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Thousands of Brazilians have joined a general strike, called for by trade unions, to protest against pension reforms being discussed in Congress.

In Rio de Janeiro, police launched tear gas at protesters attempting to block Avenida Brasil, while residents of Sao Paulo awoke to find demonstrators burning tires on the main Rodovia Anhangüera highway.

The strike is the first of its kind since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January.

The administration aims to raise the retirement age to 65 for men and 62 for women and increase workers’ contributions.

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