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Evening Update Mon 17 July

Fire - Another massive fire is blazing out of control on the Cote d’Azur this afternoon. Right now, 180 firefighters and four aerial water bombers are tackling a massive blaze at the town of Castagniers. So far, they have been unable to contain the blaze and an evacuation of residents has begun. Earlier today, rail services were affected for a time today by a fire at an apartment near Riquier station in Nice. The fire, destroyed the apartment and led to a partial collapse of the roof. Almost 30 firefighters brought the blaze under control and no-one is believed to have been injured.

Robbery - A tourist visiting Villefranche-sur-Mer has had their luxury watch, worth €50,000, stolen. The man, who is holidaying at the Negresco Hotel in Nice, was waiting for a car-park barrier to open, when a thief reached in through the open window, and ripped the watch off the mans hand. Police are searching for the robber who fled the scene.

Macron - The Chief of the French Armed Forces is in a public spat with President Macron after an announcement that cuts in funding will include the military. The French Armed Forces chief is on record as saying he won’t let Macron “f*** him like that”. Macron responded saying it was not dignified to hold certain debates in the public arena and reminded the military that he was their boss. Today, the military chief has hinted he may resign in protest.

Forest Fires - Authorities believe a cigarette butt many have started the massive forest fire in Bouches-du-Rhone. Hundreds fire-fighters and six Canadair water bombing planes battled the fire over the weekend which closed the high-speed TGV line for a time and led to some residents being evacuated. Cigarette butts which cause fires, even accidentally, are punishable by a three year prison sentence and a fine of up to 45,000 euros.

BUSINESS

China's economy grew at an annual rate of 6.9% between April and June this year according to official figures released today. China, who are trying to rein in debt, and a housing bubble, have brought in tough measures on the property sector and lenders, leading analysts to think China's economy would slow as the policies kicked in. However, the latest data is well above Beijing's 6.5% growth target for 2017.

In the UK, the proportion of foreign landlords owning property has fallen to a new low. Countrywide, the country's largest letting agent, said just 5% of British homes now have overseas owners, down from 12% in 2010. The fall is most evident in London, where the proportion of overseas landlords has fallen from 26% to 11%.

SPORT

Football - Monaco’s striker Radamel Falcao has paid €8.2 million to tax authorities in Spain as a precaution while Spanish authorities investigate alleged tax evasion. They’re accusing Falcao of avoiding €7.4 million in taxes on image rights by using several shell companies in the British Virgin Islands, Ireland, Colombia and Panama. The accusation relates to Falcao’s time at Atletico Madrid between 2011 and 2013, after which he became a resident of Monaco.

OGC Nice have announced their Champions League game again Ajax Amsterdam at the end of the month has already sold out. It took just over 36 hours to sell 30,000 for one of the most anticipated games of the season on July 26th.

Athletics - IAAF council member Frankie Fredericks has been provisionally suspended from athletics pending an investigation into a potential ethics violation. Last March, French newspaper Le Monde claimed the former sprinter received a payment days before voting on the 2016 Olympics host city, a charge Fredericks denies.

Tour de France - Today is a rest day on the tour as the cyclists recover from yesterdays Stage 15. The stage was won by Bauke Mollema, as overall race leader Chris Froome, recovered from a puncture to retain the yellow jersey. Today French rider Romain Bardet has asked his French fans to show his Tour de France rival Chris Froome more respect. He made the comments after Froome suffered some jeers and insults along the route yesterday.  Tomorrow, the riders enter the final week of the race and tackle Stage 18 between Le Puy-en-Velay and Romans-sur-Isere

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