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Evening Update 20 Mar

Unemployment - New rules are to be introduced to crack down on unemployment fraud. Under the planned rules, benefits would be suspended for a month, if a person refuses two reasonable job offers, and after that, would have to accept any employment offering a salary higher than their benefits. The government says the reforms are necessary to rein in the €33 billion that unemployment benefits cost a year. At the moment, jobless benefits can pay 80% of a persons salary, up to a maximum €6,000 a month.

Monaco - The government in Monaco has signed an agreement with home care providers, which places certain guarantees on the quality of care for elderly people. The Minister for Health said the move will further raise the quality of care available for older people in the principality.

Sarkozy - Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was arrested this morning as part of an investigation into possible Libyan financing of his Presidential campaign. Prosecutors, specialising in corruption, believe that suitcases, each one of them stuffed with up to €2 million euro in cash, were used to fund the 2007 campaign, which saw Sarkozy become the 23rd President of the Republic.

Hotel - Two men, who broke into several rooms at the Adagio Aparthotel on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, under full view of security cameras, have received up to two years in prison for burglary. The men pleaded guilty as their lawyer described their crime as more ‘Laurel and Hardy’ than ‘Bonnie and Clyde’.

Ski - The ski-resort of Isola 2000 has announced the lineup for its season closing Ice DJ Festival over Easter, saying the line-up of French artists is like Ibiza on Snow. Meanwhile, nearby resort Auron is bracing itself, for the arrival of over a hundred yachties, who are going from sea to ski, with the Riviera Yacht Support ‘Snow Bonanza’ which will be held this Friday.  

BUSINESS

Shares in Facebook dropped another 2.5% in early trading today, after losing $37bn in value yesterday. The social network is embroiled in a scandal on both sides of the Atlantic, about privacy violations. The company is under scrutiny from the American Federal Trade Commission, while today, UK MP’s have made a formal request for Mark Zuckerberg to personally explain how data on 50 million users was harvested without their knowledge.

Harvey Weinstein's former company has filed for bankruptcy, in a move to facilitate a buy-out offer from a private equity firm. The film and TV studio also said it was releasing any victims of Mr Weinstein's alleged misconduct, from non-disclosure deals, allowing them to speak out.

US retail giants including Walmart, Target and Costco have asked President Trump to reconsider imposing more tariffs against China, saying they could hurt American families. The US is considering tariffs worth up to $60bn on imported Chinese consumer products, telecommunications and technology.

SPORT

Football - France coach Didier Deschamps says Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba can't be happy being out of favour at Old Trafford, where he was an unused substitute for United against Brighton on Saturday. Pogba rejoined United in 2016 for £89m and is confirmed for the France squad in friendlies with Colombia and Russia in the next week.

Liverpool supporters have been warned they face prosecution if they use pyrotechnics to greet the Manchester City bus ahead of the upcoming Champions League quarter-final at Anfield. City travel to face the Reds in the first leg on April 4, and a widely-shared post on social media has urged Liverpool fans to bring "flares, flags, banners, bangers, pints and pyro" two hours ahead of kick-off.

Formula 1 - Mercedes have warned bosses not to provoke Ferrari in what promises to be difficult negotiations over the sport's future. The Ferrari president has threatened to quit Formula 1 if negotiations on the amount of money teams receive, new engine formulas and attempts to introduce cost limitations, cannot be agreed. This Sunday, the 2018 Formula 1 season kicks off in  Melbourne, with the Monaco Grand Prix on May 27th, and the French Grand Prix returning to Le Castellet on June 24th.

Rugby - Ireland Grand Slam winners Rory Best and Rob Kearney have signed contract extensions to the end of the 2019 World Cup in Japan. Ulster hooker Best and Leinster full-back Kearney, are the only two Ireland players to feature in both the 2009 and 2018 Grand Slams.

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