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World in brief: March 8

NEW ZEALAND: Activists fixed themselves in cement outside the office of Labour MP Ruth Dyson in Christchurch yesterday in protest at the pending signing of the successor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Trade Minister David Parker is due to sign the CPTPP — effectively the TPP but without the US — in Chile, despite Labour opposing the TPP.

Our Children’s Future activist Gen de Spa, standing shin-deep in concrete, said the deal would make New Zealand “vulnerable to being sued by overseas corporations when we go against their profits.”

MEXICO: Left-wing presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has extended his polling lead to 14 points, currently holding 35 per cent support in a poll published by Reuters yesterday.

His total support has grown by 1 per cent in the past month, but his two closest rivals have been slinging mud at each other.

Mr Lopez Obrador has pledged to break the hold of the capitalist class on the political system.

CANADA: Academic workers are manning picket lines around York University in Toronto as uni bosses refuse to resume collective bargaining.

The 3,000 members of public employees’ union CUPE branch 3903 are on strike over insecure contracts, sexual violence on campus, and the right for 700 graduates students to join a union after they were shut out by the last set of talks.

Members of the branch carry out 60 per cent of York’s teaching and lab instruction.

COLOMBIA: Authorities have issued a red alert in Medellin as increased pollution made the city’s air dangerous to human health.

The alert is in force from yesterday until tomorrow evening, and carries with it restrictions on motor vehicles, depending on their licence plate number.

Officials did not restrict children’s outdoor activities at the city’s schools but warned against “prolonged exertion” in the suburbs.

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