Evening Update Wednesday 28 February 2024

France's Senate is set to vote on a bill to anchor abortion rights in to the constitution. An election promise initiated by President Macron, the bill aims to amend Article 34 which ensures a woman's freedom to abort. The move counters the US Supreme Court's overturning of Wade vs Roe two years ago. 

A man has been formally charged in court with the murder of this partner at their apartment in Cagnes-sur-mer on Monday morning. The man in his forties with a history of domestic violence, denies the charge. Police say they attended the address on Sunday night after complaints from neighbours. However, with no evidence of injuries and no request from the woman for help they left. Just six hours later, the woman was found dead. The man will be detained in custody until a trial.

Carrefour has become the second major supermarket in France to launch a ‘surprise trolly’ where customers can buy €150 worth of goods for just €50.  The catch is that you don’t know what’s in the trolley before you buy it. The trolleys do not include any food products but rather small household appliances, linen, DIY items or toys. The offer will roll out to the Cote d’Azur after an initial trial in Paris, Lyon and Toulouse.

The Paris prosecutor's office has launched an investigation after a USB key with Olympic traffic plans was stolen. The device, lost by a city engineer at Gare du Nord reportedly did not contain sensitive security information. The city maintains it is ready for the Olympics this summer, and that it is experienced in managing large events despite recent challenges and security breaches.

In Nice, authorities have closed a bookshop for three months after several infractions of the law, including the use of an unauthorized video surveillance system and stocking books which were deemed fundamentalist and promoting violence against homosexuals and women. The closure of the store on Rue Marceau, near Nice Ville train station is effective today.

A reminder that tomorrow is a leap day with an extra day added to the end of February. The concept of an extra day every fourth calendar year goes back 2,000 years when Julias Ceasar introduced the 365 day Julian calendar. Traditions have grown up around the day where once every four years a woman could propose to a man. If he were to reject, the man would have to gift the lady several pairs of gloves to hide the lack of engagement ring! Famous people born on February 29th include motivational speaker Tony Robbins who ‘officially’ turns 16 tomorrow. 


BUSINESS NEWS

Shares in the Casino Group dipped 15% after the supermarket giant announced a net loss of 5.74 billion euro for 2023. The company aims to reduce its debt and improve profitability through asset disposals and cost-cutting measures.

Bitcoin is heading for all-time record highs. The cryptocurrency is soaring after an influx of institutional investors through new ETF’s which have made the asset class more accessible. The other news driving the price rise, is a so-called ‘halving’, when the number of new coins which can be created will be halved. The reduction in supply is driving demand. Bitcoin is just €2,000 behind its all-time high which was set in November 2021. 

Royal Bank of Canada Has beaten analysts' estimates for quarterly profit as higher interest rates helped the bank earn more on its interest-bearing assets. RBC's quarterly earnings come a day after Bank of Montreal and Bank of Nova Scotia both announced bad loan allowances and warned of muted growth until the Canadian central bank begins rate cuts.

Markets
€1 will buy you;            STG    £ 0.85
US     $ 1.08
£1 will buy you;            EUR    € 1.16

Bitcoin is hedging between €55k and €56k a coin
Forex Gold Index     is at    $ 2,025
Brent Crude Oil on market    $ 82.80

SPORT

Winter Sports: Monaco's bobsleigh athlete Boris Vain, alongside brakeman Antoine Riou, secured a seventh-place finish at the World Championships in Winterberg, Germany. Their performance ranks as the third-best for Monaco in the event's history. The team are now setting their sights on the upcoming World Championships in Lake Placid.

Formula 1: A new grandstand is to make its debut at the Monaco Grand Prix this May. The floating stand, with luxury facilities, will be moored at the chicane near the Monaco Yacht Club and will hold up to 400 guests. Three days tickets are in the region of €5,000.

Football: Former Manchester United defender John O'Shea has been appointed interim head coach of the Republic of Ireland. The 42-year-old, who won 118 caps for the Republic, was an assistant coach under previous manager Stephen Kenny, before he left the role in November after Ireland failed to qualify for Euro 2024.

Tennis: Andy Murray has been knocked out of the Dubai Championships with convincing 6-2 6-4 defeat to Frenchman Ugo Humbert. Murray has said he expects this summer to be his last competitive season, which he hopes to end by competing at one more Olympic Games before he retires. The three-time Grand Slam champion, ranks his Olympic gold medal from 2012, when he defeated Roger Federer, as the top achievement in his career.  He also won gold in Rio 
n 2016.


WEATHER

A calm night ahead with lows of 13d on the coast, 7d inland. Tomorrow, we should see a return to more normal weather, with some warm sunshine and afternoon temperatures of 18d.
For the end of the week, some showers could return on Friday and stay over the weekend, with light winds and highs of 15 degrees. Sunset’s this evening at 6.16 and rises tomorrow morning at 7.09
 

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