Showing posts from December 13, 2014

Canada Blocks NAFTA Investigation Into British Columbia Fish Farm Impacts on Wild Salmon

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[From the website for the Center for Biological Diversity. Score One for the corporatocracy thanks to to Stephen Harper. *RON*]

For Immediate Release, December 12, 2014
Contact: Alexandra Morton, (250) 974-7086
Jeff Miller, Center for Biological Diversity, (510) 499-9185

Decision Threatens Salmon Runs Along Entire Pacific Coast

MONTRÉAL— A petition by tribal, fishing and conservation groups calling for an investigation into Canada’s failure to enforce laws regulating damage to wild salmon caused by aquaculture operations in British Columbia has been wrongly dismissed by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, an environmental dispute body established under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico joined Canada in blocking preparation of a factual record on whether Canada is failing to enforce its federal Fisheries Act by allowing wild salmon to be exposed to disease and parasites from industrial fish farms in British Columbia. The United…

Up to pipeline firms, not Ottawa, to make Gateway, Trans Mountain work, industry minister says

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[The level of cynical double-speak involved here is nearly unbearable. These statements by Moore absolutely cannot be taken at face value. They are clearly being made in support of the upcoming 2015 federal election, and need to be read alongside recent statements by groups like Kinder-Morgan to "voluntarily" delay some of their proposals until 2016 (i.e., after the election). PLEASE let's prove that we are not as stupid as Moore and Harper obviously think we are in 2015! *RON*]

By Chris Hall, CBC News, 12 December 2014

Industry Minister James Moore says the federal government did its job to advance the cause of two proposed oil pipelines through his home province of British Columbia, and now it's up to the companies to ensure the projects succeed.

"We've done everything we can in a responsible way,'' Moore said in an interview with CBC News in his Parliament Hill office when asked about Enbridge's proposed N…

CRomnibus Disaster Signals a Sad New Normal in D.C.

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[A bit of a follow up to the Elizabeth Warren video posted yesterday. This is the Harper technique of the omnibus budget bill, writ large, and a gross side-stepping of democracy in favour of corporatocracy. "Stirring GOP commitments to transparency have been exchanged for dead-of-night bills nobody reads designed to make good on promises of corporate favors.... And while big theatrical fights may get waged over single provisions, dozens of others can get pushed through under cover of darkness." *RON*]
By David Dayen, The Fiscal Times, 12 December 2014
House Democrats, under the thought leadership of Elizabeth Warren, waged a monumental yet ultimately unsuccessful fight against two dangerous provisions in the so-called “CRomnibus” year-end spending package. But regardless of whether or not the budget bill included a rollback of derivatives reforms, or a nearly ten-fold increase in the donation limits for party committees, the battle on …

U.S. corporations winning fight over human rights lawsuits

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[You can bet that the Harper government is studying these legal outcomes closely, given their ongoing love affair with human rights-violating Canadian mining corporations operating in developing world nations. *RON*]

By Lawrence Hurley, Reuters, 12 December 2014

(Reuters) - A landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2013 that made it all but impossible to sue foreign companies in U.S. courts for alleged roles in overseas human rights abuses is proving to be a boon for U.S. firms too, court documents show.

In the roughly year and a half since the ruling in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co, U.S. companies such as Chiquita Brands International Inc (CQB.N), IBM Corp (IBM.N) and Ford Motor Co (F.N) have successfully invoked the Supreme Court's reasoning to fend off lawsuits alleging they were involved in human rights abuses in South Africa, Colombia and elsewhere.

In the seven cases involving U.S. companies that federal appeals courts have decided …

'Shami Witness': Twitter's top Islamic State 'jihadi' outed as a fake

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[In the end this is just a curiosity, but it's still surprising how many serious academics and journalists were taken in. A major English language, pro-Islamic State Twitter account turns out to be run by a Hawaiian-shirt-wearing executive in Bangalore, India. Follow the link below to the Britain's Channel 4 piece for more details. *RON*]
By Dan Murphy, Christian Science Monitor, 12 December 2014

Social media, for good or ill, has become an important part of covering conflict and a conduit of propaganda for its combatants. Supporters of the Islamic State have taken enthusiastically to Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter, reposting and broadcasting videos of gruesome beheadings and paeans to their martyrs as fast as the services try to take them down.

Interested in the war in Syria? Follow the right Twitter accounts and you have access to battlefield videos and photos (many real, some faked), statements and propaganda from various sides, and a w…

RCMP, border agents can use torture-tainted information

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[In case we were feeling smug about the release of the torture report in the US, I thought I'd bring back this blast from the past. See also Canada gives torture a nudge and a wink. Just ask Maher Arar, Abdullah Almalki, Muayyed Nureddin, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati, Omar Khadr and Abousfian Abdelrazik, or any of the Afghan detainees Canadians allowed to be transferred into the hands of Aghan government torturers, if any of them remain alive. *RON*]

The Canadian Press / CBC News, 24 August 2012
The Conservative government has quietly given Canada's national police force and the federal border agency the authority to use and share information that was likely extracted through torture.

Newly disclosed records show Public Safety Minister Vic Toews issued the directives to the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency shortly after giving similar orders to Canada's spy service.

The government directives state that protection of life and property ar…

Europe Is Following Italy Into A Minefield Of Permanent Austerity And Debt Crises

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[Outlines a grim scenario for Italy, and Europe, if the EU continues to blindly follow austerity policies, compounded by productivity losses due to an aging population and higher levels of dependency in the population. *RON*]
Mike Bird, Business Insider, 12 December 2014

Europe is about to fall into deflation. With oil prices now below $60, negative price growth is pretty much certain in the eurozone early next year.

The good news is that economists are projecting that Europe's deflation will be brief and mild. After a few months below zero, inflation will begin to rise again later in 2015, to 0.1% for 2015, according to Capital Economics. Most analysts think it will then pick up a little bit further over the following couple of years. Of course, most also predicted that Europe would not fall into deflation at all.

So what if Europe, like Japan, fell into a long period of mild deflation?

In that sort of scenario, Italy is Europe's biggest …