Lunchtime News Friday 9th October 2020


Airbnb hosts offer free accommodation - Airbnb hosts' in the region have offered free accommodation out of solidarity to those affected by Storm Alex. The Airbnb community in Nice and Cannes is mobilised offering free accommodation.

Numerous campaigns for donations and collections of food products, clothing or hygiene products have been set up across the region following the devastation from Storm Alex in the Alpes Maritimes. A state of natural disaster has also been declared for 55 municipalities in the Alpes-Maritimes as rescue operations continue.

Online website for new French residency card planned for 15th October - The much awaited launch of the online website in France, which will allow Britons to apply for the new residency card, is planned to open in a week’s time.

France’s Interior Ministry has confirmed to the British Embassy in Paris that it will open on Thursday October 15th, in line with earlier estimates. The opening of the website was postponed from July 1st to October 1st due to administrative backlogs at prefectures, linked to the lockdown period.

Saliva test for Covid-19 - EasyCov, a French saliva test for Covid-19, has confirmed that it can be as effective as traditional nasal swabbing, marking a major step for a type of screening that is less intrusive, less expensive and much faster.

This test, developed jointly by the CNRS and two private sector companies (Alcediag and SkillCell), succeeded in detecting 87 percent of positive cases among 220 people who had arrived for screening at the Montpellier University Hospital since September 16th.

In June, EasyCov was shown to work on patients admitted to hospital who were already showing symptoms. This time, however, the French team confirmed the trial worked on people both with and without any symptoms who arrived for spontaneous screening. Patients were subjected to the traditional nasal test and also agreed to provide a saliva sample.

Marseille-Provence airport - Marseille-Provence airport has reported a 70% drop in passengers with hundreds of indirect jobs threatened.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the airport has seen empty car parks, a closed terminal and a dramatic lack of activity. Latest figures show that in six months there has been a 70% drop compared to the same period last year.


Consumers encouraged to buy used electronics - France’s environment minister Barbara Pompili and her colleague for Digital Affairs, Cedric O, has said that the government is in talks to boost second-hand purchasing as France prepares incentives for consumers to shift spending habits to used electronics. The move comes as an attempt to lower the impact on the environment and provide a boost to local ecommerce startups.

Selling used handsets has been a long-standing business. But in France, a number of startups have been lobbying the government to start introducing legislation to encourage consumers to shift away from new mobiles.

Google - An appeals court has ruled that Google must negotiate payments with French publishers to use their news content.

The tech giant has been ordered to discuss remuneration for news agencies if they reshare content, photos, or videos online in Google search results or on Google News.

The long-awaited decision by the Paris Court of Appeal confirms an earlier order given by France's competition authority in April.

The rules make it possible for media organisations to demand payments when search engines display extracts of their material.

French start-up to convert urine to develop a fertilizer - Toopi organics a French start-up, is looking to convert urine into a product to use in farming. Named after “to pee” in English, the startup is currently waiting to get the green light from authorities to sell their urine-based products.

The company’s idea is to collect and treat urine to develop a fertiliser out of a plentiful natural human resource.

Baby giraffe born in captivity in France - A rare breed of giraffe has been born in captivity in France a first in thirty years. The baby giraffe who does not yet have a name, was born on 28 September.

In the coming days, a group of Friends of the Amnéville Zoo will vote on a name for the animal.

Emily in Paris - A new Netflix production “Emily in Paris” has not gone down well amongst French critics. The series is about an ambitious twenty something from Chicago who moves to the City of Light.

Emily in Paris tells the story of Emily Cooper, played by Lily Collins, who is sent to the French capital to work at a French marketing agency she discovers “that the French are all mean and all lazy and never arrive at the office before late morning; and that they are incorrigible flirts with no concept of being faithful”.

Critics say that “the berets, the croissants, the baguettes, the hostile waiters, the philanderers, the lovers and the mistresses show a cliché about France and the French, saying “It reduces the capital’s inhabitants to vile snobs sporting Birkin handbags who light up a cigarette the minute they’re out of the gym,”. Critics conclude that “three episodes might have been amusing, unfortunately, there are 10!”


Football - Scotland are one game away from their first major finals since 1998 after a nerve-shredding win on penalties against Israel

And Serbia lie in wait in the play-off finals after they defeated Norway 2-1 in extra time in Oslo.

The Republic of Ireland's hopes of qualification for the Euro 2020 finals are over after they lost 4-2 on penalties in the play-off in Slovakia.

Formula One - Britain's Lewis Hamilton has opposed plans to hold the Brazilian Grand Prix at a new track in Rio De Janeiro to be built on land that is currently forest.

The circuit has agreements with F1 to hold the race but the track has not been built and its construction is facing environmental opposition.

The Brazilian Grand Prix has been held at Sao Paulo’s circuit since 1990 but its contract ended this year. Its race has been cancelled in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus crisis, in which Brazil has been one of the most badly affected countries.

Golf - England's Georgia Hall and Charley Hull are three off the lead after the opening round of the Women's PGA Championship in Pennsylvania.

In 2020's third major, Hall - winner of the Portland Classic two weeks ago - was three under after eight holes but bogeyed the last two to finish level.

Hull joined her in a share of 13th after mixing three birdies and bogeys.

Athletics - Five police officers are facing an investigation over the stop and search of British athlete Bianca Williams and her partner in west London.

Ms Williams and her partner believe they were racially profiled when they were stopped in Maida Vale, on 4 July.

The Met referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after footage was widely shared.

And Finally

If you’re a parent who worries that you don’t always do a good job, then there is good news: keep going. You’re doing fine.

More and more parents worry that they are failing their charges, but one specialist has said that it’s good for children if you’re not the perfect parent.

In fact, there have been studies that show that the younger generation tend to be more anxious and struggle to cope with the transition to adulthood if they have over-involved or controlling parents. These ‘helicopter parents’ hover over their offspring, catering to their every whim.

Conclusion from the specialist is that it's better for your children not to have a perfect parent.



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