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French high schoolers join nationwide strikes

STORY: Police stood guard as more than a dozen students gathered in front of Helene Boucher high school in eastern Paris, with banners supporting the anti-reform movement.

French train drivers, teachers and refinery workers were among those who walked off their jobs on Thursday against the government plans to raise the retirement age by two years to 64.

The strikes, and protests expected across the country, are a major test for President Emmanuel Macron, who says his pension reform plan, which opinion polls show is hugely unpopular, is vital to ensure the system does not go bust.