French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday that the current national lockdown on public movement to contain the Covid-19 virus epidemic has been extended to May 11th, after which he forecast a gradual return to activity, while he also admitted that France had been insufficiently prepared for the health crisis.
The fourth extension of state of emergency, first introduced after the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris, prolongs the wide-ranging powers until January.
The fourth polongation of state of emergency likely to last until 2017, giving police sweeping powers for searches and facilitating house arrest orders.
French parliament approved a second extension of the powers, introduced after the November 13th Paris terrorist attacks, until May 26th.
'As long as the threat is there, we must use all available means' said French Prime Minister Manuel Valls arguing for longterm special powers.
In an editorial, The New York Times argues strongly against moves by Paris to adopt powers that 'threaten the civil rights of an entire nation'.
The reciprocal agreement between France and India will allow their nationals in either country a 24-month extension of visas post-studies.
French parliament votes in favour of lengthening peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, as inter-religious violence worsens.
Health minister wants ban on smoking in open public spaces, including beaches, parks and campuses, but anti-tobacco campaigners are sceptical.