Cannes Film Festival Screening Evacuated in Security Scare

 

Brent Lang
© Provided by Variety

A Cannes Film Festival screening of “Redoubtable” was briefly evacuated on Saturday over security concerns.

A 7:30 p.m. press screening of was held up and festival-goers were prevented from going into the theater or were asked to leave the Palais, Cannes’ main moviegoing hub. French guards weren’t initially forthcoming about the reasons for the evacuation, but there are reports that it took place because a bag was left in the Debussy theater.

The French drama is directed by Oscar-winner Michel Hazanavicius and examines Jean-Luc Godard’s marriage.

Cannes security personnel ordered festival attendees to evacuate the Palais minutes before the press screening was scheduled to begin. Guards turned away press and industry who were mounting the steps to the Debussy theater. Indoors, badge-holders were ushered down to the basement level, where they waited in perplexed confusion for several minutes, before guards ordered everyone to exit the building.

Squads of police were seen going inside the building with dogs. After about 15 minutes, security asked people to come up to the gate, and began letting people back inside.

A spokeswoman for Cannes did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Security has been tight at this year’s festival due to terrorist concerns. There have been attacks in Paris and nearby Nice that have heightened alarms. The beefed-up security plan includes installing an anti-drone system and upgrading firearms for police.

Peter Debruge and Owen Gleiberman contributed to this report.

Russia steps up North Korea support to constrain US

In spite of international sanctions on North Korea’s communist regime, Russia has been increasing fuel exports to Pyongyang and filling in the supply gap created by China halting trade. Julian Ryall reports.

Russland Militärparade in Moskau (Reuters/S. Karpukhin)

Despite efforts by the United Nations to impose isolating sanctions on North Korea in response to the country’s continued development of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, trade between Russia and North Korea soared more than 85 percent in the first four months of the year.

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Citing Russian customs data, the Voice of America broadcaster has reported that bilateral trade climbed to $31.83 million (29 million euros) in the January-March quarter, with the vast majority being energy products going over the border into the North.

This included $22 million worth of coal, lignite with a value of around $4.7 million, and oil estimated at $1.2 million. In return, North Korean exports to Russia were estimated to be worth $420,000. The most significant exports were chemicals and – curiously – wind instruments.

China trade falls

In contrast, North Korea’s trade with China, traditionally its most important economic partner, has plummeted. Pyongyang’s exports of coal to China in March came to 6,342 tons, a fraction of the 1.44 million tons sent to China in January, with an estimated value of $126.39 million. Similarly, Beijing has stopped supplying critically-needed fuel oil to the North, a clear demonstration of China’s displeasure at North Korea’s ongoing weapons tests.

The release of the figures detailing Russia’s increased trade with North Korea coincide with President Vladimir Putin’s statement on Monday that Pyongyang’s latest missile launch was “dangerous” – but, he added, “We must stop intimidating North Korea and find a peaceful solution to this problem.”

Read more: North Korea claims successful test of new rocket able to carry nuclear warhead

James Brown, an associate professor of international relations at Tokyo campus of Temple University, believes some of the cross-border trade may be “economic opportunism” but the motivation for the vast majority of it is geopolitical.

“Russia is very worried about the isolation of North Korea and believes that makes the situation dangerous as the US is taking a confrontational approach,” he told DW.

“Moscow’s position is that pressure on the North has not worked and has in fact caused Pyongyang to react because it feels threatened,” he said. “So instead of isolation, which is not working, Russia is proposing engagement.”

Nordkorea Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) Raketentest (Reuters/KCNA)The UN condemned North Korea’s missile test and vowed new sanctions

New ferry route

The most recent example of this support for Pyongyang is the plan to open a ferry route between North Korea and the Russian Far East port of Vladivostok, although the proposal has been delayed by strong protests from Japan.

Read more: North Korea builds closer ties with fellow outcast Russia

In 2014, Russia announced that it was canceling $10 billion of North Korea’s $11 billion in Soviet-era debt and that the remaining $1 billion would be invested back into the country. Russian investors also agreed to sink $25 billion into the North’s dilapidated railway system, while more would go into basic infrastructure. The two governments also announced that Russia would rebuild the North’s power grid, while the two countries would develop the ice-free port of Rason for exports of Russian coal.

