Evening Update Monday 25 April

The presidential election results in the Alpes-Maritimes have shown it was a razor sharp fight between the candidates, with the final tally showing  Emmanuel Macon narrowly winning with 50.13%, against 49.87% for Marine Le Pen. In the Var the difference was more pronounced with Le Pen securing 55.1% of the vote against Macron’s 44.9%

The presidential election results have shown a growing divide across France with big cities, the upper-middle classes and older voters backing Macron, while lower-income groups voted in favour of Marine Le Pen.

The margin between the two will now be watched closely, as the parliamentary elections in June will decide who controls the National Assembly.

Police are investigating the death of an English couple in the Haute-Garonne region of France. The two were discovered yesterday, with the body of the
65-year-old woman showing signs of blows and strangulation while her husband was found hanging nearby. The couple moved to France 18 months ago to run a guest house and are believed to have been in financial difficulties. An autopsy is to be held tomorrow.

Italians are celebrating Liberation Day today, a national public holiday commemorating the victory of the Italian resistance against Nazi Germany and their puppet Italian Social Republic in World War II. In most Italian cities, marches and parades commemorate the event which is marked on April 25th every year.

More details are emerging of the two men shot dead on the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris last night. Police say the men were parked illegally facing the wrong direction on the bridge.  As a police patrol approached them, the car began to drive, taking aim for the police, who opened fire. Police say the incident was not tied to the election or to any terrorist activity, but that the men in the car were criminals known for dealing narcotics.

BUSINESS

European and Asian markets are down again on fears Chinese Covid restrictions could hit supply chains and the global economy. There are concerns Beijing could follow Shanghai into a lockdown to contain a new outbreak of the virus. Main indexes in London, Paris and Germany all fell following a decline of more than 5% on China's Shanghai Composite Index and a drop of 3.7% in Hong Kong.

Twitter's shares have jumped 5% on the NASDAQ this afternoon on speculation the firm could agree a takeover deal with Elon Musk. Despite earlier rebuffs, reports say Twitter is now in the final stages of negotiations on a takeover and an announcement could be made after the board meet later today to discuss recommending a deal to shareholders.

SPORT

Football - Everton are to officially query why a challenge they feel should have led to a penalty, was not reviewed further in the Merseyside derby with Liverpool. The games defeat has put Everton in the relegation zone with six games to go.

In France, with four games to spare, Paris St-Germain confirmed their 10th French title at the weekend. In the past ten years alone, PSG have topped the league eight times, being denied only twice by Lille last year and by AS Monaco in 2017. 

Meanwhile, Monaco and OGC Nice are fighting it out for a top four placing in Ligue 1, which both teams need for their European aspirations. Nice currently sit in fifth place while Monaco are in fourth, but those placing’s could change in the next few weeks as they play their final few league games.

Tennis - The WTA Tour say they will not return to China this year over continuing concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai. The former doubles world No 1 became a concern after she posted a message on social media accusing China's former Vice-Premier of sexual assault, and then disappearing for three weeks.

Andrey Rublev has beaten Novak Djokovic on home ground, beating the Serbian world number 6-2 6-7 6-Luv at the final of the Serbia Open. Djokovic was visibly fatigued during the final, the first in a disrupted season for him. The title win for Rublev is his third of the year and his first victory over Djokovic.

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