French and Riviera News Wednesday 23rd June 2021

News 

Bernard Tapie appeals to voters of the PACA region - “The future of one of the most beautiful parts of the world is at stake and the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region cannot belong to these people” were the words of businessman, politician and occasional actor, singer, and TV host Bernard Tapie ahead of Sunday’s second round in the regional elections. In an interview on Tuesday, Tapie appealed for those in the PACA region to vote for Renaud Muslier to avoid at all costs the far-right National Rally being elected in the region.

After a record low turnout in the first round of regional elections on June 20th elected officials have made a last-ditch effort to gain power and also stem the threat of the extreme right during the upcoming second round to be held on Sunday 27th June. Speaking at the National Assembly on Tuesday June 22nd Prime Minister Jean Castex, told MPs that he wanted “eligible voters to cast their ballot on June 27th” adding that “the low number of voters in the first-round forces us all to be humble”.

In the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, which includes cities such as Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Nice and Toulon, the Green candidate Jean-Laurent Felizia withdrew from a second-round run-off vote. His sacrifice cleared the way for a duel between the LR candidate Renaud Muselier and the National Rally contender Thierry Mariani.

Presidential election - Meanwhile it was announced on Tuesday that France’s next presidential election will be held on Sunday April 10th and 24th, 2022.

July 14th, 2021 dedicated to those killed in the Nice attack - Five years after the Nice terror attack the city council has announced that this year’s anniversary on July 14th will be dedicated in memory of the victims. The programme remains subject to health restrictions due to covid and will be confirmed in the coming days, by the Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes.

As part of the tribute a ceremony will take place at 4pm on July 14th in the gardens of Villa Masséna and will be marked with the release of 86 doves. During the ceremony, National Medals of Recognition for Victims of Terrorism will be presented to families. The ceremony will be followed by a concert at 9pm at the Jardin Albert 1er.

In accordance with health regulations spectators must present a health pass and will all be seated. The size of the public will be determined according to the prefecture. At the end of the concert the 86 beams of the Promenade des Anglais will light up.

Storms - Rescue services are still searching for a 17-year-old boy who has gone missing during storms which hit northern France. The boy is believed to have fallen into a river as up to 60mm of rain fell in one hour on Monday with 600 incidents being recorded by firefighters. This morning three regions of northern France remain on an orange weather alert due to the risk of flooding.

School evacuated - 121 students and 12 adults have been evacuated from a school in Luc-en-Provence in the Var after a fire broke out. The incident occurred on Tuesday lunchtime at the Jean Moulin nursery school and is thought to have been caused by a short circuit in one of the classrooms. No injuries were reported.

Website for results of home testing covid kits - France has this week launched a website to allow users of home testing covid kits to indicate their results. The site monautotest.gouv.fr is voluntary and intended to help stop the spread of covid with information being held for three months and personal data remaining anonymous.

Up Up and away! – A test flight for a new electric flying taxi has been successfully completed in Paris. Created by German company Volocopter, the plan is to have a full service in operation by the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. The flight lasted three minutes and did not have any passengers on board. It travelled along a 500-metre route at speeds up to 30kph and at 30 metres altitude.

Euro 2020 – Les Bleus could face England if they finish second in their group after England beat the Czech Republic on Tuesday finishing first in their group.

Business

The chair of the US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell has said that the central bank will not raise interest rates on inflation fears alone. At a hearing before a US House of Representatives panel, Mr Powell said that “we will not raise interest rates pre-emptively because we fear the possible onset of inflation. We will wait for evidence of actual inflation or other imbalances”. Mr Powell said that the central bank intended to encourage a broad and inclusive recovery of the jobs market and not to raise interest rates too quickly based only on the fear of coming inflation. Recent price increases have pushed the Consumer Price Index in the United States to a 13 year high. Republicans on the House Committee have suggested that price increases are getting out of hand coupled with unstable employment and higher inflation. Mr Powell said that price pressures should ease on their own and pledged that the Fed will keep its eyes focused on a broad set of labour market statistics including how different racial and other groups are faring.

The European Commission has opened an investigation into whether Google is dominating the online advertising market at the expense of its rivals. A probe will examine Google’s role in collecting data, selling advertising space and acting as an online advertising intermediary. Google has said that it will cooperate with the enquiry. The Commission is concerned that the tech giant is making it hard for other online advertisers to compete. It says that a level playing field is of the essence for everyone in the supply chain adding that fair competition is important, both for advertisers to reach consumers and for publishers to sell their space to advertisers.

Bitcoin has fallen below $30,000 for the first time in more than five months as a result of China’s crackdown on the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin slipped to around $28,890 on Tuesday and has now lost more than 50% of its value since reaching an all-time high of $64,870 in April. China has told its banks and payment platforms to stop supporting digital currency transactions. China accounted for around 65% of global bitcoin production last year according to research by the University of Cambridge. Last month the Chinese State Council said that it would crack down on crypto currency mining and trading as part of a campaign to control financial risks.

Sport

Euro 2020 – England have beaten the Czech Republic 1–0 at Wembley to finish top of group D and set up a last 16 tie against France, Germany, Portugal or Hungary at Wembley. Raheem Sterling scored the goal on 12 minutes to give England the points and make sure they topped the group. It’s the end of the road for Scotland though. Steve Clarke’s side lost 3-1 at Hampden Park to Croatia meaning that they finish bottom of group D and can’t progress. Croatia finish in second place and move into the last 16. The Czech Republic will have to wait and see if they can make the last 16 as one of the best third placed teams.

The final group games in the competition are being played today. In group E Slovakia play Spain and Sweden play Poland. Both games kickoff at 6 pm. There could be fireworks in group F where Germany play Hungary and Portugal play France. All four teams could yet finish top of the group.

Cricket – The inaugural ICC World Test Championship final in Southampton looks like it’s heading for a draw. India and New Zealand will play an extra sixth day today after rain affected much of the match. India closed day five on 64–2 leading by 32 runs.

Rugby Union – Alun Wyn Jones will lead the British and Irish Lions side against Japan on Saturday. Coach Warren Gatland includes eight debutants for the match as the Lions continue their preparations for the Test series against the Springboks. There will be 16,500 fans at Murrayfield for the first ever meeting between the Lions and Japan. Gatland says that the crowd will give the players an enormous lift.

Weather

Partially cloudy with light to moderate south easterly winds. Top temperatures 26-28 degrees. Overnight lows of 19-22 degrees with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday - Clear skies with highs of 26-30 degrees.

And Finally

Are you a workaholic or a thrill-seeker? Scientists say it may depend on when you wake up, as morning larks are more self-disciplined but night owls chase excitement. The relationship between personality and what time you get up and go to bed has been revealed by researchers. If you're more of a morning person than a night person, you're more likely to be blessed with self-discipline. However if you're a night owl and prefer to get up late and go to bed late, you're more likely to seek out excitement.

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