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Evening Update Weds 26 July

Fires - Hot weather and high winds continue to fan flames across the Cote d’Azur this afternoon with another  large fire under way right now at le Croix Valmer. at At Bormes-les-Mimosas, six hundred fire fighters are still battling the enormous blaze which has destroyed up to 1,500 hectares, and led to 12,000 people being evacuated from the area last night. Firefighters say they have the fires contained but not controlled.

President of the PACA region Renaud Muselier has said some of the recent fires could have been started deliberately, and that the Préfecture will do everything possible to find the perpetrators. He also called on the government to take action on supplying new Canadair water bombers, despite the fact the company require a minimum order of 25 aircraft, worth one billion euro. In response, France’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is to visit the area this evening, for a first-hand experience of the destruction.

Meanwhile, winds continue to be a problem this afternoon, not only along the Var, but also at sea. The Mediterranean Maritime Préfecture has issued a warning about conditions to boat owners saying strong winds off the coast, gusting at up to 100 km/h, have seen a number of rescues take place over the past 48 hours. Coupled with a large swell, the advice for people with small sailing or motor yachts, is to avoid putting to sea until the end of the week.

Shooting - 24 hours after a shooting in Valauris which put a gangland father and son in hospital, police have arrested four people in connection with the incident. All four are relatives of the victims. The father, who suffered gunshot wounds to the head, is critical in hospital.

Migrants - The Deputy Mayor of Nice, joined by Italian authorities, has called on Europe to take action on the growing migration crisis affecting the area. Marine Brenier, described the situation as an unstable and a migratory wave that will continue to increase over the years, particularly with climate change. She said the French government, and Europe as a whole, must accept their responsibilities, in the face of the increasing number of migrants travelling from Italy, through the Alpes-Maritimes, to Paris and on to the UK.

Priest - The one year anniversary of the 85-year-old priest, killed by terrorists last July, has been marked by a special mass in Normandy, attended by President Macron. Fr Jacques Hamel has been described as a martyr by many, including Pope Francis, who has agreed to ‘fast-track’ the French priests path to sainthood.

BUSINESS

Volkswagen and Daimler are to hold emergency meetings, after they were accused of breaching EU cartel rules. The car firms have declined to comment on allegations that they, and other German car giants including Audi, BMW and Porsche, colluded to fix the price of diesel emission treatment systems. The issue is under investigation by EU and German anti-trust regulators, and if they’re found guilty of infringing EU rules, are liable to pay fines of up to 10% of their global revenue.

Italy's largest bank Unicredit has revealed data on loan accounts belonging to 400,000 customers of has been put at risk by two security breaches in September and October last year. They said personal data and account numbers could have been stolen, but passwords had not been compromised, so the hackers could not have carried out unauthorised transactions. It’s the biggest cyber-incident of its kind reported by an Italian bank to date.

Nestle is to open its first factory in Japan in more than 25 years, to meet demand for exotic flavours of Kit Kat. While traditionally Kit Kat’s are made using milk chocolate, dozens of different flavours are proving popular in Asia, including wasabi and green tea, which have helped sales grow by 50% since 2010.

SPORT

Football - Tight security is in place for tonight’s sold out Champions League clash between OGC Nice and Ajax Amsterdam. Nice go into the game as favourites to win and have a real shot at making the play-offs. Although Ajax Amsterdam are the European League runners-up, they are still hurting from a big loss against Manchester United and enter this season with a new coach. It’s a key match for both sides and kick-off at the Stade Allianz Riviera is at 8.45.

AS Monaco have confirmed they are in talks with Kylian Mbappé to extend his contract with the principality club. 18 year-old Mbappé has been strongly linked with a €180m move to Real Madrid. Earlier this month, AS Monaco accused some of Europe's top clubs, of making illegal approaches to their teenage striker, and may make an official complaint to FIFA.

Tennis - Novak Djokovic has announced will not play tennis again this year due to an elbow injury. When he retired during his recent Wimbledon quarter-final match, he said it was due to the elbow problem he’d had for over a year-and-a-half. Djokovic said he would spend the remainder of the year building up his fitness and strength, as well as working on areas of his game he felt needed improving.

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