France gripped by massive strike
Hundreds of thousands of civil servants have joined striking transport and energy workers as France is paralysed by a second week of industrial action.
Teachers, postal workers, air traffic controllers and hospital staff are holding a 24-hour stoppage over planned job cuts and higher wage demands.
Students are continuing to demonstrate over university funding plans.
Many thousands joined street protests in Paris, Rouen, Strasbourg, Marseille, Grenoble, Lyon and other cities.
It could end up as the biggest show of defiance at President Nicolas Sarkozy's reform plans since his election in May.
The latest nationwide stoppage left many schools closed, hospitals providing a reduced service and newsagents without newspapers.
more at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7102890.stm