French and Riviera News Wednesday 27th October 2021

News

Shooting in Aubagne - Two people have been wounded, one seriously after a shooting in the city of Charrel in Aubagne in the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region. The incident occurred shortly after 9pm on Tuesday night. The two victims aged 17 and 21 were already known to police for cases related to drug trafficking. Both were rushed to hospital in Marseille. An investigation is underway.

Luxury goods stolen from shop on the Croisette - Between 50,000 and 100,000 euros worth of luxury goods have been stolen from the Saint Laurent shop in Cannes. The break in occurred on the Croisette over the weekend. Police have launched an investigation.

Marseille tackles illegal parking - Marseille has been tackling illegal parking in the city by issuing 115,000 fines and impounding 16,000 vehicles since January of this year. The city is used to seeing cars double or even triple parked and has introduced new measures to tackle the problem. Motorists face fines from 135 to 375 euros with regular offenders facing losing points on the driving license. France's second largest city is sometimes totally congested, due to motorists leaving their vehicles double or triple parked.

Drop in number of covid tests – There has been a sharp drop in the number of covid tests being carried out in the Alpes-Maritimes since no longer being free of charge. Since Friday, October 15th, covid tests are no longer reimbursed for French people who are not fully vaccinated, with some exceptions (medical prescription, contact case, recent positive test, contraindication to the vaccine).

Regional Health Agency suggests fifth wave - Meanwhile for the deputy director of the ARS (regional health agency) in the Alpes Maritimes it is "now very likely that a fifth wave is not preventable". Michèle Guez says that after a steady decrease since mid-August and a stabilization, mid-October, the incidence rate, the number of Covid cases per 100,000 inhabitants, "is now increasing". The number of hospitalizations is increasing slightly. To date, the department's hospitals are treating 28 patients and 12 in intensive care. As for the vaccination, the general population has a coverage rate of 82% in the Alpes-Maritimes department, compared to 84% at the national level. More than four out of five people in the Alpes Maritimes are already completely vaccinated. Looking at age groups, the 50–64-year-olds are the most vaccinated (99%) and the 12–15-year-olds are the least vaccinated (60%). "For those aged 65 and over, only 34% have had the booster dose".

Health minister has booster jab - France's Minister of Health Olivier Véran has received his third dose of the covid vaccine. In an announcement on Tuesday Véran called on the millions of people eligible for the booster to make an appointment. The minister received an injection of Pfizer on Tuesday afternoon in a Paris hospital, after a first dose of AstraZeneca in February and Moderna in early May. He added that he "had also taken the opportunity to at the same time have the vaccination against the flu".

Toll-free number - A toll-free number has been launched by the French government to promote the vaccination of the over 80s. 0800 730 957 is open every day from 6am to 10pm and makes it possible to obtain an appointment at home, in a center or at your local GP surgery, for vaccination against Covid-19.

Italy - Meanwhile on Tuesday, Italy's health minister announced that from January the third dose of the covid vaccine will be open to everybody.

Macron calls for new Europe-Africa treaty to prevent migration - Speaking on Tuesday French President Emmanuel Macron has said that he wants to manage the problem of migrants at a European level and obtain a new Europe-Africa treaty to prevent migration. Macron head of the Council of the European Union said that one of his goals under the French presidency of the EU is to try and rebuild a peace and friendship treaty with Africa calling for better protection against illegal migration. Macron went on to call for a clear distinction between asylum and all other migrations.

France's Interior Minister announces closure of several structures in the "fight against radical Islam" - France's Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has announced that as part of the "fight against radical Islam" several structures, from associations to places of worship, will be closed by the "end of the year". Darmanin went on to say that of the 2,500 places of Islamic worship listed in France, 92 were controlled because they were suspected of separatism and that out of the 92 places, 21 have been closed.

379 people have died from taking selfies - A study carried out by a collective of seven Spanish scientists and soon to be published in the Journal of Travel Medicine has looked at, for the first time, the number of people around the world, who have died taking pictures of themselves. It reveals that at least 379 people have died in these circumstances since 2008 worldwide, a figure that is steadily rising. Since the beginning of 2021, one person has died every week trying to take a selfie. Many of these victims, according to the Spanish study, are tourists who took risks in places around the world they knew little about. The study reports that among the fifty countries that have recorded the most deaths of this kind, India comes in first place, with 100 deaths since 2008, the United States in second with 39 deaths, and Russia in 3rd place with 33 deaths. France, is not among the 10 countries with the highest number of victims. But the study nevertheless reports the death of a 57-year-old Chinese billionaire who died on July 4th, 2018 in Bonnieux in the Vaucluse, after an accidental fall while taking a photo.

