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Evening Update 29 Aug

Environment - Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has been defending the government’s environmental record, after the French Environment Minister resigned during a live radio interview yesterday. The government has won recognition from campaigners for a landmark legal ban on fossil fuel production by 2040 and by scrapping a proposed new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, in western France, on environmental grounds. France has had 13 environment ministers in the last 20 years, with the first one joking that a better job title would be "minister of the impossible".

Traffic - With the end of the holiday season, Bison Futé have reminded drivers that traffic will become much heavier from this Friday. With holiday makers returning north, and schools re-opening from Monday, traffic on the Riviera will quickly return to more normal levels.

Salt - A group of French MP’s are planning to introduce a new salt tax next year. They say France’s salt intake is 60% higher than the recommended intake and the new tax should encourage manufacturers to decrease the amount they include in their products.

Heat - Meteó France have confirmed the summer of 2018 was the second hottest summer ever in France, the hottest being 15 years ago in 2003. This year, even outside the heatwave from July 24th to August 8th, temperatures across the Riviera were consistently two or three degrees above normal.

BUSINESS

Aston Martin says it may float on the London stock market, completing a turnaround that has seen the company boost sales and profits. The listing would be the first by a UK carmaker for years, following the sale of Jaguar, Bentley and Rolls-Royce to foreign owners. Currently Aston Martin’s main shareholders are an Italian investment fund and Kuwaiti investors.
Analysts say the firm could be worth up to five billion pounds sterling.

Facebook has begun to launch its Watch video service worldwide, allowing users to enjoy more video content, and content creators to feature ad breaks, with a 55/45 revenue split in favour of Facebook. Watch is often portrayed as a rival to YouTube but a study published last week suggests it’s only had niche appeal in its first year in the United States where 50% of Facebook users surveyed had never heard of it.

SPORT

Tennis
Good and bad news for French players at the US Open, where Caroline Garcia defeated one of the world’s best players, Britian’s Johanna Konta in straight sets.  However, Niçoise Alizé Cornet, was knocked out after a tough 4-6 6-3 6-2 match against Sweden’s Johanna Larsson. Alizé also received a warning from the referee for changing her top on court. This is forbidden in the US where women must go back to the locker room to change clothes.

Many players, male and female, have been complaining of the heat at this year’s competition, which has regularly been hitting 38d topped with humidity levels of 50%. French player Julien Benneteau said matches in the middle of the day should not be played in those conditions.

Former world number one Novak Djokovic and his Hungarian opponent Fuc.sovics were forced to take a break during their game, during which the Serb said, both players ended up in ice baths next to each other. When they returned Djokovic asked for a sick bucket to be put next to his chair in the second set.

The US Tennis Association are to make a decision whether to implement heat rules for a second time later today.

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