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World in Brief: Monday March 12

ZIMBABWE: Trade unionists say that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government snubbed organised labour as it “met everyone” during his first 100 days in office.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said the government made no attempt to talk to unions, either in the formal or the very large informal sectors of the economy.

The ZCTU warned that Mr Mnangagwa’s administration was determined to pursue neoliberal economic policies, including introducing austerity measures and attacking workers’ rights.

POLAND: Most shops were shut yesterday following the government’s partial reintroduction of a socialist-era prohibition on Sunday trading.

Sunday opening hours were deregulated in the 1990s. The new rules ban shopping on two Sundays in a month, increasing to three a month in 2019 and all but seven a year in 2020.

Hungary tried something similar in 2015 but quickly reversed it. Germany and Austria have kept up their Sunday trading restrictions.

GERMANY: Horst Seehofer has vowed a crackdown on refugees once he becomes interior minister when Angela Merkel’s new cabinet is sworn in on Wednesday.

The current governor of Bavaria told Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag that he wants to push through a “plan for accelerated asylum procedures and consequent deportations.”

He insisted that deporting people who had fled war zones was necessary to ensure “the security of our citizens.”

BOLIVIA: Thousands of workers, peasant farmers, and indigenous people unfurled the world’s longest flag as they marched on Saturday to demand that the country be given access to the sea.

President Evo Morales is pushing for a corridor to the Pacific Ocean, restoring maritime access that was shut off following a war with Chile in the 1880s.

Bolivia will take the case to the International Court of Justice next month. Chile says the war fixed the borders and there is nothing to discuss.

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