Evening Update Thursday 9 February 2023

The HAS, the French High Authority of Health, has recommended the vaccination of all children aged 2 to 17 against influenza. The organization said today that it recommends that vaccination against seasonal flu be offered each year to children without comorbidities aged 2 to 17 years old, without it being made compulsory. The objective is to enable its reimbursement and to limit the spread and impact of the flu on the population. The HAS said that the five existing vaccines can be used, but that it has issued a preferential recommendation for the one administered by nasal spray. The opinion of the High Authority of Health is only a recommendation but is usually followed by the government. Each year, seasonal flu affects two to six million people in France, and is responsible for an average of around 9,000 deaths.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin have been in the Nord department today. They visited a cosmetics factory where they discussed the government's planned pension reforms. Days of action against the reforms are still planned for this Saturday and next Thursday. Speaking to French media today, union leaders say they are also considering taking intensified strike action starting on March 7.

The government in Monaco has made a decree under which many business premises will be required to turn off their lights after 11pm. In line with its energy management plan, the government has laid out the procedures for switching off interior lights, as well as facades, windows and signs in certain business premises, which will be in force until April 30. The lighting of facades and professional premises and spaces must now  be turned off from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., unless the shops are open or in operation. The requirement also concerns the interior lighting of the premises, including that produced by any screen or light pattern. The government said that these measures will contribute to reducing visual pollution and electricity consumption, while respecting the living environment and the energy management commitments made by the government.

A fire in undergrowth in La Brigue, near the Italian border, has been brought under control by firefighters. The blaze, which broke out last night, consumed several hectares.

Two bodies have been discovered in a submerged car near Lille in the north of France. The local prosecutor said that the bodies are believed to be those of a couple in their eighties missing since 1 January. Autopsies are being carried out today to establish their identity.

The Var prefecture has reminded locals of the availability of the Ma Securite app. The app, which is also available to residents of other departments, enables users to chat with police or the gendarmerie 24/7, report a fact such as an urban rodeo, scam or threats, to find the location of the nearest police station or gendarmerie and to file an online pre-complaint, amongst other functions. More details are available on the government's website https://www.masecurite.interieur.gouv.fr/fr

8.5 drivers out of 10 on average travel alone in their vehicle as part of their daily journeys, according to research by Vinci Autoroutes. The motorway operator has today published the 3rd edition of the solo driving barometer, carried out in the autumn of 2022. It said that despite high inflation and pressure on fuel prices, the average rate of solo driving reached 84.7%, an increase of 2.5% compared to the previous autumn. There was an average occupancy rate of 1.24 passengers per vehicle, well below the optimum of 1.75 targeted by the national low carbon strategy by 2035.

The National Coordination Organization for the Security of the 2024 Olympics is holding discussions with the International Olympic Committee. The four days of talks, which the organization described as "dense and concrete discussions" are to review the security issues of the games aimed at intensifying preparatory work, in cooperation with all the parties involved.

 

BUSINESS

Consumer goods company Unilever has said that sales increased by 9% in 2022. This was despite prices increasing by 11.3% over the year. Sales volumes fell by 2.1%. It also said that it expects it's costs to rise during 2023.

Vehicle maker Volvo has reported that revenues rose by 17% in 2022 compared to 2021 but pre-tax profit fell by 16%. It said that 11% of its vehicle sales in the year were electric vehicles, up from 4% in 2021.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union… Ireland have made one change for Saturday's Six Nations game against France. Rob Herring replaces Dan Sheehan who is out because of a hamstring injury.

Cricket... It's been the first day of the First Test between India and Australia in Nagpur. Australia scored 177, which is their lowest score in the first innings of a test since 2016. India were 77-1. Captain Rohit Sharma ended the day on 56 not out.

Winter Sports...Italian skier Elena Fanchini has died aged 37 after a battle with cancer. She competed in the Winter Olymics in 2006, 2010 and 2014 and won two World Cup gold medals.

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