French and Riviera News Monday 24th January 2022

News 

Vaccination pass replaces health pass from today - From today Monday January 24th the vaccine pass replaces the health pass in France and will apply to people aged 16 and over. The vaccination pass will be requested to access certain places open to the public such as bars and restaurants and for certain activities as well as transport. The vaccination pass shows a completed vaccination scheme and can be subject to controls. Exceptions are made in the case of an emergency and access to health services. On the vaccination front, figures show that 79.8% of the population have received at least one injection and 77.8% have a completed vaccination scheme.

Covid figures - Latest figures published on Sunday January 23rd from Public Health France have shown that the number of patients hospitalised due to covid in France has stabilised but remains high. 3,760 patients are currently in intensive care and there were 143 new admissions in the last 24 hours.

301,614 people tested positive and 115 people have died in the last 24 hours. Since the beginning of the epidemic 128,629 people have died in France from covid.

Monaco - In Monaco, 132 new cases of covid were identified on Sunday bringing the total number of residents affected to 7,583. Fifty-nine people are currently in hospital and 399 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Catching covid game in school playground - A new game is becoming increasing popular in French schools. “Catching covid” sees students knowingly ignoring “barrier gestures” in order to be contaminated with covid and get time off school. Teachers and parents have raised the alarm with some schools formally warning parents.

In other news 

Young couple and their two children seriously injured after jumping from 2nd floor to escape fire - A couple and their two children have been seriously injured after jumping from the window of a 2nd floor apartment to escape a fire. The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning in La Ciotat in the Bouches-du-Rhône. The young parents of two children, aged 16 months and 6 years old were taken to hospital in a critical condition. Six other people were evacuated unharmed from the building. Police believe the fire started due to an electrical problem, according to the first elements of investigation.

Road accident - Two people have been seriously injured in an accident on the A8 motorway. The accident occurred on Sunday evening westbound involving three vehicles. Police have opened an investigation into the cause of the collision.

Car catches fire causing traffic jams in Cagnes-sur-mer - Meanwhile traffic was disrupted in Cagnes sur mer on Sunday afternoon after a car caught fire on the Boulevard Kennedy. Nobody was injured in the incident and the blaze was soon brought under control by firefighters.

Presidential candidate proposes to remove inheritance tax - Republican Presidential candidate Valérie Pècresse has proposed to remove inheritance tax in France of up to 200,000 euros per child if she is elected. The measure would mean that each parent could give 100,000 euros every six years and no longer every fifteen years. The candidate also proposes (in order to facilitate access to property) to "generalize the zero-rate loan for first-time buyers throughout France and not only in certain areas”.

French adventurer found dead at sea - 75-year-old French adventurer Jean-Jacques Savin has been found dead at sea. Savin was trying to row across the Atlantic Ocean he had previously made the crossing in a large barrel in 2019. The exact circumstances of his death have not yet been determined.

French fashion designer dies - French fashion designer Thierry Mugler has died at the age of 73. Mugler was widely known for designs with broad shoulders and sharp tailoring his designs were worn by celebrities including David Bowie and Lady Gaga. Born Manfred Thierry Mugler in 1948, the designer had an interest in making his own clothes. He went on to open his first boutique in Paris during the 1970s.

Business

Asian markets have dropped this morning as investors wait for the outcome of the next meeting of the Federal Reserve at which it's expected to say that quantitative easing, which has fuelled stocks in recent years will start to be scaled back. The negative sentiment is also being driven by a possible Russian attack on Ukraine with the US government pulling out family members from its embassy in Kiev. A report in the New York Times says that President Biden is considering sending thousands of US troops to NATO allies in Europe along with navy warships and aircraft.

With inflation eye-wateringly high, markets are now even pricing in the small chance of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve as soon as this week although the main expectation is for a first interest rate rise in March and three more before the end of the year. The Nasdaq is bracing for a nervy fortnight as its biggest names including Microsoft, Tesla and Apple report before the end of the week. Soft earnings or weak guidance could see the tech-index take another battering with the market already in correction territory since the start of the year. Momentum appears to be turning against the tech giants as investors seek value alternatives such as oil and banking. Smaller growth stocks like Peleton and Zoom have been under pressure for months and a near-record number of tech stocks have recently plunged by at least 50 percent from their all time highs. Anxiety over US interest rates is also hurting unprofitable tech firms who promise big earnings in the future.

Fears are growing that action by the US central bank to help combat high inflation may trigger a fresh debt crisis. Last week, it emerged that payments by poor-countries to creditors are running at their highest level in two decades. The Jubilee Debt Campaign says that debt payments by developing countries have more than doubled since 2010 and are likely to increase further when the Fed pushes up interest rates. Many poor nations borrow in US dollars, exposing them to the dual risks of higher borrowing costs and a weakening of their currencies against the greenback.

Sport 

Tennis - Danielle Collins of the United States is through to the last 8 of the Australian Open. Collins beat Elise Mertens of Belgium in three sets 4-6 6-4 6-4. World number one Ash Barty is also through to the quarter finals where she’ll play Jessica Pegula while Madison Keys will play Barbora Krejcokova.

In the men’s event, Rafael Nadal is into the last 8 where he’ll face Denis Shapovalov. Nadal is seeking a record-breaking 21st major title.

Football - There were 4 games in the English Premier League on Sunday. Arsenal were held to a 0-0 home draw by bottom of the table Burnley. Liverpool were 3-1 winners at Crystal Palace. Leicester and Brighton drew 1-1 and Chelsea beat Spurs 2-0.

Cricket - England have beaten West Indies by 1 run in the second T20 in Barbados. England made 171-8 from their 20 overs and West Indies needed a seemingly impossible 30 from their final over before Akeal Hosein smashed three sixes off the last three balls to leave his side just one run short on 170-8. The five match series is level at 1-1 with three to play.

Rugby Union - There were 4 games in the European Champions Cup on Sunday. Sale beat Ospreys 49-10 and Montpellier beat Exeter 37-26 in Pool A while in Pool B Stade Francais beat Connacht 37-31 and Munster beat Wasps 45-7.

Motorsport - The Veteran Sebastien Loeb has become the oldest driver ever to win a World Rally Stage with victory in the Monte Carlo Rally. 47-year-old Loeb, driving the M Sport Ford Puma took advantage as Sebastien Ogier in the Toyota Yaris suffered a puncture on the penultimate stage which cost him more than 30 seconds. Loeb came home 10.5 seconds ahead of Ogier with Craig Breen of Ireland finishing third.

Weather

Clear skies with light variable winds. Top temperatures 12-14 degrees. Overnight lows of 5-7 degrees on the coast and -1 degree inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday - Clear skies with highs of 12-14 degrees.

And Finally 

A new study has shown that men and women's brains really do work differently. Researchers found that there are 1,000 genes that are much more active in one gender than the other. The study looked into how male and female mouse brains differ by investigating areas that are known to program 'rating, dating, mating and hating' behaviours. 

The behaviours showed that  male mice for example were quick to distinguish the sex of strangers infringing on what they've deemed their turf. If the intruder is another male, they immediately attack it. If it's a female, they initiate a whirlwind courtship.

While female mice exhibit maternal rather than territorial aggression, attacking anything that threatens their young. They're vastly more inclined than males to guard their youngsters and retrieve any that stray. Their willingness to mate varies depending on the stage of their cycle.

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