laura: you're watching france 24. i'm genie godula. these are the headlines. round one of the french regional election cements the anti-immigration party's grassroots rise across the country. the national front is the big winner in sunday's mode. -- vote. the ruling french socialist party says it will pull its candidates out of the tightest races if the conservatives block the national front.
so far the conservative republican leadership is refusing to return the favor. barack obama makes a rare primetime speech from the oval office in the wake of the san bernardino shooting that left 14 dead. the president says the islamic state group will be defeated, but critics say his current strategy is not enough. coming up, the british army takes on major flooding in the u.k. thousands of homes and businesses battered by heavy rains and winds over the weekend. and in business, we will be looking at athens latest efforts to satisfy international creditors as lawmakers narrowly approve a tough austerity budget. that and more on the way. first our top stories.
there has been a dramatic shift in france's political landscape. the far right party one big sunday in the first round of the regional elections. the results came as a shock to some but they were not completely unexpected, especially as the vote was held just three weeks after the terrorist attacks in paris. oliver farry has more. >> it was a historic result for the far right national front. the party topped the polls nationwide. in six of the 13 regions. was a vindication in the face of the political establishment. the reality is that the national front is increasingly gaining the trust of french people. election after election. yesterday's result is not much
of a surprise for those who were able to gauge the situation and who are in touch with the public. the national front took 28% of the vote. the best performance in its history. it's hard line on immigration appealed to many in a country whose economy remains sluggish. up andch people are fed it's time to change things by for once voting for change. change is more with marine le pen than with what was promised to us until now. >> we never give up hope. but we did it and i'm very happy. marine is alone against everyone else. she's on her own. party hadle pen's been leading in the polls throughout the years. it's anti-immigration message resonated with voters.
particularly in the northern region, where many migrants have congregated in an attempt to get to the u.k. attacks in paris also drove many to a party that campaigns hard on law and order. inie: for more, let's bring french politics editor mark perlman. through the big wins for the national front for this first round. we expected wins in the northern region and the southeast region where the party leader and attorneys were running. the concerns that victory with over 40% of the vote. what's more surprising is that the national front has been able to arrive first in four other regions. this means that in six out of the 13 regions that were in play yesterday night, the national front arrived in front. and there was a lot of talk that
this was essentially a family driven business. that the le pen family was the only asset of the party. that's not the case anymore. if you're able to have four other party members leading in the first round of the regional elections. clearly this will not translate into the national front controlling six regions next sunday. andthere is clearly a shift the national front can rightfully claim that in terms of percentage, it is the first party in france and this is clearly an earthquake in french politics. we saw it at the local elections last march. this is not an accident anymore. this is clearly a trend in french politics. the losers are the ruling socialists because they control all but one region after the last elections in 2010. they lost. however, they were able to limit the damage because of the surge
in the polls that we have seen for francois hollande in the aftermath of the attacks. the disappointed winners are the opposition conservatives. they were hoping for a big win like in the last local elections. this did not happen yesterday. this is clearly a setback for them and the party of nicolas sarkozy. genie: thank you. for thebig challenge ruling socialists and the conservative party is to try to figure out a strategy to block the national front in the runoff vote next sunday. the socialists have already said they will pull some of their candidates out of the tightest races even if it means letting a republican win. the republican party leader has said he won't return the favor. after their crushing defeat in the first round of regional elections, the ruling socialists
are pulling out all the stops to avoid the far right taking power. risk of theegion at national front and where socialists are in third place, the party has decided to go in for a tactical alliance. weakis means destroying candidates from some regions to make way for a two-way runoff between the far right and the right. but while the left is calling for this tactical alliance to counter a common enemy, the head of its conservative rival isn't ready to budge. refuse any alliance and any withdrawal from the list. clarity and competence are the only political choices at the top of the interests of the europe region and france. is no compromise stance is strong criticism within his own ranks and allies. a candidate from the far right party -- any attempts at forging a left-.
pright pact. >> it goes against basic democratic principles just for preserving specific interests. the second round victory would mark the first time the national front has captured any of france's regions and it would give the party a moral boost ahead of the presidential elections. laura: despite that call from republican leader nicolas sarkozy for his candidates to stay in the race, others disagree. here's more from the former french prime minister. is for this country and who is against? we must rebuild the republic. it is falling apart. it is being destroyed. we have to start thinking politically. that's why there must be clear unambiguous messages given. when you encouraged to withdraw, you stand firm. because we have to rebuild.
