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Brent crude oil topped $50 a barrel for the first time in nearly seven months on Thursday, lifting commodity and energy-related shares in Europe and Asia, though worries about U.S. interest rates and signs of slowdown in China limited gains. Oil's rise took it to levels more than 80 percent above January's 12-year lows and was fueled in part by a weaker dollar, which fell against the Japanese yen. European shares edged higher, led by the basic resources and oil and gas sectors.
By Brian Love and Ingrid Melander PARIS (Reuters) - France's hardline CGT union sought to choke off power and fuel supplies and hamper the public transport network on Thursday in a showdown with a government that flatly refused to withdraw a contested labour law reform. As tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets, workers responded to the union call by stopping work at oil refineries, nuclear power plants and the railways, as well as erecting road blocks and burning wooden pallets and tyres at key ports like Le Havre and near key distribution hubs. The standoff, which raises the spectre of disruption during the France-hosted European football tournament that opens on June 10, was condemned both by Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls and the country's other big trade union, the CFDT.
By Megan Cassella WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have appeared to agreed to debate each other ahead of California's June 7 primary contest, an unconventional move before either political party has formally picked its nominee. Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, is still locked in a tight primary battle against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, while Trump effectively clinched the Republican party's nomination earlier this month when his two remaining rivals dropped out. In an appearance on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" late Wednesday, Trump was asked whether he was willing to participate in such an event against Sanders.