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Evening Update 27 Mar

Gas - National Front co-founder Jean-Marie Le Pen has lost his appeal against a €30,000 fine, for saying that Second World War gas chambers were a ‘detail of history’. He made the comments to a journalist in 2015, during an interview where he was asked, did he regret making similar comments about gas chambers in 1987, which led to him being expelled from the National Front Party.

Drugs - Customs at Nice Cote d’Azur airport have seized nearly 10 kilos of heroin. Two people are in police custody while an investigation gets underway.

School - The compulsory age for starting school has been lowered from six to three years of age. The measure, which comes into effect from September next year, aims to recognize pupils attending nursery school, as almost all children in France attend nursery from the age of three.

Fire - Police are investigating a case of four cars which caught fire in the middle of the night at Mouans-Sartoux. It’s unknown if it was an accident, or if one car was set on fire as an insurance scam.

BUSINESS

Shares in Casino Guichard Perrachon, jumped 4% this morning, on news their Monoprix supermarket brand, has entered into a commercial relationship with Amazon to make grocery deliveries around Paris. The move is a first for France, which lags behind the UK and USA for online grocery sales.

The world's second-biggest clothing chain, H&M, has posted a 61% profit fall. The company says lower sales, in more stores, has led to it carrying more unsold stock than last year, and that would mean increased markdowns. However they are taking the long-term view, that the company will navigate through this and get back to healthy growth. H&M shares fell 5% in early trading, their lowest level since 2008.

SPORT

Tennis - Rafael Nadal could return from a hip injury next week after being named in Spain's Davis Cup squad. Nadal has not played competitively since pulling out of his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic in January. He had planned to play in last month's Acapulco Open before withdrawing, and then pulled out of the ATP Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami.

Formula 1 - Ross Brawn, the managing director of motorsports, has admitted the season-opening Australian Grand Prix missed a vital ingredient, with little or no overtaking. In Sundays race, there were just five on-track overtakes, and one of his main aims will be to include more in the sport. He said Formula 1 fans want to see a better show, and overtaking is the most exciting and spectacular element you can have, on track.

Sailing - Organisers of the Volvo Ocean Race have confirmed the British sailor who fell overboard, is presumed to have been lost at sea. John Fisher, sailing on the Scallywag, was on watch when he went overboard in strong winds. A search mission was carried out by team-mates but they were unable to find him.

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