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Evening Update 14 Dec

Parking - On-street parking in Nice is to be free, this and next weekend, in the run up to Christmas. The announcement was made today by Christian Estrosi, who also said that beginning in January, the first 30 minutes of street parking will be free, before parking charges start to apply. Both moves are to encourage more shoppers to the city.

Social - The French Government has announced plans, to prevent under-16’s from registering on social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, without their parents' permission. The measure is part of a bill to protect the personal data of Internet users. The government also announced that mobile phones are to be banned in French schools by September of next year.

Lemon - In Menton, the organisers of the annual Lemon Festiva,l are starting a new database of citrus trees in Castellar, , Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and Menton. They’re calling on all owners of trees in the area to register, as part of a five year plan to increase production from the current 40 tonnes a year, to 650 tonnes.

Roads - In Cannes, the Boulevard du Midi remains closed today after damage caused by Mondays bad weather. Although many of the regions roads and ski resorts have reopened, a number of black spots remain, which also include the Promenade Reine Astrid in Menton, and a number of roads in the mountains, were motorists are warned to be vigilant for landslides.

BUSINESS

The European Central Bank has kept its interest rate at zero and made no change to its economic stimulus programme. However, the bank's asset purchase programme will drop from €60bn, to €30bn a month in January, as announced in October.

Walt Disney has agreed to buy 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets for a total $52.4bn. The deal includes Fox's stake in the UK’s Sky television and the 20th Century Fox film studio. Rupert Murdoch, will still retain control of News Corp, which owns the Times and the Sun newspapers.

Austrian airline Niki has suspended operations with immediate effect, after filing for insolvency protection. The airline, originally founded by Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda, was sold to Air Berlin in 2011. The airline has about 20 planes serving resorts in North Africa and Southern Europe, including Nice.

SPORT

Formula 1 are looking into whether the sport should continue to use ‘grid girls’. F1 Managing Director, Ross Brawn, said the use of female promotional models, is a delicate topic, which is under strong review.

Alternatives, such as male models and children acting as mascots, have been tried in the past, but Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said they were both criticised. He conceded that grid girls do add glamour to the sport, but added that we live in a modern society, and we have to be open to everything.

Rugby - Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson has been appointed forwards coach at Wasps for the 2018/2019 season. Nottingham Rugby head coach Ian Costello is also joining Wasps during pre-season to complement the coaching talent already in place.

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