French Presidential Candidates Trade Scathing Critiques in Debate
French presidential candidates Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron faced off in a scathing two hours of televised debate Wednesday, just days before they face each other in a runoff election.
Le Pen portrayed her opponent as a heartless capitalist who is weak on terrorism, while Macron called his opponent a liar and a dangerous extremist.
Le Pen in her opening statement called the former economy minister Macron "the candidate of savage globalization." Macron called Le Pen, who once was forced to kick her extreme-right father out of their National Front political party, the heir to France's far-right faction.
The country's high unemployment rate was on the agenda. Macron called for simplified government regulations and small and medium-sized businesses, while Le Pen promised to tax the products of companies that outsource jobs.
An opinion polling average shows Macron with a 60 percent to 40 percent lead over Le Pen, though that lead has shrunk by about three percentage points since the first round of voting on April 23.
US House Passes Budget
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a budget bill to fund the government through September -- one without funding for the border wall President Donald Trump's promised during his campaign.
The $1.16 trillion spending bill passed with bipartisan support, 309 to 118. The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate, which is expected to approve it later this week before Trump signs it into law.
The spending bill averts a short-term crisis by authorizing federal spending through the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30. But it must be signed by the president by Friday to avoid a government shutdown.
Trump, after failing to win congressional approval for many of his spending and policy priorities for the next five months, said Tuesday the government "needs a good 'shutdown' in September" when lawmakers will be debating the 2018 funding plan.