Evening Update Monday 17 January 2022

French teaching unions are calling for another day of industrial action this Thursday. The education ministry announced several new measures after consultations with unions during last Thursday's industrial action but unions say that the measures are not sufficient. In a joint press release issued today the unions say that there are "shortcomings on many other points" such as the excessive workload of staff and its financial recognition, deadlines for communication and implementation of decisions as well as matters concerning examinations. They said that they want to obtain what they call "lasting improvements for the education system".

Right wing French Presidential candidate Eric Zemmour has been fined a total of 10,000 euros by a court in Paris. The court imposed the fine for hate speech offences after the candidate made remarks concerning migrants on French television in September 2020. In a press relase issued this afternoon he described his convicton as "idealogical and stupid". His lawyer has said that he will appeal.

The Chief Executive of Moderna has said that a combined Covid-19 and flu vaccine could be available in the autumn of next year. Speaking at a World Economic Forum event, Stephane Bancel said that it is possible the company will have a vaccine for Covid-19, influenza and the respiratory virus RSV available in some countries next year and said that the autumn of 2023 "is the best case"scenario. He also confirmed that develpoment of a vaccine specifically targetting the Omicron variant is progressing.

The Prefect of the Var has reminded residents that there are now thirteen permanent vaccination centres open in the department. It's also possible to get vaccinated by various health professionals and at pop-up vaccination centres. The mobile "vaccinobus" will be present in Bargemon tomorrow. You can get more details on the Prefecture's website www.var.gouv.fr

It's been announced that four billion euros in foreign investment will be made in France as part of  21 new projects. 10,000 direct jobs, and 16,000 temporary jobs will be created as a result of the investment. The announcement was made at the Choose France Summit which is being held today. In it's fifth edition this year, the summit brings together hundreds of leaders from the largest multinational corporations at the Château de Versailles. It seeks to promote France’s economic attractiveness and encourage international investment across the country.


BUSINESS

China has cut a key interest rate for the first time in almost two years. According to official government figures, the country's GDP grew by 4% for the last three months of 2021 from a year earlier, which was slower than the previous quarter. However, the economy grew by 8.1% for the year as a whole, which beat economists' forecasts and was above the Chinese government's annual target of "over 6%."

An auction of seabed plots for offshore wind projects around the Scottish coast has brought in £700m for the Scottish government. Seventeen projects were successful out of over seventy submissions. They cover 7,000 square kilometres and have a combined potential generating capacity of 25GW.

Vodafone has announced a partnership with Wimbledon as Official Connectivity Partner of The Championships and The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club. The company said that the deal will see the use of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, 360, haptic and IoT technology. Vodafone is also working with the club and the Lawn Tennis Association to develop a new competition for grassroots players.

 

SPORT

Tennis.... Naomi Osaka started her defence of the Australian Open title by defeating Colombia's Camila Osorio on the first day of the tournament in Melbourne. The final score was 6-3 6-3. World number one Ashleigh Barty beat Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-0 6-1 in just 54 minutes. Rafael Nadal is through to the next round after beating American player Marcos Giron 6-1  6-4  6-2. British player Cameron Norrie lost 6-3   6-0  6-4 to Sebastian Korda.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic has arrived back in Serbia after being deported from Australia following the loss of  his legal fight to stay in the country. Supporters gathered at the airport in Belgrade to welcome him back.

Winter Olympics...The organizing committe of the Beijing Winter Olympics has said that it will cancel the sale of tickets to the general public. Instead, it will issue invitations to certain spectators. The committee said that the move was due to what it called a "complicated" epidemic situation.

Football... There's one match in the Scottish Premiership tonight. Celtic play Hibernian. Kick off is at 8.45 our time.

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