Sika reassures about its sales over nine months despite the pandemic

The Swiss chemicals group Sika, which specializes in building materials, reassured investors when it released its nine-month results on Thursday, despite sales down slightly with the shock of the health crisis.

For the first nine months of the year, the group which manufactures sealants, adhesives and sealants for the building industry reported sales in line with expectations, down 3.4% year-on-year to 5.8 billion Swiss francs (5.4 billion euros), he said in a statement.

But the group surprised on its net profit, better than expected, despite the pressure of the Swiss franc. Compared to the comparable period last year, it contracted 0.9% to 561.5 million Swiss francs. By comparison, analysts surveyed by the Swiss agency AWP expected an average of 506.5 million in profit for 5.8 billion in revenue.

The Swiss group was affected in the first half of the year by site closures but managed to limit the erosion of its sales thanks to its recent acquisitions.

Sales growth in Asia-Pacific

Last year, Sika made the biggest acquisition in its history by spending 2.5 billion Swiss francs to buy the French company Parex, with the aim of doubling the size of its mortars activities. This acquisition enabled it to continue to grow in Asia-Pacific despite the health crisis, in particular in China where the activities inherited from Parex have particularly “withstood the crisis”, Sika pointed out.

In Asia-Pacific, its nine-month sales climbed 13.9% in local currencies over the past nine months, offsetting slower growth in other markets.

«Despite the severe repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic“Sales in local currencies rose 2.6% across the group, with acquisitions contributing 9.2% to growth, Sika detailed.

At 7:53 GMT, the stock appreciated 2.98% to 235.20 Swiss francs, one of the few values ​​in the green within the SMI, the benchmark index of the Swiss Stock Exchange, which fell by 0.61%. These figures will give back “more investor confidence“, Who had questioned”few months ago“His growth forecasts, wondering if they were not”too optimisticJefferies analysts responded in a stock commentary.


A virus attacking zucchini, cucumbers and melons detected in France

An investigation is underway to determine the origin of the contamination.

By Le Figaro with AFP

The virus has been detected in two regions in the south of France, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
The virus has been detected in two regions in the south of France, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. HELENE BAMBERGER / Le Figaro Magazine

A new virus attacking zucchini, cucumbers and melons, present in several European countries (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece) but so far unknown in France, has been detected in two different regions in the south of France, the Agriculture Ministry announced on Wednesday.

Contamination by this virus, called Tomato Leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV), was identified on zucchini leaves in one plot in Occitanie and three in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur. The infected vegetables were in seed production and resale establishments, on plots not intended for commercial seed production, and in farmers’ homes. Not presenting “no risk to human healthThe virus causes damage to zucchini, cucumber and melon crops. In India, it is virulent on tomato crops, the ministry said.

Measures have been implemented to prevent any spread by pruning tools, knives or secateurs or through the insect that carries the virus on plants, a small white fly called the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. The destruction of the plants is organized under the control of the State services in the contaminated plots, with the aim of completely eradicating the virus. An investigation is underway to determine the origin of the contamination and reinforced surveillance will be implemented for the next growing season, specifies the ministry.


more than 400,000 cases of contamination in 24 hours worldwide, a record

By Le Figaro with AFP

A total of 404,758 new infections were reported, resulting in 6,086 new deaths.
A total of 404,758 new infections were reported, resulting in 6,086 new deaths. PASCAL ROSSIGNOL / REUTERS

More than 400,000 new cases of Covid-19 contamination were announced worldwide on Thursday alone, a record according to the count made on Friday October 16 by AFP from reports provided by the health authorities. A total of 404,758 new infections were reported, resulting in 6,086 new deaths.

This increase in the number of cases reported worldwide is only partly explained by the increase in the number of tests carried out since the first wave of the epidemic in March-April worldwide.

Second wave

In Europe, but also in the United States and Canada, the number of cases detected has risen sharply in one week, by 44% and 17% respectively compared to the previous week. In Europe, the maximum number of cases identified since the start of the pandemic was even reached on Thursday, with more than 150,000 new cases in the region.

