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Evening Update 26 Mar

Murder - Eight people are to face trial for the murder of Monaco’s 77 year-old billionaire Hélène Pastor, who was shot after visiting her son at hospital in Nice in 2014. After a four year investigation, involving 3.5 million phone calls, prosecutors feel they have enough evidence to convict the eight, including Madame Pastor’s son-in-law, who is charged with placing a contract on her life. The case will take four weeks to be heard in detail. It was announced today the trial will begin on September 17th at the Assize Court in Aix-en-Provence.

Tribute - President Marcon is to lead a tribute, and give an eulogy, to the policeman who was killed during the supermarket hostage crisis near Carcassonne last Friday. The funeral will take place on Wednesday.

Strike - Air France staff have announced more strike action, on top of stoppages due this Friday. The extra two days of strikes will happen just after Easter, on Tuesday April 3rd, with a second day of protest on Saturday 7th.

Suicide - There has been another suicide at the prison in Nice, after guards discovered the body of an inmate hanging in his cell. It’s the third suicide in four weeks. The dead man was also the brother of another man who committed suicide last month.

Boat - Monaco based Silver Sea Cruises has announced they are extending the length of their Silver Spirit cruise ship, by cutting it in half and adding at pre-fabricated 15 metre section. The work, is being carried out in Italy, and believed to be first of its kind on a cruise ship.

BUSINESS

For the first time in ten years France has recorded a public deficit of under 3%. Not only did figures from INSEE today show a deficit of 2.6%, but that three percentage points lower than expected.

Uber is selling its South East Asia business to regional rival Grab. Although the move marks another retreat from international operations for Uber, the company will keep will take a 27.5% stake in the Singapore-based company and Uber's CEO will also join Grab's board of directors.

JD Sports has announced it is to acquire one of America’s biggest sports and clothing retailers The Finish Line for $558m. It’s the biggest purchase for the company, which was founded as John David Sports in the UK in 1981.

SPORT

Football - Wales have lost the China Cup this afternoon, after one nil defeat by Uruguay. This was just the second edition of the China Cup, a new international football tournament, and this year seen as a precursor to the World Cup in Russia. Meanwhile Stoke City’s Jack Butland will start in goal for England in tomorrow nights friendly against Italy. He will replace Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, as Gareth Southgate considers his options ahead of the World Cup.

A former AS Cannes player is to face charges of involvement in cocaine trafficking. Adama Soumaré was arrested as part of police swoop, where investigators seized near €30,000 worth of cocaine, some of it at the former players home. Soumaré played for Cannes shortly before retiring from football in 2013.

Rugby - An eight-point plan has been announced in the UK to make the game safer, after an annual injury audit found a rise in the number, and severity, of injuries in the professional game. For a sixth straight season, concussion is the most reported match injury, with an increase in training ground injuries and injuries picked up on artificial surfaces.

Tennis - Roger Federer has lost his world number one spot after a shock defeat at the Miami Open, to world number 175 Thanasi Kokkinakis. He will be replaced at the top by Raphael Nadal. Federer has also announced that he is to miss the clay court season, including the French Open later this year.

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