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Kidnapped journalist 'really happy to walk freely'

One of the French journalists who was held hostage in Syria said he is "really happy" to be free.

Speaking from Turkey Didier Francois said: "We are very happy to be free. We thank the Turkish authorities because they really help us.

"It's very nice to see the sky, to be able to walk, to be a able to speak freely. I'm really happy."

First pictures emerge of freed French journalists

The first pictures have emerged of the four French journalists kidnapped in Syria last June.

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Photo of the 4 French journalists released from captivity in #Syria. God that must have been a terrible experience http://t.co/voIhc2jeE4

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Jenan Moussa, a reporter based in Dubai, tweeted this picture of the journalists after they were found by Turkish soldiers.

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Kidnapped French journalists found on Turkish border

Four French journalists were found by Turkish soldiers on the border with Syria after being kidnapped by the rebel group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria last June, Turkish media reported.

Journalists Nicolas Henin, Pierre Torres, Edouard Elias and Didier Francois were found in Sanliurfa province with their hands and eyes bound, Dogan News Agency said.

Hollande's former partner given cabinet position

The former partner of Francois Hollande has been appointed to the French president's new cabinet as environment and energy secretary.

Francois Hollande pictured wit Segolene Royal in 2012. Credit: Reuters

The return of Segolene Royal, who ran for president herself in 2007, comes amid a cabinet reshuffle after heavy losses for the ruling socialists in local elections.

Hollande promises fresh start to right swinging voters

President Hollande of France sacked his Prime Minister, after a terrible set of results for their socialist party over the weekend. France's far-right National Front party triumphed at the polls, gaining its greatest election success to date.

The party won a number of new seats in wealthy towns across the south of the country.

More: French socialists pasted in polls as far-right make gains

In a televised speech, a humble Hollande promised voters he had heard their vote against his party, and promised to listen and "start a new state."

Europe Editor James Mates reports.

Read: Hollande names Manuel Valls as new prime minister

Hollande names Manuel Valls as new prime minister

French President Francois Hollande has named Interior Minister Manuel Valls as the new prime minister.

Manuel Valls. Credit: Reuters

In a prerecorded televised speech Hollande said Valls would lead a "combative government". Hollande also said it was "time to start a new state" after his Socalist party suffered heavy losses in elections.

Read: Far-right make serious gains in French election

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French prime minister reportedly resigns

French President Francois Hollande is to address the nation at 7pm after the country's prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has reportedly offered his resignation after the Socialist party's poor result in the local elections.

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French Parliament channel reporting PM Jean-Marc Ayrault has offered resignation which Pres Hollande has accepted. #France

Hollande may have 'major reshuffle' after poll drubbing

French president Francois Hollande is preparing a "major reshuffle" of his ministerial team after a poor performance from his Socialist Party in local elections

Mr Hollande is set to make a televised statement this afternoon, with his prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault among those who may lose out.

Francois Rebsamen, a Socialist senator and long-time ally of Mr Hollande, said: "I don't see how there won't be a major reshuffle."

French socialists pasted in polls as far-right makes gains

Marine Le Pen, France's far-right National Front political party leader, gestures as she delivers a speech. Credit: Reuters\Pascal Rossigno

French voters have dealt a severe blow to Francois Hollande's Socialist government in local elections.

The anti-immigration far right, which claims that France's large Muslim population is "Islamicising" the nation, made solid advances, fulfilling National Front promises to begin building a grass-roots base.

Socialist leaders conceded defeat in the final round of the voting seen as a referendum on unpopular President Hollande, who was expected to reshuffle the cabinet in an effort to give his government a boost.

More: Anne Hidalgo becomes first female mayor of Paris

Anne Hidalgo becomes first female mayor of Paris

Anne Hidalgo (C), current Paris city deputy mayor and Socialist Party candidate in the mayoral election, celebrates. Credit: Reuters\Benoit Tessier

France's ruling Socialist party looks set to retain control of Paris as their candidate, Anne Hidalgo becomes the city's first female mayor.

President Francois Hollande's party is heading for a big defeat in local elections as the centre-right UMP claims victory. The far-right Front Nationale party of Marine Le Pen are also tipped to make several gains.

More: Shock for Hollande as far-right enjoy French election gains

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