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Evening Update 24 Aug 2017

Football Violence - Six OGC Nice supporters have appeared in court, charged with causing a disturbance outside the hotel of the Napoli football team, hoping to disrupt their sleep before the crucial Champions League game earlier this week. It’s alleged the six were using megaphones and setting off fireworks at 2.30am, which set a field beside the hotel on fire. In court three of the defendants were given four month suspended sentences. As for the Napoli team, their sleep was undisturbed and they won the match two nil.

Road Rage - Police are investigating a particularly violent episode of road rage on Boulevard Gambetta in Nice, where a motorcyclist, who gave a truck driver the finger, was chased, knocked off his bike, and beaten. Shocked witnesses described the incident as incredibly violent. After the fight, both men left the scene before police arrived, but subsequently filed complaints leading to the investigation.

France - The French government have today doubled the fines for anyone guilty of racial defamation, including those made in a private Facebook or Whatsapp group. Businesses, whose directors or employees are found to have made discriminatory statements, will now face potential fines of up to €7,500 for a one-off incident, and for repeat offences, that rises to a possible €15,000.

Swimming - Beaches in Menton have been forced to ban swimming in the sea, due to a sewage spill in the area. Veolia are working on the problem with the Regional Health Authority.

Alcohol - Consumption of alcohol in France is on the decline. A new survey of 17,000 adults shows the average household buys 70 litres of alcohol a year, down 10 litres on a decade ago. The survey also shows the number of daily drinkers have fallen below nine percent, and make up predominantly of men over sixty years of age.

BUSINESS

Despite a turbulent year that included allegations of sexual harassment, an overthrown CEO, and a major lawsuit, business is good for ride share firm Uber. Despite the chaos, the company's revenues are increasing, its losses are narrowing, and global bookings are up 150% year-on-year. In the three months to June, Uber posted revenue of $1.75bn, with losses dropping by 9%.

In the UK, net migration has fallen to its lowest level in three years, after an increase in the number of EU nationals leaving the UK since the Brexit vote. Although the Immigration Minister welcomed the drop, business groups are voicing concern that vital skilled workers are abandoning the UK.

SPORT

Football - AS Monaco’s Killian Mbappé has been named in the French national squad for two World Cup Qualifiers; the first against the Netherlands at Stade de France in Paris next Thursday, and a second game against Luxembourg to be played in Toulouse.

Mbappé has been under some pressure in Monaco, amid  rumours of a transfer to Paris St Germain. Hard core club fans have been hitting Twitter voicing their disgust at the amounts of money involved. Mbappé is also believed to have been sidelined from the recent game with Metz after some bad behaviour against a teammate last week.

AS Monaco and Paris St Germain are close to finding out who they face next in the Champions League as the group stage draw takes place in Monaco later this evening. Six UK premiership clubs are also in the pot for the next stage of the competition.

Tennis - Yet another high profile player has pulled out of the US Open with Milos Raonic withdrawing due to a wrist injury. He joins a growing list of missing A listers including Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori and Victoria Azarenka who have all dropped out of the Open which starts on Monday.

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