French and Riviera News Wednesday 9th June 2021

News 

Third stage of the end of lockdown in France to be put in place today - The third stage of the end to lockdown is to be introduced in France today with the curfew being pushed back to 11pm and a health pass being introduced.

Reopenings - From today Wednesday, June 9th gyms and indoor swimming pools will reopen to the public. The rules in place for teleworking will be relaxed with a gradual return to the office, making it up to the employer, as to the number of minimum days to be worked from home. Bars and restaurants will be able to resume service inside and terraces will be able to operate at 100% capacity but still with a limit of six people per table. Queues in front of many shops will be shorter as the number of people limited to circulate inside a one given time is increased.

For outdoor sportings activities, they will be possible up to a limit of 25 people, including contact sports. As for the spectators, they will be able to attend indoor and outdoor sporting events within the limit of 5,000 people seated and the health pass will be required for more than 1,000 people.

TousAntiCovid - From today, you will be systematically invited to leave your details as you enter a bar, restaurant, gym or event, in order to be contacted in the case of being exposed to covid. You can either fill in a reminder book with your contact details or scan the QR code using the TousAntiCovid application.

Masks recalled - Public Health France has said that at least 60.5 million face masks rated as FFP2 and distributed to health workers should no longer be worn to protect against Covid, as inhaling their particles could be toxic for the lungs. The masks are being recalled from use. They had been distributed for use in hospitals, pharmacies and other medical centres.

In other news 

French President slapped by bystander - A bystander has slapped French President Emmanuel Macron across the face during a trip to the Drôme region on Tuesday on the second stop of a nation-wide tour. Macron's bodyguards quickly intervened, and two people have been arrested. The incident occurred when Macron approached a barrier to greet a man who, instead of shaking hands, slapped the 43-year-old across the face. The man reportedly shouted "Down with Macron-ism" as he slapped the president, as well as "Montjoie, Saint-Denis" - the battle-cry of the old Kingdom of France, in reference to the banner of King Charlemagne. The Head of State briefly returned to the barrier after the incident and once again interacted with the crowd later telling reporters that "I continued and I will continue, nothing will stop me."

Small earthquake in hinterland of the Alpes Maritimes – A small earthquake has occurred in the Alpes Maritimes on Tuesday evening. The epicenter of the tremor, of a magnitude of 3.1 on the Richter scale, was located close to Saint-Martin-Vésubie and occurred at 11pm. Many took to the internet to comment on the tremor which was strongly felt in the area as well as several kilometres away as far as the Paillon valley.

Campaign for road safety - Vinci autoroutes has launched a campaign targeting motorcyclists on the A8 motorway. Signs, tweets, and radio messages have been put in place as traffic returns to the road following lockdown and people returning to work as well as ahead of the holiday period. The campaign hopes to remind motorcyclists of road safety and the dangers of zigzagging between lanes.

Business

Documents claiming to reveal how little income tax US billionaires pay have been leaked to a news website. ProPublica says that it has seen the tax returns of some of the world’s richest people including Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett. The website alleges that Mr Bezos paid no tax in 2007 and 2011 while Elon Musk paid nothing in 2018. ProPublica says that it is analysing what is it called a “vast trove of internal revenue service data” on the taxes of billionaires and would release further details over the coming weeks. A White House spokesman called the leak “illegal" and that the FBI and tax authorities are investigating. The alleged leak comes at a time of greater debate about the amount of tax paid by the wealthy and widening inequality.

The price of bitcoin has fallen to a three week low amid signs of institutional investor caution and as the US Internal Revenue Service called for lawmakers to provide authority for tighter reporting rules on crypto transfers. On Tuesday the IRS said that Congress needs to provide clear statutory authority for the tax agency to collect information on crypto currency transfers valued at over $10,000. The IRS says that, by design most crypto virtual currencies are set to stay off the radar screen and need to be immediately challenged. Bitcoin has now slumped in value by half since hitting a record $65,000 in April. Governments around the world are looking at ways of tightening regulations on cryptocurrency trading.

Oil prices have risen for a second straight day on signs of strong fuel demand in Europe while the prospect of a near-term return of Iran's oil supply faded as the US Secretary of State said that sanctions against Tehran were unlikely to be lifted. Brent crude futures were trading up 0.2% a little earlier this morning at $72.37 with West Texas Intermediate up 0.3% at $70.25. The market is being boosted by a solid outlook for fuel demand growth as travel curbs are lifted in Europe with more people getting vaccinated. Prices have also been boosted after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Tuesday that even if Iran and the United States return to compliance with a nuclear deal, hundreds of US sanctions on Iran would remain in place.

Sport

Tennis – The fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas has beaten DaniIl Medvedev to reach the semifinals of the French open. The 22-year-old Greek came through 6–3  7–6  7–5 as he showed his superiority on clay. Tsitsipas will now play Alexander Zverev in the last four. He beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain in straight sets.

In the women’s event, Anastasia Pavlyunchenkova reached the last four after beating Elena Rybakina in three sets. The Russian will now play Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia who beat Paula Badosa of Spain in three sets.

Football – France have completed their warmup for Euro 2020 with a 3–0 victory over Bulgaria.

In other games last night Spain beat Lithuania 4–0. The Czech Republic beat Albania 3–1 while Hungary drew 0-0 with the Republic of Ireland.

Athletics - The women’s 10,000 m world record has been smashed by more than five seconds just two days after it had previously been beaten. Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia set a time of 29 minutes 1.03 seconds at trials in the Netherlands last night. Afterwards, she said that she expected to run a world record and would like to break it again by getting under 29 minutes.

Weather

Sunshine this morning with thundery showers developing this afternoon and light to moderate south westerly winds. Top temperature 27 degrees. Overnight lows of 18-21 degrees with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday - Sunshine and showers tomorrow, fine on Friday. Highs of 25-28 degrees.

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