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French Parliament Extends State of Emergency

The French parliament has given final approval to a bill extending the state of emergency aimed at stopping riots by mostly North African youths.

The Senate approved the bill Wednesday despite objections from leftist lawmakers who say the continued emergency measures are not needed because the violence is easing. But Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said many cities are still tense.

The lower house of parliament passed the bill Monday. It gives local authorities the power to impose curfews for three more months.

The violence began late last month when two teenagers of North African origin accidentally electrocuted themselves while hiding from police in a power station near Paris. Thousands of cars and a number of buildings were burned in the riots that followed.

The government has promised to tackle what it says are the real causes of the violence, including unemployment and racism.

Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.