French minister: OK to ban comic's show

PARIS (AP) — France's interior minister says local officials are allowed to ban shows by a comic considered anti-Semitic who's about to start a national tour.

Comic Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala is especially known for popularizing a hand gesture used by sports stars like Nicolas Anelka, among others, that Manuel Valls, the French minister, sees as anti-Semitic code.

Valls notified regional prefects on Monday that they, along with mayors, can close down Dieudonne's shows based on a potential risk to public order.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said there's "no doubt" that Thursday's show in the western city of Nantes, where he used to be mayor, would get the axe.

Valls says the racial and anti-Semitic remarks in Dieudonne's show are legal infractions and "no longer belong to the artistic and creative dimension."

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