France's govt unveils plan to fight rising racism and anti-Semitism

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PARIS — French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has unveiled a 100-million-euro ($108-million) plan to fight rising racism and anti-Semitism, notably through tougher punishment.

"Racism, anti-Semitism, hate of Muslims, of strangers and homophobia are intolerably rising", Valls said Friday in Creteil, a Paris suburb, scene of an anti-Semitic attack on a couple in their home in December.

One measure would make racism and anti-Semitism an aggravating factor in any crime or offense.

Other proposals focus on the Internet — through creation of a state unit in charge of surveillance of hate speeches— and specific actions in schools.

Anti-Muslim acts have increased sixfold following the deadly Paris attacks by Islamic extremists in January, according to the French Muslim Council.

Police statistics show that anti-Semitic acts doubled last year.

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