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Evening Update Thurs 08 June 2017

Memorial - In Nice, a temporary memorial to the victims of the July 14th attack, to replace the one at the bandstand, has opened today at Villa Masséna, near the Negresco Hotel. The memorial consists of a fountain, surrounded by white roses, and the names of the 86 victims. A permanent memorial is expected to be officially opened on the Promenade, by President Macron, during official ceremonies on July 14th.

Migrants - The Administrative Court is today considering the validity of migrant retention areas created at the border with Italy. Associations supporting migrants say the facilities are not governed by anything, meaning that migrants processed there could be removed from France as illegals. So far this year, almost 16,000 people have been processed in this way. Last March, the court condemned the Alpes-Maritimes Prefect for serious breach of the right to asylum.

Mosque - The Saudi Sheikh who owned the mosque at En-Nour in Nice, has bequeathed the building to the local community. The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has had a long time issue with the foreign ownership of the mosque, but todays gifting means the mosque is now owned and operated by local people.

Cannes - As Midem wraps up today in Cannes, the town is already getting ready for the next big event in June. It’s a global advertising conference which starts next weekend and will feature visits from American singer Demi Lovato, actress Helen Mirren, and movie director Ron Howard among many others.

Ocean - Today is World Ocean Day with many activities taking place along the coast including a beach and water cleanup at Cap d’Ail and Corsica Ferries trialling a new sensor, which will help the boats avoid collisions with schools of dolphins.

BUSINESS

The European Central Bank has increased its forecast for economic growth in the Eurozone but kept interest rates at their current level. In figures released today, the ECB is expecting the 19 countries that use the euro, to see growth of 2.3% this year, nearly double the rate of the US, which is on course to grow by 1.2%.

Qatar's credit rating has been lowered by S&P Global, from AA to AA minus, which puts the nation on negative watch. The downgrade came as Qatar's currency fell to an 11-year low and its stock market tumbled in the wake of its diplomatic crisis in the area.

SPORT

At the French Open, it’s ladies semi-final day as Ostapenko shoots to become first unseeded player to reach the final since 1983. She’s up against Switzerlands Bacsinszky who wants to reach her first ever Grand Slam final.  After that game, we’ll have the second semi-final of the day, between Halep and second seed Plis.kova. Meanwhile Andy Murray says he will try and find a way to ‘get the win’ when he takes on Stan Wawrinka in the men’s semi-finals tomorrow. The match is an exact repeat of last year's semi-final, where Murray beat Wawrinka before going on to lose in the final. The match is due to start around lunchtime tomorrow followed by the other semi-final between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem.

Rugby - This years European Champions Cup winners Saracens have been drawn in the same group as the runners-up Clermont for next season's competition. The London club retained their title with a 28-17 win over the French side at Murrayfield last month. The two teams are joined in Pool 2 by Northampton Saints and Ospreys.

Football - England have beaten Italy to reach the final of the Under-20 World Cup for the first time ever. It’s also the first time an English male team has reached any World Cup final, since the senior side in 1966. The Under 20s Final, against Venezuela, will be played on Sunday in South Korea with kick off at mid-day French time.