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 …

Democrats pick over Labour loss in UK as Biden warns of moving ‘so far’ left

Frontrunner Biden says Labour disaster shows Democrats should avoid selecting leftwing nominee but others disagree Labours crushing defeat in the British general election ignited instant debate among Democrats in the US, with 2020 election frontrunner Joe Biden framing it as a warning to the party against moving too far left. While the Conservative prime minister, Boris Johnson, is often compared to Donald Trump, some also see parallels between the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a 70-year-old socialist, and left-wing senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, aged 78 and 70 respectively. Speaking at a campaign fundraiser in San Francisco, Biden, the former vice-president, said: Look what happens when the Labour party moves so, so far to the left. It comes up with …

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. …

Dead birds and rashes: Hong Kong residents fear teargas poisoning

Police have fired 10,000 canisters in protests, sparking health scare over possible harmful effects Angel Chan is more cautious about where she takes her two children, aged three and five, to play these days. Police have thrown teargas all over the city some of my friends say their children have come out in rashes, Chan said. I simply dont know where to find a safe spot any more. Chan is just one of many Hong Kong parents anxious about the harmful effects of teargas on their children. The Hong Kong Mothers group said last week it had collected 1,188 complaints, including about skin allergies and coughing, with the youngest victim being just two months old. They have urged the government …