France’s national rail operator is recommending that passengers stay home if possible Tuesday to avoid labor strikes. The strikes over pensions are expected to cause major transport woes but largely spare high-speed rail links to Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands. Labor unions mobilized massive street protests in an initial salvo of nationwide strikes earlier this month. They're hoping for similar success Tuesday to maintain pressure on government plans to raise France’s retirement age. Positions are hardening on both sides as lawmakers begin debating the planned change. Rail operator SNCF warned that major network disruptions are expected from Monday night to Wednesday morning. It recommended passengers cancel or postpone trips and work remotely if possible.
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The Ukrainian presidential office says Russian shelling has killed at least five people and wounded 13 others over the past 24 hours. The warring sides are sizing up their needs for renewed military pushes expected when the weather improves. France and Australia announced Monday plans to jointly produce and send several thousand 155-millimeter artillery shells to Ukraine. The latest casualties reportedly included a woman who was killed and three others who were wounded by the Russian shelling of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city in the country’s northeast. Moscow’s troops seized large areas of the northeastern Kharkiv region in the months following its invasion of its neighbor last February. But Ukrainian counteroffensives since August snatched back Russian-occupied territory.