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Evening Update Thur 03 Aug 2017

A8 - Road deaths in the Cote d’Azur have increased by 50% this year, with a third of deaths involving a motorbike or scooter. Two women from Antibes, killed in a scooter accident near St-Laurent-du-Var last night, have brought the death-toll this year to 38, with the main cause of accidents being excessive speed.

Heatwave - The Var is the most affected by weather today as the Orange Heatwave Alert continues. Temperatures inland hit 40.5d at Puget Theniers today, the hottest since records began in 1947. Meteó France has extended the heatwave alert until Sunday, with daytime temperatures exceeding 30 degrees in most areas.

Ambassador - A food and wine lover is the new US Ambassador to France. California business woman Jamie McCourt is described on her company website as an entrepreneur, real estate developer and lover of food and wine. Her former husband, Frank McCourt, is the owner of OM Marseilles football club.

Tourism - France has retained its title as the most visited country on earth. Recent terror attacks have seen a small 2% drop in visitors, but statistics today from the UN’s World Tourisms Organisation show France well ahead in the top spot with 82 million visitors, compared to 75.61 for the USA, just narrowly ahead of Spain in third place with 75.56. China and Italy were fourth and fifth.

BUSINESS

Australia's Commonwealth Bank has been accused of over 50,000 breaches of anti ‘money-laundering’ laws. The accusations relate to the bank's intelligent deposit machines, which facilitate anonymous cash deposits of up to twenty thousand dollars, because the cardholder's details are not known to the bank, unless they are a customer. The machines instantly credit the deposit to a nominated account, making funds available for immediate transfer. It’s believed the anonymous nature of the system was used by criminal syndicates to launder money.

South African Airways is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and may soon be unable to pay salaries. They say  matters may improve by October, but only if it gets a £45m bailout from the South African government.

SPORT

Football - Neymar's €222m transfer from Barcelona is in turmoil this afternoon, after Spain's Football League refused to accept the massive cheque releasing him from his contract with Barcelona. The French League are now getting involved, saying they cannot understand why La Ligua are acting this way.

In refusing the payment, the Spanish are accusing Paris St-Germain of breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, which say a club cannot spend more than €30m over what it earns. Although Paris St-Germain’s  owners from Qatar, can afford the massive sums involved, they could still be in breach of the overspending rule. Senior football officials across Europe are concerned about the inflationary effect this transfer fee will have on football, while others feel Barcelona are getting a taste of their own aggressive buying tactics. Meanwhile, Neymar is still expected in Paris this evening, much to the delight of the French Finance Minister!

OGC Nice are into the Champions League playoffs, after a two all draw at Ajax Amsterdam last night. The result puts them through on the ‘away goals rule’. Celtic also made it through to the playoffs with a 1-0 win at Rosenborg.

Tennis - Britain's Kyle Edmund is out of the Citi Open in Washington after a 7-5 4-6 6-3  three-set defeat by Bulgarian fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov in round two.

Boxing - Former heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko has retired from boxing, ruling out a rematch with the current champion, Britain's Anthony Joshua. Joshua had hoped Wladimir would sign a rematch clause for a proposed fight in Las Vegas in November.

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