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Protesters attend a demonstration against the French government's pension reform plan in Paris.

REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

What We’re Watching: French pension strikes, Nord Stream saboteurs, a centrist battle in the US, Canadian elections vs. China

French workers vs. Macron

“Pas question!” (no way!) is what over a million striking French workers told President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday as they tried to bring the country to a screeching halt over his controversial plan to raise the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64. In what was billed as the biggest strike to date against the pension reforms, protesters shut down schools, stopped transportation, and even blocked fuel deliveries. And they seem to have the people on their side – two-thirds of the French support their cause. But Macron has made the reform his No. 1 policy priority, seeing it as the only feasible way to ensure that the pension system stays solvent in a country with an aging population. And despite the pushback from the streets, Macron has the votes in parliament to ram through the changes. He’ll likely wait for the streets to die down a bit before he signs the reform bill – but sign it he will.

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Populism vs. moderate politics
Tony Blair: Back To The Center | GZERO World

Populism vs. moderate politics

For Tony Blair three challenges will define geopolitics in the near future: the Western relationship with China, making democracy more effective, and harnessing the tech revolution.

How can we address them? The former British PM — who along with then-US President Bill Clinton led the centrist "Third Way" of politics in the 1990s — says that we need to return to the center to match challenges that'll be more practical than ideological.

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