French and Riviera News Tuesday 25th May 2021

News 

Monaco opens vaccination to 35-44-year olds - Monaco has announced the opening of vaccination against covid to 35-44-year olds this week. From today Tuesday 25th May, a letter will be sent by the government to Monegasques and residents of the Principality, urging them to contact the vaccination center to make an appointment. Depending on availability, the first vaccines could be administered as early as the weekend at the vaccination centre at the Grimaldi Forum.

In mid-April, when vaccination had been opened to 45-55-year olds, more than 700 reservations were made in the following hours. Only the Pfizer vaccine has been administered in the Principality since the start of the health crisis. For more information you can contact the covid call centre on 92.05.55.00 or visit vaccination-covid19.gouv.mc/

Meanwhile no new cases of covid were reported in the Principality on Monday May 24th. The total number of residents affected since the beginning of the health crisis stands at 2,501. Two non-residents are in hospital and 7 people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Launch of academy to train public health managers to fight future pandemics - French president Emmanuel Macron has announced the launch of a Lyon-based academy to train groups of public health managers and administrators to fight future pandemics. The French Head of State outlined the 120-million-euro plan during the opening of the 74th world health assembly in Geneva. He said the Global Health Academy would start its courses online from this summer and open in 2023.

In other news

Company in Avignon comes up with revolutionary idea for batteries from electric vehicles - As the boom in electric vehicles continues, a company in Avignon has come up with a revolutionary idea as to what to do with batteries for hybrid engines which have reached the end of their life. In Europe, electric vehicle sales represent 10.5% of total sales compared to 3% in 2019 and Be Energy based in Avignon has come up with a system to regenerate batteries. Founder and director of the company Bertrand Coste says, “Our system makes it possible to triple the lifespans of lead batteries, a solution which would considerably reduce hazardous industrial waste".

A regenerated battery eliminates the need to buy a new battery and several countries have already congratulated the company and its founder for their technological advances. These machines are 100% made in France and will allow local jobs to be created.

Culture pass for 18-year olds in France - Following a trial run in 14 areas of France, the new culture pass for 18-year-olds is going national. Some 800,000 teenagers a year can now look forward to downloading an app and getting €300. The pass can be used for tickets to the cinema, museum and theatre, or to buy books, art materials, dance courses and instruments or an online subscription. French President Emmanuel Macron, who made the pass one of the promises of his 2017 presidential campaign, announced the move in a 30-second TikTok and Instagram video.

Poll shows that the president of the Hauts de France Xavier Bertrand, would beat Marine Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election - According to a recent poll by Ifop carried out for LCI and Le Figaro, in the event of a second round in the presidential election against Marine Le Pen, the president of Hauts-de-France Xavier Bertrand would obtain 60% of the votes compared to 40% for the president of the National Rally. The poll showed that Xavier Bertrand would obtain the best score in the first round of the next presidential election among the potential candidates of the right, behind Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron.

Bernard Arnault becomes richest man in the world for a few hours on Monday – Frenchman and CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault, was the richest man in the world for a few hours on Monday overtaking American Jeff Bezos. On Monday, May 24th, Arnault was top of the ranking of the Forbes magazine for the biggest fortunes in the world, before returning to second place behind Jeff Bezos at the opening of the New York Stock Exchange.

At around 4.15 on Monday afternoon Bernard Arnault's fortune was valued at $186.5 billion (or more than 152 billion euros), behind that of Jeff Bezos (187.7 billion), but ahead of that of Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX (147.6 billion) and Bill Gates (125.9 billion), the founder of Microsoft. France has 40 billionaires in the Forbes ranking, including Stéphane Bancel, the boss of the American company Moderna (manufacturer of the vaccine against Covid-19), which recently entered.

Young people turn to astrology and tarot reading due to pandemic - Young people in France are increasingly turning to tarot reading and astrology, a trend which has accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a recent poll nearly 70 percent of French, between the ages of 18-24, believe in parasciences (including astrology, numerology, palm reading and clairvoyance) a trend that has been on the rise for the past 20 years. Four out of ten French people now believe in astrology, compared to three out of ten Americans, an increase of 10 points since 2000.

