News - Wednesday, November 16th

News

Asylum rejections - France has rejected asylum applications from 44 of the 234 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean by the Ocean Viking NGO ship. Speaking in parliament yesterday, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said they will be deported "as soon as their health allows," adding that others could also be sent home as more asylum claims are examined.

Meanwhile the diplomatic row with Italy continues as France suspended a plan to take 3,500 refugees currently in Italy and urged Germany and other EU nations to do the same.

Electricity cut experiment - The electricity supplier Enedis have hailed their initiative to save energy as a huge success. An experiment to switch off hot water tanks between noon and 2pm were conducted in October and, according to Operations Manager Thierry Sudret, this has saved the equivalent of the consumption of 2.4 million people. When this measure was announced, many French people were worried about no longer having access to hot water, but Thierry Sudret insists that it’s only the heating of the tanks that are switched off not access to hot water already heated during the night. It’s hoped that these measures will avoid the need to make further electricity cuts at homes during the day.

Electric scooter ban - Paris is considering banning its 15,000 rental electric scooters due to concerns about public safety on the city’s pavements, but operators are proposing a series of improvements in the hope of getting their licences renewed. The Paris town council is considering not renewing the licences of the three operators which expire in February 2023. The final decision rests with Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo. Deputy mayor David Belliard, a green party politician in charge of transport in Paris, told Le Parisien newspaper last week that the nuisances caused by scooters now outweigh the advantages to the city. In 2021, 24 people died in scooter-related accidents in France, including one in Paris. This year, Paris registered 337 accidents with e-scooters and similar vehicles in the first eight months of the year, from 247 over the same period in 2021.

Road safety figures - In other road safety figures released yesterday, on average nearly two pedestrians and more than one cyclist are killed on France’s roads every day. That’s according to new government figures just released for October. However, road fatalities were slightly lower than in October 2021, but much higher than in October 2019, the reference year before traffic levels changed during the pandemic. Florence Guillaume, inter-ministerial delegate for road safety, called on all road users to be extra vigilant now that the nights are drawing in, particular vulnerable users traveling on foot or by bicycle.

Theft warning of catalytic converters - As we reported yesterday, petrol prices are to increase today as government subsidies have been reduced by 20 centimes, and a 20 centime aid by TotalEnergy has been scrapped. We also reported on the rise in fuel theft over the past 12 months. Now, the police are also issuing a warning on an upsurge in thefts of catalytic converters which are located under the cars and are very expensive to replace. The accessories contain precious metals such as platinum, palladium, or rhodium. and "the resale prices can amount to several tens or even hundreds of euros per gram".

The gendarmes specify that the thieves "proceed at night, generally in public car parks or along quiet streets". As far as possible, avoid parking in these places and favour busy streets. Auto-Moto also advises going to a garage to have a plate attached under the chassis or to have it engraved, which "will make it more difficult to resell on the black market".

Egg shortages - Poultry farmers are warning of a shortage of eggs this winter as bird flu and rising fuel and grain costs are affecting production across France. Already the price of a box of 6 eggs has risen by 13% in a year and this is expected to rise even more as the supply chain decreases.

Water restrictions - French Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Bechu has said that it will be necessary to “get used to” restrictions on water consumption. Speaking to French media he said that measures could be put in place in December or January with a view to improving the water situation next summer.

Unemployment figures down - There's been a slight fall in unemployment in France. In the third quarter, the number of unemployed fell by 17,000 compared to the previous quarter, to 2.3 million people. The unemployment rate was virtually unchanged at 7.3% of the active population.

Local News

AS Monaco Beehive Initiative - AS Monaco have just launched an exciting initiative to support the local bee population. For every 10 goals the team score in League 1, a bee hive will be created in the principality to house almost 40000 bees. The project is in association with Terrae de Monaco who manage an urban farm near the Odeon Tower. The Chilean international Guillermo Maripan became the first AS Monaco player to sponsor a bee hive adding a welcome boost to their endangered ecosystem. The team needs one more goal in the league in order to sponsor their 3rd hive of the season but just came up short in their last match against Marseille at the weekend.

Fairmont renovations - The Fairmont Hotel in Monaco has just inaugurated the Principality's biggest venue for private and corporate events with a capacity of up to 1500 people. The former Sun Casino has been re-opened after a massive makeover creating a lounge area of 1465m2 and an ideal setting for conferences, weddings, exhibits and other events. The new room has kept the iconic chandelier and a few ornate mirrors from the original casino, but everything else has been removed to create a neutral setting that can be adapted to the theme of the event. The Fairmont is also renovating 596 rooms and its restaurant spaces. The full project is expected to be completed by April 2024.

