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Russia-linked hackers 'targeted Macron campaign'

Emmanuel Macron faces a run-off with Marine Le Pen. Credit: AP

Russia-linked hackers targeted the French presidential campaign of front-runner Emmanuel Macron, according to an anti-virus firm.

Researchers at Japan's Trend Micro said attempts to penetrate the Macron campaign by hackers linked to the Kremlin date back to December.

All attempts at intrusion were thwarted, however.

"It's serious, but nothing was compromised," Macron's digital campaign chief Mounir Mahjoubi said on Monday.

A Trend Micro report claimed that hackers set up a bogus website to harvest the passwords of Macron campaign staffers.

The firm attributed the online spying campaign to a group it calls Pawn Storm, but stopped short of saying who was pulling the strings.

Russian government officials have repeatedly denied claims of state-sanctioned hacking.

Former US President Bush Sr to remain in hospital

Former President George H.W. Bush, left, posing with his son former President George W. Bush at Houston Methodist Hospital Credit: Evan Sisley/Office of George H.W. Bush via AP

Former US President George HW Bush is to remain in hospital for "a few more days of observation", his spokesman says.

The 92-year-old was readmitted to hospital with pneumonia last week, the second time this year America's oldest ex-president has been admitted to the hospital in Huston.

In a statement the former US President is described as being in "good spirits" and "resting comfortably" in hospital, where he will remain for a "few more days of observation".

The statement also said that his medical team "hope to discharge him by the end of the week".

In January, Mr Bush was hospitalised for more than two weeks after developing pneumonia.

Le Pen 'temporarily steps down' as National Front leader

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is temporarily stepping down as head of her National Front party, she has announced.

The move appears to be an attempt to appeal to a wider range of potential voters ahead of the May 7 run-off between herself and Emmanuel Macron, the independent centrist who came first in Sunday's first round.

"Tonight, I am no longer the president of the National Front. I am the presidential candidate," Ms Le Pen said.

She has said in the past that she is not a candidate of her party, and made that point when she rolled out her platform in February, saying the measures she was espousing were not her party's, but her own.

She has worked to bring in voters from the left and right for several years, cleaning up her party's racist, anti-Semitic image to do so.

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