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close video France is instituting baby reform in raising the retirement age: Veronique de Rugy

CATO Institute adjunct scholar Veronique de Rugy discusses the French governments controversial decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 years old.

Rioters took to the streets in France again Friday to demonstrate against President Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to raise the retirement pension age without going through the national assembly. 

More than 300 people were arrested in the chaos as garbage was lit on fire, traffic was blocked and sanitation workers extended their 12-day strike. 

The protests stemmed from Macron’s attempt to raise the age to receive a full pension following retirement in the country from 62 to 64 years old by invoking special constitutional powers that allow him to skirt the national assembly.

"We cannot bet on the future of our pensions and this reform is necessary," Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne said to jeers and shots of "Resign!" in the assembly Thursday, according to the BBC. The bill had passed in the upper house but was not assured in the assembly. 

OVER 1 MILLION FRENCH WORKERS STRIKE AGAINST EFFORTS TO RAISE RETIREMENT AGE 

Rioters set garbage on fire in Paris this week. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly / AP Newsroom)

Lawmakers in the lower chamber have filed votes of no-confidence that are expected to be voted on next week. The bill will become a law if the no-confidence votes fail and will force Macron’s government to resign if the majority succeeds. It would also be the end of the bill. No no-confidence bill has passed since 1962. 

However, Macron could reappoint Borne to name the new cabinet.

Pallets burn as rioters demonstrate at Place de la Concorde near the National Assembly in Paris on Thursday. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla / AP Newsroom)

FRENCH PROTESTERS STAGE ANOTHER ROUND OF STRIKES AS COMMITTEE OF SENATORS, LAWMAKERS EXAMINE PENSION BILL 

Borne has triggered the special constitutional power before but never with such blowback. 

Rioters in Paris (AP Photo/Daniel Cole / AP Newsroom)

Macron’s government has argued that raising the pension age is necessary to keep the French economy competitive and to keep the pension program from going into a deficit. 

At least 310 people were arrested, mostly in Paris, as police used water cannons to disperse thousands of demonstrators near the Place de la Concorde.

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"We are not going to stop," CGT union representative Régis Vieceli told The Associated Press on Friday. Arguing strikes and protests are "the only way that we will get them to back down."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Taylor Swift’s dad accused of punching photographer in face after Sydney show

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Taylor Swift's dad accused of punching photographer in face after Sydney show

An Australian photographer claims he was punched by Taylor Swift’s dad in Sydney following the singer’s concert.

Ben McDonald said he told police the incident happened at Neutral Bay Wharf, where Swift and her dad had just come ashore from a yacht hours after the singer’s final show in the city.

While officers did not release names, police said they are investigating an alleged assault by a 71-year-old man on a 51-year-old man at 2.30am local time.

Swift’s representatives have not responded to a request for comment, but a spokesperson told Rolling Stone magazine two people were “aggressively pushing” to get to Swift.

They added that the people grabbed security and threatened a member of the singer’s staff.

Mr McDonald said media had been waiting to picture the star as she walked towards two cars.

“There were about four or five security there and at one point, one of the American security started shoving his umbrella into me and my camera and then Taylor got in her car,” he said.

“Someone else came running at me and punched me in the left side of my face.

“Initially, I thought it was an Australian security that was trying to be the hero of the moment in the front of the Americans, but as it turned out it was her father.”

Mr McDonald said he recognised Swift’s father, Scott Swift, from a picture online – adding that he doesn’t have any bruising and didn’t need any treatment.

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“In 23 years, I haven’t been assaulted and punched in the chops, particularly by the talent’s dad,” he said.

“We didn’t go rushing down the jetty. We didn’t go rushing to the back of the boat. We waited for her to come up. Kept it very civil.

“But no, they… put the umbrellas up and umbrellas over her and then shove the umbrellas into our faces and then make out that we’re the ones making contact with them.”

Swift left the country on Tuesday after more than 600,000 fans saw her Eras Tour performance across seven concerts.

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Couple ‘likely dead’ after yacht hijacked by escaped convicts

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Couple 'likely dead' after yacht hijacked by escaped convicts

An American couple who disappeared a week ago after their catamaran was hijacked by three escaped convicts are likely dead, police have said.

Police Commissioner Don McKenzie said the prisoners had escaped custody on the Caribbean island of Grenada on the 18 February and the following day commandeered a catamaran named Simplicity – with Kathy Brandel and Ralph Hendry on board.

“Information suggests that while travelling between Grenada and St Vincent, they disposed of the occupants,” Commissioner McKenzie said.

The couple was last seen on the night the prisoners escaped and their boat was later tracked leaving the Grenada late at night at an unusual speed.

Police in St Vincent and the Grenadines captured the three fugitives on Wednesday, he said, adding that a team from Grenada had been dispatched to collaborate on “having a complete and thorough investigation of the matters at hand”.

The island nations are separated by about 85 nautical miles.

Ron Mitchell, 30, Trevon Robertson, 19, and 25-year-old Abita Stanislaus were being held at the South Saint George Police Station near Grenada’s southwestern tip on charges of robbery with violence, when they escaped.

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Mitchell also faces counts of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault.

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Police from St Vincent said in a statement they had discovered the ship with no bodies but items strewn across the deck and possible blood on board.

On Monday the suspects appeared in court in St Vincent on four immigration counts, to which they pleaded guilty, and they had been remanded into custody with sentencing set for 4 March.

St Vincent Police Superintendent Junior Simmons said that though the couple are presumed dead, “the investigation and search for the missing persons continues.”

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Taylor Swift’s dad accused of punching photographer in face after Sydney show

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Taylor Swift's dad accused of punching photographer in face after Sydney show

An Australian photographer claims he was punched by Taylor Swift’s dad in Sydney following the singer’s concert.

Ben McDonald said he told police the incident happened at Neutral Bay Wharf, where Swift and her dad had just come ashore from a yacht hours after the singer’s final show in the city.

While officers did not release names, police said they are investigating an alleged assault by a 71-year-old man on a 51-year-old man at 2.30am local time.

Swift’s representatives have not responded to a request for comment, but a spokesperson told Rolling Stone magazine two people were “aggressively pushing” to get to Swift.

They added that the people grabbed security and threatened a member of the singer’s staff.

Mr McDonald said media had been waiting to picture the star as she walked towards two cars.

“There were about four or five security there and at one point, one of the American security started shoving his umbrella into me and my camera and then Taylor got in her car,” he said.

“Someone else came running at me and punched me in the left side of my face.

“Initially, I thought it was an Australian security that was trying to be the hero of the moment in the front of the Americans, but as it turned out it was her father.”

Mr McDonald said he recognised Swift’s father, Scott Swift, from a picture online – adding that he doesn’t have any bruising and didn’t need any treatment.

Read more:
Swift donates $100,000 to family of woman killed in Super Bowl celebrations
Singapore ‘done deal so Swift can’t perform in other countries in southeast Asia’

“In 23 years, I haven’t been assaulted and punched in the chops, particularly by the talent’s dad,” he said.

“We didn’t go rushing down the jetty. We didn’t go rushing to the back of the boat. We waited for her to come up. Kept it very civil.

“But no, they… put the umbrellas up and umbrellas over her and then shove the umbrellas into our faces and then make out that we’re the ones making contact with them.”

Swift left the country on Tuesday after more than 600,000 fans saw her Eras Tour performance across seven concerts.

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