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France Ends State of Emergency
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The French President, Emmanuel Macron, declared the country's state of emergency will end on 1 November, almost two years after the 2015 Paris attacks.
Macron formally signed a sweeping counterterrorism law to replace the state of emergency, which is meant to give police more tools to fight violent extremism.
The bill was adopted by a large majority at parliament earlier this month.
The law gives enforcement agencies greater authority to conduct searches, to close religious facilities and to restrict the movements of people suspected of extremist ties.
In this context, Macron stressed that it will allow authorities to establish areas with extra security measures, such as during Christmas markets.
The state of emergency was first imposed in November 2015 after the Paris terror attacks which killed 130 people.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said 11 places of worship have been closed "for incitement to commit terrorist acts" under the state of emergency and 41 people are under house arrest because they have links to organizations spreading extremism and hatred.
"Everyone noticed we needed a fair balance between security and freedom, and I believe this text meets this need," Collomb said.
The new law also allows police to extend identity verification at border crossings up to 10 kilometers around international airports and train stations, and not just inside.
Human rights groups have criticized the bill as establishing a permanent state of emergency that could harm citizens' rights to liberty, security, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.
Source: News Agencies, edited by website team
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