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Evening Update 22 Aug

Fire - There were distressing scenes in Nice St Roche last night when, during an apartment blaze, a woman trapped on her balcony was seen catching fire and crying desperately for help. Young people watching, tried to help firefighters by pulling hoses, but were criticized today by the fire service, who said their actions only hampered the work of the professional emergency crews. The 61 year-old woman on the balcony, lost her life, and was the only victim of the fire.

The same fate almost fell on a number of people at lunchtime today, when a violent apartment fire on Rue Contesso in the St Sylvestre area of the city, saw several people also take refuge on a balcony. However, this time firefighters were able to rescue all concerned.

Speed - The lowering of the 90km/h speed limit to 80km/h has led to a dramatic increase in vandalism against speed cameras. Over 400 cameras have been damaged or destroyed since the start of the year, a four-fold increase on the same period last year. Damage ranges from placing bin bags over offending machines, to spray painting their lenses. Authorities say they intend to install more cameras, this time CCTV ones, to protect the speed cameras.

Storms - As the hot weather continues today, with another yellow heat alert in operation, storms have hit the Var & St Tropez bringing high winds, heavy rain and thunderous lightning. The prefecture said over 50mm of rain fell in less than an hour around noon today, leading them to close access to the Gorges du Verdon.

The recent weather is also expected to bring ozone pollution to the Riviera tomorrow with speed reductions expected on the A8 and major roads.

BUSINESS

The American S&P 500 share index, which tracks the biggest public companies in America, is set to break a new record today, when it goes 3,453 days without a fall of 20% or more. That will make it the longest rally ever in US history. Over the last nine years, the index has risen 325% lifted by companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.

Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi have reported second-quarter earnings that beat expectations amid pressure on its share price and questions over its long-term business model. Today is the first time Xiaomi has released results as a public company, with the results sending shares 4% higher on the Hong Kong market.

SPORT

Football - The soap opera surrounding Mario Ballotelli’s transfer to Olympic Marseilles continues, despite the Italian saying yesterday that he had ‘decided’ to stay with OGC Nice. Today, the President of Olympic Marseilles has been giving his side of the story, saying he was told the player would move for €5m but OGC Nice were looking for €10m. He said at that price, Marseille simply decided to move on.

Spanish La Liga players are to meet to discuss concerns, over a decision to stage a game in the United States, after a deal was struck between the league and US media company Relevent. The Spanish players' union say players feel marginalized in decision-making.

Tennis - British number one Kyle Edmund is through to the last 16 of the Winston-Salem Open after a 6-3 6-3 straight-set win over Argentina's Leonardo Mayer. The 23-year-old, who has been named in the European Laver Cup team, did not face a single break point, and won 93% of points on his first serve.

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