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Strike at SNCF, Parcoursup, Zelensky in the US, Elon Musk: the news on the front page this morning

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SNCF strike: Two out of three TGVs will run over the Christmas weekend

Only two out of three TGVs will run in France this Christmas weekend due to a strike by controllers, according to the first estimates, on Tuesday, December 20, from the management of the SNCF, which ensures that every fourth traveler will see their train cancelled. The strike will therefore be important, but less so than at Christmas in 2019, or during a first mobilization weekend this year, from 2 to 5 December, when 60% of TGV and Intercités had been cancelled. On Friday, two out of three TGVs will be running in detail on the Atlantic and Mediterranean axes, and one out of two trains on the northern axis. However, the Paris-Lille bus will be almost normal. Three TGV Est out of four will run. TGVs between provincial stations should be more affected.

Three Ouigos out of four should also circulate. Intercités will run normally. The details for Saturday and Sunday have not yet been communicated, but the scenario will be largely the same as Friday, although “easily decomposed“, announced Alain Krakovitch, director of TGV-Intercités. About 200,000 people should not be able to travel, out of 800,000 scheduled on trains this weekend.

Education: opening of Parcoursup

Ahead of registration starting on January 18, the Parcoursup post-baccalaureate admissions platform opened an information website for candidates on Tuesday, December 20 in an effort to respond to the stress caused by this end-of-schooling phase. “To meet user expectations, the search engine and Parcoursup’s training sheets will help candidates and their families better understand the training courses and make their choices in an informed way.“, explains the Ministry of Education in a press release.

Companies, subjects, expected skills, criteria for examining applications, possible professional orientations, fees or even the dates of open doors for each of the courses … “All of these developments aim to make the process more predictable and thus reduce stress or the surprise effect, a stressor for high school students and their families.“, the ministry continues. Then, from 18 January, students will be able to start registering their wishes for more than 21,000 state-recognised education courses. They have until March 9 to make these wishes.

War in Ukraine: President Zelensky is expected in the United States

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected on Wednesday, December 21, in Washington, several US media report, specifying that he will address Congress and meet Joe Biden at the White House. This will be his first international trip since Russia’s February 24 invasion of his country. This visit, if confirmed, comes as US parliamentarians prepare to vote on a massive new aid package for Ukraine.

The US president, for his part, should give the green light to send Patriot missiles, a particularly sophisticated anti-aircraft system, to Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky traveled on Tuesday to Bakhmout, a city in the east of his country that has been ravaged by intense fighting with Russian forces who have been trying to take it since the summer and is currently the hottest spot in the world.

Twitter: Elon Musk announces that he is stepping down as head of the company

After a long moment of silence and then blowing hot and cold on the follow-up he intended to give to the poll he himself initiated, Elon Musk finally announced on Tuesday, December 21, that he will step down as the head of Twitter as soon as he havefound someone crazy enough” to succeed him. After weeks of tension and hesitation about the future of the social network since its acquisition for 44 billion euros, Elon Musk asked Twitter users on Monday if he should leave the platform’s leader. And 57% of the roughly 17 million users of the platform who spoke out said they supported his departure.

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