French and Riviera News Tuesday 26th May 2020

Man dies on beach in Six-Four in the Var - A 30-year-old man has been found dead on a beach in Six-Fours in the Var. The victim accompanied by a friend had gone to the beach but after not feeling well decided not to go for a swim.

Upon returning from the sea the friend found the victim had suffered a heart attack. Emergency services were unable to save the man who was evacuated by sea.

An autopsy will be carried out to determine the exact cause of death.

Police called following a row between two neighbours - An argument between two neighbours in Cannes has led to police being deployed and the area cordoned off.

Police were alerted on Monday shortly after 6pm following an argument between two neighbours on the avenue du Commandant Bret. When police arrived at the scene a sixty-year-old man took refuge in his home after having threatened his neighbour with a gun.

The individual was finally arrested shortly before 10pm. Placed in police custody, police plan to carry out a search of his home this morning.

Missing person - Police in Fayence have appealed following the disappearance of a teenager. 16-year-old Maene left her home in the evening of Tuesday 12th May and has not been seen since. Of slim build, with straight dark brown hair, she was at the time dressed in a grey hooded jacket, blue jeans, and black trainers.

Investigators believe that she may have run away from home for a second time. Anyone likely to have any information to assist the police in their investigation is asked to contact 04 94 39 16 40.

Real Estate - The National Real Estate Federation in the Var has said that despite fears of a drop in business due to the lockdown and the current health crisis ,requests for property in the region have been pouring in along with visits.

During the confinement, thanks to the electronic signature, many agencies were able to continue signing contracts already in place.  

Since the easing of lockdown on May 11th there’s been "an influx of requests", in the real estate sector, including long term rentals.

“StopCovid” app could be launched this weekend - France’s Secretary of State for Digital, Cédric O, has announced that the application to track the spread of the coronavirus in France “StopCovid” could be launched this weekend, provided that Parliament approves it.

The purpose of the application is to allow each user who is diagnosed as positive to be able to warn those he or she has encountered in the previous two weeks, so that they can take precautions.

The project has received criticism concerning the privacy of users.

Plan for second stage of deconfinement to be announced on Thursday - Meanwhile French Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe is set to lay out the details of the second stage of the end of lockdown on Thursday. The Prime Minister will speak following the President’s meeting with the Defense Council in which he will receive the latest data available on the coronavirus epidemic in France.

New freedoms of movement are expected to be announced for June 2nd as well as the future for restaurants, parks and cultural places which are currently located in red zones.

Coronavirus – To date the number of patients being treated in intensive care with coronavirus continues to drop in France.

According to the latest report published by the Directorate General of Health, 1,609 patients are currently hospitalized in intensive care due to a severe form of the disease with 16,798 patients with Covid-19 currently being treated in hospital.

The Directorate General of Health also announced that 65,199 people have recovered from the disease.

Since the start of the epidemic, 145,279 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in France.

Prime Minister announces reform to health service- The French Prime Minister has promised that thousands of nurses will see their wages increased under a reform of the health service. Nicknamed Ségur de la santé - in a reference to the Parisian avenue where the health ministry is located - the review was launched on Monday by the prime minister, Edouard Philippe, and the health minister, Olivier Véran.

Philippe, echoing President Emmanuel Macron Philippe said that “the increase will be significant” he later went on to say that “it would be inexcusable not to seek out changes after the coronavirus pandemic”.

Former President of the Republic acknowledges his share of responsibility – Meanwhile former French President François Hollande has acknowledged his "share of responsibility in the situation in French hospitals ", with in particular a lack of the "renewal" of masks, while criticizing the lack of regular stock checks since 2017 .

Speaking on France Inter Hollande said “I too have my responsibility during the coronavirus crisis, for years hospitals have been under pressure and I played my part in that”.

The former socialist President detailed the situation of the hospitals by saying: "We put too much administration in place with too much time taken up by filling in papers, rather than treating patients.

WHO temporarily suspends clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine - Meanwhile The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Monday May 25, that they were "temporarily" suspending clinical trials against the new coronavirus with hydroxychloroquine.

Hydroxychloroquine was being used as part of the Solidarity clinical trial however due to safety issue the treatment has been suspended for the time being.

The announcement comes following the publication on of a study finding that the use of chloroquine against Covid-19 is ineffective or even harmful.

Supporter of the treatment professor Didier Raoult from the hospital of Marseille has said the study is “not relevant”. Raoult, who has been using the treatment in Marseille added that “I don’t know if elsewhere is kills but here in Marseille is saves lives”.

Public Health France’s announces positive situation - Public health France has announced that current indicators show a favourable situation of the coronavirus epidemic in France.

