French The Republicans Party apologizes for antisemitic tweet against rival

French presidential candidate Francois Fillon was put under formal investigation by magistrates on Tuesday on suspicion of embezzling state funds - a move that may ruin the right-winger's hopes of winning power in May.

On Sunday, a leading newspaper reported that a mystery benefactor had bought the former prime minister luxury suits worth thousands of euros.

Many like his foreign affairs spokesman Bruno Le Maire were furious Fillon had initially said he would step down if mise en examen, the nearest French equivalent to being charged.

At his request, Mr Fillon met the investigative judges on Tuesday morning, one day earlier than the date set for the meeting, to avoid media attention, a spokeswoman for his campaign said.

He is also being investigated over payments to his two children Marie and Charles when he was a senator.

His once thriving campaign has been damaged by a financial scandal in which he is accused of paying his wife huge sums of public money for a phony job as a parliamentary assistant.

The 62-year-old Republican is alleged to have paid hundreds of thousands of euros in taxpayers' money to his British wife Penelope for work she may not have carried out. He has denied all wrongdoing, saying that his wife worked from his home in the Sarthe region of northern France during his 40-year political career.




That image has been further dented by reports that he accepted an interest-free loan of 50,000 euros from a business magnate friend and a report this weekend that he has received gifts of clothing since 2012 worth nearly another 50,000 euros.

Fillon is up against far-right Marine Le Pen, centrist Emmanuel Macron and left-leaning Benoît Hamon & Jean-luc Melenchon respectively.

The clothing gifts from a for-now anonymous donor included two suits in February that were tailor-made at a chic Paris outfitter's, for a total of 13,000 euros.

Nevertheless, the charges mark a significant escalation in a scandal that first broke in late January.

"So what?" Fillon said Monday in an interview about the suits.

He added: "Politics is tough but it must remain dignified".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
Recommended

Gas price war erupts on Houston's south side
Consumers could see a 10-cent drop in retail gasoline prices before a sharp rise expected by Memorial Day, according to AAA. That did not happen, with the US average falling 2 cents a gallon in the last week to $2.29 this morning.

Delta Airlines cancels more than 900 flights due to bad weather
ET Monday, more than 810 flights into or out of the USA have been canceled, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware .com. British Airways said flights are "significantly affected", cancelling flights to New York JFK , Newark and Philadelphia.

Patriots RFA Malcolm Butler plans to visit Saints on Thursday
The Patriots remain favored to win Super Bowl LII following their blockbuster trade with the Saints for receiver Brandin Cooks . New Orleans has both of its 2016 season-opening starters at cornerback on the roster in Delvin Breaux and P.J.

Merkel flies in for Trump meeting flanked by German CEOs
The two leaders have been critical of each other's policies in the past, particularly immigration-related decisions. In January, Trump himself suggested to Germany's largest newspaper that a tariff on BMW imports could be in order.

J. Lo Finally Clears the Air on Her Relationship with Drake
After consulting two other friends "in a position to know" the real situation, TMZ concluded that Jennifer is not pregnant. Further noting that both celebrities are exactly on the same page, possibly referring to their status as a parent of two.

Top US prosecutor fired after refusing White House order to quit
Bharara has made public corruption and insider trading an emphasis since President Barack Obama appointed him midway through 2009. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch said Saturday that the department is not commenting on the matter at this time .

Change your clocks and smoke alarm batteries for Daylight Savings Time
The reason they need to be replaced is that the smoke sensors lose sensitivity over time, according to Consumer Reports . For all you Facebook users in North Alabama, the Scottsboro Fire Department has a challenge for you.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Feb 2017 Security Patch
February promotions from AT&T and T-Mobile also helped drive Samsung Galaxy S7 inventories down to healthy levels, the firm noted. While most devices are expected to be equipped with 4GB RAM, China and Korea could see Samsung Galaxy S8 release with 6GB RAM.

Arsenal ease pressure on Wenger, City stroll into semi-finals
We were killed by the referee . "That's why I maintained 90 per cent of the players in the starting line-up. I am just focused on the next game".

Vista to buy DH Corp. for $2.03 billion, combine with Misys
DH has attracted interest after diversifying from a traditional cheque-printing company to a financial technology firm. Almost 60 per cent of its C$1.5-billion in annual revenue comes from outside the United States.

Panthers trade Kony Ealy to Patriots, reports say
Defensive end Chris Long announced earlier he would not be returning to the Patriots, and Jabaal Sheard is a free agent. Carolina drafted Ealy in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Missouri to be a star pass rusher.

Intel To Buy Assisted Driving Tech Firm Mobileye for $15.3 Billion
Mobileye and Intel already are collaborating with BMW on a project that will see the production of 40 self-driving test cars. At a price of $63.54 per share, the offer for Mobileye is a more than 34% premium from its March 10 closing price of $47.27.

South Korea's interim leader convenes cabinet meeting after Park's impeachment verdict
Ahead of the decision, an overwhelming majority of South Koreans - around 77 percent - support Park's removal in opinion polls . Millions will be glued to TV screens across the country as one of the judges starts reading a statement at 11am (0200 GMT).

Intruder arrested on White House grounds
He was also carrying an Apple laptop, a USA passport, a book authored by Trump and a letter to the president, Daily Mail reports. It's the first breach during the Trump administration, but on Thanksgiving Day in 2015 a flag-wearing intruder scaled the fence.

Jaguars sign three free agents at start of National Football League calendar year
Bouye, whether he signs with the Texans or elsewhere, will be one of the first free agency signings when the clock strikes 3 PM. With his new contract, Bouye will be able to make plenty of purchases, but he's not eyeing anything too significant.


More News

News
More News