New boutique hotel for Le Cannet - Le Cannet has finally approved the sale of Le Bellevue, which will be renovated to create a boutique hotel. The project will all include a Mediterranean and Italian flavoured and eco responsible restaurant.

Cap3000 - Cap3000 has announced that it will close 30 minutes earlier next year. From January 2nd, the shopping centre will close at 8pm instead of 8.30pm in a bid to reduce operating costs. The management of Cap3000 is anticipating that electricity costs alone could increase by 3 million euros in 2023.

Princess Caroline supports a young deaf artist - Princess Caroline is adding her support to a deaf young American artist who last month won an award for her sign language interpretation of the American national anthem at the Super Bowl. Now Christine Sun Kim is exhibiting her work at Casa Encendida in Madrid until February, and the princess paid her a visit for the opening. With the support of Monaco’s Prince Pierre Foundation, the exhibition includes the award-winning work and other pieces that relate to her deafness and her perception of the world around her.

Falconers and buzzards to the rescue in Antibes - Falconers and buzzards are taking centre stage in Antibes to save residents from the noise created by hundreds of parakeets resting in the trees of the Place de Gaulle and disrupting the calm. Flocks of parakeets thrive in urban areas, but they are classed as an invasive species, as they can be a noisy nuisance producing droppings that damage street furniture, roofs, and fittings in the city centre. Now twice a week, two trained buzzards will hunt the parakeets to force them to find shelter elsewhere.

Business

Google fine - Google will pay $391.5m to settle allegations about how it collects data from users. The technology giant has been accused of tracking the location of users who opted out of location services on their devices in 40 US states. A spokesman for Google accepted the fine but claimed it was based on based on outdated product policies that were changed years ago." Google has been told to be transparent about location tracking in the future and develop a web page telling people about the data it collects. Knowing a user's location helps advertisers target products, also helping Google to generate $200bn in annual advertising revenue.

Japan - Japan's economy has unexpectedly shrunk for the first time in a year as the rising cost of living hit consumer spending growth. Japanese Gross domestic product fell by an annualised 1.2% in the three months to the end of September. Public spending was slashed amid fears of a global slowdown and a weak yen made imports more expensive. However, economists expect the world's third biggest economy to avoid recession as it bounces back this year. Japan is expected to benefit from a rebound in inbound tourism and a stronger trade balance, although virus risks and rising inflation may limit the extent of the recovery.

UK wage rises - Wages in the UK are rising at their fastest rate in more than 20 years, but still lag well behind the soaring cost of living. Regular pay rose by 5.7% in the year to September, the fastest growth since 2000 apart from when people got big rises when returning to work from furlough during the pandemic. However, when adjusted for rising prices, wages fell by 2.7%. The cost of living is currently rising at its fastest rate in almost 40 years, largely due to the war in Ukraine. Energy and food prices have shot upwards, leaving many people struggling to pay their bills. According to ManpowerGroup, one of the UK's biggest recruiters, the gap between wages and prices was "putting more and more pressure on households". 

Estee Lauder acquisition - Luxury cosmetics firm Estee Lauder will buy designer fashion house Tom Ford in a deal worth $2.8bn. The deal would be Estee Lauder's biggest acquisition to date. The US beauty firm already licenses Tom Ford fragrances and cosmetics, and beat off competition from Gucci owner Kering SA to clinch the deal. Estee Lauder said the acquisition would "unlock new opportunities".

 

Foreign Exchanges

€1 = £0,87 $1,04 SF 0,97

£1 = €1,14 $1,18 SF1,12

$1 = €97 cents, £85 pence, 94 Swiss centimes

BITCOIN up slightly to $16756

ETHEREUM also up slightly to $1256

 

Commodities

An ounce of gold is $1776

Barrel of Brent Crude oil is $93,33

 

Markets

FTSE 100 down slightly to 7369

CAC 40 up to 6642

DOW JONES 33592

NASDAQ 11358

NIKKEI up to 28004

 

Sport

Football – The England squad have arrived in Qatar ahead of the Fifa World Cup, which begins on Sunday. England’s first match will be against Iran on Monday, 21 November before games against the United States and Wales.

