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Les sans-culottes
December 4, 2018

On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced that the government will suspend a small increase in taxes on gas and diesel that sparked three weekends of "yellow vest" protests in Paris and other cities. The moratorium on the new tax, set to take effect in January, was President Emmanuel Marcon's first concession to the protesters, and it's unclear if it will mollify them. Though the protests were sparked by the gas tax, they have gained steam over a widespread perception that Macron's policies favor the wealthy. "We want a better distribution of wealth, salary increases," said Yellow Vests spokesman Benjamin Cauchy. "It's about the whole baguette, not just the crumbs."

The protests reached a violent peak last weekend, with damage estimated at $4.5 million in Paris from burned cars and other vandalism; someone spray-painted "We've chopped off heads for less than this" on the Arc de Triomphe. Tourism is also down amid the protests. More than 220 people were arrested in Paris on Saturday, and three people have died since the unrest started in mid-November. Peter Weber

January 11, 2016

Sunday was "no pants day" on the New York City subway, and more than 4,000 city residents stripped down to their underwear for, as the event's organizers describe it, an "international celebration of silliness." The annual event began in New York in 2002, coordinated by Improv Everywhere, a group The Associated Press calls a "global flash mob." It has since spread to several cities in the U.S. and Europe, where people also celebrated Sunday by riding public transportation without pants. "It's very freeing," NYC subway rider Chloe O'Connor tells AP. "I feel very liberated." You can watch her and her underwear-clad straphangers below. Peter Weber

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