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Evening Update Fri 21 July

Dion - There have been numerous complaints about transport following the Celine Dion concert in Nice last night. As 32,000 fans left the Allianz Riviera stadium, cars were stuck in car-parks for up to an hour, while huge queue’s for busses almost led to scuffles as people tried to get home. The concert itself was a huge success with Celine making a special tribute to victims of last years Nice attack, by wearing an ‘Angels of the Prom’ t-shirt, while all 86 names formed a large heart on giant screens.

Smoke - French tobacconists are protesting the government’s plan to jack up prices from seven to ten euro a packet. They say the increase will hurt them and do nothing to actually reduce smoking. In several cities, they have been protesting by covering traffic speed cameras with black plastic bags.

Traffic - The A8 motorway is facing another weekend of heavy traffic with the Bison Fute saying, tomorrow Saturday will be the busiest day, then on Sunday the Cote d’Azur will be the only region in France on Red Status. Next weekend is traditionally one of the worst weekends of the year, as returning July holidaymakers crossover with those arriving for the August holidays.

Drivers are also reminded that the Iron Man competition takes place in Nice this weekend and the entire promenade will be closed to traffic on Sunday.

BUSINESS

Sterling has tumbled to an eight-month low against the euro, meaning British holidaymakers to France will have less money to spend. The pound is at its lowest level against the Euro since last November. The Euro has strengthened against Sterling and the Dollar again today, after the ECB announced it will consider changes to its two trillion euro stimulus programme in the autumn.

For the first time China has agreed to allow imports of rice from the United States. The agreement will give US farmers access to the world's biggest rice consumer, and follows trade talks between the two countries, that resulted in little progress on other issues.

SPORT

Tour de France - Boasson Hagen has won todays 19th stage of the tour, his first win this year with Chris Froome coming in with the peloton over 12 mintues behind. Froome retains his yellow jersey and takes a 23-second lead over Romain Bardet into tomorrow's time trial in Marseille. Barring a major upset, we expect him to build on that, and just stay upright into Paris to win his fourth Tour title on Sunday.

Athletics - Usain Bolt is under pressure to run the one hundred metres in under ten seconds in Monaco tonight at the Herculis Diamond League event. The Olympic Champion has had a few setbacks this year, including recent treatment for a back problem, and the ten second mark has alluded him so far this year. At a press conference in Monaco yesterday Bolt said he’s ready to race and is expecting to win ! ‘The moment you doubt, there’s no point showing up’ he said. The action gets underway at 7.30 at Stade Louis II and Bolt will be competing at around 9.30.

Football - Radamel Falcao is being credited as the reason Kylian Mbappé is staying with AS Monaco, despite huge offers from Arsenal and Real Madrid. It’s believed 18-year old Mbappé sees Falcao as his friend and mentor, and for that reason he’s staying in the Principality. Both men are considered to be among the top 10 strikers in European football and are credited with being decisive factors in Monaco winning the French League.

Tennis - The Romanian Capatain, Ilie Nastase, has been banned by the International Tennis Federation for offensive behaviour. He caused international outrage in April over comments he made during a press conference about the colour of Serena Williams unborn child. Nastase will be banned from holding any ITF official roles until 2021.

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