French and Riviera News Wednesday 16th March 2022

News

French Minister of Interior visits Corsica - France’s Minister of the Interior has begun a two-day visit to Corsica today Wednesday 16th March, after two weeks of tension and clashes with police following the aggression in a French prison of the independence activist Yvan Colonna. Ahead of his trip Gérald Darmanin in an interview with local media recognised the State’s “responsibility” and expressed a willingness to open discussions on the “possible autonomy of the island” adding that this institutional question "will logically be engaged during the second term" of President Macron, if he were to be re-elected.

Scientific Council warns that 5th wave is not completely over – In other news, France’s Scientific Council has warned that the 5th wave of covid is not completely over. In their assessment published on Tuesday experts warn of an epidemic rebound in France in the coming weeks. The council predicts that the number of daily cases could exceed 100,000 as early as March.

Booster jab – Meanwhile the Prefect of the Var has reminded residents who are aged over 80 that the covid booster dose is now available to those whose last dose was more than three months ago.

Road accident - A young man has been seriously injured in a collision in Draguignan in the Var. The accident involving a vehicle and a motorcyclist occurred on Tuesday afternoon on the Avenue de Grasse. Traffic in the area was disrupted as emergency services intervened. An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway.

Men arrested for stealing fuel - Three men, suspected of having stolen more than 150,000 euros worth of fuel have been arrested in the Pas-de-Calais region. According to police the men stole supply cards from trucking companies to obtain the fuel. All three are already known to the police.

Fishermen in Marseille call for support plan to expand aid - Meanwhile fishermen in Marseille who have been hard hit by the rise in fuel prices have said that they are “not going to get up at 3am to work at a loss calling for a support plan to expand aid". French Prime Minister Jean Castex is to give details today Wednesday March 16th of the government’s resilience plan to deal with the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine.

INSEE - According to the latest figures published by INSEE on Tuesday 2020 and 2021 saw a surge in the number of deaths in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region largely due to the covid pandemic. 58,200 inhabitants died in 2021 and 55,600 in 2020 representing 13% more than in 2019 which saw 51,500 deaths. The report also shows that the number of deaths during this period outnumbered the number of births which has been steadily declining over the last 10 years. With a population of 5.1 million inhabitants the PACA region accounts for nearly 8% of the population of mainland France.

Business

Reports this morning say that Russia is on the brink of its first international debt default since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

The economic cost of the invasion and assault on Ukraine is now being spelled out in financial terms with Moscow due to pay 117 million dollars in interest on two sovereign bonds that it sold in 2013 but unlikely to make the payment.

Analysts say that today’s debt repayment will be the most closely watched financial transaction since Greece defaulted at the height of the eurozone debt crisis.

However ,Russia has a 30 day grace period to pay and that may drag the saga out.

A Russian debt default was unthinkable before the invasion of Ukraine.The country had 650 billion dollars of currency reserves and was raking in hundreds of millions of dollars daily from sales of its oil and gas.

The invasion of Ukraine has left Russia as a virtual pariah state ,crippled by sanctions and watching hundreds of Western firms leave the country after deciding that their presence is no longer feasible.

Oil prices have risen this morning as the invasion of Ukraine continues to dominate volatile trading and traders looking to peace talks for signs as to which direction the market will take.

Brent crude was up by 0.8 percent a little earlier to 100 dollars 74 with West Texas Intermediate up 0.6 percent at 97 dollars 02 cents.

On Wednesday ,the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that ceasefire talks with Russia were becoming “more realistic” but that more time was needed.

Analysts say that traders are waiting for more clues from the ceasefire talks after a two day sell off in the oil markets but that crude may continue to be under pressure as high inflation drags on economic growth and weakens demand.

And-The US Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates today for the first time in three years.

The Fed looks set to raise rates by 25 basis points at the conclusion of its policy meeting in Washington.

Before the Ukraine crisis the US central bank had hinted at a 50 basis point increase but recent developments have led to a more cautious approach and a quarter of one percent hike has already been factored in by markets.

Markets will also be looking closely for details of how the Fed intends to end its bond-buying programme.

Sport

Football-Manchester United are out of the European Champions League after losing 1-0 to Athletico Madrid on the night at Old Trafford to go out 2-1 on aggregate.

In the other round of 16 tie last night Benfica made it through to the last 8 thanks to a 1-0 win at Ajax which gave them a 3-2 aggregate win.

There are two more ties tonight.Juventus play Villarreal with the scores tied at 1-1 while Chelsea take a 2-0 advantage into the away leg of their game against Lille.

In the English Championship last night the leaders Fulham were surprisingly beaten 1-0 at West Brom and second placed Bournemouth were held to a 1-1 home draw by Reading.

In the other results Barnsley beat Bristol City 2-0.Middlesbrough were 2-0 winners at Birmingham and Blackburn beat Derby 3-1.

Cricket-Pakistan are putting up stubborn resistance to Australia on day 5 of the second Test in Karachi.

At Stumps on day 4 Pakistan had reached 192-2 in their second innings still trailing Australia by 314 with a day to play.

Formula 1-The sport has changed the safety car rules to make it impossible for a race to be conducted in the same way that led to the controversy at last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The FIA has made it clear that all lapped cars must un-lap themselves before a restart with the change replacing last year’s rules which stated that “any” lapped cars between the leaders should overtake and join the back of the field.

Last year’s fiasco led to race director Michael Masi being replaced for failing to apply the rules correctly.

Golf-Henrik Stenson has been named as Europe captain for next year’s Ryder cup against the United States in Rome.

The 45 year old Swede was vice-captain to Padraig Harrington in the Cup last year where Europe lost by a record 19-9 margin.

The 2016 Open champion has played in 3 Ryder Cups,winning all three times.

The 44th Ryder Cup will be staged at Marco Simone from the 29th of September until the 1st of October with the course being completely redeveloped.

Weather

Mainly cloudy with some bright spells and  moderate to strong  easterly  winds .

Top temperature 15-17 degrees.

Overnight lows of 11-13  degrees with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday.Partially cloudy with moderate  easterly winds and highs of 15-17 degrees.

And Finally

The eight-hour sleep rule “is a myth”. Experts have said that this isn’t actually the case and that it’s all down to your genes when it comes to how much sleep you need. According to official NHS guidance adults need between six and nine hours sleep every night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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