News in Brief: Workers in Canada Striking, and More

Workers in Canada Striking

According to the Ottawa Citizen, unions and legislators are gradually addressing labor disputes as locked-out workers strike for better benefits. Air Canada employees in Canada are returning to work Monday after the union representing its customer service staff reached a deal with the airline – but the New Democratic Party (NDP) said it will block legislation that would require Canada Post employees to return to work, saying it prevents the Canada Post from coming to a fair agreement with unionized postal workers. The legislation for the debate will be introduced early this week.

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Regulators Reduce Safety Rules for Nuclear Power Industry

The Associated Press (AP) reports that federal regulators have kept aging nuclear reactors technically sound for operation by repeatedly lowering the safety standards. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) loosened regulations many times by arguing that the safety margins could be reduced without danger, but the result has seen a greater amount of leakage from cracked valves, corroded metals and rusty underground pipes, broken nozzles and seals, and other problems linked to aging reactors that could increase danger if an accident occurred. The NRC called the standards “unnecessarily conservative,” but Demetrios Basdekas, a retired NRC engineer, told the AP, “[that's] what they say for everything, whether that's the case or not.”

US Grants Asylum to Mexican Human Rights Activist

Human rights activist Cipriana Jurado, who worked for the Center for Investigation and Worker Solidarity in Juarez, Mexico, investigating stories from locals who said the Mexican military had abducted, tortured and sometimes murdered their family members, on Friday received political asylum in the US, New America Media writes. Jurado's case is the first in recent history in which the US recognized persecution of an activist by the Mexican military, attorney Carlos Specter said. The US doesn't recognize “that there's violence coming from the state towards the Mexican community, specifically from the federal officers and the military,” Specter said, which is what makes Jurado's case significant.