>> From front runner to lame duck, French presidential candidate Francois Fillon under pressure from some lawmakers in his own Republican Party to quit the race amid graft allegations that have created chaos. He's denying media charges that he paid his wife hundreds of thousands of Euros for work she may not have done.
A source telling Reuters on Thursday that French financial investigators are widening their probe to include two of his children. His Republican critics urging Fillon to leave now, before he fatally wounds his party's chances as well as his own. Giving it time to find a replacement capable of facing down far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, a strong contender to reach the second round in May.
He'd still easily beat Le Pen in that runoff, a poll said Thursday, as would independent candidate Emmanuel Macron. But Fillon, favored to win a week ago, is losing ground. Both Macron and Le Pen gaining from the scandal engulfing him. Another survey showing 69% of people want Fillon to bow out of the race.