French and Riviera News Friday 30th December 2022

News

France expresses wish to act in coordination with other EU member states concerning China and covid - France has expressed its wish “to act in a coordinated manner with the other EU member states” concerning restrictions on travellers from China following the lifting of the “zero-covid policy”. Since the lifting of restrictions and the end of the “zero-Covid” policy, China has been facing an unprecedented epidemic outbreak which worries many countries around the world. Following a meeting of European Health ministers at the European Commission on Thursday "the Member States stressed the need to establish a common and coherent strategy at a European Union level”.

For the time being in France, the Ministry of Health says it is following the evolution of the situation very carefully and says it is "ready to study all useful measures”. While the situation in China is worrying, the government is therefore studying the appropriate measures to protect the French which could be at national and European level.

The authorities also insist on the importance of vaccination, which "remains at the heart of the fight against the epidemic with respect for daily barrier gestures". According to reports the Ministry of Transport asked French airlines and airports on Wednesday to set up a test verification system to be ready without delay when decisions are taken at a European level.

Changes from the 1st of January – As with the first of every month changes are to come into force in France from January 1st including a revaluation of the minimum wage the SMIC, pensions, an increase in the price of the Navigo, free condoms, a ban on the rental of the most energy-intensive accommodation, an increase in pay tolls on French motorways, a bonus of 100 euros to encourage carpooling and the red stamp reserved for urgent mail in France is to disappear. For full details go to the news section on the riviera radio website rivieraradio.mc

Medication shortages - An organization representing French pharmacists has announced today that it will be holding weekly meetings with the government to discuss shortages of medication. Speaking to French media the president of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Unions of France said that meetings would be held with the National Medicines Safety Agency and the General Directorate of Health to discuss matters including the distribution of drugs between pharmacies in France.

Blood donations - A call has gone out for people to donate blood. Supplies in France are running dangerously low with 1,500 bags of blood per day needed to make up the shortfall. You can find information and collection locations on https://dondesang.efs.sante.fr/trouver-une-collecte

Mild temperatures to see in the New Year - Météo France has forecast for New Year’s Eve an average temperature over the whole country 8°C higher than normal for the season. This last week of 2022 has been characterized by exceptional mildness, especially in Corsica where the temperature is around 20°C. Météo-France points out that this "this New Year's Eve could even break records”.  For Météo-France, the warm weather forecast is indeed to be linked to global warming.

Business

The consultancy and accountancy firm Deloitte is reducing temperatures in its UK offices in a bid to cut costs and carbon emissions. The thermostat is being lowered by 2C across 22 sites, some of which were also temporarily closed over Christmas, to reduce energy consumption. The firm informed staff of the plans this month, which are expected to result in savings of about £75,000 for December.

A watchdog is to investigate Twitter after a hacker claimed to have private details linked to more than 400 million accounts. The hacker is demanding $200,000 (£166,000) to hand over the data - reported to include that of some celebrities - and delete it. Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) says it "will examine Twitter's compliance with data-protection law in relation to that security issue". Twitter has not commented on the claim.

And - from Elon Musk to Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, the stock market tumble has cost big names in tech tens of billions of dollars this year. Having long been at the top of the ranking of the richest people on Earth, Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter, gave up first place in favour of the French luxury magnate Bernard Arnault, boss of LVMH. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Elon Musk has lost $140 billion since January, still retaining the tidy sum of $130 billion. Meanwhile Mark Zuckerberg's fortune has shrunk from $81 billion to $44.4 billion and since stepping down as CEO of Amazon in July 2021 Jeff Bezos, who serves as executive director of Amazon's board, lost more than $86 billion this year. His fortune is estimated at $106 billion. Yet the Chinese billionaire Zhang Yiming is an exception as the owner of ByteDance, parent company of TikTok, saw his fortune increase by $10.4 billion in 2022 to reach $55 billion, making him the 23rd richest person in the world.

Sport

Football - Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82. He is credited with scoring a world record 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances during a 21-year career, including 77 goals in 92 matches for his country. The only player to win the World Cup three times, lifting the trophy in 1958, 1962 and 1970, Pele was named Fifa's Player of the Century in 2000. He had been suffering with kidney and prostate problems in recent years.

Tributes have since been pouring in; Brazil forward Neymar wrote on Instagram that "Before Pele, football was only a sport”. Neymar's French Paris St-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe also described Pele as "the king of football", adding "his legacy will never be forgotten".

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo said: "A mere goodbye to the eternal King Pele will never be enough to express the pain that is enveloping the whole of the football world right now.

President of the United States Joe Biden said: "For a sport that brings the world together like no other, Pele's rise from humble beginnings to soccer legend is a story of what is possible."

And fellow 1966 champion Sir Bobby Charlton hailed Pele as "a truly magical footballer and a wonderful human being". Pele's former club Santos posted a picture of a crown with the word "eternal".

Cricket - Australia thrashed South Africa by an innings and 182 runs in the second Test to win the series with a game to spare. Resuming on 15-1, South Africa were bowled out for 204 before tea on the fourth day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The final Test in Sydney starts on 3 January.

Tennis - Cameron Norrie and Katie Swan gave Great Britain the perfect start to their United Cup campaign as their victories contributed to a 2-0 lead over Australia in Sydney.

Weather

Cloudy with highs of 15-16 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Saint Tropez and a gentle breeze. 11 degrees inland in Puget Théniers. This evening going down to 9 degrees along the coast and 4 degrees inland with clear skies.

The outlook for New Year’s Eve. Mild but remaining cloudy with some sunny spells high of 16 degrees. New Year’s Day sunny intervals highs of 17 degrees.

Sunrise       08.03hr

Sunset        17.01hr

And Finally

An Italian who stashed €20,000 up his chimney saw his dreams go up in smoke after his wife lit a log fire. Worried about burglars, he used the chimney as a hiding place in summer for the government-issued bonds. In winter he would then move them before the couple used the fireplace to heat the flat in Rome. But this year he forgot before his wife unwittingly lit a fire for Christmas. He told local media: ‘When I saw the flames I nearly passed out.’

However, there is a glimpse of hope as if he has kept the serial number of the bonds, it might be possible to reissue them.

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