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Evening Update 20 Aug

Bridge - The Voie Mathis in Nice has come under focus, following the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa.  Speculation has centred on the viaduct, which has been under close surveillance since cracks appeared in the eighties. Other bridges under investigation in France include; a 20-year-old motorway bridge near Calais and a motorway bridge in northern Paris, that has been closed since last May, after a viaduct subsided.

The French Transport Minister, Élisabeth Borne, insists there is no danger, but added that the  government will spend €1 billion more than planned, on the nation’s roads in the next five years.

Despite the speculation, France’s motorway network ranks very highly. In an annual survey by the World Economic Forum, it’s rated second best in Europe, after the Netherlands, and sixth best worldwide. Germany is 16th worldwide and Britain 26th.

Shopping - Sunday shopping could become an even more regular occurrence, as 20 MP’s are pushing the government to go further, in loosening Sunday work laws. They want proposals included in the Labour and Business Reform Bill which also aims to grow the number of small-to-medium-sized companies, by loosening strangulating labour laws.

Speed - Marseilles and the Bouche du Rhone have become the latest area to introduce speed limits to battle increasing pollution caused by the summer heat. Like in the Var, speed on motorways will be reduced to 90km/h and 70km/h on all other roads.

Drowning - In just three years, the number of deaths from drowning has doubled across France. This summer, along the PACA region alone, where were 373 drowning just in June and July.

BUSINESS

PepsiCo have announced they are to buy Sodastream for $3.2bn. The Israel-based Sodastream, makes a machine with refillable cylinders, which allows users to make their own carbonated drinks.

JP Morgan have said Tesla shares will fall dramatically for the rest of this year, because CEO Elon Musk's plan to go private, is becoming more tenuous. The statement caused shares in the electric car company to dip under $300, before showing a slight recovery.

Greece has successfully completed a three-year Eurozone emergency loan programme to tackle its debt crisis. It was part of the biggest bailout in global financial history, totalling some €289bn. Although deeply unpopular cuts to public spending are set to continue, for the first time in eight years, Greece will be able to borrow at market rates.

SPORT

Football - AS Monaco held Lille to a nil all draw in their first home game of the new season on Saturday night. The best chance of a goal was when Monaco were given a penalty after 69 minutes, but captain Radamel Falcao’s shot was blocked by the Lille goalkeeper.

It wasn’t a great weekend for OGC either, who drew one all with Caen.

Two games into the new season and Paris St Germain top the league, with AS Monaco in 6th and Nice in 14th.

Rugby - England and Sale winger Chris Ashton is facing a ban after punching Castres'Rory Kockott” in a pre-season friendly. Ashton and Kockott were both sent off by the referee after the incident early in the second half of Sale's 20-17 win on Friday. The red card came in Ashton’s second game for the Sharks, having joined from Toulon in the summer.

Tennis - Novak Djokovic has become the first player to win all nine “Masters 1000” tournaments, with victory over Roger Federer in Cincinnati yesterday. The Serb beat seven-time champion Federer 6-4 6-4. He now looks to take his form to the US Open which starts on next Monday August 27th.

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