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Evening Update 06 Sep

Tourism - Initial figures from the regional tourism board, show the Cote d’Azur’s tourist business, grew once more this summer. The growth has come from foreign visits, with American visitors up by 20%, UK visits by 13% and Middle Eastern countries by 35%.

Hotel occupancy across the summer was reported at 80% or higher, with the most popular period being in August, when 700,000 tourists were on the Cote d’Azur for the August 15th holiday alone.

Bus - A former school bus driver has been fined for asking his passengers to take a breathalyser test on his behalf. All French coaches are fitted with devices, which prevent the vehicle from starting, until the driver's breath has been tested for alcohol. During the journey, the children had to ask the driver to slow down, with one child using GPS on their phone to show he was travelling at over 100km/h. The driver was suspended from his job and later resigned.

Climate - Prince Albert has called for better internet connectivity in areas around the Arctic Circle. He said 5G and the Internet of Things would lead to better collection and sharing of data amongst scientists. The Prince was speaking at the U Arctic Conference in Finland attended by over 200 institutions concerned with global warming.

IKEA - Furniture giant IKEA are coming to Nice, with confirmation a new outlet is to be built near the Allianz Riviera. Work on the 540,000 square metre  superstore will commence next month and should open before Christmas 2020.

BUSINESS

Taxify, the Estonian rival to Uber, is rolling out a new electric scooter service in Paris. The company say 20% of taxi rides are less than 3km, which is a perfect distance to cover, on an electric scooter. They will charge 15 cent a minute after an initial one euro flat fee.

Bitcoin and digital currencies have continued to tumble in value after Goldman Sachs said they’re shelving plans to set up a cryptocurrency trading desk. The regulatory environment is key to the success of crypo-currencies and the fact Goldman Sachs remain concerned is a blow.

SPORT

Football - The stadium at Cap d’Ail is to be officially renamed Stade Didier Deschamps after the French coach who took up residence in the town 17 years ago. Deschamps is one, of only three people in the world, to have won the World Cup as both a player and a coach.

The UEFA Nations League gets underway tonight with France against Germany in Group A1, while Norway face Cyprus, and Slovenia play Bulgaria in Group C3. Wales will play the Republic of Ireland in Group B4.

Tennis - Novak Djokovic has reached the US Open semi-finals, with victory over the man who beat Roger Federer, Australia’s John Millman.  The Serb, twice champion at Flushing Meadows, has now won all 11 of his quarter-final matches in New York. Tomorrow, he’ll play Japan's Kei Nishikori for a place in the final.

Tonight Serena Williams, the only major winner left in the draw, plays Anastasija Sevastova in the Women’s Semi-Finals. If she progresses and wins a seventh US Open title, it would equal Margaret Court's Grand Slam haul. However, Williams has lost her last two semi-finals in New York.

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