In total, Russia planned to increase bilateral trade almost ten-fold to $1 billion by 2020, and that does not appear to have been hampered by more recent UN sanctions.

But Putin is also motivated by security concerns in Russia’s Far East, Brown said.

“Moscow has always been worried that the defensive missile systems that the US is deploying in the region – the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea and now Japan is discussing having Aegis Ashore – are more directed at its interests than North Korea,” he said.

Daniel Pinkston, a professor of international relations at the Seoul campus of Troy University, believes that Putin – who is at odds with the international community over the Ukraine conflict and has been accused of meddling in a number of elections, including those in the US and France – may be forging closer ties with Pyongyang to sow further disarray among his perceived enemies.

Watch video00:33

North Korea launches ballistic missile

‘Slash-and-burn approach’

“Putin seems to have adopted a slash-and-burn approach to the liberal international order, so anything that serves to undermine institutions such as NATO, the European Union or democracy in general is fair game,” Pinkston said. “He is intent on creating instability in a way that serves Russian interests and this sort of multi-front, hybrid war serves to undermine the US and its allies.”

“North Korea fits neatly into that agenda because it causes problems for Washington, keeps the US tied down, drains its resources and causes friction with allies in the region.”

Pinkston points out that playing neighboring nations off one other for their respective favors is not a new North Korean tactic. It has manipulated China and Russia for its own ends in the past.

“That sort of back-and-forth was easier to pull off in the Cold War, but they seem to be trying to capitalize on their relations with Russia now that China has become more distant,” the expert underlined. “And I think it is clear that North Korea will take whatever it can get in terms of political, diplomatic or military support, as well as resources.”

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Macron wants a New Deal for Europe

Emmanuel Macron has big plans for Europe. In order overcome the current crisis, he wants more community, more solidarity and more investment. And Germany is worried that it will have to foot the bill.

Frankreich Wahl Emmanuel Macron Rede in Paris (Reuters/P. Wojazer)

The original New Deal can be traced back to Democratic US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the 1930s, during a severe economic crisis, Roosevelt fought unemployment and stabilized America’s spiraling financial and political situation in part by undertaking an enormous investment program and extensive social and economic reforms. The attempt to find a cure to society’s ills in political extremism existed even back then.

The current situation is hardly comparable to things at that time. And yet, France has been stuck in a long-term crisis: unemployment levels are, for example, twice as high as in Germany. France is falling behind in terms of international competition. Its levels of growth have been low for years, although they have recently picked up a bit. And finally, France has, for the last decade, failed to meet the European deficit criteria, while Germany has been generating surpluses. What this means politically, is that in the first round of the presidential election, almost half of the French constituency voted for candidates who had goals that supported globalization but were critical of the EU. Many of the second round votes were not for the eventual winner, centrist Emmanuel Macron, but rather, against the right-winger Marine Le Pen.

Suppenküche in Chicago nach Weltwirtschaftskrise 1931 (picture-alliance / akg)The New Deal was passed while the US was in the midst of economic depression in the 1930s

Macron now wants to reduce corporate taxes and the ratio of government expenditures to gross national product. He also wants to liberalize the labor market. This has nothing to do with a New Deal. He will be tackling this as his second major project, which is an investment program for the whole of the Eurozone. This should be financed out of the EU’s collective budget.

Schäuble insist on regulations

The term “New Deal for Europe” was mentioned during Macron’s visit to Germany in March, only weeks before the election. But what Macron has in mind, he already set out in a paper two years ago as economics ministers, together with his then-counterpart, Social Democrat and current German foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel. This includes strengthening the Eurozone through a common budget, as well as introducing “new executive powers” in the euro region, a “Euro chamber” and a “Euro commissioner.” The goal is to create economic and social unity. Macron has repeatedly brought into play the idea of introducing common bond issues for the European states, with joint liability.

