Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rail Workers Strike across France to Protest Labor Changes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rail Workers Strike across France to Protest Labor Changes

Article excerpt

Rail workers in France resume strike over benefits changes

Rail workers set up street protests across France on Thursday as they resumed their rolling strike against President Emmanuel Macron's plans to revamp the national railway company SNCF.

Rail unions held a rally in Paris' city center to "put pressure on the government" before a key meeting with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe next week.

A group of writers, academics and artists who had launched a call to financially support the strikers through an online crowdfunding platform handed over a check for 1 million euros ($1.2 million) to the railway unions during the Paris protest.

The French government plans to revoke a special status that allows rail drivers to retain jobs and other benefits for life. It says the changes are needed to open the train network to competition in the coming years.

Air France crews and ground staff, meanwhile, were on their 12th day of striking over pay.

Most of Mexican town's police force aren't real police - Prosecutors and soldiers raided the headquarters of a local police force in central Mexico and found a strange thing: 113 of the 185 officers weren't police at all.

The Public Safety Department in Puebla state said late Wednesday that the 113 were facing charges equivalent to impersonating an officer and that the state government would take over policing duties in the town of San Martin Texmelucan.

Puebla's interior secretary Diodoro Carrasco said the town government had lost control and could no longer guarantee the safety of residents.

U.S. blames China for laser injuries to pilots - The United States has delivered a diplomatic démarche to China after alleging that the Chinese military injured two U.S. airmen by directing high-grade lasers at American aircraft in Djibouti.

Pentagon chief spokeswoman Dana White said at a briefing Thursday that the United States has requested China investigate multiple incidents in recent weeks in which U.S. aircraft in Djibouti have been affected by unauthorized Chinese laser activity.

The United States and China both have bases in Djibouti, an east African nation on the Gulf of Aden with fewer than a million people. White said two American airmen had suffered minor injuries as a result of the incidents but didn't provide details.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Basque separatists officially disbanding - Basque separatist group ETA publicly declared its dissolution Thursday, bringing an end to a campaign against Spain that saw more than 850 people killed over more than four decades of bombings and shootings.

In an open letter to the Basque people, ETA said it has "completely dismantled all of its structures" and "will no longer express political positions, promote initiatives or interact with other stakeholders. …

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