Evening UpdateTuesday 21st of May 2024

NEWS
Aurora Borealis - Normally seen at high latitudes, the aurora borealis and aurora australis recently dazzled people as far as Mexico, southern Europe, and Africa; and they may return in late May or early June. However, there is a danger behind this beauty, warns Quentin Verspieren from the European Space Agency and Mike Bettwy from the US Space Weather Prediction Center. Solar storms, which cause the auroras, can also damage power grids, satellites, and expose astronauts to harmful radiation.

New Caledonia - Tensions remain high in New Caledonia a week after the riots began, with the territory being at a standstill. Despite "clear progress" in security praised by Emmanuel Macron, the government is deploying military personnel to protect public buildings and support the police. High Commissioner Louis Le Franc stated on Tuesday that the "return to calm is continuing throughout the territory."

Le Sacré Coeur Retirement Home - Around thirty employees at the Le Sacré Coeur retirement home in Orange were on strike yesterday. The unions are denouncing poor working conditions and are demanding additional staff, pay rises, more resources and better consideration for their work and their residents.

Paris to Marseille... Running - A 23-year-old student is travelling from Paris to Marseille this May. What's special is that he's doing it by running an average of between thirty and forty kilometres a day. Yesterday, he stopped off in Vaucluse, where he ran a thirty-kilometre stretch between Orange and Avignon.

Port Hercule Casino - In Monaco, following Groupe Casino's financial troubles and subsequent takeover of the Port Hercule Supermarket, Jean-Louis Goguet confirmed that the 1,280 m² shop will be rebranded as 'Carrefour Market'. After the F1 Grand Prix, the store will close on Tuesday, 28 May, for four days to transition and will reopen on Saturday, 1 June.

Accident Monaco Tunnel  - An accident occurred this Tuesday morning in the Monaco tunnel A500. As a result, the tunnel had closed to traffic in both directions since 8.20am. The entry slip road to junction 57 (A8 / Laghet) is also closed in the La Turbie / Monaco direction. However, traffic has gone back to a norm since 10am on both ways.

Last Day for 2023 Tax - Reminder that the end of the 2023 tax return campaign is approaching, with the end of paper returns this Tuesday 21 May at 11.59pm. For the first time, tax returns can be filed using smartphones and tablets, via the impots.gouv application, but only for "simple situations".

 

BUSINESS
The birth rate in England and Wales fell to 1.49 children per woman in 2022, continuing a decline since 2010. Similar trends are seen in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the US, where the rate hit a record low of 1.62. Population growth is now mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Falling birth rates pose economic challenges, such as a shrinking workforce and more retirees. Countries can address this by improving childcare, offering flexible work hours, extending retirement age, or increasing immigration. However, boosting immigration is politically contentious despite being a potential solution to demographic issues.

Tamil Nadu has implemented an AI-based surveillance system to prevent elephant deaths on railway tracks, which have been increasing, with 36 fatalities in the past decade. Particularly, 11 deaths occurred near Madukkarai, where the tracks intersect with elephants' migratory routes. In response, the forest department installed 12 AI-equipped towers along the tracks. These cameras, similar to those used by the Indian Army, detect elephants within 100 feet and alert officials to slow down trains and guide elephants away. The project, costing 72.4 million rupees, has already detected nearly 400 instances of elephants approaching tracks. This AI system aims to prevent accidents more effectively than previous manual patrols. The state plans to expand the system to five other vulnerable areas. Similar AI-based wildlife protection systems are also being used in other Indian states and African countries.

 

SPORTS
Rugby Union - Gloucester director of rugby George Skivington says he is "not feeling any pressure" over his future before Friday's European Challenge Cup final. The Cherry and Whites take on South African side Sharks on Friday, 24 May at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, aiming to lift their second trophy of the season.

Tennis - Paris will stage two of this summer's great sporting events, with next week's French Open offering players a return ticket to Roland Garros for the Olympic tennis competition. Rankings at the end of the tournament will determine whether players make the cut for July's Games.
With that being said, Dominic Thiem began his French Open swansong with a comeback victory against Franco Agamenone in the first round of qualifying. The former US Open champion beat Italy's Agamenone 3-6 6-3 6-2 in front of a packed crowd on Court Suzanne Lenglen. The 30-year-old Austrian will retire later this year.

Cycling – Tadej Pogacar produced a dazzling solo attack to win stage 15 and extend his overall lead in the Giro d'Italia by almost three minutes.

 

TRAFFIC
The Government of Monaco would like to draw attention to the fact that certain particularly attractive events can result in large concentrations of vehicles that are likely to cause significant public order problems.

 

WEATHER
Sunny and warm throughout the day! Highs of 21 degrees in Marseille and Toulon, 25 in Saint-Tropez and 26 degrees in Cannes and Nice.
Tonight, clear skies with lows of 15 degrees.
Outlook for tomorrow, much the same with highs of 22 degrees.

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