The first round elimination of two other main presidential candidates, the far-left's Jean-Luc Melenchon and conservative Francois Fillon, was greeted with relief by investors and EU partners of France, a founder of the bloc, a key member of the NATO defense alliance, and the world's fifth largest economy. Le Pen had for months seemed sure of a second round place, even though the race was closely fought, and polls ahead of round one showed Macron with a far greater chance than Fillon of beating her next Sunday. Melenchon, for his part, offered the prospect of a second-round choice between two candidates who would tear up international trade treaties and whose presidencies could be fatal to a European Union already weakened by Britain's departure. Macron and Le Pen between them accounted for only 45 percent of the first round vote, and the battle is now on for the remainder. Polls show Macron winning next Sunday with about 59-60 percent, but the momentum has been with Le Pen, who has clawed back about five percentage points over the past week. END OF TRADITIONAL LOYALTIES The presidential contest has blown apart traditional party loyalties. Voters now have a stark choice between a resurgent far right, once a pariah in French politics, and a man whose political movement is less than a year old and who has never held elected office. It sets Macron's enthusiasm for the EU and call for pro-business reforms to boost growth against Le Pen's desire for France to close its borders to immigrants, unwind EU institutions and restrict imports to protect jobs. "The May 7 election is about a European choice," said outgoing President Francois Hollande, speaking at a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels. Macron served as Hollande's economy minister from 2014 to 2016 before turning his back on the Socialist government to prepare his own presidential bid.
รองเท้าแฟชั่นพร้อมส่ง for wearing flat shoes. Photo: Tim Ireland, AP / Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.' align='left' /> The British government Friday April 21, 2017, rejected calls to outlaw companies from making women wear high heels at work, saying that kind of discrimination is already banned under existing law. Heels became a hot topic in Britain after receptionist Nicola Thorp was sent home without pay from finance firm PwC in December 2015 for wearing flat shoes. less FILE - This is a Monday March 6, 2017 file photo of high heels are on display in a store in London. The British government Friday April 21, 2017, rejected calls to outlaw companies from making women wear high ... more Photo: Tim Ireland, AP UK rejects call to outlaw high-heel workplace dress codes 1/1 Back to Gallery LONDON (AP) The British government has rejected calls to outlaw companies from making women wear high heels at work, saying that kind of discrimination is already banned under existing law. Heels became a hot topic in Britain after receptionist Nicola Thorp was sent home without pay from finance firm PwC in December 2015 for wearing flat shoes. She started an online petition that got so many signatures it triggered a debate in Parliament. On Friday the government said the law already bans discrimination on gender grounds, and "dress codes must include equivalent requirements for both men and women." LATEST TRENDING VIDEOS: Story continues below It says it will issue new dress code guidance "to make the law clearer to employers and raise awareness among employees." Thorp branded that "a cop-out." Latest from the SFGATE homepage: Click below for the top news from around the Bay Area and beyond. Sign up for our newsletters to be the first to learn about breaking news and more. Go to 'Sign In' and 'Manage Profile' at the top of the page.
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Our international business also had a double-digit increase. Our new joint venture, SM Europe, was the standout. Like consumers in the U.S., European consumers are responding very favorably to the Steve Madden footwear collection, and results in the JV are trending well above our initial expectations. Our performance for the online wholesale customers like Zalando is particularly strong. Looking forward, we are very excited about the growth potential with SM Europe as we further expand our presence and raise brand awareness in the region. We also continue to work on finalizing a new joint venture for China and remain hopeful that we will be able to begin conducting business in China under the new JV in the back half of 2017. In addition, we are also in discussions with respect to potential joint ventures and/or distributor relationships in other countries in Asia. We'll continue to keep you updated throughout the year on how these discussions develop. We are also off to a good start with our newest acquisition, Schwartz & Benjamin, which made a slightly above-plan sales contribution of approximately $14 million in the quarter. The integration process is moving along well and on schedule, and while we expect the transaction to be approximately breakeven to EPS this year, we are confident that Schwartz & Benjamin can be a meaningful profit contributor in 2018 and beyond.
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