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Evening Update 21 May

Train - Police have dropped all charges against the man arrested, at Marseille St Charles train station on Saturday, in connection with a suspicious package. However the man remains in police custody as he is now wanted in connection with an attempted homicide in Bulgaria. The court in Aix-en-Provence will decide on extradition tomorrow.

Students - One of the students protesting reforms at Nice University, has threatened to bring charges of violence against the University’s President. During a confrontation, when students staged an occupation on the campus, the University President is alleged to have told a student leader, that if he sees him on campus alone, he’s dead.

Rail - The majority of French people consider the on-going train strikes as ‘unjustified’, as support for the striker’s slips back to 42%. Rail workers are protesting against President Emmanuel Macron’s reforms, aimed at making the SNCF more competitive. The lower house of parliament has already given the reforms the green light, with the Senate to vote on them, later this month. The next two days of train strikes take place on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Rain - The Riviera’s reputation for 300 days sunshine a year could be slipping, as Meteó France revealed today that we’ve had more rain so far this year, that we had in all of 2017. It’s the worst spring for spring for rain in at least five years.

BUSINESS

The UK has been accused of turning a blind eye to Russia's ‘dirty money’, putting national security at risk. The accusation was made in a Sunday newspaper by the chairman of the foreign affairs committee who are about to publish a report named Moscow's Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK. The report says that despite the attempted murders of Mr Skripal and his daughter, business between the UK and Russia had resumed so swiftly, it prompted the Russian embassy in London to tweet: "Business as usual?",

Ryanair has reported record annual profits, with after-tax results up 10% to €1.45bn, despite the wave of bad publicity surrounding it’s cancellation of thousands of flights in September due to problems with pilot rotas. However, Ryanair warned higher costs would make the year ahead more difficult and that some airlines will not survive the winter due to elevated oil prices.

Britain says it does not intend to refer US media conglomerate Comcast's 22 billion pound takeover of Sky television to the competition authority. Culture Secretary says he's reviewed the relevant evidence and the proposed merger doesn't raise concerns on public interest grounds.

SPORTS

Formula 1 - Teams have started to gather in Monaco for next Sunday’s Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton, is looking to extend his 17 point lead at the top of the driver’s championship, however it’s expected to be a tough weekend for Mercedes, as the tight track does not suit their car, and last year they came in way back in 7th place.  It is looking good for Ferrari who are playing catch up after difficult Grand Prix in Spain. Red Bull are also being tipped for a good performance on a circuit where they normally shine. First practice for Sunday’s race is at 10am this Thursday.

Tennis - Rafael Nadal is once again the World No.1 after after beating Alexander Zverev in the final of the Italian Open, winning 6-1 1-6 6-3. He replaces Roger Federer at the top of the ATP rankings, just in time for the opening of the French Open this weekend.

Cycling - Britain’s Simon Yates grabbed his third Giro d’Italia stage victory yesterday, to strengthen his grip on the overall lead. The 25 year old leads by 2 minutes and 11 seconds, heading into stage 16 tomorrow.

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