New Zealand lose to Peru

New Zealand’s All Whites had a praised 0-0 home draw in the first leg of a Football World Cup qualifier, but were undone 0-2 by Peru in Lima. Given the big difference in world rankings this was creditable albeit disappointing loss for New Zealand.

It was always going to be difficult for the All Whites. They don’t have the benefit of playing much together – whoever happens to be available are collected from around the world not long before big games. This is far from ideal for team building.

Peru was ecstatic, it will mean their first world cup appearance for three decades. Reports suggest it was a deserved win for them. Good on them.

The All Whites are likely to continue to struggle in a very competitive football world, with our best players spread around the globe. They are ranked currently 122 – Peru is 10, so a two nil loss doesn’t seem too bad.

 

New Zealand v Peru

The much lower ranked New Zealand football team has been praised for holding Peru to a 0-0 draw in Wellington in the first leg of a world cup qualifier.  So the teams have flown to Peru for the second and deciding leg on Thursday.

New Zealand will still be underdogs, but they are in with a feasible chance.

NZH: What the All Whites need to do to qualify for the World Cup

They will be heading into Thursday’s second leg in Lima having kept a crucial clean sheet at home.

Here’s what the All Whites need to do to in the second leg to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year.

Benefit from the away goals rule

The All Whites will progress to the World Cup finals with any kind of win on Thursday, whether it comes during normal time, extra time or penalties.

But thanks to the away goals rule, they could also make it through with a draw.

World Cup playoff ties are decided by the aggregate score over two legs. But in the event of a draw, the team that scores more away goals will qualify.

This means the only score that will lead to extra time and potentially penalties will be another goalless draw after 90 minutes.

By not conceding at home in the first leg, the All Whites will take a slight advantage into the second leg – knowing that any goals scored in Lima will also act as a tiebreaker.

If the score does remain 0-0 at the end of normal time in the second leg, the match will go into extra time where the away goals rule will still apply. If the match is still goalless after that, the tie will be decided by a penalty shootout.

So a draw will get New Zealand through as long as they score at least one goal. That will still be very difficult against Peru, as will limiting Peru to scoring no more goals than New Zealand, but the dream is alive.

Labour support trans-Pacific trade alliance

The Government is reported to be close to signing up for a trade deal with countries across the other side of the Pacific. And the Labour Party is supportive.

NZ Herald:  Labour says it will support a trade deal with Pacific Alliance

New Zealand is on the cusp of signing a significant free trade deal with Latin American and South American countries.

The Pacific Alliance, which is made up of Chile, Mexico, Colombia and Peru is expected to announce tomorrow morning whether it will enter formal negotiations on a new deal with New Zealand.

New Zealand would be the first country to secure a free trade agreement with the trading bloc, which is currently worth $1.1 billion in two-way trade.

Trade Minister Todd McClay is in Cali, Colombia, speaking to his counterparts from the four countries in a bid to get the negotiations underway.

Mexico and Chile were in the Trans-Pacific Partnership that has stalled now the US has withdrawn.

Unlike the TPP Labour are supporting this one:

The Labour Party said today it would support a Pacific Alliance agreement, which means any deal is likely to survive if the Government changes in September.

Foreign affairs spokesman David Parker said that like New Zealand, these four countries were looking towards Asia for trade.

“They are doing good things through that alliance to reduce trade barriers, which also affect New Zealand. So we are supportive of that.”

His party’s main concern was about any provisions which allowed investors from the alliance countries to buy land and houses in New Zealand.

Labour was also concerned about any investor-state dispute settlement provisions, which McClay confirmed would be a part of an FTA with the alliance.

Parker said Labour’s main focus if in power would be to advance a trade deal with the EU.

But a deal with the EU is likely to take quite a while.

An interesting stance by Labour – is it because the US is not a part of it?

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters was more sceptical about an FTA with the Latin American and South American countries, saying that growth in those regions had been stagnant for 30 years and that New Zealand should be dealing with bigger economies in the Americas like Brazil.

He did not necessarily oppose a deal with Pacific Alliance grouping, but said he would first want to be certain that the deal was not simply “hype and presentation” and that it was in New Zealand’s interests.

Very vague.

Todd McClay has been very busy since he took over Trade from Tim Groser at the end of 2015.

Cannabis progress in North & South America

 

While the New Zealand government continues to do virtually nothing about addressing cannabis law (apart from allowing limited use of medicinal cannabis extracts) the rest of the world moves on with reforms.

CNBC: Canada to legalize Cannabis from next year: report

Canadians will be free to smoke and grow their own cannabis from next July under new laws which legalize the possession of marijuana for personal consumption, according to reports from Canadian national broadcaster CBC News.

The new freedoms, which were presented to the Liberal government over the weekend by MP Bill Blair, will be announced during the week of April 10 before being written into law in time for Canada Day on July 1, 2018, according to reports from Canadian national broadcaster CBC News.

Under the new law, the Federal government in Ottawa will set a minimum purchasing age of 18 and will be in charge of licensing producers, however, provincial government will have the authority to manage distribution and pricing. It will also be entitled to raise the minimum purchase age. Canadians will also be free to grow up to four marijuana plants per household.

And (ODT): Argentina approves medicinal cannabis

Argentina has given final legislative approval to a bill legalising cannabis oil for medicinal use and permitting the federal government to grow marijuana for research and therapeutic purposes.

The measure will become law once it is signed by President Mauricio Macri, whose Cambiemos party sponsored the bill.

“Thirty percent of epileptics do not respond to traditional medicine,” medical doctor Ana María García Nicora, who heads the Medical Cannabis Argentina group, told local television after the Senate’s final vote on the measure.

“My daughter has had epilepsy for 24 years and this is an option for her,” she said.

And not just in Argentina:

Chile and Colombia have adopted similar laws and neighboring Uruguay has gone as far as to legalize smoking marijuana, seeking to wrest the business from criminals in the small South American nation.

A bill approving the use of cannabis oil is pending in Peru’s Congress.

In January, healthcare regulators in Brazil issued the country’s first license for sale of an oral spray derived from marijuana used to treat multiple sclerosis.

There has also been a lot of changes to cannabis laws in many states in the US.

Meantime here in New Zealand we continue to suffer the consequences of outdated and ineffective drug laws.