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Evening Update 22 Mar

Court - The Assize Court has brought justice to a paedophile who has been on the run for twenty years. In the early nineties Lionel Dousset used his position with an association in Menton, who helped adolescents in distress, to abuse victims during trips out to sea. After his activities were discovered, he fled the south of France to a new life in Belgium, and in his absence, was sentenced to twenty years in prison. Justice caught up with him and today, and at aged 73, he will being to serve his 20 year sentence.

Strike - Up to 5,000 workers demonstrated at Place Masséna in Nice this morning, as protestors across France, joined rail workers to demonstrate against President Macron's string of reforms.

Rail services have been hit hard today, with just two-in-five trains running between Les Arcs or Grasse and Ventimellia. Long distance intercity and TGV services are also curtailed, while the majority of Air France flights to Paris, and some British Airways flights from Nice to London have been cancelled.

More air transport strikes are expected tomorrow Friday, while employees of Carrefour are expected to strike on the Saturday before Easter. After the Easter break, the strikes will continue with rolling two day train strikes right through to June.

Passports - Blue passports, to be issued in Britain after they leave the EU, are to be manufactured in France. A French-Dutch company Gemalto, won the contract today, beating a UK supplier who said they found it disappointing that this icon of British identity, is to be made in France.

BUSINESS

The Bank of England has made no changes to its interest rate this month. However, in a departure from the unanimous vote at the last meeting, two members of the banks committee did recommend an increase to 0.75%. Analysists say the vote sets the stage for a likely increase in interest rates in May.

The US is expected to announce further sanctions against China later today, saying the Chinese encourage the theft and transfer of intellectual property from US businesses. The White House says the actions come after years of talks that have failed to produce change.

SPORT

Football - Manchester United striker Ibrahimovic is set for a rapid departure from the club in the coming days. Although there has been no official announcement, it’s understood Jose Mourinho has agreed to release Ibrahimovic from his present deal, for a potential move to US soccer outfit LA Galaxy.

Ryan Giggs started his reign as Wales manager in spectacular style, with Gareth Bale scoring a hat-trick in a 6-0 thrashing of China, to make him Wales’s highest ever goal-scorer. Giggs' men move on to the final of the friendly China Cup, against the winner of the tomorrows other semi-final between Uruguay and the Czech Republic.

Rugby - Lock Dom Barrow has left Leicester Tigers to move to French side Stade Rochelais on a short-term deal, after which he will join Premiership club Northampton Saints next season. He is moving to France as injury cover.

Tennis - Serena Williams has been knocked out, in the first round of the Miami Open, by Japan’s Naomi Osaka. Williams who is unseeded, after taking 13 months off to have her first child, was beaten 6-3 6-2.

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