Südafrika Weltwirtschaftsforum in Durban Wofgang Schäuble (Reuters/R. Ward)Schäuble: France must abide by the rules

But for the conservative faction in Berlin’s Grand Coalition, this is going too far. Combined budget and joint debts sounds to these Christian Democrat (CDU) politicians too much like shifting the responsibility from France to the German taxpayer. Chancellor Angela Merkel immediately reacted coolly: “German support cannot, of course, replace French politics.” She rejected the idea of Eurobonds. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, is indeed behind strengthening the Eurozone. But for him it is more about enforcing the lacking budgetary discipline. In an interview in the Italian newspaper, “La Repubblica” he said, with a view to France, “It is a simple concept: If we create rules, then we also have to apply them.” He also recently said, at the Viadrina European University in Frankfurt Oder, “France is so big and strong that it doesn’t consider foreign help to be necessary.” In other words, yes to providing support, as long as it does not cost anything.

Fear of Le Pen used as leverage

There is divided opinion between politicians and political commentators. Some accuse the federal government of being stingy, which they will later come to regret, while others see Macron’s plan as a brazen redistribution of costs, at Germany’s expense. According to Gregory Claes, from the Brussels think tank Bruegel, for tactical reasons Macron will at least comply with doing things in the right order. “He should firstly concentrate on internal reforms in France and try to show that he wants to conform with stability regulations,” Claes said. “This will win him back credibility with Germany and other northern European countries.” He will hardly dare to come forward with European reform ideas before the German federal election.

Frankreich Whirlpool Streik Marine Le Pen (picture alliance/AP Photo)Le Pen, the self-declared candidate of the workers seen here at a factory, was soundly defeated by Macron

On the other hand, Berlin-based political scientist Ulrike Guerot believes that Macron has political leverage over Germany. “He can hold Great Britain up as an example,” he told news agency DPA. “Germany has a lot to lose when one country goes haywire. Macron could say: ‘If you don’t help me you will have to deal with Marine Le Pen next time.'” But blackmailing could also backfire. Especially now, during the German national election campaign, EU skeptics could get a fresh boost if the German federal government gives the impression of being under pressure from France.

Many believe that, politically, there is much more at stake than economics. The New Deal in the US helped democracy prevail, despite the severe economic crisis. In Germany and other countries, things were different. Elmar Brok, a European Parliamentarian for the CDU who has been following the development of the EU over several decades, says: “Europe is falling apart. Emmanuel Macron is the last chance. We have to do something.” Opinions on what needs to be done, however, differ greatly.

Watch video02:22

The state of the French economy

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After Boko Haram Releases Nigerian Girls, an Anguished Wait for Parents

Photo

Some of the recently freed girls from Chibok in Abuja, Nigeria, on Sunday.CreditNigeria State House, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

DAKAR, Senegal — The father of two girls kidnapped by Boko Haram was suspicious when friends told him that dozens of girls had been freed, because he had heard similar rumors countless times during the three years the schoolchildren have been missing.

But by Sunday morning, it became clear to the Rev. Enoch Mark that the news was true. The Nigerian government announced that 82 of the girls who had been taken from a school in Chibok, Nigeria, had been released in exchange for handing over as many as six suspected militants to Boko Haram.

While Mr. Mark was thrilled with hearing some of the girls were safe, his joy was mixed with the awful, gut-wrenching torment of not knowing if his own two daughters were among those released.

“We are hoping God will do something for us,” Mr. Mark said.

By midday Sunday, the released schoolgirls — some of the nearly 300 who were initially captured — had been handed over to intermediaries, taken from a town in the northeast near the border with Cameroon and flown to the capital, Abuja, where they met with Muhammadu Buhari, the president of Nigeria.

Continue reading the main story

Only late on Sunday did an unofficial list of names begin to circulate, as well as photos that showed the faces of some of the girls. Some appeared sullen, and one had her arm in a sling, but they did not appear sickly.

The names of Mr. Mark’s daughters did not appear on the unofficial list.

Nigerians were anxious not only about the well-being of the Chibok girls on Sunday, but also the health of the president. Immediately after his meeting with the girls, Mr. Buhari announced he was going to London to visit with doctors.

