French and Riviera News Friday 12th June 2020

Torrential rain hits Ajaccio - 200 people have been taken to safety following torrential rainfall in Ajaccio in Corsica. Thursday afternoon saw nearly 120 mm of rainfall within just two hours.

According to the Prefecture, among the people taken into shelter, 80 were stranded in their vehicles and 70 had to be evacuated from surrounding businesses.

The rain led to the police temporarily closing access to the city. Images posted on social networks showed flooded cars, with some being washed away into the sea.

Stabbing in Nice - A vast police operation is still underway in the impasse des Liserons in the east of Nice following the stabbing of a 19-year-old man on Thursday.

Local residents were alerted by gunshots with emergency services attending in the early afternoon. Authorities are still searching for the presumed gunman. Several shell cartridges were found at the scene.

Police throw handcuffs to the ground in protest - French police have symbolically thrown their handcuffs to the ground in demonstrations across France against the current accusations of “police violence”. In the Var officers gathered in Toulon to express their anger with the current situation saying they feel “abandoned by France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner”.

Funeral of Jean-Christophe Capdeveille - A large crowd has gathered to say goodbye to Jean-Christophe Capdeveille who was laid to rest on Thursday afternoon in Nice. Described as the “car mechanic with a big heart” Capdeveille died following a dispute with his neighbour on June 2nd.

The circumstances leading to the death of 52-year-old Jean Christophe are still unclear. A 68-year-old man has been charged with manslaughter and placed in police custody, as the investigation continues.

Beaches Antibes closed to swimmers - Due to work being carried out in the Saint Roch car park the beaches of the Fort Carré and Fontonne west and east in Antibes are closed to swimmers at least until this weekend. The local council issued the ban after a pipe was damaged.

Ferry service between Nice and Corsica - The ferry service between Nice and Corsica is set to resume on July 1st.

Corsica Ferries is the only operator with lines to Bastia, and Ajaccio from Nice. The times of the services are still to be determined. Ferries had been suspended since March, due to the coronavirus crisis.

Restaurant vouchers - The use of restaurant vouchers will be increased to 38 euros as from today. The aim is to encourage the use of meal vouchers in restaurants and hotel-restaurants and thereby help the economic difficulties of those establishments.

Baroness Elisabeth-Anne de Massy - A cousin of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco has died at the age of 73. Baroness Elisabeth-Anne de Massy was widely involved in the Principality's associations and charities, including as President of the Monegasque Tennis Federation and the Monte-Carlo Country Club.

Business

Fears that a second wave of coronavirus cases could cause more economic damage have battered global stock markets.

The declines came after a warning from the US Federal Reserve that the American economy faces a long road to recovery and a spike in cases of coronavirus in some US states.

Wall Street had its worst day in weeks and markets in Asia have also declined this morning although US stock futures are up.

Energy and travel stocks were among the biggest losers on Thursday as global oil prices also took a hit.

Analysts say that although governments ,firms and people would be better prepared for a second wave of Covid-19 ,there is a limit to state injections of money.

More than 30 million US workers are continuing to claim benefits and although nonfarm payroll numbers for May showed a surprise improvement ,figures from  the Labor Department show that an extra 1.5 million people had filed for unemployment last week.

Several US states that have moved to reopen including Arizona and South Carolina have seen an increase in coronavirus cases in recent days.

 

The German airline Lufthansa is to cut 22,000 jobs as it struggles to deal with the slump in air travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lufthansa has predicted a slow recovery in demand and said that it expected to have 100 fewer aircraft after the crisis.

The firm said that half of the job cuts would be in Germany and that it hoped to reach a deal with Unions by the 22nd of June.

Lufthansa employs more than 135,000 people worldwide-half of them in Germany.

Last month ,the airline agreed a rescue deal worth 9 billion euros with the German government which will take a 20 percent stake in the firm which it intends to sell by the end of 2023.

And-The Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant Unilever says that it’s to combine its two businesses into one structure in the UK.

The firm ,which makes a range of top household brands including Ben and Jerry’s ice cream ,Lipton Tea and Hellmann’s mayonnaise attempted to combine into a Dutch firm in 2018 but abandoned the plan following objections from UK shareholders.

Unilever said that no job cuts would be lost in the latest move and that its existing headquarters in the UK and the Netherlands would stay as they were.

Analysts say that Unilever’s sales have been lacklustre of late  and the pursuit of a single listing is the firm’s way of trying to make sure that it’s in  the best possible position to start the process of rejuvenation.

Sport

Golf-Justin Rose and Harold Varner III share the lead following the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Club in Texas as the US PGA Tour returned.

Both players carded first round 63’s to reach 7 under par.

The star studied field which includes Rory McIlroy ,Ian Poulter and Jordan Spieth observed a minutes silence at the start of play in memory of George Floyd ,the African American who died in police custody last month.

Football-Spain’ La Liga returned to action on Thursday following a three month break as Sevilla beat Real Betis 2-0 in the Seville derby.

There were some problems off the pitch as groups of fans ignored the rules and gathered outside the stadium before the game.

The television coverage was also a bit ropey with artificial crowd noise coming in way too low and inaudible for much of the game.

Cricket-England bowler James Anderson has said that the team may consider joining West Indies if the tourists make an anti-racism gesture during the first Test next month.

The West Indies captain Jason Holder has said that he’ll discuss with his team-mates if they will hold a protest over the death of George Floyd.

Anderson said that it had been a “very thought provoking few weeks”  and that the England team will have discussions over what they can do to make a stand.

Weather

Partially cloudy with a moderate to strong easterly wind across the region gusting at up to 70 km/h in coastal areas of the Var.

Top temperature 23 degrees.

Overnight lows of 17 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

The weekend-Sunshine and thundery showers tomorrow.Mainly fine on Sunday.Highs of 21-25 degrees.

Finally 

A new study has revealed that walking to work is worse for the environment than car sharing.

Scientists at the Otago University in New Zealand and Oxford University say walking to work could produce more greenhouse gas than driving. The carbon footprint of producing the extra food a walker needs as ‘fuel’ for the journey would be more than that of a car travelling the same distance. 

Researchers estimate that, in a country with high calorie diets such as the UK, walking for one kilometre would require food that would have generated around 0.26kg of carbon dioxide compared with 0.21kg of CO2 for the petrol used by a car. 


 

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