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Le Pen blasts globalisation and Islamic fundamentalism

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has blasted globalisation and Islamic fundamentalism - calling them "two totalitarianisms" threatening France.

In her closing speech at the National Front party convention on Sunday, Le Pen unveiled her 144 "commitments" if elected - which includes France leaving the European Union and NATO, reducing immigration and ensuring work, health care and other services are prioritised for French citizens.

Le Pen has been leading early polls - which place her at the top of the April 23 first-round vote - but is predicted to fall short of winning the overall election on May 7.

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France: Benoît Hamon will be Socialist presidential candidate

Credit: AP

Benoit Hamon will be the French Socialist Party's candidate for April's presidential election.

He beat ex-prime minister Manuel Valls in the vote on Sunday, partial results showed.

Former education minister Mr Hamon was dismissed from current French President Francois Hollande's government for criticising a pro-business shift in policy.

He won 59% of the vote, but is not expected to perform well in the presidential elections as Conservative Francois Fillon, right-wing Marine Le Pen, and centrist Emmanuel Macron led the polls.

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.

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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!"

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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