French and Riviera News Tuesday July 20th 2021

Infections-The COVID-19 infection rate has doubled in the Alpes Maritimes in the space of one week according to the latest data.

The regional health authority says that 90 percent of all new cases in the department are of the delta variant and that the incidence rate is now at 134 per 100,000 residents.

More than 200 people a day are now testing positive and only three departments across the country- the Pyrénées Orientales , Haute Corse and the Hérault have a higher incidence rate than the Alpes Maritimes.

The last time infection rates were so high was back in April.

 

Castex-The French Prime Minister Jean Castex will give a live television interview on Wednesday where he’s expected to outline the government’s latest strategy for dealing with COVID-19 and explain how the new health pass will work.

Mr Castex will appear on the 1pm edition of TF1 news. It’s the first time the Prime Minister has granted a television interview since the 11th of May.

Use of the health pass is to be extended from tomorrow with cinemas , theatres and museums among the first establishments welcoming more than 50 people required to obtain proof of double vaccination or a negative coronavirus test before allowing admittance.

Bars , restaurants, shopping malls and long distance train and bus services will follow on the 1st of August.

A vote on the new measures is due to take place in the National Assembly on Friday.

 

Manhunt- Gendarmes have been carrying out house to house searches in the village of Gréolières in the Alpes Maritimes as they try to hunt down a man who’s presumed to have murdered a 32 year old woman in the Var on Sunday.

32 year old Doriane Ragon was found dead at Plan de la Tour near St Tropez by a delivery driver at 530 on Sunday morning. She’d been shot 3 times.

The presumed killer who is said to have been in a short-term relationship with the victim managed to escape from the scene of the crime.He’s been named as 33 year old Marc Floris who is from  Gréolières and knows the area including the local forest land well.

He is armed and described as dangerous and should not be approached.

The Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes ,Bernard Gonzalez has appealed to the fugitive to give himself up.

 

Still no water- It’s been nearly a month since residents of Roquefort les Pins have been forbidden from drinking their own tap water.

The water company Veolia imposed the ban on the 25th of June owing to high levels of lead and nickel in the water .

Reports say that although the water isn’t necessarily dangerous for human consumption, the acidic and hard composition can dissolve limescale , solder and metals present in the pipe network which is hazardous to health.

Since the ban , residents have been limited to one and a half litres of bottled water per person per day which is being provided by the town hall.

Local people are demanding swift action to solve the problem which has coincided with the summer and a greater requirement for water.

Veolia says that progress is being made after a purge and other operations to bring the PH balance back to normal but that residents will have to remain patient.

 

Fire-Authorities say that the fire which started at warehouses near Nice operated by the Emmaus charity on Sunday has burned 4 hectares of trees and other vegetation.

More than 100 firefighters aided by water bombing helicopters attended the scene at Saint André de la Roche and some remain on the ground to make sure that the fire is completely out.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

The Emmaus charity which was founded by the late Abbé Pierre helps poor and disadvantaged people by selling second hand furniture and other goods.It says it lost all of its stock as well as three delivery trucks in the blaze.

 

Hot hot hot- Temperatures have been climbing in the south of the country over the past couple of days with reports of many places reaching the mid 30s Celsius on Monday afternoon.

Overnight lows didn’t fall below 25 degrees in Nice and Antibes and the heatwave conditions could persist inland especially in the Var today.

The advice is to drink plenty of water and the elderly and young children should not overexert themselves.

 

Business.

 

Global markets have fallen again over concerns about the rapidly spreading Delta variant of coronavirus.

Economy linked value and travel stocks have taken a hit after a spike in global COVID-19 cases raised fresh concerns about slowing economic growth.

New infections have surged in parts of Asia and the UK while COVID-19 cases soared in the United States last week fueled by the Delta variant.

Airline operators and cruise liners fell between 3.3 and 5.8 percent.

Banks and other rate sensitive lenders have also lost ground.

