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Evening Update 08 May

Royal Visit - VE Day was commemorated in Nice this morning, with a ceremony at the war memorial near the port, attended by the mayor Christian Estrosi, vice-president of the Department Eric Ciotti and the prefect of Alpes-Maritimes Georges-Francois Leclerc.

Meanwhile Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, continued their visit to France today by commemorating VE DAY at a wreath laying ceremony in Lyon.

Last night in Nice the Prince gave a speech, with sections in fluent French, saying that through two world wars, and more recent terror attacks in Nice, Paris, London and Manchester, both countries and people have stood together in defiance of hate and in determined support of shared values.

The Prince also noted the affection Queen Victoria held for the Cote d’Azur, quoting one of her last diary entries in which she wrote “I grieve to leave. I shall not enjoy returning to the sunless north." 

Rail - Already sparse train services, were disrupted today when striking railway workers descended on the station at St Augustine to protest government reforms and set off smoke bombs. The CGT union have said none of their drivers were involved. Just 40% of trains are running today, as drivers remain on strike until 8am on Thursday morning.

Hail - The weather continues to be unpredictable across the region today with a shower of hailstones hitting Grasse at lunchtime today. Thunderstorms continue to be forecast for the mountains with sunshine on the coast.

BUSINESS

Oil prices are high today, in anticipation of a decision from US President Donald Trump on the Iran nuclear deal. The past week has seen a dramatic uptick in crude futures, driven by expectations the world's largest economy could soon pull out of the agreement. Mr Trump will make his announcement at 8 this evening French time.

Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical has struck a deal to buy Irish drugmaker Shire for 52 billion euro. The agreement ends a takeover battle that had seen Takeda make five offers since late March. If the deal is backed by shareholders, it will be the largest overseas takeover by a Japanese company to date.

Walmart is expected to announce it is buying a majority stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart, despite reports that rival Amazon tried to disrupt the transaction. The US grocery giant has agreed the purchase of 75% of Flipkart for about $15bn.

SPORT

Football - France and Arsenal defender Laurent Kos.ciel.ny will be out for six months after surgery on a ruptured Achilles tendon, according to Gunners manager Arsene Wenger. Koscielny, was carried off 12 minutes into Arsenal's Europa League semi-final defeat by Atletico Madrid last Thursday. France manager Didier Deschamps has already confirmed the centre-back will miss the World Cup.

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez will also miss the World Cup after undergoing ankle surgery for an injury he picked up during England's friendly against the Netherlands in March. Gomez will also miss Liverpools Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Rugby - Cory Hill and Ellis Jenkins will co-captain Wales on their summer tour which kicks off with a game against South Africa, to be played in Washington on June 2nd, before two Tests against Argentina. Meanwhile, Scotland have announced Stuart McInally will captain their team for the June Tests with Canada, United States and Argentina, with six new uncapped players in the squad.

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