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French Government Wants to Extend State of Emergency

  • Associated Press

French President Francois Hollande (R) speaks with Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas (C) as Prime Minister Manuel Valls walks by following the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Feb. 3, 2016.

France's government is calling for a three-month extension of the state of emergency that has been declared after Nov. 13 deadly attacks in Paris.

The measure proposed Wednesday in a Cabinet meeting now requires parliament's approval.

The state of emergency has already been extended once and was scheduled to end on Feb. 26. It expands police powers to carry out arrests and searches and allows authorities to forbid the movement of persons and vehicles at specific times and places.

In a written statement, President Francois Hollande said a three-month extension was justified by the need to face the "terrorist threat.''

Another government bill also presented Wednesday would extend police powers. It would allow officers to use their weapons to "neutralize someone who has just committed one or several murders and is likely to repeat these crimes.''

Currently, self-defense is the only legal justification for shooting someone. The proposed change would, for instance, permit police to shoot a gunman who has fired at civilians and is likely to do it again in a very short period of time.

The proposals would also make it easier for police to carry out raids at night, and searches of luggage and vehicles near "sensitive'' sites and buildings.