Mr. Buhari left the country for weeks earlier this year for an undisclosed medical ailment and has missed recent cabinet meetings. Before he left for London, a photo of a gaunt-looking Mr. Buhari speaking to some of the freed girls was posted on his Facebook account.

The release of the girls was a victory for Mr. Buhari, who has promised to secure the freedom of all of them.

Photo

The girls were taken to a military base in Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria, before being flown by helicopter to the capital, Abuja. CreditInternational Committee of the Red Cross, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Imagess

The handover began about 7 a.m. Sunday. Talks to free them had been going on for several months. The Nigerians worked with the government of Switzerland and the International Federation of the Red Cross to secure the release.

On Sunday, some parents quickly departed from Chibok by road on a long journey to the capital to see if their daughters were among the freed. Others stayed behind, joyful but anxious about whether their girls had been liberated.

For those in Abuja, the strain of not knowing the status of their loved ones was particularly acute. One mother of a missing girl sat at a rally in the capital, uncertain whether her daughter was across town, safe and in the custody of the government, or still in the bush in the clutches of the Islamic militants.

When she combed the list made available late on Sunday, the mother, Esther Yakubu, did not find name of her daughter, Dorcas, on the list.

The kidnapping by Boko Haram of nearly 300 girls from a school at a small village in a remote corner of Nigeria is among the countless heinous acts by a group that has carried out of a campaign of murder, rape and the torching of whole villages, largely against some of the world’s poorest people. More than two million people have fled their homes to escape the group’s violence.

Yet it was the singular act in Chibok that trained the world’s sights on this war in Nigeria. Images broadcast by Boko Haram not long after the kidnapping of the veiled girls sitting on the ground in captivity resonated with celebrities and everyday people alike and spread across social media, where a #BringBackOurGirls hashtag became popular.

More than 100 girls are still missing. Twenty-one others were released six months ago, and one kidnapped student was rescued after being found wandering in the forest scrounging for food. Officials did not immediately release their identities.

The newfound freedom of so many of the kidnapped girls is a major victory in the war and is a lift for Mr. Buhari, who vowed when he took office in 2015 to destroy Boko Haram.

While hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been kidnapped by Boko Haram, many of those have been rescued in recent months by military operations that have liberated entire areas from militant control.

Photo

The girls met with the Nigerian president in Abuja and then waited to be sent home to Chibok.CreditNigeria State House, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The military has penetrated Boko Haram’s large encampments and forest enclaves. Large numbers of the group’s fighters have been killed or jailed in an aggressive campaign that sometimes has ensnared innocent civilians.

On Sunday, it was unclear precisely which or how many Boko Haram suspects had been traded in exchange for the girls’ freedom. Government officials declined to identify the suspects even as some media reported they were high-ranking Boko Haram commanders. Western diplomats said as many as six may have been handed over.

With their forces now scattered throughout the countryside, Boko Haram’s most effective strategy recently has been launching suicide attacks. They have strapped bombs to dozens of young girls and children as young as 7, sending them into crowded markets or camps for people displaced by the war. The group has also attacked military outposts and convoys and still is regarded as a threat to soldiers and civilians in the region.

But with many of their hide-outs gone, fighters can no longer gather in huge groups and instead exist in pockets in Nigeria and in bordering countries. Fighters are suffering from a lack of supplies and food, just like many of the residents, in an area that is experiencing famine-like conditions.

Boko Haram has also suffered infighting that has split the group into factions, one of which has been recognized by the Islamic State.

Another faction, run by Abubakar Shekau, known for his YouTube rants and vicious battlefield activity, was the one holding the 82 girls. Mr. Shekau’s brutality led to a major split in the group last year.

Last week, the Nigerian military said it seriously injured Mr. Shekau, one of many similar claims made by soldiers through the years. Mr. Shekau rushed to release a proof of life video titled “Sermon to the Lying Disbelievers of Nigeria,” that has not been verified as authentic.

