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>> France is in a state of war. Interior minister Gerard Collomb making a declaration on Tuesday, as lawmakers voted on an antiterrorism bill meant to end a two-year state of emergency. Politicians in the Lower House passing the bill which aims to enshrine many of the emergency powers in law.
More than 240 people have been killed in France in attacks since early 2015 by assailants who pledged allegiance to or were inspired by Islamic State. The latest in Marseilles on Sunday, when two women were stabbed to death. The government says emergency powers in place since the attack in Paris in November, 2015, have played a significant role in enabling intelligence agencies to disrupt plots.
Not everyone's happy to see the bill approved, though, as Reuters' Richard Lopp explains.>> Human rights groups say that what this bill is essentially doing is enshrining what should be special powers into common law. They describe them as measures that will give the executive far-reaching powers to curb individual's movements, to curb the right to assemble, they will infringe on individual's freedom of expression.
>> The bill under fire from left and right, France's public human rights watchdog warning it could be seen as targeting Muslims. Some also doubt its efficacy.>> At present, France is the only country in Western Europe to be under emergency powers, yet it's not the only country in Europe that has been subjected to militant torment and inspired attacks.
There have been strikes in Britain, Belgium, Germany. I think it's safe to say should this legislation be adopted, it will have some of the toughest anti-terrorism laws.>> Conservative critics, though, say the draft legislation, which is not as all-encompassing as the state of emergency currently allows, does not go far enough.
Some lawmakers are calling for authorities to have greater powers to expel foreigners who threaten public safety.