NPR logo Strikes In France, Vaccine Suits Before Court, Hearing For Fort Hood Shooter


Strikes In France, Vaccine Suits Before Court, Hearing For Fort Hood Shooter

Workers take the street during a protest march in Marseille, southern France, Tuesday Oct.12, 2010. Claude Paris/AP hide caption

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Claude Paris/AP

Massive Strikes in France

Massive strikes have brought France to a standstill today. Hospital workers, teachers, bus drivers, train drivers, airport personnel, gas and electricity workers, all are on strike today. The roads into Paris are jammed. And in perhaps the ultimate indignity, French news radio was replaced by American soft rock. High school and college students also walked out of class.

The strikers are officially protesting a proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62 in France. But more and more they are taking on a tone objecting to the entirety of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's government. The strike is supposed to only last one day, but unions say further action will take place on October 16th, and threaten open ended action.

Update at 8:31 EDT: Great live crowd sourced map and tweet center for impact of French strikes. It is in French, but a great resource.

Supreme Court To Hear Vaccine Case

The court hears arguments today that test a federal law providing no fault compensation for some injures from vaccines. Now the law bars lawsuits in state courts for all design defects in vaccines, even if they were avoidable.

Hannah Brusewitz was six months old when she received a vaccination, within hours she suffered scores of seizures. NPR's Nina Totenberg reports:

Hannah's parents initially filed a claim with the so-called vaccine court, set up under federal law to compensate the victims of vaccine injuries. A month before,  the court had removed seizures  from the list of compensatable conditions resulting from the  vaccine. And the special court denied compensation.  So Hannah's parents sued for damages in state court, only to have the drug company move the case to federal court, where it was thrown out. Today the Supreme Court considers whether the federal law providing no fault compensation categorically precludes such state court suits.

Alleged Fort Hood Shooter Before Court Today

In this image released by the U.S. Army, bystanders crouch for cover as shots rang out from Fort Hood's Soldier Readiness Processing Center Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009, as law enforcement officers run toward the sound of the gunfire at Fort Hood, Texas. Jeramie Sivley/U.S. Army hide caption

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Jeramie Sivley/U.S. Army

Army Major Nidal Hasan appears before a military court today for an Article 32 hearing, which determines whether a court martial should go forward. . Hasan is accused of opening fire at Ft. Hood last November, indiscriminately killing 13 people. Hasan will face his alleged victims for the first time, the investigating officer in the hearing says he wants to hear from all 32 people who were injured in the attack. The hearing could last three weeks.