Paris to become bike-friendly city - Paris has plans to become one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe turning itself into a "cycling city" by 2026. The French capital is investing €250 million into significant upgrades to cycling infrastructure and maintenance within the next four years. As part of the "Plan Velo: Act 2" thousands of new bicycle stands and an increased number of protected cycleways will be introduced.

Month without tobacco - Ahead of the month without tobacco, which starts on November 1st, 52,000 people have already registered on the website of Public Health France to participate. It is the sixth edition of France's "month without tobacco". Last year in 2020, 125,000 people participated and since it started in 2016 the campaign has already gathered 900,000.

Business

Twitter has lost more than half a billion dollars in the three months to September after it paid $809.5m (£588m) to settle a long-running lawsuit. The social media giant was accused of misleading investors over user engagement in 2015. However, despite this one-off charge, its quarterly revenue grew 37% as it managed to shrug off the impact from Apple's privacy changes which hit rivals such as Snap and Facebook.

Washington has revoked the US licence of one of China's biggest telecoms companies citing "national security" concerns. China Telecom must stop providing services in America within 60 days. Officials said the Chinese government's control of the company gave it the opportunity "to access, store, disrupt, and/or misroute US communications". China Telecom, which has provided telecoms services in the US for nearly 20 years, called the decision "disappointing".

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Elon Musk's fortune is approaching $300 billion. On Tuesday, at the close of the New York Stock Exchange, it reached precisely $289 billion. Now far ahead of Jeff Bezos ($193 billion) and Bernard Arnault ($163 billion). Since the beginning of the year, the boss of Tesla and Space X has seen his wealth jump by $119 billion. 

From November some tobacconists in France will welcome cash machines. About twenty distributors (ATMs) will be put into service at tobacco retailers under the terms of a partnership between the Confederation of Tobacconists and Loomis, a subsidiary of the Swedish group Securitas specializing in cash transport. According to the Banque de France the number of ATMs offered by banks has decreased slightly in recent years. Tobacconists will thus increase the diversification which began a few years ago to compensate for the steady decline in tobacco sales, which they have a monopoly on and which still represents their main source of income.

Sport

Football – Both Arsenal and Chelsea made it through to the quarter finals of the League Cup on Tuesday night. Arsenal saw off Leeds beating them 2-0 and Chelsea beat Premier League rivals Southampton on panalties after a 1-1 draw.

Other matches in the League Cup tonight will see Burnley play Tottenham, Leicester against Brighton, Preston North End play Liverpool, Stoke City play Brentford and West Ham play Manchester City.

Tennis - Emma Raducanu fought back at the Transylvania Open to earn her first win since becoming the US Open champion. Raducanu won 4-6 7-5 6-1 to move into the second round. The 18-year-old Briton was beaten in the second round at Indian Wells following that historic victory at Flushing Meadows last month.

Cycling - The UK is to bid to host the 2026 Tour de France Grand Depart. The UK government has also confirmed funding for the English Rugby Football Union's bid to host the 2025 World Cup, as the RFU plans to stage the "best-attended women's Rugby World Cup ever". Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will this week announce £30m funding to back both bids. The chancellor is expected to announce the bids today, in a move he says is intended to boost British sport and enhance investment across the UK.

Rugby Union - England captain Owen Farrell says he would "love" to help Marcus Smith's development as an international fly-half during the Autumn series. The pair have yet to play together for England but Farrell says the Harlequins playmaker is a "massive talent".

Weather 

Mainly fine with some cloud. Highs of 21 degrees along the coast in Nice, Cannes and Theoule sur Mer. A cool 16 degrees and partly cloudy inland in the Alpes Maritimes. Partly cloudy in the Var, highs or 21-22 degrees and a moderate breeze. This evening going down to 12 degrees across the region with clear skies.

Outlook for tomorrow and Friday - Sunny intervals and remaining fine. Becoming increasingly cloudy going into the weekend, with heavy rain forecast for Saturday and Sunday and highs of 18-20 degrees.

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