Evening Update Tuesday 24 August 2021

The Ministry of Health has announced a top-up dose of the Covid vaccine, will be available for those over 65 or with a medical condition requiring one. The top up will be apply six-months after a person received their second injection. Meanwhile, the Minister of the Interior has told police unions, that if the force does not achieve a 90% vaccination rate, he will make the jab compulsory. Currently more than 70% of police officers in France have been vaccinated.

Fraudsters are charging up to €350 for fake French Health Passes, advertising that their service makes vaccination ‘optional’.  After paying your fee into a pre-paid credit card, the fraudsters will then  take your genuine social security number and give it to a corrupt doctor, who hacks the system to report you received a vaccination. You then receive the QR code for your health pass. While heavy fines and prison sentences apply to those operating such a scheme, end-users also face up to three years in prison if caught using one of the fake passes. Several people have been convicted already.

Sources close the Mayor of Paris say it’s virtually certain she will enter next year’s race to be the next President of France. Anne Hid-algo has been the capital’s Mayor since 2014 and deputy mayor for 13 years before that. She is expected to make an official announcement in October.

BUSINESS

AirBnB has offered to house 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan at no charge to help them resettle across the world. The company said it will pay the cost of the accommodation itself, in addition to personal contributions from AirBnB’s CEO Brian Chesky, and donations to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.

Chinese tech companies remain volatile as Bejing cracks down on new data-privacy measures. On one hand, the Chinese Uber-like taxi-hailing app Didi has halted plans to launch across Europe, just two days after raising $4.4bn in its New York Stock Exchange debut. On the other, Chinese tech stocks experienced a rally this morning as investors get more clarity on the regulatory outlook. Hong Kongs Hang Seng Tech Index, which tracks the largest tech firms, closed up 7%.

SPORT

Football - It’s been confirmed that Gareth Bale will continue to captain Wales, as he aims to lead them to their first World Cup since 1958. There had been speculation before Euro 2020 that he may retire after the tournament. However, Wales manager Robert Page said today that Bale has been named in the Wales' squad for their World Cup qualifiers in September and intends to keep playing.

The Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has announced that a stand of the Allianz Riviera stadium is to be closed for the next four matches following clashes during the Nice/Marseille match on Sunday. The match was interrupted at the 75th minute after fans invaded the pitch. Both teams are to appear in front of a French Football League disciplinary committee tomorrow.

Rugby - Australia’s Queensland is to host eight of the remaining Rugby Championship Tests. It follows Covid lockdowns in New Zealand and Australia which forced the All Blacks to cancel two games last week, including their Bledisloe Cup match in Perth. However Queensland, largely free of coronavirus, has been deemed safe to host all four nations including: New Zealand v Argentina and Australia v South Africa in a back-to-back double-header on 12 September.

Tennis - Venus Williams has been knocked out in the first round of the Chicago Women's Open after being handed a wildcard. The former world number one lost 6-2 6-3 to Taiwan's Hsieh Suwei. The loss drops her world ranking to 147, her lowest since 1997.

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