New Zealand is one of the Five Eyes countries (UK, USA, Canada, Australia, NZ) who collaborate on mass surveillance, and it has a notoriously off-leash, invasive surveillance apparatus that has been caught spying on NZ Greenpeace, the NZ Green Party, the Mana Movements and anti-TPP activists; the state was also caught giving private corporate spies access to its national surveillance data to help them hunt down and neutralize activists; unsurprisingly, the NZ police also abused these records, accessing them without a warrant on thousands of occasions (NZ also recruited the NSA to spy on kiwi activists).
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One of the most repugnant features of international trade agreements, from TPP to TTIP to CETA, is the "Investor State Dispute Settlement" (ISDS) clause, which gives corporations the power to sue governments to repeal health, safety, and environmental laws if they interfere with the company's profits.
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It's been nearly a year since Trump killed the Trans Pacific Partnership by pulling the US out of it; last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada and the other TPP countries would sign the agreement without the USA -- an announcement timed to coincide with Trump's appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, presenting the TPP nations as a kind of coalition of the willing for political moderation and maturity.
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Derek Yach, president of The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, sent a letter to 344 public health researchers and groups inviting them to bid for grants from a $1b fund set up by tobacco giant -- the list was a roster of Yach's former colleagues from his stint at the World Health Organization.
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Timothy writes, "Diego Gómez is a Colombian conservation biologist. When he was a college student, he shared a single research paper online so that others could read and learn from it, just as he did. Diego was criminally prosecuted for copyright infringement, and faced up to 8 years in prison." Read the rest
When Donald Trump killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a "trade deal" that had been negotiated by representatives of multinational corporations and government bureaucrats in utmost secrecy in order to give corporations the power to decide which labor, environmental and safety laws they'd obey, I started to hear from "progressives" who had suddenly discovered the deal, and decided that if Trump was against it, they should be for it. Read the rest
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Ding dong! The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead. Most news articles say the cause of death was simple: the election of Donald Trump. But they've only got a tiny part of the story. Now more than ever, it's critical we share the real story: creative and strategic grassroots organizing can take on concentrated wealth and power and win. I've got an op-ed in The Guardian today with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and actress Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit, etc) Check it out and please share!" Read the rest
Even though both parties' presidential candidates say they oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership -- the secretly negotiated "trade" deal that lets corporations sue governments to repeal their environmental, labor and safety laws if they hurt profits -- Obama's plan to ram through a vote before the election is alive and well. Read the rest
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "What do comedian Hari Kondabolu, Lost star Evangeline Lilly, a Navajo punk band, and one of the dudes from Chumbawamba have in common? They're all part of a nationwide tour to raise awareness about the dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement: Rock Against the TPP." Read the rest
Retired Brigadier General John Adams served for 30 years, including a stint as a military intelligence officer: in an op-ed in The Hill, he says that while he supports trade deals, the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership has almost nothing to do with trade, and will hasten America's de-industrialization, making it harder for the US military to source the materiel it needs, and making it vulnerable to price gouging by foreign powers, who might even go so far as to block America's ability to source certain vital items altogether. Read the rest
The "International Consortium of Investigators for Fairness in Trial Data Sharing" -- a group that appears to have just been formed, backed by 282 researcher in 33 countries -- has objected to a plan to limit exclusivity over clinical trial data derived from medical volunteers, insisting instead that the fair thing to do is to lock up this uncopyrightable, factual data for up to five years. Read the rest
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Hey Internet! How about some good news for a change? A bunch of awesome musicians, actors, and activists are teaming up to organize a series of concerts, protests, and teach-ins to spark an uprising and stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the shadowy global deal that threatens Internet freedom, the environment, jobs, and more. Check out this video to see who's on board, and then see if the tour is coming to your town, and get FREE tickets." Read the rest
Gus Van Harten is a law professor at York University's Osgoode Hall and a well-respected expert on trade law; he's published a damning report on the Trans Pacific Partnership deal. Read the rest
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive, secretive deal that poses a serious threat to human rights, the environment, and your Internet freedom. But one of the biggest problems with it is that too many people still don't know what it is or why it's so dangerous." Read the rest
TTIP is the farcically secretive, insanely corrupt trade agreement that the US and EU negotiated behind closed doors in parallel with the faltering Trans-Pacific Partnership. Read the rest
The United States International Trade Commission, "an independent, bipartisan, quasi-judicial, federal agency of the United States that provides trade expertise to both the legislative and executive branches," has just tabled a deep, 792-page report on the likely economic benefits to the USA from the secretly negotiated, anti-democratic Trans-Pacific Partnership, and they predict that the agreement will deliver 0.01% growth to the US economy between now and 2032, when it will level off altogether. Read the rest