France’s defence of the trophy has been disrupted by an injury to Christopher Nkunku has been ruled out of the World Cup after sustaining a leg injury in training yesterday. The 25-year-old is the Bundesliga's top scorer with 12 goals in 15 games for RB Leipzig. In other World Cup news, Sadio Mane will miss Senegal's "first games" at the World Cup because of a leg injury

England’s women finished their historic year last night with a 1-1 draw with Norway. Manager Sarina Wiegman hailed her team's "incredible" unbeaten 2022 but she is sure to be disappointed drawing a match against a team they beat 8-0 in the Euros earlier this year. Rachel Daly headed England ahead but Norway - reduced to 10 players - equalised through Frida Maanum after an error by goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck.

Tennis - Rafael Nadal's hopes of a first ATP Finals title are over after he was knocked out of the tournament in the group stage. He was beaten 6-3 6-4 by Felix Auger-Aliassime after an opening-round loss to American Taylor Fritz in Turin. The 36-year-old's exit means his Spanish compatriot Carlos Alcaraz finishes 2022 as world number one.

In the other match yesterday, Norway's Casper Ruud edged out Taylor Fritz in a final set tie break and is now top of the Green Group with two wins from two.

American Football - The Philadelphia Eagles' unbeaten eight-game start to the NFL season was ended by a 32-21 defeat against the Washington Commanders.

Rugby - The World Rugby Awards are set to take place at the Salle des Etoiles on the 20th November. Held under the High Patronage of Princess Charlene, the awards will celebrate the “on-field achievements of the calendar year and recognise those who made an outstanding contribution to the sport”. Coming right after the conclusion of Rugby World Cup and the men’s November internationals, the ceremony is expected to attract some of the biggest names in the sport.  

Weather

Some clouds and light rain this morning with very brief clearings, but it will get better as the day goes on, with extended sunny spells around Monaco, with light south-westerly winds gusting to 17 kmh and temperatures reaching 17° in Alpes Maritimes. It will be mostly sunny along the coast in the Var towards St Tropez with temperatures rising to 21°.

Tomorrow will be similar with both sunny and cloudy spells, no rain expected during the day but there is a possibility of showers tomorrow evening.

Sunrise/Sunset 07:25/17:04 (1 minute earlier)

Entertainment

Grammy Nominations - Let’s take a look at last night’s Grammy nominations. Beyoncé and Adele are the stars to beat, and will go head-to-head for all the major prizes. Both artists have been nominated for album of the year - Adele 30, and Beyoncé for Renaissance. Adele's single Easy On Me and Beyoncé's Break My Soul are each up for song and record of the year.

British stars Harry Styles and Coldplay are also in the running for best album, alongside Swedish pop icons Abba. Ozzy Osbourne picks up several nominations in the rock categories for his solo record Patient Number 9; but other British stars like Ed Sheeran and Elton John were overlooked.

Beyoncé had nine nominations overall. She is now tied with her husband Jay-Z as the most-nominated artist in Grammy history, with a total of 88, overtaking Sir Paul McCartney and Quincy Jones. The ceremony will be held on February 5th.

Official Charts - There’s lots of information coming out this week from the UK Official Charts Company as it celebrates it’s 70th anniversary this week. Yesterday, they released the definitive list of the biggest selling songs of all-time in the UK. We’ve already talked about Elton John’s tribute to Princess Diana which has sold over 4 million records in the UK – a total that’s unlikely to be ever beaten as most music is now consumed by streaming – but there’s a few surprises on the list. Did you know that the biggest selling song by any of The Beatles was … Mull Of Kintyre by Wings? The highest ranked non-British singer is John Travolta. The biggest selling song from a non English-speaking country is not from Abba, but from Aqua. The biggest selling cover version is Rivers Of Babylon by Boney M, who along with Frankie Goes To Hollywood have as many songs in the Top 30 as The Beatles and more than Queen, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones.  

And Finally

What Is A Good Life? - So what exactly makes a good life? Researchers at Harvard set out to answer the ultimate question, and came up with some surprising conclusions. They found that happiness is not obtained from work, wealth, or fame. Instead, the secret to a good life lies much closer to home. So do we finally have the key to building a happier and healthier future. One that will take us into later age still content and with a sense of well-being? It’s all down to the time we invest into making and preserve strong relationships. So, taking time to focus on the people who support us and give our lives meaning, may prove to be the single most important step we can all take for our health, longevity, and happiness.

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