French and Riviera News Wednesday 9th March 2022

News

Teenager hit by train at Nice train station - A 16-year-old teenager has been hit by a train at Nice train station. The incident occurred on Tuesday shortly before 6pm when the teenager was hit by a regional express train on platform B, the exact circumstances are still to be determined. Emergency services intervened and the victim was taken to hospital suffering serious arm injuries. Train traffic was disrupted in both directions.

Road accident - A man has been air lifted to hospital following a road accident in the Var. The accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon on the D61 between Cogolin and Grimaud. The motorist reportedly crashed head on into a police car. An investigation is currently underway to determine the exact circumstances.

30-year-old injured after fleeing police road check – Meanwhile a 30-year-old has been hospitalised after trying to flee a police road check on his scooter and crashing into a parked car. The incident occurred in Mandelieu when the individual refused to comply with police hitting a parked car head on.

Man arrested for stealing petrol - Police have arrested a 54-year-old man caught in the act of stealing petrol in Saint-Laurent-du-Var. The man a Romanian national and already known to police services, was caught siphoning tanks from trucks parked in the industrial zone. He has since been placed in police custody in Cagnes sur mer.

Covid cases increases for first time in six weeks - For the first time in six weeks the number of covid cases in the Alpes Maritimes has increased. According to Public Health France the incidence rate increased slightly from 562 weekly cases to 570. In Monaco on Tuesday 37 new cases of covid were identified bringing the total number of residents affected to 9,605. Fifteen people are in hospital and eighty-six are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

End of health protocol in companies - Meanwhile France’s Employment Minister Elisabeth Borne has announced the end of the health protocol in companies. Speaking on French television she said that from next Monday, 14 March, "we are going to resume normal rules in business". However, new guidelines will be introduced which will permit employees who wish to continue wearing a mask at work to do so.  The minister said that teleworking will be a matter for discussion between employers and employees. The French government has already announced the loosening of various Covid-19 restrictions from next Monday. The compulsory wearing of masks in almost all places where it is currently required will end but will still be required on public transport. The vaccination pass will also be suspended from March 14th.

Poll shows large majority of French concerned about Ukraine war - According to a new Elabe Opinion poll, 90% of French people say they fear the conflict in Ukraine. The survey showed that 89% of French people fear that the military conflict will spread to countries other than Ukraine and 68% fear the possible arrival of the conflict in France.

Macron speaks with Zelensky - Meanwhile on Tuesday French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During a 90-minute telephone conversation the two leaders discussed humanitarian issues, the security of nuclear power plants and the progress of negotiations with Russia in Belarus.

Website for Ukrainian refugees - The French government has launched a website to connect Ukrainian refugees with French families who wish to offer them accommodation. The site provides information for people in France who wish to join supported projects housing refugees. It also allows associations to recruit volunteers to help them carry out their missions. The website address is https://parrainage.refugies.info/

Scotland apologises for women killed accused of witchcraft - Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has presented the government's official apology for the thousands of women convicted of witchcraft in the 16th and 17th century and killed "simply because they were women". Between the 16th and 18th century in Scotland, around 4000 people were accused of witchcraft. 84% were women.

On Tuesday, International Women's Day, Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament to "acknowledge this gross historical injustice" and "offer a formal apology to all those charged, convicted, slandered or executed under the Witchcraft Act 1563." The law provided for the death penalty for those guilty of witchcraft and was in force until 1736.

Business

Asian markets have stabilised this morning as investors assessed the impact of the worsening conflict in Ukraine and a US ban on Russian oil. On Tuesday, President Biden announced an immediate ban on Russian oil and other energy imports in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine while the European Union and the UK also announced that they would be cutting back on imports with a view to a total ban. The ban comes on top of sweeping sanctions imposed on Russia by the West. Analysts say that markets remain extremely volatile and are unable to confidently price in the implications from the conflict given the complex state of the global economy. On the currency markets, the dollar has strengthened against the yen this morning while the euro has gained some ground. US Treasury yields have edged lower and gold has slipped from record highs.

Crude prices have been rising again this morning after President Biden announced an immediate ban on Russian oil while the UK said it would phase out Russian imports by the end of the year. Concerns over tighter global supply pushed Brent crude up to 130 dollars 15 earlier with West Texas intermediate up to 125 dollars 27. Crude prices have surged by more than 30 percent since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine and are now almost 50 percent higher than they were in December. The market is also being affected by sentiment that an imminent return of Iranian oil to boost supplies is unlikely as talks on a nuclear deal between Tehran and the West have slowed. Analysts say that the price of crude could hit 200 dollars if Europe and the United States ban Russian oil.

Mcdonald’s, Coca Cola, Pepsi and Starbucks have joined a growing list of Western firms halting business in Russia as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. McDonald’s says that its temporarily closing all of its restaurants in the country and Starbucks is closing all of its coffee shops. Dozens of well known Western firms have already suspended or closed their operations in Russia. Other companies are set to follow suit.

Sport 

Football - Liverpool and Bayern Munich are through to the quarter finals of the European Champions League following last night’s round of 16 second leg ties. Liverpool lost 1-0 on the night to Inter Milan at Anfield but move through to the last eight 2-1 on aggregate. Bayern Munich thrashed Red Bull Salzburg 7-1 to take the tie 8-2 on aggregate. There are two more ties tonight. Manchester City play Sporting Lisbon leading 5-0 from the first leg while Paris St Germain take a 1-0 advantage into the away leg of their game against Real Madrid.

In the English Championship last night Barnsley and Stoke drew 1-1, Blackburn and Millwall drew 0-0, Bournemouth and Peterborough drew 1-1, Luton were 1-0 winners at Coventry, Sheffield United beat Middlesbrough 4-1 and Fulham were 5-1 winners away at Swansea.

Cricket - Jonny Bairstow rescued England from another embarrassing batting collapse on day one of the first Test against West Indies in Antigua. England won the toss and decided to bat but they slumped to 48-4 before Bairstow came to the crease and steadied the ship. At stumps, Bairstow was on 109 not out with Chris Woakes 24 not out as England reached 268-6.

The first Test between Pakistan and Australia has ended in a draw. Pakistan batted out the final day without losing a wicket in their second innings in a total of 252 before the teams agreed to the draw. Shafique made 136 and Imam 111. The second Test starts in Karachi on Saturday.

Rugby Union - The Ireland captain Jonny Sexton has announced that he’ll retire after the 2023 World Cup. Sexton has won 103 international caps and is a former world player of the year. Last month he hit the milestone of 500 international points.

Paralympics - China leads the medals table on day 5 of the games in Beijing. China has 8 gold medals in a total of 27 with Ukraine in second with 6 golds in a total of 17 and Canada in third with 5 golds in a total of 13. There are 6 medal events today including in men’s Nordic skiing and women’s cross country.

Weather

Partially cloudy with light to moderate south westerly winds. Top temperature 14 degrees. Overnight lows of 5-7 degrees on the coast and 2 to 4 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday - Partially cloudy with highs of 13-15 degrees.

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