French and Riviera News Wednesday 17th June 2020

Coronavirus cases - A new weekly report published by the Regional Health Agency on Tuesday 16th June has shown that  the number of people admitted to hospital in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region due to Covid-19 has seen a slight increase.

After several days of no change in the number of admissions and even a drop in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var, the number of patients in the Alpes Maritimes now stands at 89 and 109 in the Var. The death toll from Covid-19 remains stable having not changed in the Alpes Maritimes since June 4th and has remained the same since June 9th in the Var.

In order to use the information correctly authorities will wait for next week’s data in order to compare.

In the past it’s been pointed out that there was often an increase in cases following a weekend where numbers were grouped together and secondly that the data is now on a weekly and not a daily basis.

Demonstrations - Hundreds of medical staff have demonstrated across France to express their anger over a lack of government support.

After three months of dealing with a major health crisis due to Covid-19, nurses, doctors and other health professionals are at breaking point. At least 220 rallies took place throughout the day on Tuesday, many of them outside hospitals and clinics. Some medical services went on strike.

In Paris protests were overshadowed by the infiltration of black blocs which lead to clashes with police.

Police used tear gas to break up the crowd and arrested 16 people, accusing so-called 'black blocs" of infiltrating the peaceful demonstration.

Commission of inquiry into handling of health crisis in France - Meanwhile a French parliamentary commission of inquiry into the coronavirus crisis intended to identify “failures” on the part of the French authorities has opened at the National Assembly. 

France’s director general of health, Jérôme Salomon, appeared first before the National Assembly on Tuesday,

defending himself by citing Voltaire, saying “Avant de savoir, on ne sait pas” (Before knowing, we don’t know).

Salomon went on to be questioned about possible regrets about his remarks concerning the importance of wearing a mask on March 4, which he said was of no interest for the general public.

In response to the inquiry and speaking to French media on Tuesday, MP Eric Ciotti said that “the French government’s campaign had come to an end and it was time for the truth” before adding that the inquiry is not seeking to “prosecute anyone”, but rather to identify the “faults, flaws and major dysfunctions” in the handling of the crisis, to ensure that they are not repeated.

Police demonstrate in Nice - Police officers have gathered on the Quai Rauba Capeu in front of the “I Love Nice” sign in protest against the lack of support from France’s Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner.

Tuesday evening saw the national union for police demand a meeting with the President of the Republic.

Weather warning - Météo France has issued a yellow weather alerts with thunderstorms forecast in the Alpes-Maritimes this afternoon. The warning is in place until 9pm this evening.

Number of job offers in France - Figures have shown that the number of job offers in France is gradually improving, with as many jobs posted on the Internet now, as there were at the beginning of the year,particularly in the IT and telecommunications sector. There is also a demand in the transport sector with the aeronautics industry being the worst hit.

Offers of permanent employment contracts in France or CDI’s are down by 18% in mid-June, compared to the beginning of the year marking an improvement since the lockdown and showing a somewhat shy, but slow economic recovery.

The French voice of Bruce Willis dies at 72 - French actor and voice over artist Patrick Poivey has died at the age of 72. Poivey was a cult voice in French cinema lending it to many American actors notably Bruce Willis as well as Tom Cruise, whom he dubbed in "ten feature films" including Top Gun and Rain Man. He also provided voices for Mickey Rourke, Kevin Costner, Don Johnson and Charlie Sheen.

Business

The Chair of the US Federal Reserve has said a full economic recovery will not happen until the American people are sure that the coronavirus pandemic has been brought under control.

Jerome Powell was speaking as he started the first of two days of hearings before Congress.

He said that while recent signs of improvement including a surprise rise in employment in May and a record rise in retail sales are encouraging ,the damage inflicted by forced economic shutdowns to curb the spread of the virus had left a “very deep hole to fill”.

Mr Powell said that with some 25 million people suffering with partial or full unemployment there is a “very long road ahead of us” to get those people back to work.

Inflation could also be a problem in the coming months with the Fed’s target of 2 percent set to come in below that rate which could in turn drag on economic growth and make it harder for the central bank to stimulate the borrowing and spending that could pave the way for more hiring.

 

US retails sales rose by a record 17.7 percent in May as shoppers returned to the stores in force after lockdown.

The rebound only partially made up for the losses incurred during lockdown with spending still down by around 6 percent year-on-year.

Some sectors including clothing have seen far steeper declines.

The rebound in spending has added to hopes that the economic recovery will be faster than predicted.

However ,retail analysts say that they doubt whether spending will continue at the same pace over the coming months particularly in light of the number of new coronavirus cases which are being reported around America.

 

And-Apple is facing two probes by the European Union into whether it’s broken competition rules.

One investigation is centred around iPads and iPhones being limited to installing apps from Apple’s own App Store while the other involves Apple Pay with issues concerning the inability of other services to use the iPhone’s tap-and-go facility.

Apple said that it was disappointed that the EU was investigating “baseless complaints”  and accused firms that had raised allegations against it of “wanting a free ride”.

The EU has not set a deadline for the investigations to be completed.

Sport

Football-Bayern Munich have won their 8th successive Bundesliga title thanks to a 1-0 away win at Werder Bremen with Robert Lewandowski scoring the winner on 43 minutes.

The win puts Bayern 10 points clear of Borussia Dortmund which means that they can’t be caught with 3 games to go.

 

The English Premier League returns to action behind closed doors tonight with two games outstanding from the previous round that couldn’t be completed in March.

Aston Villa play Sheffield United at 7pm and Manchester City host Arsenal at 9.15.

Cricket-The men’s T20 World Cup is unlikely to take place this year according to Cricket Australia.

The tournament is due to take place across 7 venues between the 18th of October and the 15th of November but Cricket Australia says that trying to get 16 teams into the country when many nations are still suffering with spikes in coronavirus is “unrealistic”.

 

Tennis-The US Open can go ahead on the 31st of August but without fans after getting the green light from the Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo.

There have been no professional tennis events since March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some players have expressed reservations about the tournament and the fact that they will be limited to one member of their coaching team being allowed to accompany them to the stadium.

 

Racing-Battaash with Jim Crowley onboard won the big race on the opening day of Royal Ascot.

The odds-on favourite cruised to victory in the King’s Stand Stakes giving trainer Charlie Hills a one-two with stablemate Equilateral second.

Today’s feature race is The Prince of Wales’s Stakes which is off at 4pm French time.

Japan ,Headman and Barney Roy are among the favourites for the Group 1 race over 1 mile and 2 furlongs.

 

Weather

Mainly fine in coastal areas ,thundery showers inland this afternoon.

Moderate westerly winds across the Var and highs of 23-26 degrees.

Overnight lows of 18 degrees on the coast and 15 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Fine in coastal areas ,further showers inland with highs of 23-26 degrees.

 

 

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