French and Riviera News Wednesday 2nd June 2021

News

Two die in fatal road accident above Monaco - Two people have died in a fatal road accident on Tuesday afternoon. The man and woman were riding a motorbike on the road from Cap d'Ail to La Turbie when they collided head on with another vehicle. Police have opened an investigation to determine the exact circumstances of the collision.  

Investigation after gun fire at school in Villefranche sur mer - An investigation has been opened by police in Villefranche sur mer after gun fire at a primary school on Tuesday afternoon. Shots were heard shortly after 4.30pm and a projectile hit the window of the Joseph-Calderoni primary school located on avenue Clemenceau in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Most of the students were not on the premises at the time and no injuries were reported. Police are to determine if it was an accidental or intentional shooting.

Pharmacists and GPs air their exasperation at delays in the delivery of vaccine doses - Pharmacists and general practitioners have aired their exasperation following delays to the deliveries of vaccination doses against covid. The situation was made worse after a truck delivering 145,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to four regions in the south of France broke down last week. The vehicle was due to supply the vaccine to four regions in the south, including the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Pharmacists and GPs in the region say that they “get the impression that they are being forgotten by the authorities in the fight against covid”.

Several streets to be completely pedestrianized in Nice to help restaurant owners - As France prepares to enter the third stage of a progressive end to lockdown next Wednesday June the 9th with the curfew being moved from 9pm to 11pm, Nice city council has announced that several streets in the city will become completely pedestrianized. The town hall also announced that musical entertainment will also be on offer during the evening.

Post-Brexit residency - British nationals in four EU member states have yet to apply for post-Brexit residence, meaning they risk losing the right to live and work there unless they file their demands within 30 days. UK citizens living in France, Malta, Luxembourg and Latvia have until 30th June to apply to secure their post-Brexit rights. The Netherlands did have the same deadline but have since extended it to 1st October.

High-polluting vehicles banned from entering Paris on weekdays between 8am and 8pm - As part of efforts to enforce a low emissions zone around the French capital high-polluting diesel vehicles more than 15 years old have been banned from entering the Paris region on weekdays between 8am and 8pm. Heavy goods vehicles, buses, coaches and motorised two-wheelers registered before July 2004 are also affected by the restrictions, which took force on Tuesday 1st June. Under a sticker system known as Crit’Air, drivers in the Ile-de-France are required to display a numbered, colour-coded marker on their windscreen that indicates their car’s pollution ranking. Motorists caught flouting the rules face fines of between 68 and 135 euros, although penalties are not expected to be handed out under the end of the year. 

SNCF launches new Advantage card - Meanwhile after a complicated year due to repeated lockdowns, the SNCF rail network intends to get back on track launching more attractive prices and a new “Advantage” card to promote an environmentally responsible means of transport. New night connections, and improvements on the Intercités will be accompanied with lower prices, even for last minute bookings. All tickets will be exchangeable and refundable up to three days before departure.

France vs Wales - With less than ten days before the kick-off of Euro football in Rome, the Blues play their first preparation match tonight in Nice against Wales. The match will kick off at 9:05 pm at the Allianz Riviera in Nice.

Business

President Biden is to suspend oil and gas licenses in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pending an environmental review. The move reverses former President Donald Trump‘s decision to sell oil leases in the Refuge to expand fossil fuel and mineral development. The Alaskan wilderness is home to many important species including polar bears, caribou and wolves. In January, Donald Trump moved ahead with the sale for the rights to draw for oil on around 5% of the Refuge just days before his presidential term ended. During his campaign, Joe Biden pledged to protect the habitat. Arctic tribal leaders have praised the decision. A White House spokesman said that President Biden believes that America’s national treasures are “cultural and economic cornerstones of our country”. A wide ranging economic and environmental review is now underway.

The world’s largest meat processing company has been targeted by a cyber attack. Computer networks at JBS have been hacked, causing some operations in Australia, Canada and the United States to shut down affecting thousands of workers. The company believes that the ransomware attack originated from a criminal group likely based in Russia. The attack could lead to shortages of meat or raise prices for consumers. The White House says that the FBI is investigating. JBS says that it has made significant progress in resolving the attack and hopes that the vast majority of its plants will be operational again today.

UK farmers are raising increased concerns about the trade deal with Australia which is close to being signed. Farmers say that there are no meaningful safeguards in place to stop them being undercut by cheap imports. The UK National Farmers Union says that Australian farmers are able to produce beef at a lower cost of production and could undercut their competitors in Britain. Farmers in Australia are also allowed to use some hormone growth promoters, pesticides and feed additives that are banned in the UK. Green groups including Sustain and the WWF have also expressed concern about the deal and recently wrote to the British government describing Australia as a “laggard” on global climate action. They say that a tariff free deal would force UK producers to compete with more environmentally destructive farming methods. In response, the British government says that the independent Trade and Agriculture Commission will be able to examine the text agreement once all parts are concluded.

Sport 

Tennis – Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic both cruised through their first round games at the French open on Tuesday. Nadal, who’s bidding for a 21st grand slam title and his 14th French open success beat Alexei Popyrin of Australia in straight sets while Djokovic eased through 6–2 6–4 6–2 against Tennys Sandgren of the United States.

In the women’s event, the two time grand slam champion Petra Kvitova has been forced to withdraw following a freak ankle injury sustained during her post match media duties. Kvitova fell after Sunday’s first round win over Greet Minnen and her second round opponent Elena Vesnina has been given a bye to the last 32.

Elsewhere, world number one Ashleigh Barty made it through to round two thanks to a 3 set win over Bernarda Pera although she needed lengthy treatment for a hip problem and the 5th seed Elina Svitolina beat the teenage debutant Oceane Babel.

Cricket – The first Test between England and New Zealand starts at Lord’s today. England are missing a number of key players but Captain Joe Root says he wants the side to put on a show for the fans. It’s the first time that England will play a home match in front of fans since 2019 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Play starts at noon French time and the weather is looking good.

Football – Carlo Ancelotti has left Everton to rejoin Real Madrid. The 61-year-old Italian leaves Goodison Park after 18 months in charge. Ancelotti takes over from Zinedine Zidane and the move leaves Everton searching for a sixth permanent manager in five years.

The England manager Gareth Southgate says that failing to reach the semi finals at Euro 2020 will be classed as a failure. England made the last four at the World Cup in 2018 and a run to the final in Euro 2020 would see them play all but one of their games at Wembley. Southgate said that the team had to learn to live with expectations. The tournament starts on Wednesday, the 11th of June.

Weather

Sunshine and showers this morning, giving way to clearer weather this afternoon with light variable winds and a high of 22 degrees. Overnight lows of 15-17 degrees with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday - Mainly fine with highs of 23-25 degrees.

And Finally 

Oxfordshire will be the first place in the UK to completely ban smoking outside as lockdown ends - hoping to become smoke free by 2025. The ban will see smoking outside of bars and restaurants become a thing of the past, with workplace cigarette breaks also on the red list. Oxfordshire could be the first county in England to go completely smoke-free by 2025, under a plan agreed by public health officials before the pandemic began. 

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