French and Riviera News Tuesday 23rd June 2020

Dead body found in the river Artuby in the Haut Var - The body of a man has been found in the river Artuby near Trigance in the Hauts Var. Two hikers discovered the corpse on Monday afternoon and alerted the police. An investigation has been launched to identify and determine the cause of death.

Ocean Viking leaves Marseilles for its first rescue mission in three months - The Ocean Viking operated by the European humanitarian group SOS Méditerranée has left the city of Marseille for its first rescue mission in Libyan waters.

Its first mission in three months, the European humanitarian vessel will be operating with reduced means and a team watching for signs of the coronavirus as they rescue shipwrecked migrants.

Drug trafficking in La Ciotat - Four people have been arrested in La Ciotat in the Var in connection with drug trafficking. The network which was making drugs readily available for tourists in the area was dismantled by police following several searches.

One of the four arrested was already known to police and had been released from prison last year. The investigation continues.

Rave party broken up by police - A large rave party has been broken up by police in the Vaucluse. About 400 to 500 people had gathered on Saturday night. Police were alerted by the National Forest Office and intervened in the early hours of Monday morning.

Recall of products from Carrefour – Supermarket Carrefour has announced a recall of various charcuterie products because of the possible presence of listeria.

The company recommends that people who have purchase the affected products destroy them or take them back to the store, where they will be reimbursed. The list of products, sold under the Carrefour BIO and Carrefour Selection brands, can be found at https://www.carrefour.fr/rappel-produits

Speed limit on France’s motorways could be put to a referendum - Following the Citizen’s Climate Convention held over the weekend the speed limit on France’s motorways could be the subject to a referendum. Speaking on Monday France’s Minister of Transport said that the proposal of a 110 km/h speed limit from the Citizen’s Climate Convention “was positive move for the environment and road safety”.

The speed limit is currently 130km/h with the exception in some areas, such as the Alpes Maritimes, which has introduced its own limits within the department.

Toll badge - Meanwhile Vinci Autoroutes has launched a new electronic toll badge which can be connected by bluetooth to motorists' phones. Over 10 million people in France currently subscribe to electronic toll payment services. The new device is available at more than 500 points of sale in France.

Working from home no longer the norm - As schools returned to class on Monday and cinemas, swimming pools and holiday centres reopened. France is also preparing to ease restrictions for employees notably those working from home.

The new regulations are expected to come into effect by at the latest July 10th, which also marks the end of the national health emergency. Working from home will no longer be the norm and a simple distance of one metre between in employees will suffice.

Measures which are expected to be announced this week by France’s employment Minister will also see the end of limiting the number of employees in the office for as long as the one metre distance can be respected. 

French Prime Minister’s popularity continues to increase - A recent survey has shown that France’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, is considerably more popular with the French people compared to President Emmanuel Macron.

The survey carried out by Odoxa shows that the Prime Minister is appreciated by 48% of French compared to 39% for President Emmanuel Macron.

Meanwhile the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire has increased in popularity coming joint first, alongside the head of the National Rally party leader Marine Le Pen, behind both the Prime Minister and the head of state.

Figures also show that ahead of Sunday’s second round of local elections in France, 60% of French people will abstain from voting even though 73% believed that local mayors were credible in their handling of the health crisis.

France accuses Turkey of playing a “dangerous game” - Meanwhile in French politics, President Emmanuel Macron has said that France will not tolerate Turkey's military intervention in Libya. Speaking on Monday the President accused Ankara of playing "a dangerous game".

Macron went on to say that Turkey is today going against its commitments made at the Berlin conference.

Work is resumed on the largest urban farm in Paris - Following a two month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, work is now underway for the largest urban farm in Europe.

Set on a Paris rooftop, the farm is set to grow over the next two years and hopes to be able produce around 1,000kg of fruit and vegetables every day in high season thanks to a team of around 20 farmers while providing a global model for sustainable farming where produce is grown locally and according to the seasons.

Business

There have been wild swings on Asian markets today following confusing statements from the White House over the US-China trade deal.

