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Ambassador says France 'back to normal' after riots

[JURIST] French Ambassador to the US Jean-David Levitte [official profile] said Monday that France was "back to normal" following three weeks of rioting [JURIST report] and he denied that religion played a role in the violence, which was prevalent in largely Muslim communities. Levitte said the issue was equality and that the mostly teenage rebellion was because of social and economic hardship. Levitte spoke at a meeting of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) [official website] and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) [official website] Monday, promising to improve job programs, housing and living conditions for young French Muslims. The French parliament last week approved a three-month extension of emergency powers [JURIST report], which were initially granted to local governments struggling to control rioting around the country. AP has more.

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