Evening Update Tuesday 12th April 2022

Auditors have issued a highly critical report into how the town of Carros is handling its finances. The regional accounts chamber pointed to what they called a fragile financial situation, despite relatively high levels of tax income. The report also calls into question recent investments and points to "major irregularities and an uneconomical use of public money". As a result, the Carros has twice as much debt as other municipalities of a similar size. The auditors say the town needs better control of its current expenditure.

Organisers of this year’s Cannes Film Festival will unveil the official selection this Thursday. More than 2,000 films have been submitted for this edition. The festival returns to its usual dates pre-pandemic, from May 17th to 28th. Twenty contenders for the Palme d'Or are expected to compete. The festival rules exclude from the competition platform films which are not released in French cinemas.

Several streets in the centre of Toulon were sealed off on Tuesday morning due to a suspect package. A backpack had been left in front of the Galeries Lafayette department store. About 50 residents of a nearby building were evacuated and police asked locals to avoid the area.

Motorists in the Cagnes-sur-mer and Saint-Laurent-du-Var area have been warned of heavy traffic due to archaeological excavations which have been launched as part of the construction of the line 4 tramway. The works will run until Friday July 15th. Motorists are advised to take alternative routes such as the A8 or the coast road. The arrival of the tramway in Saint-Laurent-du-Var and Cagnes-sur-Mer is expected for the beginning of 2026.

Emergency services have intervened in the Old Town of Antibes this morning, after a delivery driver suffered a heart attack during his round. The victim's condition was stabilised, and the man was taken to the Antibes hospital.

And the city of Cannes is using drones to identify seagull nests and then sterilise the birds' eggs. Seagulls have an annual reproduction cycle and it's crucial to act during the first few weeks of eggs being incubated. On the Côte d'Azur this tends to be from about now until June. After identifying the nests with a camera mounted on a drone, the eggs are sterilised by spraying them with sunflower oil, which clogs the pores and stops the development of the embryo. It's part of a bigger initiative to try to limit the city's seagull population.

BUSINESS

Sri Lanka has said it will temporarily default on its foreign debts amid its worst economic crisis in over 70 years. Officials said the impact of the pandemic and the Ukraine war made it "impossible" to pay its creditors. The South Asian country has seen mass protests as it suffers food shortages, soaring prices and power cuts. It is due to start talks with the International Monetary Fund next week on a loan programme to get its economy back on track.

Meanwhile, Nepal has restricted imports of non-essential goods - including cars, cosmetics and gold - after its foreign currency reserves dropped. It comes as a fall in tourism spending and money sent home by Nepalis working abroad helped drive up government debt. The governor of the country's central bank was removed from his role last week.

SPORT

Tonight in the Champions League quarter final second leg, Bayern Munich play Villarreal and Real Madrid face Chelsea. Both kick-offs are at 9pm our time. Chelsea were beaten 3-1 by the Real Madrid in the first leg of their quarter-final. Striker Romelu Lukaku will not feature for Chelsea. He was a substitute in the first leg, but has not recovered from the Achilles injury that kept him out of Saturday's 6-0 Premier League win at Southampton. Meanwhile Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is bidding to qualify for the Champions League semi-finals for the eighth time in his career. In the other match, La Liga side Villarreal hold a narrow advantage 1-0 against six-time European champions Bayern Munich going into the second leg in Germany as they bid to reach a first semi-final in Europe's premier club competition since 2006.

Stan Wawrinka has been reflecting on his first tour-level match in 13 months yesterday. The former World No. 3 was defeated by Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik. It was his first major match since undergoing two operations on his left foot. Wawrinka said he's still far away from where he wants to be, in terms of fitness, but he was happy with how he played.

Earlier this afternoon at the Monte Carlo Country Club, the UK's Daniel Evans defeated Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi 6-0, 7-6. On the Cour des Princes, Italian Lorenzo Sonego beat Ilya Ivashka 6-3 6-3. France's Benoit Paire was defeated by Italian Lorenzo Musetti 6-2 6-7 6-2. And 10th-ranked Taylor Fritz of the US saw off Monagesque wild card Lucas Catarina 6-7 7-6 6-4. Fritz is enjoying the best season of his career, having just lifted his first ATP Masters 1000 title in March at the BNP Paribas Open.

All eyes will be on the Cour Rainier III when world number one Novak Djokovic plans Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Unable to play at the Australian Open, Djokovic has only played three games this year.

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