Over the weekend as news of the girls’ release circulated, speculation was rampant that the government had paid a steep ransom in exchange for the girls. Government officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Ransom money has fueled the war chests of Al Qaeda offshoots operating elsewhere in West Africa and of the Islamic State. The American and British embassies recently issued a warning that Boko Haram intended to kidnap foreign workers in northeast Nigeria. The move would be a new strategy for a group that for the most part has targeted locals.

Advocates for the kidnapped girls were pushing to make sure the more than 100 still held captive were not forgotten. At a rally, a few dozen people, including several parents of the girls, chanted, “Bring back our girls now and alive!”

Macron Decisively Defeats Le Pen in French Presidential Race

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Video

Emmanuel Macron Delivers Victory Speech

France’s president-elect spoke at the Louvre after defeating the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen.

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. Photo by Christian Hartmann/Reuters. Watch in Times Video »

PARIS — Emmanuel Macron, a youthful former investment banker, handily won France’s presidential election on Sunday, defeating the staunch nationalist Marine Le Pen after voters firmly rejected her far-right message and backed his call for centrist change.

Mr. Macron, 39, who has never held elected office, will be the youngest president in the 59-year history of France’s Fifth Republic after leading an improbable campaign that swept aside France’s establishment political parties.

The election was watched around the world for magnifying many of the broader tensions rippling through Western democracies, including the United States: populist anger at the political mainstream, economic insecurity among middle-class voters and rising resentment toward immigrants.

Mr. Macron’s victory offered significant relief to the European Union, which Ms. Le Pen had threatened to leave. His platform to loosen labor rules, make France more competitive globally and deepen ties with the European Union is also likely to reassure a global financial market that was jittery at the prospect of a Le Pen victory.

Continue reading the main story

Her loss provided further signs that the populist wave that swept Britain out of the European Union and Donald J. Trump into the White House may have crested in Europe, for now.

“I understand the divisions of our country that have led some to vote for extremists,” Mr. Macron said after the vote. “I understand the anger, the anxiety, the doubts that a great part among us have also expressed.”

Mr. Macron pledged to do all he could in his five-year term to bring France together. “I will do everything I can in the coming five years to make sure you never have a reason to vote for extremism again,” he said later Sunday evening, standing before the glass pyramid in front of the Louvre, once the main residence of France’s kings, as thousands of flag-waving supporters gathered in the courtyard to celebrate.

But the election results showed that many people chose not to vote for either candidate, signaling skepticism about his project. And Mr. Macron quickly made clear that he understood the magnitude of the task before him after an often angry campaign.

Video

Supporters Elated by Macron’s Election

French citizens hoping the centrist candidate would become France’s next president were overcome with joy and relief as the final result came in.

By CAMILLA SCHICK and STEFANIA ROUSSELLE on Publish DateMay 7, 2017. Photo by Eric Feferberg/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. Watch in Times Video »

“It is my responsibility to hear and protect the most fragile,” he said.

With nearly 100 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Macron had 66 percent, compared with 34 percent for Ms. Le Pen, according to the official count from the Interior Ministry.

The outcome was a watershed for Ms. Le Pen’s party, the far-right National Front, giving it new legitimacy even though the results showed that the party remains anathema to much of the French electorate for its history of anti-Semitism, racism and Nazi nostalgia.

As significant for France and for Mr. Macron’s future, nearly 34 percent of eligible voters did not cast a ballot or cast a blank or null one, suggesting that a large number of people could not bring themselves to vote for him. The abstention rate was the highest since 1969.

That lack of support presaged a difficult road ahead as Mr. Macron tries to build a legislative majority to push through his program. French parliamentary elections are next month. Currently, he has no party in Parliament.

Among the odds stacked against Mr. Macron, a former economy minister in the departing Socialist government, are deep doubts about the merits of a market economy.

“We saw the emergence of very strong anticapitalist forces,” said Gaspard Koenig, the director of the French think tank Generation Libre.

“You have 50 percent of the electorate that reject the market economy in a very radical way,” Mr. Koenig added. “Thus, he must during the next five years convince people that there are alternatives to the destruction of capitalism that can help them.”

The runoff election was groundbreaking for being a choice between two political outsiders, as well as for its rancor and for an apparent attempt to sway the vote with the hacking of Macron campaign emails, similar to the attack directed at last year’s election in the United States.

INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC

How France Voted

Detailed maps of the French presidential election show how Emmanuel Macron decisively beat right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen.

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Ms. Le Pen, 48, conceded the election not long after polls closed in France, saying voters had chosen “continuity,” denying Mr. Macron his outsider status and linking him to the departing Socialists.

The vote was a record for the National Front and, she said, a mandate for it to become a new “patriotic and republican alliance” that would be “the primary opposition force against the new president.”

Ms. Le Pen earned 10.6 million votes, close to twice the number her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, received when he ran a losing presidential campaign against Jacques Chirac in 2002. The 34 percent of the vote Ms. Le Pen won was the highest share the French had ever given to her party.

The election was also the first in which the National Front candidate — rather than being a pariah who was shut out of debates and kept off the front pages of major newspapers, as happened in 2002 — was treated more like a normal candidate despite the party’s anti-Semitic and racist roots.

After taking over the party leadership in 2011, Ms. Le Pen worked to distance the National Front from her father, its founder. Stéphane Ravier, a National Front senator and a close adviser to Ms. Le Pen, said the party needed to go further in remaking its identity.

“We will need to make some changes, do things differently,” he said in an interview as the returns came in. “We will have to talk about our positions on the euro with more pedagogy. We may also have to change the name of the party.”

In her concession speech, Ms. Le Pen acknowledged that the party had to “profoundly” renew itself to become a “new political force.”

Ms. Le Pen clearly failed to persuade enough voters that her party had sufficiently changed. Many of the votes Mr. Macron received on Sunday were no doubt cast less in support of him than in rejection of her. Nearly the entire political establishment spoke out against a Le Pen presidency.

Video

Marine Le Pen Concedes French Election

The far-right French presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, thanked her supporters and congratulated her opponent, Emmanuel Macron, after pollsters projected that he would be the next president.

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS and REUTERS. Photo by Joel Saget/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. Watch in Times Video 

Mr. Macron formed his political movement, En Marche! (Onward!), a little more than a year ago. He was initially given a slim chance of winning in a country that has never elected a president from outside the traditional left-wing or right-wing parties, with the exception of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, a centrist who led from 1974 to 1981.

Since then, French politics has been dominated by the Socialists on the left and the Republicans (or their precursors) on the right.

Mr. Macron’s campaign benefited from canny timing and no small dose of luck, with the collapse of the governing Socialist Party under President François Hollande, the incumbent, who was so unpopular that he took the extraordinary step of not seeking re-election.

Mr. Macron was also helped by an embezzlement scandal that damaged the candidacy of the center-right candidate François Fillon, who, at the start of the campaign, seemed certain to claim the presidency.

Mr. Macron’s message — that his new movement was neither right nor left, but represented a third way, with elements of both — seemed to appeal to numerous urban voters, as well as to many young voters.

As the results appeared on a screen set up at the Louvre, Macron supporters shouted with joy. Some started singing the Marseillaise, the French national anthem.

“This is a historic moment,” said Jacques Pupponi, 60, who came with his children: Noé, 11; Dora, 12; and Eden, 13.

“I’ve lived moments like this before, in 1981,” he added, referring to the election of the Socialist president François Mitterrand. “I’m very happy about the score — it’s very, very important,” Mr. Pupponi said of Mr. Macron’s decisive victory.

For Mourad Djebali, 30, a Tunisian engineer who obtained French citizenship a few months ago, the result felt like a personal affirmation. “I’m moved,” Mr. Djebali said. “I recognize the France that has received me.

“It’s a great symbol of France,” he added. “It’s a sign of hope. Everyone doesn’t agree with each other, but that one thing we agree on is that we should not open the door to the extremes.”

France’s Le Pen to reform National Front, create ‘new political force’

France’s Le Pen to reform National Front, create ‘new political force’
Marine Le Pen, leader of the French right-wing National Front (FN), said that her party needs a “deep” change become a broader “patriotic” political force after she lost the presidential election to centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron.

