French and Riviera News Wednesday 26th May 2021

News

QR codes to be introduced on June 9th - The French government has announced that from June 9th all bars, restaurants and sport complexes will have to display a QR code. Scanning a QR Code with your phone, via the TousAntiCovid application, when entering a bar, restaurant or gym will allow you to know the covid contamination risk within the establishment. The measure is part of the health protocol for the third stage to the end of lockdown scheduled for June 9th. It will also be available in paper form for those customers who do not have a phone.

How does it work? - The QR code must be displayed at the entrance of bars, restaurants or gyms, so that it can be scanned by customers anonymously. The latter will receive an "orange alert" if a visitor present in the same two-hour time slot has subsequently tested positive for covid. The instructions are then to "get tested immediately, limit contact and monitor symptoms". If three people who have become positive have frequented the place, a "red alert" recommends "isolating yourself and being tested immediately".

Health situation in the PACA region - Meanwhile the health situation continues to improve in the region with the incidence rate at 45 in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur for the week of May 17th to the 23rd. The regional health agency reported on Tuesday that since the start of the epidemic, 1,959 people have died from covid in the Alpes-Maritimes (1,511 in hospitals, 448 in nursing homes). 103 patients are hospitalised and 34 are in intensive care.

Monaco - In Monaco there was one new case of covid declared on Tuesday May 25th bringing the total number of residents affected to 2,502. Three people are currently in hospital and seven are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Public relations agency offers money to influencers to discredit vaccine - Several internet influencers in France have reported being contacted by a public relations agency and offered "considerable" sums to take part in a campaign aimed at discrediting the Pfizer Covid vaccine on social media. The offers were made several days after the European Union announced the finalisation of a contract for 1.8 billion doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The company involved in transmitting the offers, initially asked potential participants to take part in "an information campaign", which would involve "talking about the vaccines currently available in Europe, especially AstraZeneca and Pfizer".

In other news

Coach operators in Paris plan “operation escargot” - Independent coach operators in Paris have announced an “operation escargot” today from 9am. Nearly 150 coaches are expected to take part in the protest against the lack of financial aid to the sector during the health crisis. The move comes after a lack of response from France’s Minister of Transport who had been sent an open letter by unions.

Facial recognition cameras in Nice - Anthony Borre, the first deputy mayor of Nice, has called for experimental legislation regarding the use of facial recognition cameras in municipal security. He said that the municipality will continue to develop new technologies and the larger the security camera network, the more important the fight against delinquency. He added that "our drones are working and will be used".

Artistic director of SBM Jean-René Palacio has died at the age of 67 - Jean-René Palacio, artistic director of the SBM in Monaco and Jazz in Juan, has died at the age of 67. For two decades, Palacio programmed all the biggest names in music from James Brown to Diana Ross creating the Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival in 2005.

Blood donations - The Prefect of the Var has called on people to donate blood, saying that stocks are running low, especially in blood types O and B. To make an appointment to donate blood see the website https://mon-rdv-dondesang.efs.sante.fr/

Business

Federal Reserve policy makers are starting to acknowledge that they are moving closer to debating when to pull back some of the crisis support for the US economy despite the need to bolster the recovery and employment.

The Fed maintains that the current $120 billion in monthly asset purchases are needed to ease borrowing costs and encourage hiring and investment.

However, on Tuesday, Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida set the ball rolling on when the US central bank might start to discuss scaling back the pace of asset purchases.

Mr Clarida said that it would depend on the “flow of data”.

Fed policymakers have promised to give markets plenty of notice before changing tack to avoid a repeat of the spike in bond yields after former Fed chair Ben Bernanke surprised markets by flagging a reduction to the Fed’s bond buying in 2013.

US business groups have teamed up to form a coalition opposing tax increase proposals by the Biden administration.

The US government is proposing a global minimum corporation tax rate as well as increasing  tax in the US to pay for infrastructure projects.

28 industry groups have now created an alliance called ‘America’s Job Creators for a Strong Recovery’.

A spokesman said that the tax proposals could not come at a worse time.

The alliance has been formed as President Biden is seeking to pass a $2.3 trillion infrastructure package which would direct billions to initiatives such as charging stations for electric vehicles and eliminating lead water pipes.

The new alliance says that the record tax hikes that the Democrats are seeking to ram through “could not come at a worse time for America’s job creation as businesses were just beginning to recover from the crippling pandemic”.

And – China has overtaken Germany to become the U.K.’s biggest single import market for the first time since records began.

Goods imported from China rose by 66% from the start of 2018 to 16.9 billion pounds in the first quarter of this year.

Imports from Germany fell by a quarter to 12.5 billion pounds in the same period.

The change came as a trade with the European Union was disrupted by Brexit and the pandemic boosted demand for Chinese goods.

The UK Office for National Statistics said that German imports to the UK had fallen since April 2019 over uncertainty about the details of Britain’s exit from the EU.

Over the period there was a 23.1% drop in total trade with the European Union.

Chinese imports were led by textiles and strong demand for electrical devices.

Sport 

Football – Manchester United play Villarreal in the final of the Europa League tonight.

The final in Gdansk is the first opportunity for United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to win silverware since he took charge of the club.

He won the Champions League with United as a player and says that hopefully it’s the start of a new era at the club.

Kickoff is at 9 pm.

UEFA has started disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid over their involvement in the proposed European Super League.

The clubs were part of 12 founding members of the breakaway league which later collapsed.

The other nine clubs renounced the project but Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid have refused to do so.

UEFA says proceedings have been opened against the three for a potential violation of its legal framework.

Cricket – The second Test match between England and New Zealand at Edgbaston is set to welcome more than 15,000 fans.

The match is part of the British government’s pilot events to test the return of big crowds to sporting venues.

The second test between the two sides will start on June 10.

Rugby Union – The Welsh Rugby Union hopes that 10,000 fans can attend each of the summer internationals at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

Wales host  Canada on July 3 and have two Test matches against Argentina on the 10th and 17th of July.

The hope is to get 10,000 fans to the matches or 25% of capacity. A decision will be taken on the 7th of June.

Weather

Mainly fine with light to moderate southerly winds.

Top temperature 21 degrees.

Overnight lows of 12-14 degrees with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Mainly fine with highs of 19-21 degrees.

And Finally

A study has found that money really can buy you friends! Researchers found that after receiving such a so-called 'income shock', people tended to acquire more long-term friends.

It showed that using lottery winnings, people are able to increase their consumption on social activities — allowing people to make new long-term friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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