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Haiti's vicious cycle of political and humanitarian crises

Port-au-prince - Haiti finally has a new government, but without a parliament capable of giving it legitimacy and without electoral prospects, the country remains paralyzed by a political crisis with potentially devastating social, economic and security consequences.

For French hand gel producer, an opportunity and challenge

Caen - The production lines are whirling at Gilbert, one of France's main producers of sanitising gels, in a bid to meet the soaring demand for the bottles by people hoping to fend off infection in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

French govt wins key victory for controversial pensions overhaul

Paris - The French government won its first parliamentary fight Wednesday over an overhaul of the country's byzantine pensions system, clearing a key hurdle despite fierce protests and weeks of chaos wrought by the largest transport strike in decades.

French govt survives no-confidence votes over pension reform

Paris - The French government faced down two no-confidence votes Wednesday over an overhaul of the country's byzantine pensions system, a key victory after fierce protests and a massive transport strike that brought France to a standstill for weeks this winter...

Norway authorises demolition of building with Picasso murals

Oslo - Norway gave the go-ahead on Wednesday for the demolition of a bomb-damaged building adorned with drawings by Spanish master painter Pablo Picasso.

French MPs begin debating controversial pensions bill

Paris - The battle over the French government's pension reforms moved from the street to parliament on Monday, with the opposition vowing to torpedo an overhaul that sparked weeks of strikes and protests.

Medal for former ECB chief Draghi divides Germans

Frankfurt Am Main - Months after the end of his term as president of the European Central Bank, Italian economist Mario Draghi will receive Germany's highest honour Friday, drawing attacks from critics of his easy-money policy.

US awaits Iraq's okay to deploy Patriots to protect troops

Washington - The United States is awaiting a green light from the Iraqi government to deploy Patriot missile defense systems to protect US troops from Iranian missile attacks, Pentagon chief Mark Esper said Thursday.

French govt, unions kick off talks on tackling pension deficit

Paris - Union leaders met French officials Thursday to figure out how to find billions of euros needed to plug pension deficits, the latest phase in a hotly contested overhaul of the system that sparked the country's longest transport strike in decades.

Protests across France against pensions overhaul

Paris - Protesters again poured into streets across France on Friday hoping to derail a hotly contested pension overhaul, whose fate will soon be in the hands of lawmakers after weeks of crippling transport strikes.

French unions face moment of truth in fight over pensions

Paris - French protesters prepared to hit the streets on Friday for a fresh day of demonstrations against the government's pension reform, which will be officially unveiled after weeks of strikes by unions warning that millions of people will have to work lon...

French unions try to keep pension protest alive as deadline looms

Paris - Hardline French unions on Wednesday kept up a series of wildcat strikes aimed at ratcheting up pressure on the government before it presents the final version of a pension reform that has prompted France's biggest labour protest in decades.

From grassroots to government: Spain's Podemos comes of age

Madrid - Spain's radical leftwing Podemos took its seat at the cabinet table for the first time on Tuesday, nearly a decade after the emergence of the anti-austerity protest movement from which it emerged.

Fed up Venezuelans find solace on the beach

La Guaira - When Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called for street protests at the weekend in a bid to rekindle popular outrage against President Nicolas Maduro, only a few hundred people turned up.

Tensions flare in French protests as pension dispute grinds on

Paris - Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to streets across France on Thursday in the latest mass protests against a pensions overhaul that critics say could cut benefits even while requiring people to work longer before retiring.

French pension talks resume as govt seeks to end standoff

Paris - French officials prepared to restart talks with unions Tuesday over a pension overhaul that has sparked the country's longest transport strikes in decades, which labour leaders say could force millions of people to retire later than they thought.

On Day 29, French rail strike makes history

Paris - A labour walkout that has frustrated Paris commuters and marooned thousands of holiday travellers in France dragged into its 29th day on Thursday, becoming the country's longest continuous railway strike with no end in sight.

Macron vows to push through pension overhaul despite strike

Paris - French President Emmanuel Macron called Tuesday for a "rapid compromise" with unions over a pensions overhaul that has sparked one of the country's biggest transport strikes in decades.

Macron set to stand firm in pension strike standoff

Paris - French President Emmanuel Macron will address the nation Tuesday in a bid to win support for a pension overhaul that has prompted the biggest transport strike in decades, upending travel plans for thousands over the holidays.

Italy's premier sets out fragile coalition's programme

Rome - Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte set out what he called an "ambitious" three year plan for government reforms Saturday, despite cracks appearing in the ruling coalition after only four months in power.

Union boss defiant as record French strike enters fourth week

Paris - The head of a hardline French trade union on Friday vowed to press on with a crippling strike that has cast a shadow over Christmas celebrations, with the stoppages entering a fourth week and becoming the longest-lasting such action since the 1980s.

Union boss defiant on France's longest strike in decades

Paris - The boss of a hardline French trade union on Friday vowed to press on with a strike that has crippled transport in Paris for the past three weeks and is now the longest-lasting such action since the 1980s.

Paralysis in Iraq as protesters harden position

Baghdad - Iraqi protesters stepped up their demonstrations Tuesday with the authorities in Baghdad increasingly paralysed as they seek a way out of a political impasse.

France braces for holiday travel chaos amid pensions strike

Paris - Cancelled trains, packed roads, frazzled nerves: Travellers across France scrambled on Friday to begin Christmas vacations upended by a weeks-long transport strike over a pensions overhaul that unions have vowed to defeat.

France braces for holiday travel chaos amid pensions strike

Paris - Cancelled trains, packed roads, frazzled nerves: Travellers scrambled across France on Friday to begin Christmas vacations upended by a weeks-long transport strike over a pensions overhaul that unions have vowed to defeat.

Cuba to reform at its own pace despite US sanctions: minister

Havana - Cuba will continue to enact economic reforms at its own pace regardless of the pressure exerted by a US embargo, Economy Minister Alejandro Gil told AFP.

French strike enters third week as govt, unions deadlocked on pension reform

Paris - A gruelling French transport strike entered its third week Thursday, wearing out commuters and spoiling the Christmas holiday plans of thousands as the government and unions remained at odds over pension reform.

French strike enters third week as govt, unions clash on pension reform

Paris - A gruelling French transport strike entered its third week Thursday, wearing out commuters and spoiling the Christmas holiday plans of thousands as the government and unions remained at odds over pension reform.

Iraq deadline to appoint PM looms, protesters unyielding

Baghdad - Iraqi political leaders faced a midnight deadline Thursday to choose a new prime minister to run a country shaken by months of unprecedented street protests that have left hundreds dead.

French pensions standoff hardens as strike enters 3rd week

Paris - A gruelling French transport strike over a planned pension reform entered its third week on Thursday, with little relief in sight after talks between unions and the government failed to bring the two sides any closer to a compromise.
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