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Demonstrators in Paris protest on Saturday France's "global security" draft law. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images

A massive protest in Paris against a security bill descended into clashes between police and demonstrators Saturday, as tens of thousands of people rallied across France against the measure, per AFP.

Why it matters: The bill, if signed into law, would bolster government surveillance and restrict the sharing of images of police officers, which critics say would erode civil liberties including the freedom to report on police brutality.

  • They say video that emerged this week of police beating a Black music producer during an arrest in Paris — which French President Emmanuel Macron denounced on Friday as "unacceptable" — may never have been reported on if the law were passed, AFP notes.
  • The law would criminalize the publication or broadcasting of images of police if the intent is to "physically or mentally harm" them.

The big picture: The protests in Paris, like elsewhere in France, were mostly peaceful. But small factions of demonstrators in the capital hurled stones and fireworks at police, according to Reuters. Officers used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon on the protesters.

Of note: France's lower house of Parliament this week passed the security bill, which will now go to the Senate.

  • Some lawmakers have indicated the bill may be revised, per Le Figaro.
  • Prime Minister Jean Castex said Friday he would launch an independent commission "to help redraft the disputed provision on the broadcasting of images of police officers," the New York Times reports.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 26, 2021 - World

In photos: Thousands march in protest of Australia Day

Protesters march in Melbourne, Australia's second-most populous city on Tuesday. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Thousands of mostly masked demonstrators marched peacefully in several Australian cities Tuesday in protests demanding a change of date for the "Australia Day" national holiday, per multiple reports.

Why it matters: Aboriginal people call the occasion "Invasion Day," as it's held on the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the British in Australia. Five people were arrested at a Sydney protest for breaching COVID-19 rules by holding an unauthorized protest, police said. In Melbourne, a supporter of the far-right Proud Boys group was arrested while staging a counter-protest.

Jan 26, 2021 - World

Indian police fire tear gas at rallying farmers on tractors in capital

Farmers ride through the smoke of tear gas fired by the police as they protest the Indian central government's recent agricultural reforms in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of Indian farmers burst through barricades and police tear gas to protest farming laws in New Delhi, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepared to lead Republic Day celebrations Tuesday, per the BBC.

Why it matters: The tractor rally that the central government tried and failed to stop is the culmination of a months-long protest over the new laws deregulating India's agriculture, which have embarrassed Modi, the New York Times notes. Farmers say the laws drive down crop prices and benefit big corporations.

Heat wave grips U.S. this week from coast to coast

Computer model projection from the GFS model showing an unusually hot airmass across the western and Central U.S. on Thursday, June 29, 2021. (Weatherbell.com)

A widespread heat wave has begun across the contiguous U.S., with at least 30 million people likely to see temperatures reach or exceed 100°F by the end of the week.

Why it matters: The hot weather, which comes courtesy of another heat dome building across the Southwest, Rockies and then sliding into the western Plains, will only aggravate drought conditions and worsen many of the western wildfires.