French police clashed today with hundreds of protesters in Paris, sending clouds of tear gas wafting across the city’s Place de la Nation traffic circle.
The unrest was one of several rallies marred by violence amid nationwide peaceful protests against the labor reforms being championed by the country’s Socialist government.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Paris to protest the changes to the rules governing layoffs and France’s 35-hour work week.
Officials hope the changes will inject some flexibility into the country’s stagnant labor market. But many on the left fear it will do little more than weaken the nation’s generous social protections.
Local media counted at least 200 demonstrations across France, including a march in Paris kicking off from Place de la Republique, the home of a round-the-clock Occupy Wall Street-style sit-in that materialized in reaction to the reforms.
There were clashes elsewhere. French television broadcast scenes from the western city of Rennes, where police faced off with gas mask-wearing, shield-wielding rioters clad all in black.
Continued unrest over the labor plans is piling the pressure on France’s ruling Socialists, who have already been forced to retreat over security plans to pull the citizenship of dual nationals convicted of terrorism. (AP)
Akram not in favour of separate captains
Karachi, Apr 9 (PTI) Former captain and fast bowling great Wasim Akram is not in favour of having separate captains of the Pakistan team for the three formats of the game.
Akram said he personally favored having one captain for all three formats.
“In Pakistan cricket culture is different. I don’t think it is sensible to have three different captains because in our set-up when we don’t properly follow one leader, how do you expect players to follow three different leaders,” he said on Geo News channel.
Akram’s comments came after Pakistan Cricket Board appointed wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed as captain of the national T20 side after resignation of Shahid Afridi.
The Test squad is led by Misbah-ul-Haq and the ODI side by Azhar Ali.
“I would like to see one captain for all three formats and this would be ideal for our cricket,” he added.
Akram has been named with another former captain Ramiz Raja to help the Board select a new head coach of the national team after the resignation of Waqar Younis following the dismal show of the team in recent months.
Akram made it clear that he had an open mind on the selection of head coach.
“I have no preset ideas or mindset. We have an open mind to all options. Regardless of whether we have a foreign or local coach, one thing is clear the candidate must come with a proper understanding of Pakistan cricket and a full plan to improve the cricket set-up,” he said.
Pakistan’s former Test pacer Aaqib Javed, who is a frontrunner for the coaching job, has said he will not apply for the post since with Akram and Ramiz on the PCB committee, the Board will go for a foreign coach.
Akram was also not amused with recent statements of senior player Muhammad Hafeez.
“I think if he has any issues he should go and speak to the PCB Chairman directly and not go in the media. After all, he is still playing and is a centrally contracted player,” Akram said.
Akram said after Hafeez retired he could go and say anything to the media.
“I am not in favour of centrally contracted and active
players sitting on the media,” he stated.