France strikes: nurses, teachers and lawyers join pension protests

Dozens of schools close and rail services severely hit as demonstration enters 36th day Trade unions led street demonstrations in cities across France on Thursday as teachers, district nurses and lawyers joined strike action over pension changes, as the countrys Odoxa poll for Le Figaro found that 61% of the French public still feel the strike is justified but 57% want it to stop. Commuters in Paris and the surrounding banlieues, where millions depend on trains, have been particularly affected. The protest movement against Macrons flagship pensions overhaul has now lasted longer than any strike since the wildcat workers stoppages of May 1968. The rail stoppage, which began on 5 December, is now Frances longest continuous train strike since the …

No trains and no compromise as France faces a winter of discontent

With hardline unions threatening indefinite strikes over pension reforms, there is apprehension at the political perils facing Emmanuel Macron Emmanuel Macron will seek to placate angry strikers this week while honouring his election pledge to shake up Frances pension system in a delicate balancing act that will define his political future. Ministers are looking at possible concessions that could defuse the strikes and protests that have paralysed the country since last week. Transport chaos continued this weekend and unions have called for another day of industrial action on Tuesday, putting further pressure on the government. After last-minute consultations, the prime minister douard Philippe will give full details of the controversial changes to the countrys pension schemes at midday on Wednesday. …

Sweet spot: Norwegians cut sugar intake to lowest level in 44 years

Norway has had a sugar tax since 1922 and more recently has created separate taxes for confectionary and sugary drinks Norwegians are eating less sugar than at any time in the last 44 years, the health directorate in Oslo has said, announcing that annual consumption per person had fallen by more than 1kg a year since 2000. We are not yet down to the recommended intake, but we have actually already reached our target for sugar reduction set for 2021, Linda Granlund, the divisional director of public health, Public Health England said in September that consumption of sugar in England had risen by 2.6% between 2015 and 2018, blaming a general increase in people eating very sugary products, of which …

Alexa, where are the legal limits on what Amazon can do with my health data?

The contract between the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and ecommerce giant Amazon — for a health information licensing partnership involving its Alexa voice AI — has been released following a Freedom of Information request. The government announced the partnership this summer. But the date on the contract, which was published on the gov.uk contracts finder site months after the FOI was filed, shows the open-ended arrangement to funnel nipped-and-tucked health advice from the NHS’ website to Alexa users in audio form was inked back in December 2018. The contract is between the UK government and Amazon Digital Services, Delaware) —In , when the government officially announced the Alexa-NHS partnership, its PR provided a few So it turns out the …