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Evening Update 13 Dec

The Perfecture of the Alpes-Maritimes has decided to ban fireworks in the run up to New Years. Two orders, issued today, are designed to prevent any disturbance of public order. They mean that the sale of fireworks will be prohibited on December 23, 24, 25, 30 and 31st, and also on January 1st and 2nd. The same goes for the use of fireworks on public roads on the same dates. The prefecture has said the prohibitions apply to all the municipalities of the Alpes-Maritimes department.

The National Front party has been officially charged with giving party members suspected fake jobs, as assistants at the European Parliament. The charge was confirmed by the party treasurer, who said they were delivered by French prosecutors on November 30th, were a follow-on from the initial charges made against party leader Marine Le Pen in June.

The cost of Christmas lights in Nice has been condemned by some members of the city council. Figures released show Nice spends €200,000 more on Christmas lights than Paris. Defending the seasonal decorations, the Deputy Mayor said the difference is because, unlike Paris, local traders do not contribute to the lighting budget. He also pointed out that the electricity bill for the lights has been halved this year, due to the use of LED lights.

The Red Cross in Antibes has launched an appeal for blankets and duvets for the homeless, due to the recent severe weather conditions. Donations can be made at the Red Cross in Antibes.

BUSINESS

Toshiba has settled a legal dispute with partner Western Digital that could have prevented the $18bn sale of its prized memory chip unit. Both firms agreed to withdraw all claims against each other which ensures all parties are aligned on the sale, to a consortium led by Bain Capital. Toshiba is selling the chip business to cover heavy losses at its US nuclear unit but US partner Western Digital had threatened to block the sale.

Walt Disney is close to confirming a deal to buy 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets for about $60bn. The sale will include the 20th Century Fox film studio, and the Sky and Star satellite broadcasters in the UK, Europe and Asia. Disney was left as the front runner in the sale after the owner of NBC, Comcast, dropped out of the race on Monday.

SPORT

Cycling - Chris Froome is facing questions after returning an adverse drugs test at the Vuelta a Espana. The Team Sky rider had double the allowed level of a legal asthma drug in his urine. Cycling's governing body, the UCI, wants more details from the team, but says Froome is not suspended.

Football - The Football Association of Wales has begun disciplinary action against its own chief executive for saying the next Wales manager could be foreign but definitely not English. A three-person panel has been set up to investigate an interview, in which Ford said Wales has always favoured Welsh people because the passion is there.

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