that was the former french prime minister. part of the republican party that held a meeting today at their headquarters in southern paris. we're covering that meeting. it was an almost unanimous outcome. in favor of the decision of nicolas sarkozy not to enter any alliance or withdraw any of the lists from the second round of votes. 67 in favor, two against. those two clearly very isolated. both centrists, moderates. that they feel increasingly marginalized when the party aligns more with the -- but he will be remaining in the party. the right-wing discourse of nicolas sarkozy as he goes
wooing the far right voters. it is particularly paying dividends with that part of the electorate and perhaps within the leadership itself. it has to be said that his strategy is alienating some of his more moderate supporters. poorperhaps explaining the result from the republican party perspective in this first round. how surprising is that the nicolas sarkozy is holding firm on to this party line to not form any coalitions? does he have his eye on the prize down the line? the presidential race in 2017? >> i think indeed nicolas sarkozy was hoping to be able to boost his 2017 campaign with a strong performance. that has not been the case in this first round of the regional elections. you have to really look towards the other major figures in the
party and candidates that are going to be challenging him in the primary and the presidential vote. -- his most serious challenger is considered to be slightly more moderate. line on forming alliances. campaigningeek of is over they will basically be going back to the drawing board and really looking at how to identify the strategies that they need to adopt moving forward. that's clearly with one eye on the 2016 primary election and the 2017 presidential one. genie: thank you. next to the united states. barack obama made a rare primetime speech from the oval office sunday.
speeches from there are usually used only in times of crisis to try and convey results. the speech -- try and convey results. olve. >> so far we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home. but it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of islam that calls for war against america and the west. they had stockpiled assault weapons, ammunition, and pipe bombs. this was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people. genie: us-led coalition airstrikes are continuing to hammer the islamic state groups de facto capital in syria. sety the syrian regime three syrian soldiers were killed and 13 injured when a coalition raid hit an army camp.
this would be the first time a strike from the us-led coalition has killed syrian regime forces since the strikes began over a year ago. the us-led coalition has denied the strikes hit the syrian army base. now to burkina faso. the general who was behind the short-lived coup three months ago has been charged with murder. the general is already facing charges over that coup in september. the new charges are for complicity in the assassination of 13 of faso's former revolutionary leader in 1987. remains.es exhumed the his family is seeking more answers about his death after the man who overthrew him was ousted from power last year. the northwest of england has been hit by severe flooding.
brought in army was to help rescue residents from their homes. some 50 flood warnings have already been issued in western scotland. the british prime minister held an emergency meeting to coordinate the response to storm desmond. claire williams explains. >> you need to get out. a months worth of rain fell here in just 24 hours. lifeboat crews and soldiers rescued hundreds trapped in their homes across cumbria and lancashire. the waters contaminated. you have petrol cars. sewage. all kinds of diseases. you have stuff underneath the water. desmond flooded some homes with a meter of water
and lift 50,000 people without power. carlisle united's football ground seen here was inundated. team members have offered to help clean flooded homes. boat is the only method of transport for these residents. >> we saw the water coming up. it was quite frightening. claire: the local and national authorities flood defenses after severe flooding in the area 10 years ago. the fact that it has happened again have left -- has left many frustrated. >> it hasn't worked. it's not just the flood defenses. it's sewage as well. the pressure was pushing the water up. winde: heavy rain and subsided on sunday, but more rain has been forecast for later in the week. genie: this is france 24. let's take a look at today's headlines.
round one of the french regional elections cements the anti-immigration anti-eu party's grassroots rise across the country. the national front is the big winner in sunday's vote. the ruling french socialist party says it will pull its candidates out of the tightest races to better help the opposition conservative locked the national front. so far the conservative republican leadership is refusing to return the favor. makes a rare primetime speech from the oval office in the wake of the san bernardino shooting that left 14 dead. the u.s. president says the islamic state group leader be defeated. critics say his current strategy is not enough. newsfor the day's business with kate moody. venezuelans have been given the opposition a majority in parliamentary elections. that is a real change. and the weak economy was cited
as one of the most pressing issues. >> this is really seen as a blow to nicolas maduro. he's blamed for overseeing an economy expected to shrink by as much as 10% this year since he took office in 2013 inflation and unemployment have soared. basic goods have been hard to come by. snaking supermarket queues like this one are a common sight in pellets -- venezuela. everything is in short supply. >> there's no milk. i haven't been able to get milk for nine months. i can't get eggs either. look at this line. it's horrible. thehings are available on black market for those who can afford them. but those getting fixed salaries have practically no buying power as the balance whelan -- venezuela currency is almost worthless. of itsounts for 96% exports. venezuela is essentially bankrupt.