 

The billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will attempt his most ambitious project to date later today when he embarks on his Blue Origin spacecraft for a sub-orbital flight.

The world’s richest man plans to soar into the skies above Texas at 3 pm French time for the first human spaceflight of his company’s New Shepard rocket.

Mr Bezos ,who funded and built the rocket out of his own pocket says that the mission aims to “build a road to space for future generations”.

He’s outlined a vision where all polluting industry is relocated to other planets and Earth becomes purely residential.

Mr Bezos has conceded that there is a “fair amount of vanity” to the project but insists that the problems being faced by planet Earth and the development of space travel must be addressed at the same time.

Blue Origin says that the firm is “tackling foundational building blocks, processes and infrastructure to truly lower the cost of space travel and enable a near-term future where people live and work in space for the benefit of Earth”.

 

And-The pound has been coming under pressure, heading for lows not seen since April.

Analysts say that investors are showing nervousness at a time when the UK is averaging close to 50,000 new cases of coronavirus each day.

There are concerns that the relaxation of all coronavirus rules may eventually lead to negative social and economic outcomes.

Critics of the British governments policy say that it is likely to lead to more hospitalisations and put pressure on the health service.

There are also fears that new variants could emerge which are vaccine resistant and which could create large numbers of long covid cases and more deaths than should occur.

The world will be watching the UK experiment closely to see if it can lead back towards normality or whether it will be a warning to even heavily vaccinated countries that the virus will be a problem for some time to come.

 

Sport.

 

Formula 1 – Mercedes, Formula One and the FIA have condemned racist abuse against Lewis Hamilton following the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton has been bombarded with racist messages as a result of the first lap incident which saw him make  contact with the Red Bull of Max Verstappen which ended the Championship leader’s race and necessitated a hospital check up.

Hamilton won the race but was then subjected to a torrent of racist abuse on social media.

Mercedes, Formula One and the FIA say it’s not acceptable and they will react.

Many of the messages were posted on Instagram which is owned by Facebook.

The social media giant says it has already removed a number of comments and it is committed to keeping the community safe from abuse.

 

Football – The English Football Association has announced an independent review into security breaches at Wembley Stadium before the Euro 2020 final against Italy.

The FA said that it is determined to ensure the disgraceful scenes that marred the final are never able to be repeated.

So-called fans, many of whom were clearly under the influence of alcohol, fought with stewards and police as they attempted to get into the stadium without tickets.

England are already under investigation by UEFA and may face sanctions.

 

Celtic are in Champions League qualifying action tonight.

The Scottish giants play FC Midtjylland at home in the second round of qualifying. Kick off at 845 tonight.

 

Olympic Games- More athletes have tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the start of the Olympic games in Tokyo.

A female US gymnast and a team member identified as a close contact have been transferred to a hotel to quarantine.

Several other athletes or team personnel have either tested positive or been identified as close contacts.

The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Games which will mostly be held behind closed doors takes place on Friday.

 

Rugby Union- Alun Wyn Jones has been passed fit for the first Test against South Africa on Saturday .

The Wales captain who has made a remarkable recovery from a dislocated shoulder played 30 minutes in the last warmup game and is said to be raring to go.

Lions’ defence coach Steve Tandy says the majority of the team for the match has been decided with head coach Warren Gatland set to name the side on Thursday.

 

Cricket England play Pakistan in the deciding T 20 international at Old Trafford later.

The series is tied at 1–1. Play  starts at 7:30 pm French time.

 

Australia are also in action today in the first one-day international against West Indies in Bridgetown, Barbados. Play starts at 8:30 pm French time.

 

Weather.

 

Clear skies in coastal areas ,some showers in the mountains this afternoon.

Light to moderate southerly winds and highs of 28-31 degrees on the coast and 33-35 degrees inland in the Var.

Overnight lows of 21-23 degrees with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Mainy fine with highs of 27-30 degrees on the coast and 33-34 degrees inland.

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