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French extend state of emergency

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French extend state of emergency

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The special measures in force in France to deal with urban violence are going to be extended. The cabinet of Prime Minister Dominque de Villepin has approved a bill to retain the state of emergency currently in place for the next three months.

Parliament is expected to pass the law later this week. With under 300 cars torched last night, authorities believe the violence is calming down. They argue the curfews that the emergency laws allow are having an impact, keeping young people off the street. But in cities like Lyon and Toulouse gangs of youngsters angry at social exclusion, racism and their treatment by police are still carrying out arson attacks. Many French people living in the impoverished housing developments where the trouble started argue the government’s response fails to address the root causes of the violence.