French and Riviera News Monday 10th February 2020

Local

Coronavirus - Two schools have been closed in the Haute Alpes as authorities try and reassure holiday makers in the region after five British citizens, including a 9-year-old child, tested positive for coronavirus.

The five British citizens were staying in a chalet in the ski resort near Mont Blanc.  The news that five British nationals who stayed at the resort have been confirmed as infected could not have come at a worse time. Saturday was first day of the winter break for schools in some parts of France, including the Paris region, with the rest of France breaking up in the coming weeks.

So far there have been 11 cases have been reported in France. France’s health minister Agnés Buzyn announced that 35 French nationals from Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, arrived on Sunday, on French soil. The flight was organized by the British authorities.

The 35 French nationals will join the 78 people already repatriated for a quarantine period of 14 days, at a holiday centre in Aix-en-Provence. To avoid any risk of contamination, this third wave of French returnees will be accommodated in another unit.

Storm - Flights have been cancelled and 35 departments in France have been put on an orange weather alert. The warning issued on Sunday saw Normandy, the Ardennes and Lorraine experience gust of up to 140 km/h.

The storm had a knock-on effect at Nice International airport with flights delayed and some cancelled on Sunday evening. The bad weather is expected to hit the Alpes Maritimes, the Var and the south of Corsica later today with violent winds forecast for the island overnight. Firefighters from Cannes left on Sunday evening for Corsica.

Air purifier - The Sulzer underground car park in Nice has become the first in France to test air purifiers. The machine which has been invented by two Dutch researchers was installed this week. The mayor Christian Estrosi hopes to see the system extended to all undergound car parks in the city.

National

Ice skating scandal - The president of France’s ice-skating federation Didier Gailhaguet has resigned over a damaging sex abuse scandal. France’s sports minister asked Gailhaguet to resign after several figure skaters claimed they were raped or sexually assaulted when they were minors by former coaches.

Gailhaguet had at first refused to step down, saying he had made "mistakes" but that he was never "at fault". French prosecutors have since launched an investigation.

Apple - Apple has been fined 25 million euros for deliberately slowing down older iPhone models without making it clear to consumers. The fine was given by France's competition and fraud watchdog the DGCCRF, which said consumers were not warned. In 2017, Apple confirmed that it did slow down some iPhones, but said it only did so to "prolong the life" of the devices.

Business

Asian shares have pared early losses this morning as authorities in China lifted some coronavirus related restrictions on travel and work helping businesses to resume production.

Overall sentiment remains jittery as the death toll from the virus continues to climb.

More than 900 people have died from coronavirus so far with most of the new fatalities in Wuhan-the epicentre of the outbreak.

The Chinese government has ordered lockdowns, flight cancellations and has shut schools in many cities.

However ,people started returning to work this morning although a large number of factories and offices remain closed.

Analysts say that the lifting of some restrictions appears to be little more than a token gesture rather than the government actually being on top of the situation.

Coronavirus has now killed more people than the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003 and has spread to at least 27 countries.

 

Amazon has become the latest large firm to pull out of one of the world’s largest tech shows because of risks posed by the coronavirus.

The firm said that due to the outbreak and continued concerns about the virus it would not be taking part in the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The organisers say that the event will still go ahead but admitted that a number of leading firms are still considering whether to attend.

The event has already banned all visitors from China’s Hubei province while people who have been in China must prove that they’ve been out of the country for at least 2 weeks.

It’s also been suggested that participants should not shake hands and organisers say that microphones used by speakers will be disinfected and changed.

The Singapore Airshow which is due to start tomorrow has also seen major participants pull out.

 

And-Oil prices have fallen again this morning as the fear of excess supply loomed over the market due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Brent Crude hit a low of 53 dollars 63 in Asian trade with West Texas Intermediate at 49 dollars 66.

Crude has come down from a peak of 70 dollars a barrel in early January as fears over the spread of the virus and its effect on the global economy grow.

Opec and its allies are considering further cuts to production in a bid to bolster prices but Russia in particular says that it wants more time to consider.

Sport

Rugby Union-France and Ireland are the only two teams left with a chance of doing the Grand Slam in the 6 Nations Championship following the second round of matches.

France beat Italy 35-22 in Paris on Sunday to keep up their 100 percent record and top the table.

Ireland were too good for Wales in Dublin on Saturday coming out 24-14 winners while England beat Scotland 13-6 in atrocious conditions at Murrayfield to regain the Calcutta Cup.

There’s a break next week with the next round of games over the weekend of the 22nd of February with Italy hosting Scotland ,Wales against France and England against Ireland.

Cricket-England have beaten South Africa by 2 wickets in Johannesburg to share the one day international series.

England won the toss and decided to bowl and restricted South Africa to 256-7 from their 50 overs.

The tourists wobbled a bit in their reply but got to the target in a total of 257-8 from 43.2 overs with Joe Denly top scoring on 66.

Football-There was one game in the English Premier League on Sunday.Sheffield United climbed to 5th place in the table just 2 points behind 4th placed Chelsea on the back of a 2-1 win over Bournemouth.

Sunday’s other game between Manchester City and West Ham was postponed because of Storm Ciara.

In the English Championship on Sunday West Brom opened up a 4 point lead at the top of the table after a 2-0 win at Millwall.

In the 5th round of the Scottish Cup Hibs were 4-1 winners at BSC Glasgow and Celtic were 3-0 winners at Clyde.

All the matches in the FA Women’s Super League were postponed because of bad weather.

Weather

YELLOW ALERT FOR THE A-M AND VAR.ORANGE ALERT FOR CORSICA.

Partially cloudy with a strong westerly wind gusting at up to 80 km/h across the region.

Top temperature 21 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees on the coast and 10 degrees inland with clear skies and remaining windy.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Clear skies but remaining windy.Highs of 19-20 degrees tomorrow and 14-16 degrees on Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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