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France: Hamon ahead of Valls after first Socialist primary

France's Socialist Party will choose Manuel Valls or Benoît Hamon as their presidential candidate next Sunday. Credit: PA

France's governing Socialist Party will choose Benoît Hamon or former prime minister, Manuel Valls as their presidential candidate after five other contenders were eliminated in the first primary.

Mr Hamon is fractionally ahead of Mr Valls - early results put Mr Hamon on around 35% of the vote with the former premier close behind on 32%.

Whoever wins the second round next Sunday will be unlikely to make it through to the second round of the presidential contest according to current polls which put the Socialist Party fifth.

Current polling suggests far right leader Marine Le Pen and the centre right's Francois Fillon will contest the presidency on 7 May.

Nice forward Mario Balotelli makes Bastia racial abuse claim

Mario Balotelli. Credit: PA

Nice striker Mario Balotelli claims he was racially abused during Friday night's 1-1 Ligue 1 draw at Bastia.

The 26-year-old Italy forward, who moved to the Cote d'Azur from Liverpool last summer, took to Instagram on Saturday morning to say he was subjected to "monkey noise" throughout the encounter.

He posted a plain black image alongside the message: "Yesterday the result against Bastia was right.. we will work more and try to get our objective.. the referee was good too, but I have a question for French people..

"Is it normal that Bastia supporters make monkey noise 'uh uh' for the whole game and no one of the 'commissions discipline' say nothing? So is racism LEGAL in France? Or only in Bastia?

"Football is an amazing sport.. those people like Bastia supporters make it horrible!"

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Law bans French workers replying to emails from home

A new employment law has come into force in France, aimed at stopping employees from replying to emails, messages and calls outside of their working hours.

Already the new law has been branded the French Disconnection, as it requires companies with more than 50 employees to guarantee workers the "right to disconnect" when they leave the office at night.

The law - which came into effect from January 1 and has unclear enforcement provisions - makes it obligatory for firms to "start negotiations to define the rights of employees to ignore their smartphones".

European cities on alert ahead of New Year celebrations

Credit: AP

New Year Eve security has been tightened across Europe as thousands of people prepare to celebrate the New Year.

In London, temporary security barriers were erected on the streets and 3,000 police officers will be on patrol during tonight's firework display along the Thames.

Credit: PA

About 600,000 people are expected to gather in Avenue des Champs-Elysees to watch the a fireworks in Paris.

Nearly 100,000 police, gendarmes and soldiers will be deployed across France.

Credit: CCTV+

Less than two weeks after a Iorry drove into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin killing 12 people, security has been ramped up across the German capital as thousands are expected to gather at the Brandenburg Gate for the New Year celebration.

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