Several countries on the continent believe they have entered a second wave of the epidemic. The number of deaths recorded is still far from the levels reached in April (more than 4,000 daily deaths were then recorded on average), but after a slowdown this summer (less than 400 deaths per day in July), the past week has seen the region once again exceed an average of 1,000 daily deaths.

In the United States, where the number of cases announced had declined in September, after a peak in mid-July, contaminations are also on the rise, with an average of more than 50,000 new cases daily in the last seven days, and peaking Thursday at over 70,000.


Paris and Berlin denounce Turkey’s “inadmissible” behavior in the Mediterranean

Ankara has returned a gas exploration vessel to a disputed area.

By Le Figaro with AFP

The seismic research vessel, Oruç Reis, has become the symbol of Ankara's gas appetites in the Mediterranean.
The seismic research vessel, Oruç Reis, has become the symbol of Ankara’s gas appetites in the Mediterranean. OZAN ​​KOSE / AFP

Germany and France denounced Thursday, October 15 the new provocations “inadmissibleOf Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, which could earn it European sanctions if Ankara does not return to a “spirit of dialogue».

«It must be noted that there are permanent acts of provocation on the part of Turkey which are not bearable. We really want Turkey to clarify its positions», Declared the head of French diplomacy Jean-Yves Le Drian after a meeting with his German and Polish counterparts.

The return of a Turkish gas exploration vessel to Greek waters constitutes “a new provocation which is completely unacceptable», Added the German Heiko Maas. The two ministers recalled that the European Union had asked Turkey to stop its provocations by the December European summit on pain of being imposed sanctions.

One week delay

«The ball is in Ankara’s court», Underlined Jean-Yves Le Drian. “We are ready to accept the balance of power in the event of further provocations from Turkey even if our shared objective is to establish a real dialogue with Turkey.“, he added. Heiko Maas mentioned a delay “one weekTo see if Turkey is changing its attitude. “Then the European Union will decide on the attitude to adopt“, he said.

Turkey returned the seismic research vessel Oruc Reis to the eastern Mediterranean on Monday, despite protests from Athens. The deployment of this ship, which has become the symbol of Ankara’s appetite for gas in the eastern Mediterranean, has undermined hopes of de-escalation, after several weeks of sharp tensions between Turkey and Greece, in August and September.

See also: François Hollande calls NATO on “Turkey’s bellicose attitude »


Army trains for information warfare

The staff wants to reinvest the fight against the manipulation of information, in particular on social networks.

Soldiers around a Griffon multirole armored vehicle during the Army Capabilities Presentation (PCAT), in Satory, Thursday.
Soldiers around a Griffon multirole armored vehicle during the Army Capabilities Presentation (PCAT), in Satory, Thursday. Guillaume Cabre / Guillaume Cabre / Army / Defense

On social networks, the army communicates with everything. It is a demonstration of strength, transparency and credibility when she is constantly faced with a recruitment challenge. Thursday, like every year at the same time, she presented her “Capacities”, during a demonstration organized at the Satory camp, near Versailles. It’s a great show. Vehicles, helicopters or men appear on the ground in full force, the scenario played for the occasion illustrates a conflict of “High intensity” faced with a robust adversary: ​​the Kuban who wants to extend its influence over a small neighboring state in crisis and divided. France will intervene to restore its sovereignty.

The life-size show illustrates the performance of the army, especially those of combat «Infovalorisé», that is to say connected, and new Griffon multirole armor. The message is clear, that of the “Hardening of the armies”. The staging is neat with real

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can you sell your own information?

It’s a little clip circulating on social networks. We see a student in front of a computer screen while, from a desk, men in black observe him. A supervisor launches: “He’s looking for a motorcycle license… Contact all the insurance companies and you sell it to me for no less than 100 €! ”

The clip ends with this question: “Are you sick of the Internet giants making money off your back?” “ It invites the user to “Take back control” all in “Earning money”. This clip is an advertisement for Tadata, a website that launched last January.

