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Evening Update Thur 20 July 2017

Fire - Three days after the biggest forest fire in 14 years, firefighters remain on the scene at Castagniers, as smaller fires continue to break out sporadically. Today the Fire Service revealed 40% of fires are caused by cigarette butts. Currently a fine of €135 can be levied on anyone throwing a cigarette butt from a car driving through a forest area or actually smoking in a forest itself. If that action is known to have caused a fire, the fine goes up to €45,000 with a three year prison sentence.

Celine Dion - One of the years biggest concerts takes place tonight at Allianz Riviera stadium when Celine Dion takes to the stage at 9.15pm. Attendees are requested to use public transport where possible, with the No.95 bus running every 5 minutes from 6.45 to 8pm this evening, and regular train departures from Gare de Nice in Liberation. Access to the stadium is through doors B and J only, so people are advised to arrive early to clear security measures.

Airline - After securing a deal with pilots, Air France has revealed the name of its new lower-cost airline which will be called ‘Joon’. The airline, aimed at 18-35 year-olds, whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology, will compete with budget airlines like Easyjet and long-haul airlines from the Gulf. Services to start next year will be announced in September.

BUSINESS

The European Central Bank has insisted there is still a long way to go before it can call a halt to its economic stimulus programme and speculation that the bank might wind the programme down soon. The bank is still buying 60bn euros of bonds a month as part of its quantitative easing (QE) programme and this afternoon announced it’s keeping its key interest rate at zero.

The United States and China have wrapped up contentious trade talks without reaching any agreement. In addition, they have not issued a joint statement and cancelled scheduled press conferences. The US did say, it was critical of China's trade surplus, and demanded fairer trade arrangements, with President Trump indicating tariffs on Chinese steel were still a possibility.

SPORT

Tour de France - Britain's Chris Froome took a big step towards winning a Tour de France in a row by retaining the yellow jersey today, while French rider Warren Barguil won the stage and will finish the race as King of the Mountains. Froome finished the stage in fourth, just behind Romain Bardet, who is 23 seconds adrift of the Team Sky rider in second place overall.

Football - AS Monaco have accused some of Europe's top clubs of making illegal approaches for teenage striker Kylian Mbappe. The 18-year-old has been linked with some big-money summer moves to a number of Premier League sides in the UK, as well as other leading clubs across Europe. Monaco said it may ask world governing body Fifa and the French League to consider disciplinary action.

Rugby - Worcester Warriors have signed veteran scrum-half Peter Stringer on a six-month deal before the 2017-18 season. Stringer, who’s 39 years old, joins the Warriors as cover for Francois Hougaard, who is on international duty with South Africa. The former Ireland international player left Sale Sharks at the end of last season after two years with the club.

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