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French MPs approve extension of emergency powers

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French MPs approve extension of emergency powers

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France’s upper house of parliament is today expected to rubber-stamp the extension of emergency powers across the riot-hit country.This after politicians in the lower house voted overwhelmingly in favour of renewing curfew laws for another three months.Nineteen nights of violence in deprived suburbs have shaken the country.Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy welcomed the outcome of the vote, saying the French people have lived with fear for too many years.

Almost 9000 cars have been torched in France since the disturbances first broke out on October 27, and almost 3000 people have been arrested. Most curfews have now been lifted as the violence has dwindled, but there are still isolated incidents in some towns. Earlier, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin travelled to Aulnay-sous-Bois,north east of Paris, the scene of some of the worst rioting. He met local residents, teachers and business leaders, in what was his first visit to one of the riot-hit areas.