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Evening Update 15 August

Pizza - The driver who rammed his car into a pizzeria east of Paris last night, killing a 12 year-old girl and injuring 13 others, had consumed large quantities of medication, after initially attempting to commit suicide. The incident, is the latest in a series in France, where vehicles are used as weapons.

University - The University of Nice/Sophia-Antipolis is among the top 500 in the world, according to the latest international rankings. Universities are rated by criteria such as the number of Nobel prize winners they’ve produced, with America’s Harvard, and the UK’s Cambridge coming out on top.

Macron - President Macron has filed a complaint against a paparazzi photographer, for ‘invasion of privacy’, as he and his wife Brigitte take a holiday at a private residence in Marseilles. Last year, while still Finance Minister, Monsieur Macron invited Paris Match on his holiday to Biarritz, which led to a famous photo of the couple walking on the beach, exchanging a friendly glance, with a passing nudist.

Fireworks - The winner of this year’s International Fireworks Competition in Monaco has been announced, and the champion is Austria, who performed on August 12th. Australia came second, with the USA third. Fireworks continue across the south of France tonight, for the August 15th holiday, with displays at 9.30pm in St-Martin-du-Var, 10pm in Cannes, Theoule-sur-mer, Menton & St-Martin Vésubie, and at 10.30 in  Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

BUSINESS

The UK government today published two innovative and untested approaches to customs checks as part of their Brexit negotiations. The first, a partnership arrangement, would see UK duties and taxes align precisely with the EU, removing any need for customs checks, and keeping the UK free to impose their own taxes on non-EU imports. The second approach is a highly streamlined arrangement using digital technology to check make border checks more efficient. A third arrangement, and one the UK are trying to avoid, is a standalone system which would involve charging customs duty and VAT on imports from the EU.

Air Berlin, Germany's second-largest airline, has filed for insolvency, after its main shareholder Etihad declared it would not be providing further financial support. The airline, which has accumulated debt for almost a decade, reported a record loss of 782 million euro last year. Flights will continue, thanks to a transitional loan of 150m euro, from the German government. In the meantime, Air Berlin’s main rival Lufthansa are understood to be in talks to buy the airline.

SPORT

Golf - A toxicology report has shown Tiger Woods, had five different drugs in his system, when he was arrested on suspicion of ‘driving under the influence’ in May. The urine test revealed a mixture of strong painkillers, sleep & anxiety drugs, and THC - a chemical component of marijuana. The former world number one golfer, has pleaded not guilty to the DUI charge, and sought professional help since his arrest.

Football - Chelsea forward Diego Costa is refusing to leave his native Brazil and return to training with the London club. At the centre of the row, is a dispute with Chelsea’s training coach, who refused to play Costa at a match against Leicester, and also a €30m offer on the table for the player, from a Chinese football club. Yesterday, Costa asked ‘why won’t Chelsea let him go if they don’t want him’? If he continues to refuse to return to training, the club say they will take legal action.  

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