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Riviera and French News Monday 27th February 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Fake Pay - A Nice counsellor, Gael Nofri, has revealed that when he was employed by Marine Le Pen, he was asked to sign a contract saying he was actually working for the European Parliament. He refused and has since left the National Front over, what he called, a generalized system of corruption. Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen and Francois Fillon have been told to expect no pause in legal investigations ahead of the presidential elections in April. Both deny the charges of misusing public money to pay fake parliamentary aides, and both say the investigations are politically-motivated attacks.

Murder - Police in Monaco have arrested a man in connection with the murder of a chef at the Pul.cin.ella restaurant on Friday. The 30 year old from Menton died of stab wounds. The arrested man was a co-worker at the restaurant in Larvotto.

Suicide - The body of a 63 year old woman was found dead this morning at the crossroads in Lant.osque village. The woman, a local resident, may have fallen several metres from a road overlooking the area but it’s not clear if it was an accident or suicide.

Paraglider - A fifty year old paraglider from Menton has died on the beach at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. It happened yesterday afternoon when she crash-landed on the beach due to strong winds.

BUSINESS

A 29 billion euro deal to merge the London Stock Exchange and the Deutsche Boerse could collapse. The deal would have created a giant trading powerhouse to compete with American Rivals. However, the European Commission, who need to approve the merger, had ordered the London Stock Exchange to sell its 60% stake in MTS, but the LSE cannot agree to the percentage required.

Europe’s approach to Brexit should be pragmatic as any risks to financial services are ‘two-way’. That’s according an executive board member of Germany’s Bundesbank who believes London will remain a most important financial centre, and made it clear that Germany saw Britain as an ally, particularly when it came to maintaining global regulatory standards.

SPORT

Football - It’s looking likely that Leicester’s assistant manager, Craig Shakespeare, will take over Claudio Ranieri’s management role permanently. It’s believed that if tonight’s game with Liverpool goes well, he will be asked to manage the team until the end of the season. Leicester were last years Premiere League winners but go into tonight’s match in the relegation zone.

Tennis - Andy Murray is expected to return to action at the Dubai Tennis Championships this week. The world number one hasn’t played since a bout of shingles led to him losing out in the Australian Open last month.

UPDATE 07:00

Paraglider Dies - A fifty year old paraglider from Menton has died after crash landing on the beach of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. The incident happened on Sunday afternoon when the woman ran into trouble landing due to strong winds. Fire services at the scene were unable to save the victim who reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest.

Arrests - Two men who had been arrested on suspicion of planning an “imminent” terror attack in France have been charged. The suspects, one 19 year old and the other a 27 year old were arrested last Tuesday in Marseille and Clermont Ferrand. Both men were known to the intelligence services. Authorities are still investigating the exact nature of their plans. France remains on high alert after a wave of attacks that began two years ago, claiming more than 200 lives.

Nice Terror Attack - A victim of the Nice terror attack has contested the amount of compensation. Many victims have already received definitive proposals from The Guarantee Fund for Victims of Terrorism. After the attack, nearly 2,500 claims were sent to the guarantee fund and a thousand people have already received compensation. However, one of them believes the compensation is insufficient. According to reports the lawyer who had requested 330,000 euros in compensation was offered ten times less.

National

French Presidential - France's Presidential frontrunners Francois Fillon and far-right leader Marine Le Pen can expect no pause in legal investigations targeting them ahead of elections in April, according to the justice minister. Both are accused of misusing public money by using fake parliamentary aides, while Le Pen faces a separate investigation into the funding of election campaigns in 2014 and 2015.They deny wrong-doing and have sought to portray the investigations as politically-motivated attacks which should be delayed or abandoned altogether.

Francois Hollande – French President François Hollande has hit back at Donald Trump with a dig about gun control a day after the US president attacked France’s immigration policies and Paris. Hollande who was speaking at the annual agricultural fair in Paris on Saturday said "I don't want to make a comparison, but there are no weapons circulating here, there are no people who take weapons to shoot into a crowd. It is never good to show the slightest mistrust towards a friendly country. That is not what you do towards an ally and I ask the American president not to do that to France." Hollande added that he had recently spoken to Trump on the telephone, and that the US president had then expressed his "love" for Paris and for France.