Risk sentiment took a big hit early in the session after the White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said that the trade deal with China was “over” and linked the breakdown to Washington’s anger over Beijing not sounding the alarm earlier about the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Navarro’s remarks caused a widespread selloff in equities although markets started to recover after the trade advisor backtracked and said that his remarks had been taken “out of context”.

Later ,President Trump moved to clarify that the trade deal was still “fully intact”.

Away from the trade deal ,investors continue to be concerned about rising coronavirus cases in some parts of the world.There have been increasing cases and hospitalisations in some US states while the fresh outbreak in Beijing continues to grow.

In Europe ,the ‘R’ has risen above two in Germany with 1,300 fresh infections reported at a meat packing plant and cases are growing in North-Western Spain with the government moving to reimpose restrictions on movement in some areas.

 

The payments company Wildcard has admitted that 1.9 billion euros that it had booked in its account had likely “never existed”.

The black financial hole is threatening to engulf the firm and cause serious damage to the reputation of Germany’s financial watchdog.

Wildcard is holding emergency talks with its banks which are owed some 1.75 billion euros in a bid to avoid a looming cash squeeze that could spell the end of the firm.

Wildcard had attracted some of the world’s largest investors before a whistleblower alleged that it owed its success in part to a large network of fake transactions.

Last week ,the firm said that the auditor EY had refused to sign off its 2019 accounts and was unable to confirm the existence of 1.9 billion euros in cash balances in trust accounts.

State prosecutors in Munich are now considering issuing arrest warrants for former CEO Marcus Braun and board member Jan Marsalek who was fired on Monday.

 

And-In the UK ,the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has warned against a return to austerity and has called for lower taxes on businesses to aid the economic recovery.

Mr Javid says that early hopes for a “V” shaped recovery had “proved optimistic” and predicted that some long term damage to the economy had become “unavoidable”.

The former Chancellor says that ministers must make it easier for businesses to hire workers to speed up the rate of people re-entering employment and the best way would be for the government to cut the payroll tax.

Mr Javid’s remarks form part of a new report issued by the Conservative think tank the Centre for Policy Studies which was co-founded by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980’s

Sport

Burnley Football Club has said that it’s “ashamed and embarrassed” after a banner reading “white lives matter Burnley” was flown over the Etihad Stadium during Monday night’s match against Manchester City.

The aircraft trailing the banner flew over the stadium just after kick off after both Burnley and City players had taken the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In a statement ,Burnley said that the banner “in no way represents” what the club stands for and that it would “work fully with the authorities to identify those responsible and take appropriate action”.

On the pitch Manchester City thrashed Burnley 5-0.

There are two games tonight.Leicester play Brighton and Spurs play West Ham.

Formula 1-McLaren are taking legal action to allow it to secure “urgent” refinancing to address what it says is “severe and unexpected financial difficulty”.

The claim has been made in a bid to stop a group of investors from blocking plans for the firm to secure loans against its factory and historic car collection.

The investors opposed to the move say that the McLaren Technology Centre and its heritage collection are already employed as security in a bond launched in 2017.

McLaren says that it has already spent funds injected by shareholders In March in light of the effect of the coronavirus on its business.

Cricket-Three members of the Pakistan squad due to tour England this summer have tested positive for coronavirus.

Haider Ali ,Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan tested positive on Sunday and have been told to self-isolate.

Test results on the rest of the 29 man squad are due today.

Pakistan are due to fly to England on the 28th of June for a three match Test series and 3 T20’s in August and September.

Racing-Frankie Dettori will ride the favourite in the Epsom Derby next month.

The in-form 49 year old who was the leading jockey at Royal Ascot will partner English King as he seeks his third Derby victory.

English King is the current 7-2 favourite for the big race ahead of the 2000 Guineas winner Kameko who’s quoted at 4-1.

The Derby ,which was due to take place earlier this month will now be run on the 4th of July.

Weather 

Clear skies with light variable winds.

Top temperatures 29-30 degrees in coastal areas 32 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 21 degrees on the coast and 18 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies with highs of 29-33 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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