“The National Front… must deeply renew itself in order to rise to the historic opportunity and meet the French people’s expectations,” Le Pen said in a brief address to her supporters shortly after the first projections of the presidential elections’ results were released.

“I will propose to start this deep transformation of our movement in order to make a new political force,” she added, as cited by Reuters.

She went on to say that her result in the presidential elections is historic, despite the defeat, and added that her party would become the main opposition force to Macron. The National Front leader also said that the French political landscape is “split” between the “patriots” and the “globalists” and called on all French “patriots” to join her new political movement.

At the same time, she also said that she was immediately beginning a new election campaign for the parliamentary elections scheduled for the next few months.

Her words were echoed by other National front politicians. Florian Philippot, the party’s deputy president, called Le Pen’s result in the presidential elections “unprecedented” and praised her election campaign.

He also said that the National Front would oppose Macron. At the same time, he admitted that the party needs to change and he said that the new political movement would not be called the National Front. Philippot also called Macron’s success “a victory for the financial oligarchy” in an interview to TF1 TV channel.

In the meantime, National Front founder and Marine Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie le Pen, said that his daughter’s position on the euro and pensions had harmed her campaign. He also accused Philippot, who was one of le Pen’s major advisors, of being responsible for Marine Le Pen’s defeat.

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Switch on the S400……..If the Yanks and their puppets decide to continue to bomb Syria…USE IT!!!!!!!!!
80YRS ON: HINDENBURG DISASTER THEORIES DETAILED IN DECLASSIFIED FBI RECORDS (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Heinrich Ronvig
7h
Very likely it was not an accident, but an incident; an incident intended to cause maximum damage to German pride and prestige.
NASA GETS CLOSE LOOK AT ‘RUBBER DUCK’ ASTEROID AS IT PASSES EARTH
99%
2h
So many problems to be solved on our planet, yet money and resources are spent on looking at a rubber duck-shaped asteroid 1.1 million miles from Earth…..
UK RICH LIST: BRITISH BILLIONAIRES DEFY BREXIT ON THEIR WAY TO RECORD WEALTH
Cyan8Ball
3h
nobody and I mean NOBODY that matters cares about how much physical wealth people have you come here with nothing and leave with nothing you are just renting while you are here the true measure of a person is a reflection of how they treat others how do YOU think these people amassed their ‘wealth’? exactly…..

Emmanuel Macron wins French presidential election over rival Marine Le Pen

Emmanuel Macron, the centrist and political newcomer, on Sunday beat the far-right Marine Le Pen to win the French presidential election.

In a contest that put the passionately pro-European Macron against Le Pen, who promised a “Frexit” referendum should she win the election, Macron garnered 65.5 percent of the vote, according to the Kantar exit poll.

The news of Macron’s win was met by cheering crowds waving French flags outside the Louvre museum.

The result, if confirmed, signals a rejection of the “French-first nationalism of Le Pen, who was labeled “France’s Trump” and was hopeful the same populist wave that led Donald Trump to the White House would also carry her to the Elysee Palace.

Macron’s victory will mark the third time in six months — following elections in Austria and the Netherlands — that European voters have shot down far-right populists who want to restore borders across Europe. The victory of a candidate — Macron — who championed European unity could strengthen the EU’s hand in its complex divorce proceedings with Britain, which voted last year to leave the bloc.

Many French voters reluctantly backed Macron; they are not staunch supporters of his politics, but wanted to keep out Le Pen and her far-right National Front party, which is still tainted by its anti-Semitic and racist history.

After the most closely watched and unpredictable French presidential campaign in recent memory, many voters rejected the choice altogether: Pollsters projected that voters cast blank or spoiled ballots in record numbers Sunday — a protest of both candidates.

At 39, Macron would become France’s youngest-ever president — and one of its most unlikely.

Unknown to voters before his turbulent 2014-16 tenure as a pro-business economy minister, Macron took a giant gamble by quitting the government of outgoing Socialist President Francois Hollande to run his first-ever electoral campaign as an independent.

FRANCE ELECTION: MEDIA WARNED NOT TO PUBLISH HACKED MACRON EMAILS

His startup political movement — optimistically named, “En Marche!,” or “Forward!” — caught fire in just one year, harnessing voters’ hunger for new faces and new ideas and steering France into unchartered political territory.

