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WORLD NEWSWednesday 18 May 2016

French labor unrest: Tear gas, blocked roads, president firm 

ANGELA CHARLTON                 Hooded or masked youth hold a poster reading “All banned                              Truck driver John Bosco        doned.
SYLVIE CORBET                   from demonstration” during a protest in Paris, Tuesday, May 17,                       in Vitrolles, near Marseille,  Protests against the bill
Associated Press                2016.                                                                                 said the law could cut         have often turned violent.
PARIS (AP) — Tear gas                                                                                                 1,000 to 1,500 euros ($1,130   Hollande said those who
briefly choked a Left Bank                                                                          Associated Press  to $1,700) from his annual     come to protests just “to
neighborhood and truck-                                                                                               income.                        break things” would be
ers blocked highways in         tear gas that rose up in the  roads around Marseille and                              “I will not back down” on      punished, saying that 350
Provence and Normandy in        surrounding streets. A bus    the western cities of Nantes                            the bill, President Francois   police officers have been
new tensions over a French      stop was scrawled with        and Le Mans. They fear a                                Hollande said Tuesday on       injured in recent weeks and
labor bill Tuesday — but the    graffiti in English reading   drop in income because                                  Europe-1 radio, arguing        60 people convicted.
president insisted that he      “Tourist go home, refugees    the bill cuts overtime pay.                             that the new law is neces-     Paris police chief Michel
won’t abandon the con-          welcome.” The march later     Marseille union leader Lau-                             sary to boost hiring and in-   Cadot blamed the vio-
tested reform.                  resumed.                      rent Casanova said the                                  vestment.                      lence on 100-150 people,
France is facing a tense        Truck drivers joined in the   goal “is to paralyze traffic ...                                                       mainly ultra-leftists — a
week of strikes and other       protests Tuesday, blocking    and block the economy.”                                 “There are too many            smaller number than in
union action against the                                                                                              governments that have          previous demonstrations.
bill, which has met fierce re-                                                                                        backed down, which is why      Cadot, speaking on BFM-
sistance in Parliament and                                                                                            I found the country in such    TV, said a dozen people
in the streets.                                                                                                       a state in 2012,” he said.     were arrested and there
                                                                                                                      France’s economy has           were no major injuries.
A peaceful march Tuesday                                                                                              stagnated for years after      Paris police banned 40
by union members that                                                                                                 successive governments         people from taking part in
wound through Paris’ tour-                                                                                            tried reforms but failed or    Tuesday’s march through
ist-heavy Montparnasse                                                                                                ceded to street protests.      the capital, prompting
neighborhood was inter-                                                                                               A crowd of protesters fol-     some to file an emergency
rupted when masked pro-                                                                                               lowed Hollande to a phar-      complaint for the alleged
testers threw projectiles, in-                                                                                        maceutical laboratory he       violation of their fundamen-
cluding broken cafe chairs.                                                                                           was visiting Tuesday, de-      tal right to demonstrate.
Riot police responded with                                                                                            manding the law be aban-       Nine bans were lifted.

Russian opposition leader,
5 others hurt in Cossack attack 

MOSCOW (AP) — A group           Anapa airport Tuesday         because he lacked detail                                In this frame from video provided by Anapa Today, opposi-
of Cossacks attacked Rus-       morning when a group          of what happened there.                                 tion leader Alexei Navally, center, tries to get up after being
sian opposition leader          of Cossacks surrounded        Cossacks, a paramilitary                                attacked at the Anapa airport, southern Russia, Tuesday, May
Alexei Navalny and his as-      them, yelling “Get off our    group dating back to                                    17, 2016.
sociates and beat some of       land!” before charging at     czarist times, have gone
them outside an airport in      the group, beating up men     through a revival in recent                                                                                                 Associated Press
southern Russia on Tuesday,     and women. She says one       years, and in southern Rus-
an assault highlighting an      person in the group was       sia the Cossacks had been                               attack was coordinated         hours for what police later
increasingly harsh environ-     hospitalized.                 granted the right to patrol                             and pre-planned, adding        said was a routine check.
ment for Kremlin critics.       Videos of the attack post-    the streets. In arguably the                            that the group has been        Navalny and other oppo-
Navalny and five others         ed on social media showed     most-publicized incident of                             under surveillance since it    sition activists have faced
were injured in the attack,     more than a dozen men in      Cossack violence, several                               arrived in southern Russia     threats and repeated ha-
which came when about           Cossack hats and coats at-    men attacked members of                                 last week. On Friday, Naval-   rassment by right-wing ac-
30 employees of Navalny’s       tacking the group, which      the Pussy Riot punk collec-                             ny and his associates were     tivists, who have thrown
anti-corruption foundation      included women and Na-        tive with whips during an                               stopped by traffic police      eggs, green antiseptic and
were holding a team-build-      valny’s small son.            impromptu performance in                                and detained for several       cakes at them.
ing weekend in the coun-        Dmitry Peskov, spokesman      the Black Sea resort of So-
tryside, Navalny spokes-        for Russian President Vladi-  chi during the 2014 Winter
woman Kira Yarmysh said.        mir Putin, said he couldn’t   Games.
They had arrived at the         comment on the incident       Navalny tweeted that the
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