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A strike by railway workers demanding higher pay amid cost of living increases is interrupting train service in France. National railway company SNCF said about one in four high-speed trains was canceled on Wednesday. It says regional service such as suburban trains in the Paris region is experiencing disruptions. International lines, including Eurostar trains to London, were expected to run normally. Four labor unions called for a one-day strike. A meeting between unions and SNCF’s management was scheduled for Wednesday. The strike comes as many travelers planned to use trains to go on summer vacations. The SNCF advised people to cancel or postpone their trips and to work from home, when possible. Read more

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European lawmakers will decide Wednesday whether fossil gas and nuclear energies can be included in the EU’s list of sustainable activities. It is set to be a knife-edge vote that targets climate change but is heavily influenced by the war in Ukraine. The executive Commission of the 27-nation bloc wants nuclear energy and natural gas in its plans for building a climate-friendly future, believing that will speed the phasing-out of more polluting fuels like oil and coal. But this has divided the 27 member countries and even the parliament’s political groups. Environmentalists claim it amounts to “greenwashing.” Lawmakers are expected to vote later Wednesday. Read more

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European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen says the 27-nation Europe Union needs to make emergency plans to prepare for a complete cut-off of Russian gas in the wake of the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. The EU has already imposed sanctions on Russia, including on some energy supplies, and is gearing away from Kremlin-controlled deliveries, but von der Leyen said the bloc needed to be ready for shock disruptions coming from Moscow "and even a complete cut-off of Russian gas supply.” She was speaking to the EU legislature in Strasbourg, France. Read more

A Ukrainian official says Russian shelling has killed five civilians over the past 24 hours and wounded 21 more in the eastern Donetsk province, where Russia has stepped up its offensive in recent days. Donetsk's governor said Wednesday that two people were killed in Avdiivka, one in Sloviansk, one in Krasnohorivka, and one in Kurakhove. He had urged the province’s more than 350,000 residents to flee Tuesday, saying that getting people out of Donetsk is necessary to save lives and enable the Ukrainian army better to defend towns from the Russian advance. Ukrainian officials said Russian forces also hit Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city further to the north, with missile strikes overnight. Read more