Maritimes has announced that following clashes during the Nice Marseille football match on Sunday, a stand of the Allianz Riviera stadium is to be closed for the next four matches. The incident has led to the arrest of a 28-year-old man, suspected of having beaten a player of the Olympique de Marseille. The match was interrupted at the 75th minute after fans invaded the pitch. The LFP has summoned the two clubs to a disciplinary committee on Wednesday.

Afghan placed under surveillance - France’s Ministry of the Interior has announced that an Afghan repatriated on August 18th to French soil has been placed under surveillance with four of his relatives, suspected of being linked to the Taliban. The order was issued as the man was seen carrying a weapon in the streets of Kabul a few days before the Taliban took power in Afghanistan on August 15th.

The order states that at the time of his evacuation on Wednesday August 18th, the individual was with several other Afghan nationals, including his brother. The latter had also been reported for possible links with the Taliban: they have been seen carrying weapons in the streets of Kabul, one of them in charge of a Taliban checkpoint near the French Embassy.

The ministry said in a statement that "there are serious reasons to believe that his behaviour constitutes “a threat to security and public order”. According to the order issued by the minister, this man admitted his membership in the movement and acknowledged having carried weapons as the person in charge of a Taliban checkpoint in Kabul. Speaking on the matter on Monday Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that "faced with the difficulties of being able to make security inquiries on people who need to be repatriated," the French authorities "have agreed to take this person and his family on board," before adding that "France is human, but it is also vigilant, and in the management of the Afghan crisis, the French government will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the French”.

Forest fire - 180 firemen have intervened after a forest fire broke out on Monday afternoon, north east of Aix-en-Provence in the Bouches-du-Rhône. The fire broke out at around 5.15 on Monday evening as fire services tried to control the blaze before nightfall. The department of the Bouches-du-Rhône is placed on a "very severe fire" alert and all the massifs have been closed due to the mistral.

Business

The UK government has given firms in the UK an extra year to comply with post-Brexit product safety marking rules after pressure from business groups. Companies had faced a 1st January 2022 deadline to switch from Europe's CE mark to the new UK conformity assessed (UKCA) standard for most products but this will be pushed back to 2023.

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit has been valued at $3.2bn in a deal to take the satellite launch company public on the US stock market. The company confirmed plans to merge with Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) NextGen II. The merger represents the latest step in the tycoon's efforts to build up a multibillion dollar business in the space technology sector.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has said that the electric-car maker was working on improving the much-awaited update to its self-driving software "as fast as possible."

Sport 

Tokyo Paralympics - The Tokyo Paralympics get under way today. Delayed by a year because of the pandemic and with supporters unable to attend apart from a small number of schoolchildren, these will be a different Games to any previous edition. Tokyo is the first city to stage two Paralympic Games, having hosted the 1964 edition when 375 athletes from 21 nations took part in nine sports. This time, around 4,400 athletes from 162 national Paralympic committees will compete in 539 medal events across 22 sports. It will officially start with the opening ceremony at 1pm French time today and competition begins on Wednesday.

Cricket - England bowler Mark Wood has been ruled out of the third Test against India because of a shoulder injury. The 31-year-old jarred his right shoulder while fielding on the fourth day of the second Test at Lord's. No replacement has been called up for the Test at Headingley.

Football - Premier League sides are among leading European clubs set to prevent players from going to red-list countries for September's international break. Unless quarantine exemptions are made, players would be forced to miss several domestic league matches because of the 10-day isolation period required on return to the UK. The Football Association and Premier League are in talks with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) over a relaxation of UK rules. Similar problems are thought to confront clubs across Europe. Liverpool are among the clubs refusing to release players for international duty.

In the Premier league on Monday the Hammers celebrated a 4-1 win over Leicester.

Weather 

Sunny intervals and highs of 27 degrees in Nice and Saint Tropez with a gentle breeze. Thundery showers are forecast for the Alpes Maritimes by late afternoon. This evening going down to 21 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Wednesday and Thursday - Starting off fine on Wednesday, clouding over by the afternoon with thundery showers inland. Highs of 28 degrees. Thursday clear skies and highs of 28-30 degrees.

And Finally

What does your garden say about you?

According to two etiquette experts in the UK, where Brits have spent £16 billion on outdoor spaces in the last year, there is a meaning behind the upkeep of your outdoor space.

The experts says that if you; “favour astro-turf then you’re considered as lazy, brown patches show that you love life, curved borders show signs of being a control freak, a wild lawn is a sure sign of being a yummy mummy and finally if your garden is weed infested you’re a slob”.

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