May 2011

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US Demands May Kill WTO

Video The Doha trade talks are grinding to a slow halt and might soon be declared dead. When this round of trade negotiations was launched in Doha, Qatar, about a decade ago, It was called the "development round" and the promise was that the rules would benefit the least developed countries in the world of trade and that other developing countries including emerging markets would not have to take the same market opening steps as developed nations. After ten years, the Doha talks are...

The IMF and Trevor Manuel: A Plague on Both their Houses

Picture: World Bank Leonard Gentle - The arrest of Dominic Strauss-Kahn (DSK) on allegations of attempted rape certainly has got tongues wagging. In the Guardian newspaper, French journalist Angelique Chrisafis alleged that DSK “always had a problem with women.” Also writing in the Guardian, Dean Baker, co-director of the Washington DC-based Centre for Economic and Policy Research, notes how ironic it is that the immigrant hotel worker who made the allegations may simply have been dismissed under the “flexible...

Netanyahu Gets 29 Standing Ovations from American Congress

Video In Washington on Tuesday, on the invitation of the house speaker, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the American Congress. It's a speech that Israeli political analyst, Gideon Levy, referred to as "lies on top of lies," yet the Israeli prime minister received 29 standing ovations during his address, in a clear sign of what some commentators have come to describe as the sycophantic stance of the American Congress to the Israeli lobby. In an obvious challenge to...

Food Insecurity: Who Will Save Us, the Smallholder or Large-scale Farmer?

Picture: World Bank Saliem Fakir - Land reform in South Africa is back as a lead item on the government’s agenda. It is a tacit admission that the process over the last seventeen years was a failure. The issue must also be seen in the light of growing food insecurity, as food prices seem to only go up rather than down. South Africa’s land reform policy is not only a way to redress past loss but also an attempt to diversify farming as mainly white farmers dominate farming. However, in opening up the space...

Exploiting the Commons - Time to Change Course

Picture: Guesus Glenn Ashton - The business of exploiting the natural resources of the world for profit continues at an ever-increasing rate. While people are the generally unwitting drivers of exploitation and damage to natural resources, the real driver is laissez faire capitalism, as pursued by the dominant corporate-political nexus. We all rely on our collective natural resources – water, air, soil, natural diversity – to keep us alive. This is the natural commons of the planet, the common property of all...

Just How Much Economic Growth can the Planet Sustain?

Video We are told that "the banks are too big to fail" but its the planet that is too big to fail says a panel of ecological experts. Sadly, economic growth still seems to be taking place at pace with little consideration for its impact on the finite resources of the planet and within a system devoid of any consideration for justice. If every human were to enjoy the living standard of the average North American, we would need four planet Earth's to sustain us all. The opportunity to...