Lunchtime News Tuesday 16th February 2021


Marseille firefighters arrive in eastern France to help analyze wastewater for Covid - Firefighters from Marseille specialized in analyzing water samples have arrived in Moselle eastern France to help with the outbreak of the Brazilian and South African variants of Covid. France’s health minister Olivier Véran has expressed his deepest concern about the high circulation of Brazilian and South African variants of Covid-19 in the department and various means have been put in place. A dozen marine firefighters from Marseille were dispatched to the site to carry out several samples and analyzes of wastewater in order to map the variants and help limit the spread. This is the first time that the team have exported their know-how, already used in Marseille to track down the Covid through wastewater, elsewhere in France.

Mayor of Dunkirk criticises government for inconsistency and lack of action - Meanwhile the mayor of Dunkirk Patrice Vergriete, has slammed the French government for “inconsistency" and a "lack of measures" as the city is faced with an outbreak of the British Covid variant. The mayor is worried about a possible spread of the strain in surrounding towns saying that the region "is on an epidemic alert and we do not have the expected reaction from the State".

Production of masks suitable during exercise - Decathlon has announced plans to begin manufacturing face masks suitable for wearing during exercise. The French sport giant made the announcement after the national safety standards agency published official directives for their design. Production will begin and the company plans to start selling them in 2021.

France fines Google - France’s finance ministry and fraud watchdog said on Monday that Google Ireland and Google France have agreed to pay a 1.1 million euros  fine after an investigation  found that Google’s hotel rankings could be misleading for consumers. The ministry and watchdog also said in a statement that Google has amended its hotel rankings practices since September 2019.

Orly airport closes Terminal 4  - Orly airport in Paris has closed its terminal 4 today due to the lack of traffic caused by the Covid pandemic. The airlines operating at the terminal will be redirected to the two Orly terminals which remain partially open (2 and 3). A reopening date is not yet known. Terminal 4 had already been sealed off between November and December. Since November 11th, Terminal 1 has remained completely closed.

The famous French “lunch break” - The American press has expressed its surprise that the French are about to sacrifice their famous "lunch break". Due to the current health situation employees in France will now be allowed to have lunch at their desk.  A decree relaxing the regulations on lunch breaks in companies was published on Sunday in the Official Journal: it will allow employees to eat in premises dedicated to work, in order to limit the risks of contamination linked to the coronavirus, until now it was simply prohibited.

For American daily the New York Times, the obligation to have to have lunch in a place outside his workplace reflected "a fierce cultural attachment to the French art of living". The newspaper even qualifies the French meal as a "social experience". "It's more than just a question of food, it's a pleasant moment of sharing that has a big place in our lives”. For one French woman interviewed by the New York Times "eating at her desk is a disaster”. You need a break to refresh your mind, it's good to be able to move around a bit. When you get back you see things differently." The New York Time continues saying that “in the country which has set up the 35-hour week, this American habit of having lunch in front of your desk is considered a worrying sign of a deterioration in the good work-life balance". 

And Finally

A Ukrainian man has reported a fictitious murder in the hope that police would clear his snow-covered road when they came to arrest him. The man called police on Saturday evening to tell them he had killed his mother's partner by stabbing him in the chest. "But at the same time, he immediately warned the police that they should come to him along with a snow plough, because there is no other way to get to him,". Officers did not take a snow plough and immediately after arriving, they discovered that the relative was indeed at the house, but in one piece and unharmed — no one had attacked him,". The would-be killer immediately confessed to making a fake call adding that municipal services had ploughed the road earlier on Saturday but he "was not satisfied with the quality of the clearing". The man now faces a fine.






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