French Law Spurs Protests

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In Paris, students clashed with police and activists rampaged through a McDonald's restaurant and torched the entrance to a Gap store in the French capital today.

Demonstrations against a government plan to loosen job protections have been spreading in a widening arc across France.
Some 500-thousand protesters nationwide took part.

The protests against the law are the biggest show yet of growing
anger that is testing the strength of the conservative government before elections next year.

The law would allow businesses to fire young workers in the first two years on a job without giving a reason, removing them from protections that restrict layoffs of regular employees.

The government argues that companies are reluctant to add employees now because it is hard to let them go if business conditions worsen.