Director general of Public Health France, Geneviève Chène, said that "the virus is still here but that, its circulation remains weak. During the easing of lockdown respecting barrier gestures and social distancing has no doubt helped”.  Concluding, "we remain cautious, as there are many aspects of the coronavirus which remain unknown.

Macron to announce support plan for automotive industry in France - French President Emmanuel Macron, during a visit to a car factory in Northern France, will this afternoon present the support plan for the automotive industry, which has been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis. ,

The scheduled visit this afternoon will be followed by a meeting of major players in the automotive industry at the Elysée.

According to the government the support plan will be linked in particular, to companies' commitments to maintain production, employment and know-how in France.

France’s minister of economy in favour of postponing summer sales - France’s minister of the economy Bruno Le Maire, has said that he is in favour of the summer sales being postponed.

The summer sales in France were due to start on June 24th but will no doubt be postponed. Speaking to French media this morning Le Maire added that following meetings with many businesses and taking into account their loss of revenue, postponing the sales seems like the most logical solution.

Business

Asian shares have risen strongly this morning and US stock futures are up as investors look past increasing trade tensions between China and the United States towards more economic stimulus from Beijing and a re-opening global economy.

Japan’s Nikkae 225 hit its highest level since early March while the MSCI Index of Asia-Pacific  shares outside Japan gained 1.4 percent.

US and European stock futures have also risen and Chinese blue chips have firmed after the country’s central bank said it would strengthen economic policy and continue to push towards lower interest rates on loans.

The comments from China’s central bank have helped to offset the war of words between Beijing and Washington over trade ,the coronavirus and China’s proposals for stricter security laws in Hong Kong.

Analysts say that while US-China tensions continue to simmer ,investors appear to be more interested in the prospect of economies re-opening around the world.

 

The German government has agreed a 9 billion euro rescue package for Lufthansa to prevent the airline’s collapse.

Lufthansa ,like many other airlines has been severely affected by a decline in passengers due to the coronavirus pandemic and in April closed its budget airline German Wings.

The German government is to take a 20 percent stake in the airline which it intends to sell by the end of 2023.

The deal still needs approval from Lufthansa shareholders as well as the European Commission.

The German government will inject 5.7 billion euros into the airline as non-voting  capital with part of the funds being able to be converted into a 5 percent equity stake that would allow the state to veto any potential hostile takeover bids.

Lufthansa shares rose by 7.5 percent on the news which also gave the German stock market a boost.

 

And-Germany’s highest civil court has ruled that Volkswagen must pay compensation to a motorist who bought one of its diesel minivans fitted with emission-cheating software.

The ruling sets a precedent for around 60,000 other cases in Germany.

The plaintiff will be partially reimbursed for his vehicle with depreciation taken into account.

Volkswagen says that it will now offer other motorists a one-off payment with amounts depending on individual cases.

The firm has already settled a separate 830 million euro class action lawsuit involving 235,000 German car owners.

Sport

Football-Players and managers in the English Premier League will examine rules for a return to contact training today before a crucial vote tomorrow.

On Sunday night ,government advice was updated to allow elite sports to move to “stage 2” of a return to competitive action.

The Premier League has been closely involved with the drafting of the government’s policy and will now present its own protocols to players and managers.

The League is hoping that a successful return to contact training will get the ball rolling on a return to playing competitive matches behind closed doors sometime next month.

There’s a big game in the German Bundesliga tonight with the leaders Bayern Munich up against second placed Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern are 4 points clear at the top with 7 games remaining.The Bayern coach Hansi Flick has played down the important of the match and says that it’s “not a title decider”. Kick off is at 6.30 this evening.

Rugby Union-A study carried out by World Rugby has suggested that doing away with reset scrums and eliminating “face-to-face” tackles would significantly reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.

The study has also advised that changes of jersey and headgear should be made compulsory at half-time and that on pitch huddles and spitting should also be banned.

Players washing their hands and faces with soap and water and regularly changing balls during a match have also been proposed.

The findings of the study will be put to World Rugby’s executive committee later this week.

Boxing-Former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield has said that he’d be open to fighting Mike Tyson in a charity match “should he ask”.

Holyfield ,who’s 57 retired in 2014 and won both previous encounters against Tyson including the infamous “Bite Fight” in 1997 when Tyson was disqualified.

Both fighters have plans to return to the ring for charity  and Holyfield said that a three round match was possible if Tyson wants it.

Tyson ,who’s 53 last fought competitively in 2005.

Weather

Clear skies with light variable winds.

Top temperatures 25-27 degrees.

Overnight lows of 20 degrees on the coast and 17 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Mainly fine with highs of 23-25 degrees.

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