French and Riviera News Tuesday 8th May 2021

News 

Covid hospitalizations continue to decline- Latest figures published by Public Health France have shown that the number of patients hopsitalized with covid in France continues to decline standing at 14,323 on Monday 7th June. The decline also continues in critical care units with 2,472 patients.

Meanwhile data released by the Ministry of Health has shown that more than 40% of the French population is now vaccinated. 28.2 million people have received at least the first injection of the vaccine and 14 million have completed their vaccination.

Makeshift terraces to become permanent during the summer months - Paris city council has announced that the makeshift café terraces which were in place last year to serve customers during covid will become permanent summer fixtures. The city turned over thousands of parking spaces last year to restaurant and café owners who were no longer allowed to serve indoors due to the pandemic.

In other news

Climate change – Researchers have warned that climate change will cost wealthy nations twice as much as the Covid pandemic if more is not done to slash carbon emissions. Under existing climate policies, G7 nations stand to lose 8.5 percent of GDP a year – almost 5 trillion dollars – by 2050, as temperatures rise by 2.6 degrees Celsius. Italy and France would be the worst-hit rich countries, their economies shrinking by an estimated 11.4 and 10 percent respectively.

Google fined - France's competition authority has fined Google 220 million euros for favouring its own services in online advertising. The tech giant was found to have given "preferential treatment" to Google's own "proprietary technologies" in digital adverts. Google has not contested the facts and the fine was agreed as part of a settlement procedure.

State of natural disaster - The French government has recognised a state of natural disaster for "land movements" for the municipalities of Lantosque from 2nd to 3rd October 2020 during Storm Alex, and for Nice for the period from 20th to 22nd December 2019. Victims have 10 days from the publication date to submit an estimated statement of the losses they have suffered with their insurance companies, in order to benefit from a compensation scheme. Details can be found on the Alpes-Maritimes Prefecture's website.

Eco museum – After four years of work an underwater eco museum has opened near Sainte-Marguerite Island, off the coast of Cannes. Six mask-like sculptures have been installed on the seabed that are designed to encourage marine life to return to the area. Funded by the city council of Cannes, the site was once littered with debris such as old engines and pipelines, which were cleared to make way for the museum.

Film Festival – Meanwhile Cannes has announced a draw to win tickets to this year's Film Festival. The draw is open to all residents and socio-professionals in Cannes older than 18 at the time of registration. You need to register online before Saturday, July 3rd, 2021 at 1 p.m. There's also the possibility of registering in person instead of online. You can find full details at www.cannes.com.

#summerbodychallenge - As summer approaches #summerbodychallenge and #objectifbikini are making a comeback on social media. But a new trend called “body positive” is emerging against the myth of the perfect body and losing weight. According to an IFOP survey carried out for Fitness Magazine, one out of two inhabitants of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region is not satisfied with their body.

The challenge of “body positive” is to find the balance between the goals that we set for ourselves and the reality of what we can do. The movement was created in the United States in 1996, and started in France with the creation of the Instagram account @thebodyoptimist. Influencers and spokespersons for the movement promote self-esteem by challenging all stereotypes of what beauty is, as defined by society.

Replica Mona Lisa goes under the hammer - A replica of Leonardo da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa painting is going on sale in Paris, where it is expected to fetch up to €300,000. The work is said to have been created by a follower of da Vinci in the early 17th Century. It will be sold at Christie's auction house in Paris.

Business

Several top US Senate Republicans have said that they will oppose Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s G-7 deal to impose a global minimum corporate tax rate. The opposition from Republicans may force President Biden to attempt to use budget procedures to pass the initiatives with only Democratic votes. Lawyers and tax experts in Washington are now questioning whether new corporate tax regulations can be implemented without creating a new international treaty which would require approval by 2/3 majority in the evenly split Senate. Several leading Republicans have said that the tax deal struck on Saturday by finance ministers from the G7 is wrong for the United States. They say it will be anti-competitive, anti-United States and harmful for the country as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday, Janet Yellen said that the “significant, unprecedented commitment “would end a race to the bottom on global taxation. The deal could pave the way for participation by G20 countries as well as some 140 economies involved in international negotiations on corporate tax.

Former US President Donald Trump has said that bitcoin is a “scam” affecting the value of the US dollar. In an interview with Fox Business, Mr Trump said that he didn’t like bitcoin because “it’s another currency competing against the dollar”. He added that he wanted the dollar to be “the currency of the world “. The price of bitcoin has been falling steadily since early May and has so far not recovered. The falls have been widely attributed to China banning banks and payment firms from providing services related to crypto currency transactions. The comments of Elon Musk and an announcement by Tesla that it would no longer accept bitcoin as payment for vehicles has also affected the value.

Business activity in Australia climbed to a fresh high in May according to an influential survey. National Australia Bank’s index of business conditions climbed five points to +37 in May after jumping 8 points in April. Data out last week showed that Australian GDP grew at a healthy 1.8% in the first quarter of the year to reach its pre-pandemic levels. The NAB survey was conducted from the 18th to the 28th of May, catching just the start of the Victoria lockdown on May the 27th  which will likely have some dampening impact on consumer spending.

Sport

Tennis – Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are both through to the last eight of the French open in Paris. Djokovic survived a fourth round scare as he went two sets down against Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti before coming through when his opponent retired injured in the 5th. Nadal made the last eight after beating Jannik Sinner in straight sets.

In the women’s event Coco Gauff made the last 8 for the first time as she beat Ons Jabeur 6-3 6-1 and the defending champion Iga Swiatek is also into the quarterfinals after beating Marta Kostyuk 6-3 6-4.

Cricket – The England and Wales Cricket board is reported to be investigating a second England player for posting historical offensive material a day after Ollie Robinson was suspended for past racist and sexist tweets. In a statement, the ECB said that a social media post had been brought to its attention and that it would make further comments in due course. On Sunday, the ECB suspended Robinson from international cricket pending a full investigation into tweets posted in 2012 and 2013. He’s been dropped from the squad for the second Test against New Zealand which starts on Thursday.

Football – Germany put the finishing touches to their preparation for Euro 2020 with a 7–1 thrashing of Latvia in a friendly last night. Germany are not considered to be among the favourites to win the tournament and they are in a tough group alongside France, Portugal and Hungary. If Germany finish second in group F and England win group D, they could play each other in the next phase.

Rugby Union – Kyle Sinckler has been called up by the British and Irish Lions a month after missing out on the original squad. The England prop was a high-profile omission from Warren Gatland’s initial 37 man group. He got the call up after an injury to Ireland’s Andrew Porter. Sinckler reacted to the news by saying “life is crazy”.

Weather

Partially cloudy with occasional showers and some thunder inland. Light southerly winds and a high of 25 degrees. Overnight lows of 19-21 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

Wednesday and Thursday - Sunshine and scattered thunderstorms tomorrow. Fine on Thursday. Highs of 25-26 degrees.

And Finally 

A new study has found that the music you listen to at meal times can affect the type of food you eat. Researchers in Denmark compared food choices when people listened to different types of music. One group heard slow music, the other a fast track, played in a minor key, known to trigger emotions such as sadness or suspense. Researchers found that the slow-music group was more likely to pick healthier foods.

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