'Matt O'Damon': Actor adopted by Irish village during lockdown


IN THE PAPERS - Friday, May 15: Papers in South Africa headline on massive lines for food aid, with lockdown measures making it difficult for some communities to access food. After French drug company Sanofi seems to promise the United States preferential vaccine access, one editorialist for Le Monde writes that the French government's anger is "morally understandable, but a bit hypocritical". We also look at the love affair between American actor Matt Damon and the Irish village where he's on lockdown. Plus, a survey finds that 8 percent of French women bid adieu to bras during lockdown.


For the second time in just two weeks, South Africa saw massive lines of people waiting for food aid outside of the capital Pretoria. Images of those crowds are on many of the country's front pages. Most of them are immigrants from neighbouring countries living in informal camps. The Citizen writes that people started gathering the night before, and social distancing was not practiced.

Meanwhile, Beeld reports that many people at the back of the line went home empty-handed. According to the UN, in a recent survey across African countries that are under lockdown, 85 percent of people said it's forced them to either skip meals or eat less.

Here in France, the government has been up in arms after French drug company Sanofi seemed to suggest that if they find a Covid-19 vaccine they would give preferential treatment to the United States. The economic editorialist for Le Monde writes that the government's anger is understandable but hypocritical because France, too, has been showing nationalism in this crisis. He writes: "You enjoyed the international fight over face masks? Well you're going to love the one over vaccines."

There is at least one positive story of international bonding in the press today: a lockdown-induced love affair between the US actor Matt Damon… and the Republic of Ireland. The actor was there filming a movie when he and his family had to go into lockdown in the town of Dalkey. Damon has called it a "fairytale" experience and has gone native, shopping at his local SuperValu supermarket and calling in to the local radio station. The Guardian reports that he's in turn been adopted by the country and earned himself a new nickname: "Matt O'Damon".

And finally, for women who haven't bothered to put on a bra while working from home, you’re not alone. A survey in France found that 8 percent of women have stopped wearing bras during the lockdown. French street paper 20 Minutes has dedicated its front page to this, saying women are "letting loose". It remains to be seen whether this new-found freedom will continue beyond the lockdown period.

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