3 to 5 € each time the data is used

Created by two former communicators, Alexandre Vanadia and Laurent Pomies, it offers 15-25 year olds the opportunity to register to sell their personal data to advertisers. However, this idea is strongly contested by an association, the Internet Society, which alerted the Cnil (National Commission for Informatics and Liberties).

The latter conducted the investigation and ruled that the service was not in breach of the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as long as users are “Clearly informed of the type of data transmitted, of the identity of the recipient advertisers” and that they have the possibility to unsubscribe at any time. The CNIL decided on October 6 to close the proceedings against Tadata without taking any sanctions.

Tadata traffic “Transparency” and “Equity”, with income “From 3 to 5 € each time the data is used”. However, it specifies that this amount is not “Not guaranteed”. “The user chooses whether they agree to be called on the phone or to receive e-mails. We do not collect any data on his cell phone. We post questionnaires on the site and he answers them if he wishes. It is only this data that is likely to be sold to advertisers ”, assures Laurent Pomies. The site targets young people, who may be interested in low pay. At cruising speed, he thinks he can reverse “30 to 40 € per month” to registrants.

Data, inalienable?

The Internet Society remains hostile to the service because it considers personal data to remain “Inalienable”, just as it is forbidden in France to sell organs. Nicolas Chagny, president of the association, also believes that this service can “Create an asymmetry”: the richest people will be able to protect their privacy while the most insecure will be pushed to sell their data.

Conversely, Free Generation is more favorable. He believes that the Internet user should be considered as the owner of his data. “Today, large platforms are already selling the personal data of their users, underlines Maxime Sbaihi, director of this think tank. Internet users should therefore be able to negotiate the price, grant a license for their use or refuse it. “

In fact, the service offered by Tadata has one virtue: it enables young people to realize the value of their data and the fact that they are now sold multiple times. However, it remains to be seen whether they are ready to receive a shower of additional business proposals, what is the real status of this data that we produce every time we go on the Internet, and especially who can benefit from it.


EU contracts US for 500,000 doses of remdesivir

By Le Figaro with AFP

Gilead Sciences Headquarters on April 29, 2020 in Foster City, California.
Gilead Sciences Headquarters on April 29, 2020 in Foster City, California. JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

The European Commission announced on Thursday that it had reached an agreement with the American pharmaceutical group Gilead for the supply of 500,000 doses of remdesivir, an antiviral authorized in the EU to treat patients with Covid-19.

«Today, we guarantee access to remdesivir for the treatment of 500,000 patients who need itHealth Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement. “Thanks to our common public markets, we are giving European countries the means to join forces and have access to essential equipment and medicines.”She explained.

The Gilead Group produces Veklury, the brand of remdesivir. The agreement announced by Stella Kyriakides provides for the possibility of increasing the supply beyond 500,000 doses. All EU countries, member countries of the European Economic Area, the United Kingdom and six candidate countries (Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina) benefit from these purchases. “Veklury is, at this stage, the only medicine with conditional marketing authorization in the EU for the treatment of patients in need of oxygen supply.», Specifies the European Commission.

A previous contract with the American group has enabled the distribution of 33,380 Veklury treatments in the EU and the United Kingdom since August, recalled the Commission.

TO SEE ALSO – Covid-19: China hopes to produce 610 million doses of vaccines per year


“Mona”, the new facial recognition system at Saint-Exupéry airport

By facial recognition, “Mona” will make it possible to pass all the checkpoints within the airport in a very simple way. All you need to do is register your boarding pass, face and ID on the app (available on IOS and Android, editor’s note). Then you have to present your face to a dedicated queue“, summarizes Nicolas Notebaert, Managing Director of Vinci Concessions and Chairman of Vinci Airports.

Moreover, the use seems extremely simple. Customers can prepare their trip from home, without having to take their documents out at each checkpoint. “We really want to provide a smooth and fast course. Thanks to this innovation, we estimate that the passenger saves 30 minutes compared to a traditional boarding“, adds Valérie Vesque-Jeancard, Deputy Director France and Americas of Vinci Airports.

Finally “Mona” is a kind of flight companion who accompanies the traveler from his home to his airplane seat. The application is directly linked to airport information in the event of a delay, a change of boarding gate, etc.

