French and Riviera News Monday 17th January 2022

News 

Green light is given for the vaccination pass in France - The French Parliament has adopted the new bill introducing the vaccination pass in France. A final vote on Sunday January 16th saw the bill voted in by 215 votes in favour and 58 against. The government would like to see the pass come into force as soon as possible. It is likely to be implemented from next weekend.

Some 300,000 new cases of covid have been recorded on a daily average over the last week in France. The vaccination pass will mean that it will be necessary to justify your vaccination status to access leisure activities, restaurants, bars and public transport. A negative test will no longer be enough, except to access health facilities and services.

Demonstrations - Meanwhile thousands demonstrated in cities across France on Saturday January 15th, against the vaccination pass with the turnout being significantly lower than the previous weekend's demonstrations according to official estimates.

Health pass in Monaco - From today Monday January 17th employees in Monaco working in key positions in companies whose business continuity is considered "essential" will have to present a health pass. Two passes are valid in the Principality the European health pass and the Monegasque Safe pass. A negative test, PCR or antigenic, of less than 72 hours, will also be accepted. The objective is to ensure that the epidemic rebound does not disrupt services essential to the proper functioning of the Principality of Monaco. Among the other measures already in place, the government has reduced the duration of isolation from ten to seven days and groups in restaurants are limited to eight with the spacing between tables also increased.

Monaco – 146 new cases of covid were identified in Monaco on Sunday bringing the total number of residents affected to 6,756. Thirty-eight people are currently in hospital and 340 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

In other news 

Man shot dead in Montpellier - A man has been shot dead and another wounded in Montpellier. In circumstances still unknown to police, emergency services intervened on Sunday morning shortly after 5am in the district of Près d'Arènes, south of Montpellier. One of the victims in his forties died on the spot, from his injuries, while the other was hospitalized in Montpellier. An investigation is underway.

Two men charged with kidnap and rape - Two men aged 27 and 64 have been charged for kidnapping and raping a 14-year-old girl in Marseille. The girl, who was on the run at the time, had contacted her family saying she had been kidnapped and raped several times. Police in Marseille managed to locate the victim thanks to the geolocation of her mobile phone on Snapchat as well as exchanges on Instagram. The investigation continues.

Further strike action in French schools expected this Thursday - France's teaching union has called for further strike action this Thursday 20th January. The announcement made on Sunday January 16th called for action against the government's handling of the health protocol for French schools due to covid and comes a few days after national strike action held last Thursday 13th January. The call comes as unions claim that the government is taking too long to act on urgent issues such as the baccalaureate exam and the provision of CO2 sensors in classrooms.

Christiane Taubira announced official bid for presidential elections - France's former minister Christiane Taubira has officially launched her bid for April presidential elections during a rally for the union of the left in Lyon. The former minister under Socialist President François Hollande (2012-2017) told supporters in Lyon at the official launch of her campaign "I'm committing myself here before you because I share your aspiration for another kind of government". Taubira promised to fight for higher wages, better conditions for school pupils and students, the health service and environmental protection.

Estrosi announces he will run for fourth term - Meanwhile the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has announced that he will be running for a fourth term. Estrosi confirmed that 2022 will be the year of "continuity" and that his third term will probably not be the last. 

Business

The Chairman of Credit Suisse has resigned with immediate effect following a company investigation. Antonio Horta-Osario is reportedly found to have broken UK coronavirus-quarantine rules and is being replaced by Credit Suisse board member Axel Lehmann. Mr Horta-Osario joined Credit Suisse from Lloyds Banking Group following a series of scandals at the Swiss Bank. He was chairman of Credit Suisse for less than a year and said on Sunday that he regretted that a number of his “personal actions” had led to difficulties for the bank and compromised his ability to represent the firm internally and externally. Last month, an investigation by Credit Suisse found that Mr Horta-Osario had breached Covid-19 rules including attending the Wimbledon tennis finals in July at a time when he should have been in quarantine.

The pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline says that it’s rejected three offers by Unilever to buy its consumer goods division. GSK says that the proposals “fundamentally failed” to reflect the value of the division. Unilever has been seeking to extend the range of brands that it owns to include products such as Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol to its portfolio. Unilever already owns a range of brands including Marmite and PG Tips and a deal between the two firms would have been one of the largest ever involving London listed companies. Reports say that the last bid was worth 50 billion pounds. GSK has been preparing to separate its consumer goods division from its pharmaceutical business as a result of pressure from shareholders after it failed to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

Oil prices have risen this morning with Brent Crude hitting a three year high as investors bet that supply would remain tight amid retrained output from major producers. Brent rose by 0.5 percent a little earlier this morning to 86 dollars 48 with West Texas Intermediate up 0.7 percent at 84 dollars 44. The gains follow a 5.4 percent increase in the price of Brent last week and a 6.3 percent increase for WTI. Traders say that the rally in oil prices could be sustained for a while longer.

Sport

Tennis - The Australian Open is underway in Melbourne without Novak Djokovic who’s been deported for breaching visa regulations. On court, Naomi Osaka of Japan started the defence of her title strongly with a straight sets win over Camila Osorio of Colombia and Sebastien Korda has beaten Cameron Norrie of Great Britain.

The tournament is being overshadowed by the Djokovic saga with the world number one being deported on Sunday and unable to defend his title. The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hinted that the player could return to the country sooner than the three year visa ban imposed on him if “conditions are right”.

Football - There were two games in the English Premier League on Sunday. Liverpool beat Brentford 3-0 and West Ham lost 3-2 at home to Leeds.

In the English Championship on Sunday Stoke were 2-0 winners at Hull City.

Cricket - Joe Root has said that he wants to remain as England captain despite the 4-0 Ashes defeat to Australia. England capitulated in the familiar style in the 5th and final Test in Hobart after being bowled out for just 124 in their second innings after they’d battled their way back into the match with a good bowling display. Root says he thinks he’s the right man to take the team forward but if the decision is taken out of his hands then “so be it”.

Rugby Union - There were 4 games in the European Champions Cup on Sunday. In Pool A Leinster crushed Montpellier 87-7 while Northampton lost 24-20 at home to Ulster and Clermont Auvergne beat Sale 25-19. In Pool B Bordeaux-Begles beat Scarlets 45-10.

Weather

Clear skies with light variable winds. Top temperatures 13-15 degrees. Overnight lows of 3-6 degrees on the coast and -2 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday - Clear skies with highs of 12-15 degrees.

And Finally

New research has shown that working from home on Mondays could be bad for your health. The poll claimed that staff who went into the office mid-week instead of starting off the week in the office and then working remotely, often had more slack diet and exercise habits. However, people who start their week with a Monday workout even though they work from home are more likely to feel productive than the people who exercise towards the weekend. 

The research found that working from home on Monday had seen people kickstart their weekly routine later than they would if they started the week by going into the office. 

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