French Parliament approves new security law in first vote

The lower house of the French Parliament has approved by an overwhelming majority a controversial security law intended to strengthen police and intelligence capacity in fighting the extremist threat.

The National Assembly passed the counterterrorism bill Tuesday by 415-127, with 19 lawmakers not taking part in the ballot. The law will now be heading to the Senate in the next few days or weeks and then will return to the lower house for a final vote.

The law would make permanent some of the measures imposed as part of a state of emergency that began Nov. 13, 2015, just after the Paris attacks that left 130 people dead.

Critics say the bill infringes on individual liberties and puts the country in a permanent state of emergency.