Business

The London Stock Exchange has warned that its 29 billion euro merger with Deutsche Boerse could collapse as its unlikely to be approved by the European Commission. The Commission has ordered the LSE to sell its 60 percent stake in the fixed-income trading platform MTS but the LSE says that the request is “disproportionate” and that the sale would harm its ongoing business. The two rival exchanges announced plans for a “merger of equals” last year ,aiming to create a giant trading powerhouse that would be better able to compete against US rivals. However,the LSE says that based on the Commission’s current position,it believes  that its unlikely that clearance will be given for the merger.

A senior German banking official has said that Brexit should not be used as an excuse to punish the City of London. Dr Andreas Dombret,who’s an executive board member at the German central bank the Bundesbank,said that the approach to the UK’s exit from the European Union should be “pragmatic”. He said that although some jobs would be lost,London would remain the “most important financial centre”in Europe. Dr Dombret added that he didn’t want to see either the EU or the UK engaged in a “regulatory rush to the bottom” to try and gain a competitive advantage.

And-The US billionaire Warren Buffett has backed American businesses to continue to create “mind-boggling” wealth. The Sage of Omaha said that US stocks were “almost certain to be worth far more in the five years ahead”. In his annual letter to shareholders,Mr Buffett avoided mentioning President Trump although he did say that “a tide of talented and ambitious immigrants” had helped the US to prosper. He’d supported Hillary Clinton’s bid to become US President  and did not address Mr Trump’s policies.

Sport

Rugby Union-England laboured to a 36-15 victory over a stubborn Italy side and scooped a bonus point in the process to top the 6 Nations Championship after three rounds but the victory left a sour taste in the mouth of coach Eddie Jones. Jones was unhappy about Italy’s tactic of not engaging at the breakdown and afterwards said that his side had “not been allowed to play proper rugby”. The England pack were widely confused in the first half as the Italians stood off after the initial tackle and refused to engage in the ruck which nullified the offside line and led to scrappy and dysfunctional play. England got their act together in the second half and outfoxed Italy by offloading along the line. The Italy coach Connor O’Shea defended his tactics and said that his side weren’t there to “make up the numbers”. England top the table with 13 points from Ireland on 10 and Scotland on 9. There’s no action next weekend but the next matches see Wales play Ireland a week on Friday and England against Scotland and Italy against France a week on Saturday.

Football-Jose Mourinho has become the first Manchester United manager to win a trophy in his first season as his side beat Southampton 3-2 in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice for United in a pulsating game which could have gone either way. Spurs are up to second in the English Premier League following a 4-0 win over Stoke at White Hart Lane. There was 1 game in the English Championship on Sunday.Norwich and Ipswich drew 1-1 in the East Anglian derby. There’s 1 game in the English Premier League tonight.Leicester City play Liverpool.

Formula 1-Red Bull have unveiled their 2017 car which many think will be the closest challenger to Mercedes in the new season. The RB13 was unveiled on social media and strongly resembles last year’s car. The new machine has many of the design cues seen on other new cars and has a hole in the nose tip-the purpose of which is yet unclear. The new season starts in Melbourne on March the 26th.

Cricket-Australia have thrashed India in the first Test in Pune. The tourists won by a massive 333 runs to end India’s 19 match unbeaten Test run and take a 1-0 lead in the 4 match series.

Golf-Rickie Fowler has won the Honda Classic in Florida to end a 13 month drought. The world number 18 finished on 12 under par to win  by 4 shots from Morgan Hoffman and Gary Woodland.

Weather

Quite cloudy with some bright spells and light south easterly winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 9 degrees inland with rain spreading across the region.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Overcast with showers to start tomorrow,brightening later.Mainly fine on Wednesday with highs of 14-16 degrees.

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