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Evening Update 28 May

Court - The Jeweller from Nice case, got under way at the Alpes Maritimes Assize Court today. 72 year-old Stephan Turk is accused of murdering a 19 year-old who held him at gunpoint, beat him and stole over 100,000 euro worth of goods from his jewellery store.

At court today, Monsieur Turk testified about moving to France from Beiruit and becoming a French citizen, and was described as a well-integrated worker who did not hesitate to alert the police, if he believed he had been passed stolen jewels.

The trial will continue for the remainder of the week, after which a jury will have to decide if Monsieur Turk acted in self-defence when he shot the youth who robbed his store.

Smoking - More people smoke in the PACA region that anywhere else in France. New figures show 32.1% of people here smoke, over 5% higher than the national average of 26.9%. The figures also show the governments fight against smoking does appear to be working, where after a recent €1 rise in the price of cigarettes, sales initially fell back 20%. The national average of smokers has also dropped 1.5% from 29.4% in 2016.

Strike - The future direction of the train strike could be decided tomorrow when Senators discuss the reforms proposed by President Macron. SNCF are concerned that if the Senate supports the reforms, rail workers could extend the strike past the end of June and into the summer. Train workers are on strike again today and tomorrow, cancelling about half of local services and a third of TGV trains.

Tourist - The Lonely Planet guide has included Provence in its Top 10 Most Beautiful Destinations in Europe, describing the sweetness of life here and an invite to hedonism. Founded in Australia in the seventies, the Lonely Planet is now published in eight languages worldwide.

BUSINESS

The European Union is proposing a ban on single-use plastics including straws, cutlery, and drink stirrers. They also want all plastic bottles to be collected for recycling by 2025. The plan will need to be approved by all 28 member states and the European Parliament before it can be passed.

Nice Cote d’Azur Airport has placed a call for tenders to expand and improve Terminal 1. They’re seeking an extension of the boarding area and the addition of new telescopic bridges. It’s hoped the works will be approved and completed by April 2021.

SPORT

Tennis - The French Open is underway and Novak Djokovic has comfortably made the second round with a straight set win over Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva. The former world number one, seeded 20th at Roland Garros,hasn’t won a Grand Slam title since his victory in Paris two years ago.

Niçoise Alizé Cornet is through to the second round after beating Italian Sara Errani 2-6 6-2 6-3 and tThe UK’s Cameron Norrie has said he played the "best tennis of his life" when he reached the second round. Norrie will next play Frenchman Lucas Pouille.

Football - Despite a stunning performance for Real Madrid in Saturdays Champions League Final, Gareth Bale’s future in Spain remains uncertain. Bale has consistently complained that he is not allowed play enough at Madrid however escaping his contract which runs to 2022 is problematic due to the super high transfer fees.

Formula 1 - Daniel Ricciardo moved up to third place in the drivers’ championship after winning the Monaco Grand Prix for the first time yesterday. Today, all talk is on where Daniel might go next, when his contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the year. Lewis Hamilton says it’s unlikely he’ll join the Mercedes team and as he is the lead driver at the moment for Red Bull, he figures Ricciardo will stay.

Over the weekend, one of the many VIP visitors to Monaco for the Grand Prix was the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi who met teams and drivers ahead of the French Grand Prix on June 24th. After ten years  absence in France, Estrosi said he was enthusiastic to be organising the race at the newly redesigned circuit at Paul Ricard.

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