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Evening Update 30 Mar

Body - Police are investigating a badly decomposed body, found on the shoreline at St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat this morning. Initial investigations suggest it’s the remains of an Italian businesswoman from Bordighera who went missing last week. An autopsy is to be performed in the coming days.

En Greve - The Easter Weekend has kicked off with the traditional arrival in France of ‘strike season’. 

At Air France, striking pilots and cabin crew have caused the cancellation of over half of all the airlines flights from Nice Cote d’Azur airport today. At the courts, lawyers, magistrates and legal staff stopped work, to stage a demonstration of their own this morning, outside the court-houses at Grasse and Nice. Tomorrow, staff at Carrefour supermarkets across the country, are also are due to go on strike.

Next week, train drivers begin their three month campaign of rolling stoppages, with a curtailment of rail services on Tuesday and Wednesday. In addition, Air France action will continue with disruptions to flights next Tuesday and Saturday.

Show - A controversial French comedian is attempting to put on a show in Nice, despite having been banned at least twice.  The comedian, Dieudonné, is known for lacing his political humour with anti-Semitic statements and incitement to hatred. Last summer, on the exact one-year anniversary of the Nice attacks,  he attempted to put on a show at a venue just metres from the promenade. That show was banned and the Mayor of Nice has vowed to stop this latest attempt to perform also.

BUSINESS

Bitcoin is on track for its worst quarter ever. The price of the crypto-currency has fallen from $13,400 on January 1st to $7,200 today, marking a 45% decline. Bitcoin saw a huge run up in price in 2017, hitting a record high above $19,000 towards the end of last year.

British engineering giant, GKN, lost its battle to stay independent, when it was sold to a controversial investment firm for 8.1 billion pounds. GKN, which has a hand in making everything from Minis to Spitfires, was sold to Melrose Industries, which specialises in turning round troubled manufacturing businesses, and selling them on.

The Chinese equivalent of Netflix has had a rocky start to its stock market floatation on the NASDAQ. Shares opened slightly ahead of the $18 listing price, but fell back, closing 14% down. However, the firm did raise more than $2.2bn in the listing.

SPORT

Tennis - French Open winner Jelena Osta.penko is to face US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the final of the Miami Open. The game takes place at 7pm French time tomorrow evening.

Rugby - Owen Farrell has recovered from injury. to start at fly-half for Saracens, in their Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster on Sunday. Farrell had been struggling with a quad problem, but has been declared fit to play at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Sixteen teams from thirteen countries are to participate in the St Devote Tournament at the Stade Louis II in Monaco tomorrow. The event is organised by the Monegasque Rugby Federation in collaboration with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. The day will include an Under 12 category tournament, the St Devote Challenge, and Tots Rugby, an introduction to the sport for children of three to five.

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