Series of protest have broken out across France, right after the government passed the bill concerning the controversial labor reforms. In Nantes, smoke filled the streets as the demonstrators clashed with security forces. Tear gas was fired at the demonstrators by the police outside the National Assembly in Paris.
Earlier, the cabinet gave permission to use special powers to pass the changes which would not require the parliament’s approval. The socialist government of France had said, in order to help lessen the rate of unemployment in the country, this reform was essential. The employers will find it easy to hire and fire a person, with this new change in the labor law but there are fears amongst the opponents that the employers would misuse this law to bypass workers rights on overtime, pay, and breaks.
Months of resistance to the bill was faced by President Francois Hollande from unions, students and even from his own Socialist Party members. President Hollande was asked to resign by the demonstrators outside the National Assembly. The protest lasted till late night.
Tear gas was used against the protesters by the police in Grenoble and Montpellier. Demonstrations were also seen at Lille, Marseille, and Tours. Two young protesters were injured in Toulouse. The decision to implement an article of the constitution in order to force through the reforms was made due to the failure of the government in reaching a compromise on the bill with the members of the rebel socialist. Only once this tactic was used under President Hollande, and then also was used to resolve disputed economic reforms.
At least 200 schools were closed down by the students, and striking rail workers obstructed rail services across France, protesting against the proposed reforms. The Eiffel Tower was shut for most days as there was not enough staff available for opening the tower with adequate security and reception conditions.
It seems that this year the battle for world´s best footballer is in Barcelona´s courtyard. Three of the talented football players that have been nominated for
he 2010 FIFA Ballon d´Or are all playing for Barcelona and this is going to be a fun competition to witness. All three players, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi have played key roles in the club´s success last year and it is going to be a tough choice to pick the best.
Las year´s FIFA winner was Lionel Messi but this year the competition is tougher as spanish competitors Xavi and Iniesta both played and helped their national team in the success reported by Spain at World Cup in South Africa this July. Xavi even was the one who scored in the final against Netherlands, his goal being the only one of the match. The World Cup as well as a good season with Barcelona led to their nomination for the Ballon d´Or.
However the title is not in the bag for neither of the two. Las year’s winner Lionel Messi doesn´t seem to give up without a fight. After scoring 35 goals in 34 matches during season 2009-2010 when Barcelona won the Spanish title, he started this season in the same manner scoring15 goals in 12 matches. His cloud of shadow was the represent by the categorical defeat that Argentina suffered in the final against Germany at the World Cup in South Africa, a smashing 4 to 0.
Josep Guardiola was also nominated for coach of the year award so all in all it was a really good year for Barcelona.
The people of Chile went through another nightmarish day on Sunday when an earthquake was felt in the southern part of the country. They did not wait for an outcome of the earthquake but packed their bags and evacuated their homes heading for safer regions. The earthquake had a -7.1 magnitude and fortunately did nota make any victims or destroy any property. But still bearing in mind last years’ -8.8.earthquake and the following tsunami people were reluctant to stay in the region.
On February 27th 2010, an earthquake and its’ resulting tsunami killed over 521 people. 200,000 homes were destroyed so this time no reassuring report from experts could stop the southern population of Chile from eloping to safer areas.
It seems that last year’s earthquake was so strong that according to Sergio Barreintos, director of seismology office at the University of Chile, Sunday’s earthquake was in fact an after shock of the February 2010 earthquake. The Sunday earthquake was followed by a magnitude -5.0 aftershock and about 50,000 people in regions like Puerto Saavedra, Toletna and did not wait and fled to higher grounds. The earthquake was centered in the very region of La Araucania but the damages suffered were quite minor as compared to last year’s earthquake: the electrical power went off in some areas and there was a short period of time during which there was no cell phone connection.
People were immediately reassured by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii that there was no tsunami following the earthquake and that there will be no more after shocks. But the reassuring reports were not sufficient as even tourists on holiday at Chilean resorts celebrating New Years packed their bags and left.