Business

The US Treasury Deputy Secretary says that he expects strong backing from G-7 nations for Washington’s proposed 15% plus global minimum corporate tax rate. Speaking to Reuters on Monday, Wally Adeyemo said that he sensed a lot of unified support amongst the G-7 moving forward. G-7 finance ministers will meet in London on the fourth and fifth of June. Last week, the US Treasury Department said that it would accept a global minimum tax rate of 15% or higher. The rate is well below the Biden administration’s proposed 21% minimum rates for US companies overseas income and its 28% proposed domestic corporate tax rate. Last week, the Financial Times reported that G-7 countries are close to an agreement on the corporate taxation of multinational firms. Britain, which is chairing the G-7 has been more guarded with the Prime Minister Boris Johnson trying to shift the focus to the taxation of big tech companies such as Alphabet and Facebook. The UK currently has a 19% corporate tax rate.

Peloton is set to build its first US factory after demand for its at home exercise equipment soared during the pandemic. The fitness firm’s manufacturing facility will start construction in Ohio later this year creating some 2,000 jobs. The firm said it was excited to be bringing a large portion of its manufacturing to the United States. Production is expected to start in 2023. Peloton currently produces most of its treadmills and indoor exercise bikes at third-party facilities in Taiwan. Demand for Peloton products more than doubled during lockdown as gym goers were stuck at home. In its latest trading update, the firm announced that total sales had soared by 141% to $1.26 billion in the three months to the end of March.

UK tourism is set for a slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic with spending by holidaymakers this year expected to be just half of the level of 2019. Forecasts by the Visit Britain agency indicate that domestic tourism will be worth £51.4 billion this year, down from £91.6 billion two years ago. The forecast for spending by foreign tourists is put at £6.2 billion, less than a quarter of the £28.4 billion spent in 2019. The British Tourist Authority says that the country has faced an unprecedented challenge during the pandemic but that every effort will be made to boost tourism in the coming months.

Sport

Motorsport - The former president of the FIA Max Mosley has died at the age of 81. Mr Mosley, who had been suffering from cancer led the FIA from 1993 to 2009. In his role as FIA President, he initiated widespread reforms of safety procedures in Formula One following the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994. In later life, Mr Mosley campaigned for tighter press regulation after winning damages from the News of the World when it wrongly published a story alleging he had attended a Nazi themed orgy. The current FIA president Jean Todt said that he was “deeply saddened” by the news adding that Mr Mosley had “strongly contributed to reinforcing safety on track and on the roads”.

Formula One – Ferrari say that the failure that led to Charles Leclerc’s retirement before the Monaco Grand Prix was caused by his crash in qualifying. Ferrari were not initially sure what led to the left-hand driveshaft hub failure that caused the car to lose drive after it left the pits before the race. An investigation carried out at the team’s Maranello factory on Monday confirmed that it was a consequence of Saturday‘s accident. The failure cost Leclerc the chance to start his home race from pole position and maybe his best opportunity to win a race this season. A Ferrari spokesman said that the part in question is not normally one that would be inspected after such an accident. Ferrari said they would be updating their procedures for future races.

Football – Pep Guardiola has been named as the League Manager Association’s Manager of the Year. The Spaniard led Manchester City to their third Premier League title in four years. The club also won the League Cup and also face Chelsea in the Champions League final on Saturday.

Weather

Clear skies with moderate to strong south westerly winds. Top temperature 23 degrees. Overnight lows of 12-14 degrees with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday - Mainly fine with highs of 18-21 degrees.

And Finally 

A new global study has claimed that a glass of milk each day can significantly reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease. A team of researchers also found milk drinkers have lower levels of cholesterol, which can block arteries and lead to heart attacks or strokes. Those who drink milk each day slashed their risk of coronary heart disease by 14 per cent, the study authors said in a release. By studying the health information of two million Britons and Americans, scientists discovered those with a mutation enabling them to consume large amounts of milk were less prone to cardiovascular illnesses.

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