Evening Update Monday 21 February

Strong winds have been causing damage and closures across the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var this afternoon. Gusts exceeding 100 km/hour have been recorded at Grasse and Menton. In Nice, five cars were seriously damaged when a tree fell on the Leclerc service station on Avenue Auguste-Vérola. The city has also closed all parks, including the Phoenix Park and the Promenade du Paillon, while in Antibes the coastal path around Cap d’Antibes has been closed also. The Yellow Weather Alert, put in place by Meteo France, remains in place until 6am tomorrow morning.  

The National Rally candidate for the presidential election Marine le Pen has appealed to mayors across the country to sponsor her, to run for the highest office in France. In her appeal, she asked how is it possible that she is missing the required number of sponsorships when she won more than 11 million votes in the second round of the last presidential election. Madame le Pen, who many view as the main opposition to Emmanuel Macron, has 366 of the 500 sponsorships required to run for president.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard has explained why he gave his sponsorship to far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon. He said his candidate of choice Valerie Pécresse has already qualified, and he felt a presidential run without opposing candidates like Jean Luc Mélenchon, Marine Le Pen or Eric Zemmour, would be a serious blow to democracy. Therefore it was out of civic concern and a democratic requirement that his sponsorship went to Mélenchon.

A former notary has been sentenced to one year in prison along with a fine of €30,000 euros for having endangered the life and health of his tenants in Marseilles, by not carrying out the prescribed work on a building. In addition, the court has confiscated the building with 11 apartments and he prohibited the former notary from buying property for ten years.

BUSINESS

Credit Suisse has strongly rejected claims it failed to crack down on illicit funds passing through its bank, through accounts held by dictators, criminals and corrupt politicians. It follows a massive data leak to 50 media organisations of up to 18,000 accounts. The bank said the majority of accounts leaked had been closed, many before 2015, and the allegations appear to be a concerted effort to discredit not only the bank but the Swiss financial marketplace as a whole.

Sources say American sanctions against Russia, should they invade Ukraine, include a ban on the correspondent banking between US and Russian banks which enable international payments. This would be in addition to placing certain Russian individuals and companies on the Specially Designated Nationals list, effectively kicking them out of the US banking system, banning their trade with America and freezing their US assets.

SPORT

Cycling - Mark Cavendish took victory on stage two of the UAE Tour today as he moved to third in the overall standings. Cavendish produced a trademark sprint finish to win the 176km stage, with Belgium's race leader Jasper Philipsen finishing second.

Six Nations Rugby -Scotland has added six players to their squad to take on France after a host of withdrawals. Jonny Gray, Scott Cummings, Cameron Redpath and Rory Sutherland are all injured, while Javan Sebastian also drops out. For Ireland, James Lowe and the uncapped Jimmy O'Brien have been called up for their game on Sunday with Italy. Lowe missed the Wales and France games through injury but returned at the weekend in Leinster's win over Ospreys on Saturday.

Tennis - British number one Cameron Norrie has won the ATP Delray Beach Open in Florida. It is a third tour title for the 26-year-old after winning last years Indian Wells and Los Cabos. Corrie is expected to put on a strong show at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters in April.

Football - OGC Nice are back on form after a 1-0 win against Angers, consolidating their third-place position in League 1. It wasn’t such a good weekend for AS Monaco or Paris St Germain. Sixth place Monaco lost their game against Bordeaux who are bottom of the league, while PSG suffered a surprise 3-1 defeat against Nantes.  

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