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SPOTLIGHT: SPRINGTIME ANGST IN PARIS

It's spring in Paris: the trees are bursting with foliage, café terraces look inviting, the French Open is about to kick off. Shall we indulge in that apéro? Mais, non! The mood in the City of Light feels anything but spring-like right now. There is the fate of EgyptAir Flight 804, which took off from the capital's Charles de Gaulle airport, and is believed to have crashed yesterday with 66 people on board, including 15 French nationals. While passengers' families await more information, the rest of the country wonders if France again is the target of terrorists.


But the risks in Paris don't only come from abroad, or above. Road blockades and train strikes have crippled traffic the past week following more than two months of often violent demonstrations. On Wednesday, protesters attacked a patrol car and set it on fire with two policemen inside.More than 300 police have been hurt so far and about 1300 arrests have been made since violence first broke out.


The focal point of this wrath? Proposed reforms to France's labor laws, in addition to negotiations over working conditions and pay. So far, President Francois Hollande has stuck to his guns. He is unwilling to withdraw the bills that would make hiring and firing easier, measures he believes would encourage companies to recruit more people and reverse France's stubbornly high unemployment.


But the economic and social policy questions, more than ever, are interwoven with the issue of public security. On Thursday, lawmakers voted, once again, to extend the state of emergency first put into place following the November 13 terrorist attacks in and around Paris. The government had argued for the two-month extension, which allows law enforcement to hold people under house arrest, in order to reinforce security to cover two big sporting events coming up in France: the 2016 Euro soccer tournament and the Tour de France cycling race. Here's hoping for safety in sports, and a better summer in Paris.

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A man takes a picture of a destroyed Russian tank in Nalyvaikivka, near Kyiv.

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger.

👋 Grüezi!*

Welcome to Monday, where Russia warns Finland and Sweden that joining NATO would be a “grave mistake,” locked-down Shanghai announces it aims for June 1 reopening, and South Asia’s heat wave becomes untenable. Meanwhile, Peter Huth in German daily Die Welt explains why the Doomsday Clock isn’t ticking quite the same for millennials today as it was for baby boomers.

[*Swiss German]

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