French and Riviera News Wednesday 16th June 2021

News 

Number of intensive care patients with covid drops below 2,000 in France - The number of covid patients in intensive care in France has dropped below 2,000 for the first time since mid-October of last year. Currently, 1,952 patients are in intensive care and 12,008 patients are currently hospitalised, a figure which is steadily declining since mid-April. During the last 24 hours, 300 people have been hospitalized with covid including 69 in intensive care.

The number of new covid cases detected in 24 hours also continues to decline standing at 3,235 compared to more than 15,000 a month ago. 76 people have died in hospital in 24 hours, for a total of 110,563 deaths since the start of the epidemic in 2020.

Vaccination - In addition, the vaccination campaign is progressing opening to 12 to 17-year olds on Tuesday. 30.7 million people have received at least one injection and 16.5 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Monaco - In Monaco six new cases of covid have been identified bringing the total number of residents affected since the beginning of the epidemic to 2,532. Four patients are in hospital and 21 people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

The Monaco government has called for "the greatest caution" after a rise in the Covid-19 incidence rate. The government announced on Tuesday that the number of people testing positive per 100,000 people over the past 7 days stood at 44.33 compared to 10.43 the previous week. In one week, the incidence rate in the Principality has therefore quadrupled. It added that it appears 14 of the cases recorded last week have the same origin. The government said that these figures show that it is necessary to maintain the greatest caution and scrupulously respect barrier gestures in Monaco or when traveling abroad.

In other news

Train station in Marseille at a standstill - The Marseille Saint Charles train station came to a standstill on Tuesday evening as police intervened onboard a TGV from Nancy. Officers arrested an individual suspected of being “likely to commit a malicious act”. 250 passengers were evacuated as police placed the man, who was known to the authorities, in police custody for possession of a category D weapon and for “criminal association with a view to committing a crime”. The station was finally reopened after being closed for more than an hour between 8pm and 10pm.

Former President in court - Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has appeared in court, denying wrongdoing and showing anger at accusations during a trial over the allegedly illegal financing of his unsuccessful 2012 re-election bid. Sarkozy made his first appearance on Tuesday at the trial which started last month. The Paris court is seeking to determine whether he was aware of the system of false invoices that was meant to cover up the overspending.

Apply for residency - British nationals living in France have been strongly advised to apply for residency within the next 14 days or risk losing their local healthcare, employment and other rights. The highest number of British nationals vulnerable to loss of rights is in France, where according to the British embassy 135,000 Britons have applied for post-Brexit residency. The new permit will become compulsory from 1st October.

The number of emergency interventions on the rise - Emergency services have recorded a 20% increase in interventions in the Alpes Maritimes compared to 2019, since the start of a gradual end to lockdown introduced on May 3rd. The prefecture has in response announced an increase in police controls on both the regions roads and at sea, two sectors which have recently witnessed reckless behaviour.

In the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes, four people lost their lives on the roads at the weekend and at sea, speeding and carelessness are also on the increase. So much so that the Cross Med has never been so in demand and also calls for caution in water sports and boat trips.

Weather warning - Météo France has extended the weather warning for parts of the Alpes Maritimes hinterland forecasting thunderstorms and rain. The yellow weather alert is in place from midday to 7pm this evening.

Flying Ferries - As part of a radical new plan flying ferries could soon be crossing the English Channel. The all-electric, sea-skimming gliders are set to travel from Portsmouth to Cherbourg in 40 minutes. Brittany Ferries says that its proposed craft has 150-capacity and could be ready for commercial passengers by 2025. They will be about six times faster than conventional ferries, with a battery range of about 180 miles (290 km).

Business

The United States and the European Union have agreed a truce in a 17 year trade dispute over subsidies for Boeing and Airbus. Under the agreement, both sides will remove taxes on $11.5 billion of goods including wine, cheese and tractors for five years. The tariffs, imposed by both sides as punishment in the escalating dispute had already been suspended in March while the sides tried to resolve the issues. President Biden held a summit with European Union leaders on Tuesday as he tries to bolster support for his more assertive stance towards Russia and China and move away from Trump-era trade rows. Afterwards, Mr Biden said “I think we have great opportunities to work closely with the EU and we feel quite good about it”. Both Boeing and Airbus say that they welcome the truce and that it will provide the basis to create a level playing field.

Microsoft says that it will stop supporting Windows 10 in 2025 as it prepares to unveil a major revamp of its operating system later this month. When Windows 10 was launched, Microsoft said it was intended to be the final version of the operating system. However from October 2025, there will be no new updates or security fixes for either the Home or Pro versions. The firm says that the new operating system will represent one of the most significant updates in the past decade. Its predecessor, Windows 7 was retired in 2020 although businesses could pay Microsoft to continue receiving updates for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise. Some commentators have suggested that the new operating system will be given a name rather than numbered 11.

The chief executive of Morgan Stanley has become the latest US banking boss to call for an end to remote working. James Gorman has told New York staff that anyone who feels safe going out to a restaurant should return to the office. Mr Gorman admitted that the bank would take a different approach in countries such as India and the UK where fewer than 25% of its 5,000 London staff have been going to work in person due to strict of Covid restrictions. However, in United States where nearly 90% of staff in its New York headquarters have been vaccinated, the chief executive said he was issuing a very strong message to staff to get back to their desks by Labor Day on the 6th of September. Morgan Stanley’s chief executive is the latest US banking boss to criticise remote working. Recently, the Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon caused controversy when he called remote working an “aberration” while the JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon said that it was “poor practice for new and younger staff”.

Sport

Euro 2020 – France got their campaign off to a winning start in the heavyweight clash against Germany in group F on Tuesday. A Hummels’ own goal on 20 minutes gave France the points in an eagerly awaited encounter which was marked by claims that the Germany defender Antonio Rudiger had bitten Paul Pogba in the first half although replays were inconclusive.

Portugal also got off to a winning start in group F as Cristiano Ronaldo became the top scorer in men’s European Championship history. The match, in Budapest was played in front of more than 60,000 fans as Portugal run out 3-0 winners.

There are three games today. In group A Turkey play Wales at 6 pm and Italy play Switzerland at 9 pm. In group B Finland play Russia at 3 pm.

Tennis – Andy Murray made a winning return in his first singles match on grass for three years as he reached the second round of the Queen’s tournament in London. The 34-year-old beat Benoit Paire of France 6–3 6–2 in his first singles match since March after a groin injury.

The British number one Dan Evans is also through to round 2 after beating Alexei Popyrin of Australia 6-4 6-4.

Formula One – Pirelli says that the two high-speed tyre failures at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix were caused by running conditions. Max Verstappen lost the race lead and victory after his left rear tyre failed at close to 200 mph and Lance Stroll in the Aston Martin suffered a similar incident. Pirelli says that an investigation found the tyres suffered a circumferential break on the inner sidewall. It’s added that this was related to the running conditions. Pirelli and the FIA have now agreed a new set of protocols governing tyre usage which will come into force from this weekend‘s French Grand Prix.

Golf – Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka have been kept apart in the first two rounds of the US Open which starts at Torrey Pines, California tomorrow. The Americans have been in a feud with Brooks Koepka posting a video on social media to offer free beer to fans ejected from a recent event for heckling Deschambeau. The defending champion says it’s just “banter” and it’s all good fun.

Weather

Mainly fine in coastal areas, some thundery showers inland later. Light to moderate south easterly winds and highs of 26-28 degrees in coastal areas and 29-31 degrees inland. Overnight lows of 20-22 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday - Partially cloudy with highs of 27-30 degrees.

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