World Briefs: French rail strikes longest since 1980s

French rail strikes longest since 1980s

PARIS • With 29 straight days of walkouts, the French rail strikes against government plans to reform the country's retirement system marked a new milestone yesterday, surpassing even the lengths of strikes in the 1980s.

The nationwide walkouts against the government's pension plan started on Dec 5, but continued to cripple train and metro services across the country all the way through the Christmas-New Year period. Yesterday, they surpassed in longevity a 1986 to 1987 rail strike, a walkout that lasted 28 days at the SNCF national rail company.


29 South Korean MPs charged over stand-off

SEOUL • South Korean prosecutors yesterday indicted almost 30 MPs on assault and other charges over a stand-off in Parliament last April.

In a bid to stop legislation being passed, members of the opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) linked arms to block access to a committee room. Scuffles broke out as MPs from the governing Democratic Party tried to force their way into the hall. Twenty-four MPs from the LKP were indicted on charges that included causing a commotion while five Democratic Party MPs were indicted on accusations of assault.


Drop in major commercial plane crash deaths

WASHINGTON • The number of people killed in large commercial airplane crashes fell by more than 50 per cent last year despite a high-profile Boeing 737 Max crash in Ethiopia in March, a Dutch consulting firm said.

To70 on Wednesday said there were 86 accidents involving large commercial planes - including eight fatal incidents - resulting in 257 fatalities last year. In 2018, there were 160 accidents, including 13 fatal ones, resulting in 534 deaths. To70 said the fatal accident rate in commercial passenger air transport was an average of one fatal accident every 5.58 million flights.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2020, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Subscribe