Evening Update Wednesday 25 May 2022

The French High Authority of Health has recommended a fourth Covid-19 vaccination for the most vulnerable people. The Authority said that it has developed a vaccine strategy to fight Covid-19 based on a scenario of periodic reappearance of the virus, which it considers the most likely. It therefore recommends anticipating vaccination in the autumn of people at risk of developing serious forms of Covid-19.

The overall number of jobseekers in France in April remained virtually unchanged from the previous month. The number of category A, B and C unemployed fell by only about 40,000 people, meaning that there are still just over 5.4 million people unemployed.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi and a host of sports stars have been at the Allianz Riviera stadium today to announce The Match of Legends, which will take place at the stadium on September 26. Those present included Pascal Olmeta and French football legend Didier Deschamps. The match will be played in a particular format.  A team of footballers will play a team of rugby players with celebrities in each team.  The match will take place with a first football half and a second rugby half. The Mayor said that the ticket office will open on Wednesday, June 8 at 10 a.m. at the Allianz Riviera Stadium, then at the usual distributors.

The Prefect of the Var has reminded residents who are going away for the holiday weekend that they should pay attention to the security of their home while they are away. The prefecture particularly drew attention to the need to be discreet on social networks.

A meeting of Prefects from departments throughout France has been taking place in Paris. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said that prefects are the "face, voice and arms" of the state in its territories.

 

BUSINESS

Marks & Spencer has announced that it will pull out of the Russian market. It had previously said that complex franchise deals prevented it from withdrawing completely. It also announced plans to close 32 stores in the UK, mostly in town centres.However, it plans to open 15 new UK stores and 40 food stores over the next three years. The company today reported pre-tax profits of £391.7million for the year to 2 April. It made a loss of £209.4 million the previous year. However, it also said that it expected sales growth to slow due to rising costs and consumer uncertainty. International online retail sales were over £250m against £100m in the 2019/20 year.

Volkswagen is to pay a total of £193m to more than 90,000 UK drivers after it settled a High Court claim over the installation of emissions cheating devices in its vehicles. The so-called "dieselgate" scandal dates back to 2015. The group has already paid out more than €30bn worldwide.

Pharmaceuticals company Pfizer has said that it will provide vaccines and other medicines to poorer countries at a reduced cost. Pfizer will provide all its current and future patent-protected medicines and vaccines available in the U.S. or EU on a not-for-profit basis to 45 lower-income countries. It also said that it hopes other pharmaceutical companies will take similar steps. Speaking at the Davos Economic Forum Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla also warned that what he called "constant waves" of Covid-19 are likely as people reduce compliance with health measures and immunity from vaccines and prior infections wane.

 

MONACO GRAND PRIX

Preparations are underway for the 79th Monaco Grand Prix which is happening this weekend. Formula 1 practice sessions are on Friday, qualifying sessions on Saturday and the race itself on Sunday afternoon at 3pm. But as well as the Formula 1 action, there are several other races as well, including Formula 2, the Porsche Mobil Supercup and the Formula Regional by Alpine and some of those are taking place tomorrow. The track closes to normal traffic at 10am tomorrow and the Alpine Practice session begins at 2pm, with the Porsche Mobil Supercup practice session at 3.35 and Formula 2 practice session at 5.05. The track reopens to traffic at 7.30pm.

 

SPORT

Football.... OGC Nice have received a financial penalty of 50,000 euros from the disciplinary committee of the French football league. The measure was in respect of the chants by some supporters mocking the death of St Etienne player Emiliano Sala and the use of pyrotechnic devices.

Tennis.... Emma Radacanu is out of the French Open. She was beaten by Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Victoria Azarenka is through to the next round after beating Andrea Petcovic. Angelique Kerber defeated French player Elsa Jacquemot. American John Isner is through to the next round after beating Grégoire Barrère.

 

 

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