In a first for postwar France, neither of the mainstream parties on the left or the right qualified in the first round of voting on April 23 for Sunday’s winner-takes-all duel between Macron and Le Pen.

Despite her projected loss, Le Pen’s advancement to the runoff for
the first time marked a breakthrough for the 48-year-old. She placed third in 2012, underscoring a growing acceptance for her fierce anti-immigration, France-first nationalism among disgruntled voters.

The candidates’ polar-opposite visions presented the 47 million registered voters with the starkest possible choice. Le Pen’s closed borders faced off against Macron’s open ones; his commitment to free trade ran against her proposals to protect the French from global economic competition and immigration. Her desire to free
France from the EU and the shared euro currency contrasted with his argument that both are essential for the future of Europe’s third-largest economy.

As well as capitalizing on voter rejection of the left-right

monopoly on power, Macron also got lucky.

One of his most dangerous opponents, conservative former Prime Minister Francois Fillon, was hobbled by allegations that his family benefited from cushy taxpayer-funded jobs for years. On the left, the Socialist Party imploded, its candidate abandoned by voters who wanted to punish Hollande, France’s most unpopular president since World War II. Hollande himself realized he was unelectable and decided not to run again.

In power, Macron would take charge of a nation that, when Britain leaves the EU in 2019, will become the EU’s only member with nuclear weapons and a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.

He has promised a France that would stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin but that also would seek to work with the Russian leader on what he says will be one of his top priorities: fighting the Islamic State group, whose extremists have claimed or
inspired multiple attacks in France since 2015.

France has been in a state of emergency since then and 50,000 security forces were used to safeguard Sunday’s vote.

The polls opened in mainland France at 8 a.m. local time under the watch of 50,000 security forces guarding against possible extremist attacks. Polling agency projections and initial official results are expected as soon as the final stations close at 8 p.m.

Voter turnout in the runoff election is above 65 percent in late afternoon, a sharp drop of more than 6 percent compared to the last presidential vote. The Interior Ministry announced the turnout had reached 65.3 percent, compared to 71.96 percent in the second round of presidential voting in 2012.

Pre-election polls had suggested Macron was the favorite by a large margin, leading Le Pen by about 60 percent to 40 percent.

Police had to evacuate the Louvre courtyard early Sunday because of a suspicious bag, but later reopened the area. Eric Kadio told the Associated Press he came to the park near the Louvre in hopes of seeing Macron, who’s expected to speak to supporters from the Louvre courtyard after election results come in.

“France has an efficient security operation,” he told the AP. “I am not afraid. Bomb scares are frequent and each time they get things under control.”

Earlier in the day, Macron voted in the seaside resort of Le Touquet in northern France alongside his wife, Brigitte Macron. Le Pen cast her ballot just a hundred kilometers away in Henin-Beaumont, a small town controlled by her National Front party.

Fears of outside meddling hung over the race after France’s election campaign commission said Saturday that “a significant amount of data” — and some fake information — was leaked on social networks following the hacking attack on Macron.

FRENCH ELECTION: COMMISSION PROBES MACRON HACKING AS VOTERS PREPARE TO HAVE THEIR SAY

The leaked documents appeared largely mundane, and the perpetrators remain unknown. It’s unclear whether the document dump will dent the large polling lead Macron held over Le Pen going into the vote.

The commission urged French media and citizens not to relay the leaked documents. French electoral laws impose a weekend news blackout on any campaigning and media coverage seen as swaying the election. Le Pen’s campaign could not formally respond due to the blackout.

The Macron team asked the campaign oversight commission to bring in France’s top cybersecurity agency ANSSI to study the hack, a government official told the AP.

ANSSI can only be called in to investigate cyberattacks that are “massive and sophisticated” — and the Macron hack appears to fit the bill, the official said.

The documents leaked Friday were widely circulated on far-right sites based in the United States. Experts dissecting the data said they spotted a couple of Russian names in the dump.

Read more from SkyNews.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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