A technology that arrives in a complicated period, when social distancing is strongly recommended. “I think Mona comes in at a time when the passenger is worried, perhaps even more than before, of his passage through the airport. The fact of not having to handle documents, that no one else handles them, it is rather reassuring in this health context“, adds the Deputy Director. On the other hand, the system does not currently allow to be detected with a mask. But the developers promise, they are working on it.

Note that for the moment, the device is being tested with only two airlines: Transavia and TAP Air Portugal, in the direction of Lisbon and Porto.

What about personal data?

According to the designers, all personal data like ID and photo is deleted as soon as you get on the plane. “We know that those who don’t use Face ID on IPhone are not going to use “Mona”. It will surely be a younger audience, and / or more used to new technologies who will use this system“, Valérie Vesque-Jeancard analyzes. In addition, the application and the system were developed in partnership with the General Directorate of Civil Aviation and with the CNIL.

For the moment the experiment will last a year. Travelers will be able to take advantage of this service from October 15.


the President of the European Commission in quarantine for a day

By Le Figaro with AFP

The President of the European Commission has tested negative for Covid-19.
The President of the European Commission has tested negative for Covid-19. POOL / REUTERS

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who tested negative for Covid-19, announced Monday, September 5 that she was going into quarantine until Tuesday morning, after a meeting last week with a person who tested positive.

«I was informed that I attended a meeting on Tuesday last in which also participated a person who tested positive yesterday (Sunday) for Covid-19. In accordance with the regulations in force, I therefore put myself in isolation until tomorrow (Tuesday) morningMs. von der Leyen wrote on her Twitter account.

«I tested negative on Thursday and will be tested again today», She clarified. Ms von der Leyen paid an official visit to Portugal on Monday and Tuesday. She could have been contaminated during this visit. She had participated in a meeting of the Council of State, an advisory body of the Portuguese president.

Portuguese media announced on Sunday evening that one of the members, lawyer Antonio Lobo Xavier, had tested positive for Covid-19. The Portuguese president and other members have since been tested, but were negative.

The other head of the European executive, Charles Michel, had undergone a quarantine of a week, after a case of Covid-19 in his entourage, resulting in the postponement of the last European summit initially scheduled for September 24-25.

TO SEE ALSO – Covid-19: the level of transmission in Europe is “alarming“, Warns the WHO


a study sheds light on the suffering of nursing home staff

Nearly half of the employees and caregivers of retirement homes have suffered from anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the Covid-19 crisis, according to a study conducted in northern Italy , published Wednesday. The proportion of anxiety disorders (moderate or severe) and / or symptoms of post-traumatic stress (moderate or severe) reached 43% among the population targeted by the study, with a predominance of PTSD.

In total, just over a thousand nursing home staff were subjected to screening questionnaires in 33 establishments in northern Italy, the area of ​​the country hardest hit by Covid-19 in the spring. . “Given the gravity of the situation, we expected a reasonably high prevalence, but not at this point”, explained to AFP one of the authors of the study, Elena Rusconi, professor in the department of psychology and cognitive sciences at the University of Trento.

These staff represent “A largely ignored population”, “Which plays a very sensitive and crucial role in our society and on which the Covid-19 pandemic has placed a particularly sudden and heavy burden”, she wrote with the co-authors of the study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

For the authors of the study, such figures can be explained by the multiplication of risk factors for stress, added to the fear of contracting the virus. Among them, a strong proximity with residents can cause a greater emotional load, especially since the elderly were very exposed to the deadly consequences of Covid-19. Health restrictions were other sources of tension, with staff having to manage relations with families deprived of visits and cancellations or restrictions on group activities within establishments.

“Finally, the staff of these establishments deplored the gaps in information on the procedures to contain the spread of the virus, a lack of drugs and protective equipment, a lack of staff and difficulties in transferring patients with Covid- 19 in hospitals, or to isolate them within the establishment ”, write the study authors. Who call for a “Urgent and thorough assessment of the psychological state” of all nursing home staff.