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Learning English - Words in the News
09 November, 2005 - Published 13:11 GMT
Riots continue across France
Firemen try to out car on fire
Many cars have been set on fire

There was slightly less violence in cities across France on Tuesday night. The government's emergency plan has now come into effect, allowing states of emergency to be declared in certain areas. This report from Alasdair Sandford:

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Fewer cars were torched around the country on Tuesday night - just over six hundred - but there were many arrests, according to a spokesman for the Interior Minister. The Paris area was relatively calm but there was trouble in cities like Toulouse and Lyon. The government's emergency decree allowing for widespread new police powers is now in force. Many cities may now impose curfews if the authorities see fit.

The far right leader of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has told the BBC the violence is the consequence of large scale immigration. He's called for troublemakers to have their French nationality withdrawn. The French international footballer, Lilian Thuram, in Martinique where he's due to play for his country later on Wednesday, has criticised the Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, for describing some people on troubled housing estates as scum.

Listen to the words

set on fire

relatively calm
peaceful compared to other nights

The government's emergency decree
the government's official announcement that certain emergency plans can be put into place

widespread new police powers
new powers given to the police across France

in force
legally in use

impose curfews
offically enforce a rule that people must stay at home during certain hours

the consequence of
the result of

people who create violence and trouble on purpose

housing estates
areas containing large numbers of houses or flats which have been built very close together

something dirty and unpleasant that forms on the surface of still water; used as an offensive way to describe people who are thought to be nasty, unpleasant and of less value than everyone else

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