Europe

The Latest: Macron calls for 'roadmap' to fight extremism

  • Independent centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron addresses the media during a press conference held in Paris, Thursday, March 2, 2017. With just 52 days left before French voters choose their president, the man leading polls is only now releasing his campaign platform. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    Independent centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron addresses the media during a press conference held in Paris, Thursday, March 2, 2017. With just 52 days left before French voters choose their president, the man leading polls is only now releasing his campaign platform. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

  • Conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon delivers his speech at his campaign headquarters in Paris, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Fillon is refusing to quit the race despite receiving a summons Wednesday to face charges for alleged fake parliamentary jobs for his family. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    Conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon delivers his speech at his campaign headquarters in Paris, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Fillon is refusing to quit the race despite receiving a summons Wednesday to face charges for alleged fake parliamentary jobs for his family. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • French far-right leader Marine le Pen shakes hands with farmers at the French Caribbean islands stand as she visits the Agriculture Fair Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 in Paris. Le Pen is among a parade of candidates for the April-May election visiting the huge annual Paris agricultural fair this week. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    French far-right leader Marine le Pen shakes hands with farmers at the French Caribbean islands stand as she visits the Agriculture Fair Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 in Paris. Le Pen is among a parade of candidates for the April-May election visiting the huge annual Paris agricultural fair this week. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the French presidential election campaign (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

Independent French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron wants an international "roadmap" to better fight Islamic extremism from the Mideast to Africa.

In releasing his presidential platform Thursday, Macron also called for increased military spending to 2 percent of GDP — as U.S. and other NATO allies have long demanded.

He would hire 10,000 more police and create 15,000 more places in prison and boost efforts to improve relations between police and minority youths in poor suburbs.

Macron's critics on the right have called him too soft on security. Polls suggest he could face far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who has made fighting Islamic extremism central to her campaign, in the May 7 presidential runoff.

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8:20 a.m.

With just 52 days left before French voters choose their president, the man leading polls is only now releasing his campaign platform.

Until now, Emmanuel Macron has risen to popularity largely based on what he is not - he's neither left nor right, he has no party, and he's the only top contender not facing corruption investigations.

Macron lays out his platform Thursday on an upswing, as pressure mounts on conservative rival Francois Fillon, facing charges that he arranged taxpayer-funded jobs for his family that they never performed.

Denying wrongdoing, Fillon vowed Wednesday to pursue his candidacy even if he's charged, but is now struggling to keep his party from falling apart.

Polls suggest Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen will be the top two vote-getters in the April 23 first round and advance to the May 7.