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People demonstrating during France's general strike in Paris. Photo: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

French unions marched through Paris on Thursday, barricading the presidential palace and forcing the closure of the Eiffel Tower as a part of a nationwide strike to protest the government’s plan to reform the country's retirement system, the AP reports.

The big picture: Organizers hoped to caution French President Emmanuel Macron against pursuing the reform, which many fear will disrupt the country's social safety nets, shrinking pensions and forcing longer work hours.

  • Workers in or around Paris region worked from home or took a day off. Around 78% of teachers in the capital went on strike.
  • The strike caused transportation woes with many of Paris' subway stations closed. France's civil aviation authority announced that 20% of flights were grounded, and 90% of the trains on its high-speed network were cancelled.

The state of play: Macron made streamlining the country's 42 retirement systems central to his 2017 presidential campaign, and an official said Macron remains "calm and determined" to enact the reform.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. faces urgent anti-hacker crisis

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Biden administration is accelerating efforts to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the public and private sectors bogging down efforts to protect digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: Following a deluge of ransomware attacks targeting critical government and corporate infrastructure this year, clogs in the talent pipeline are leaving federal, cash-strapped local governments and Big Business even more susceptible to hacking.

Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

6 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.

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