French and Riviera News Wednesday 8th December 2021

News

Hospitals in the PACA region introduce the "white plan" - The "white plan" has been introduced in hospitals in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region in order to deal with the pressure from the number of covid patients. The move sees the Regional Health Agency call on available caregivers to work in hospitals. With an incidence rate of more than 557 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the latest data from Public Health France and a positivity rate of more than 6.5%, the Agency has issued a statement saying that "the epidemic is now significantly impacting hospitals in the region".

The ARS has activated this "white plan" so that public and private hospital structures adapt "gradually and proportionately their organizations". According to Public Health France, 395 patients were hospitalized due to covid in the Alpes-Maritimes and Var (211 in the Alpes Maritimes and 184 in the Var). This represents nearly 4% of hospitalizations in France (12,714 nationwide). In the Var, the number of hospitalized patients has increased by nearly 30% over the last 7 days. The increase is less in the Alpes-Maritimes with an increase of 14% over the same period.

Concerning intensive care units, the situation seems to be under control in the Var and Alpes-Maritimes. According to data from Public Health France, 31 people were in intensive care on December 6th in the Var, and 40 in the Alpes-Maritimes.

On a national level 59,019 new cases of covid were recorded in France on Tuesday, a figure that had not been reached since November 3rd. The incidence rate is also constantly increasing, reaching 979 cases per 100,000 inhabitants among 6–10-year-olds, compared to 444 for the overall population. In an attempt to contain the epidemic, the government is focusing on vaccination. A record 687,000 booster doses were injected in 24 hours on Tuesday.

Meanwhile during a visit to the Cher region on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron exchange with French people on the problems of "everyday life" in the context of the fifth wave of covid reaffirming the governments intention to "avoid closure measures as much as possible". The Head of State claimed that the French are feeling the "fatigue" with many being "less optimistic than two months ago", under the impression that "we are trapped in a time loop with the new wave of covid".

15 metre boat destroyed by fire - A 15m boat has been destroyed by a fire in the port of the Marina Baie des Anges in Villeneuve Loubet. Firefighters intervened at around 3.30pm on Tuesday afternoon and extinguished the blaze, setting up an emergency system to avoid any risk of pollution. No casualties were reported, and an investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the fire.

Sanary-sur-Mer cancels festive activities - The city council of Sanary-sur-Mer in the Var, has cancelled until the end of the week all festive activities which were planned to take place, following the collapse of a building in the port area in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The latest assessment made by firefighters reported the death of a 30-year-old man found under the rubble and two people were still reported missing. Five other victims were taken care of including a mother and her young baby, by the rescue services and nine other people were evacuated safe and sound. A three-storey apartment building collapsed after an explosion which is at this point thought to have been caused by a gas leak.

Lyon City Hall confirms ban on foie gras in official receptions - The city hall of Lyon has confirmed the ban on foie gras in official receptions. The decision has been described as a "pity for Lyon, the capital of Gastronomy" by the former mayor Gérard Collomb. Lyon is not the only city in France to have taken this decision both Grenoble and Strasbourg have also implemented the ban.

French President unveils three core axes of France's presidency of the European Union - French President Emmanuel Macron has unveiled the three core axes of France's presidency of the European Union that will take effect on the 1st of January, being recovery, power and belonging. Macron was speaking during a debate to mark the 25th anniversary of the Jacques Delors Institute. The Head of State underlined the need for recovery in response to the covid pandemic and defended at length the need to embrace Europe, stressing that the "feeling of belonging has withered" in France, as well as in other EU countries. Conversely, Macron said that a Europe that tries to explain what words to say or not to say, is not a Europe he totally supports. He was referring to draft instructions for EU officials to ban expression like "Christmas time" or "Ladies and Gentlemen" in favour of neutral terms.

Snowfall - Nice-Météo has announced snowfall from 1,000m in the Alpes Maritimes from last night and into today, with 10 to 20cm expected in the Mercantour. Authorities have advised motorists to have the necessary equipment to access the regions winter resorts. The snow accompanied by cooler temperatures are not expected to last however, with an improvement by this afternoon and milder temperatures returning.

The manuscript of the "Little Prince" will be exhibited in France for the first time - The manuscript of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, never shown in France, will be exhibited in Paris from February to June 2022, at the Museum of Decorative Arts. Aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote the book in the United States where he was in exile in 1942. The manuscript has never left the American continent since and is a book which accompanied the childhood of many French people. After its publication in French and English in New York in 1943, Saint-Exupéry died during a mission to the Mediterranean in July 1944. The author therefore knew nothing of the huge success of this work published in France in 1946 and today translated into more than 300 languages.

Business

Reported as being "almost certain" that the new covid variant is no more serious than the Delta, the Paris stock exchange seemed reassured on Tuesday as the CAC 40 marked its strongest increase of the year with a jump of 2.91%

Meanwhile the Bank of France has very slightly revised down its forecast of an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) for France in the fourth quarter that's according to its latest economic note published on Tuesday.

And France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has promised to provide "a concrete response to nightclub owners" following the announcement that they are to close from Friday 10th December. Le Maire said that the threshold, which is currently set at 90% of the expenses covered, would be raised to 100% "so that nightclubs do not lose a single euro due to the closure and that all expenses are covered, including the remuneration of nightclub managers".

A computer scientist who claims he invented Bitcoin has won a court case allowing him to keep a cache of the cryptocurrency worth billions of dollars. A jury has rejected claims that Craig Wright's former business partner was due half of the assets. As a result Mr Wright will retain 1.1m Bitcoin, worth $54bn (£40bn).

A major study on inequality has found that the share of wealth owned by the world's richest people soared during the Covid pandemic. The World Inequality Report said that 2020 saw the steepest increase in billionaires' wealth on record. Meanwhile, 100 million people sank into extreme poverty. The richest 10% of the population now takes 52% of global income and the poorest half just 8%.

The 228-page report, also said that since 1995, billionaires' wealth had risen from 1% to 3% and that 2020 marked the steepest increase in global billionaires' share of wealth on record.

Sport

Football – Liverpool have become the first English side to win all six Champions' League group games as they completed a perfect journey into the knockout stage with a 2-1 victory over AC Milan in Italy.

Tennis - British number one Emma Raducanu has been named newcomer of the year by the Women's Tennis Association. The 19-year-old burst onto the scene in 2021 by winning the US Open, making her the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title.

Cycling - Mark Cavendish has signed a one-year contract extension with Deceuninck Quick-Step until the end of 2022. The British sprinter won four stages and the Green Jersey at this year's Tour de France after rejoining the Belgian team for 2021.

Weather

Heavy rain with a moderate breeze and highs of 12 degrees along the coast in Nice and Cannes. 11 degrees in Mougins. Light rain in Saint Tropez and highs of 11 degrees.

This evening going down to 4 degrees. The outlook for Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow fine with highs of 11 degrees and strong winds in the Var. 13 degrees in Nice with a gentle breeze. Friday - light cloud and sunny intervals across the region highs of 11-12 degrees.

And Finally

Many of us reach for a bar of chocolate when we're feeling down and according to a new study just a few squares of dark chocolate really can lift our mood.  

Researchers have found that healthy adults who ate a total of 30 grams of 85 per cent dark chocolate per day were happier. It's thought improvements in mood were linked with changes in the gut from eating the chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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