>> without doubt the economic gouges --- price smugglers. has followed the economic policies of the late hugo chavez since he came to power in 2013 and has steadily driven the country deeper into economic crisis. venezuela's gdp shrunk by 10% this year. the country now has the world's highest inflation. it is predicted to top 200% next year. this as the euro zone inflation rate is hovering between 0% and 2%. frustration with venezuela's inhabitants is shown at the ballot box. >> the people have spoken clearly. venezuelan families are tired of living through the consequences of failure. >> change in parliament is unlikely to have an immediate impact on people's living conditions. voters hope it will help bring the nation back from the brink. genie: greece is back in focus
again as finance leaders meet over >> the next round of bailout funds. they will be discussing whether athens has done enough in terms of reform in order to unlock more aid. the recapitalization of greek banks also will be center stage. some 10 billion euro's have been earmarked for that. this comes after the greek parliament narrowly passed a tough austerity budget this weekend. the spending plan outlines 5.7 billion euro's in spending cuts and forecasts zero economic growth for this year and a slight contraction in 2016. a big international merger has been called off. >> electrolux has given its bid to take over at general electric's appliance unit
because of opposition from u.s. antitrust regulators. the swedish manufacturer was hoping the merger would give it a foothold in the u.s. electrolux announced it was abandoning its legal fight. markets, thean picture is a bit rosier. the industry is following a positive trend set in asia this monday. the dax is a strong with -- up strongly. the fed will announce a rate increase next week. cmafrench shipping company will by holding shares in the singaporean neptune orient lines. they would be the biggest in the container shipping industry figures. the power struggle continues
between nissan and the french government. ministeronomy has warned against such a move. top executives for volkswagen are in qatar for talks with key investors for the first time since the admissions scandal broke.- emission scandal genie: thank you for that, kate moody. time for the press review. kathy is with us to take a closer look at the headlines. of coverage in the french press about that big shock win
in the wake of the first round of the regional elections. >> that's right. all the front papers. all about the big gains made by marine le pen and the national front. left or right, they are all sort of saying the same thing. we will start with le figaro, which is the more conservative paper. the headline: the shock. humanite.o echoed in the front page says it draws ever closer. this front page announces that the national front is knocking at the gates of power and they have a photo of marine and her niece. it's not just isolated to front pages in france.
the front page of this belgian newspaper is likening this to an oil spill. and the wall street journal chose to put a cover of marine le pen. just to show you that this is a big story beyond france. genie: the new york times took a very unusual step for a newspaper this week in. strongly about gun violence that the editorial board decided, we are going to put our editorial on the front page. this is in saturday's paper. if you saw the print edition, their editorial is right there on the front page. it's about gun violence. it says and the gun epidemic in end the gunand th epidemic in america. and in the cartoon section, they have a series of cartoons entitled a gun culture christmas. one is entitled mass shooting advent calendar. we see a woman marking off days
on the wall and it says that she has run out of ink before they run out of bullets. there's another with the kids sitting on santa's lap and he says thanks to the nra and there else in congress, eating on the naughty list can't stop you from -- and their elves in congress, being on the naughty list can't stop you from buying a gun. the has taken president obama to task before. this time the paper chides the president for continuing to minimize the terror risk on u.s. soil and says that he's done that because it contradicts his administration's narrative that all we have to fear is fear of terrorism itself. venezuela held elections
over the weekend and it appears to have had a big win for the opposition. >> that's right. el universal is the daily in english. it reports that the opposition has won a qualified majority. and the opposition leaders shouting yes we can. they promise that change has begun today in venezuela. el nacional reports on maduro's reaction. he says it is unfortunate that in recent years his party has not commanded the same loyalty. editorial section says there are areas where coexistence and understanding is possible whether you are opposition or ruling party. venezuelans don't want violence or insecurity or drug trafficking. this paper is running a cartoon poking fun at