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Showing posts from October 26, 2015

An Analysis of the Final Intellectual Property TPP Chapter Leak

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[This is important. Take particular note of the section on the creation of the mysterious TPP Commission - this was news to me. *RON*]
Drew Wilson, FreezeNet, 23 October 2015

There’s been a development in the ongoing TPP debate. The Intellectual Property Chapter of the trade agreement has leaked. What’s significant about this leak is that it’s the final consolidated text. We offer in-depth analysis of the chapter.

Earlier, Wikileaks published one of the controversial chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). We here at Freezenet have been following the TPP debate carefully and offered very detailed coverage of the text of this agreement. Earlier, we analyzed the August 2015 draft. Before that, we offered an in-depth analysis of the 2011 leaked draft. Today, we are continuing our coverage by examining the final draft leak of this chapter.

For clarity, when we mention what page we are on, we’ll be using the paginated page number inst…

Canada's New Governent May be a New Beginning for Science

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["...it’s easier to close a lab than it is to start a new one. There's a structural deficit now and it may take a long time to come back." This raises one of the fundamental problems facing Trudeau. Now that Harper has shrunk government to nothing in order to give away everything including the kitchen sink to the corporatocracy, how can Trudeau now afford to bring back everything that has been cut? *RON*]
Thomas Hayden, Wired, 26 October 2015

When Simon Donner, a climate scientist at the University of British Columbia, visited a sprawling Canadian government research center last spring, it wasn’t the empty hallways and sparsely occupied laboratories that stuck with him. You’d expect those ghost town conditions after years of cutbacks and attrition. What really got him was the cafeteria.

Donner’s hosts suggested coffee; he figured he’d be able to get a bite to eat as well. “Instead, it was a huge indoor lunch room,” he says. The onc…

Going Online in the Age of Conspiracy Theories

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["Conspiracy theorizing is an inherent part of human nature." A video claiming Back to the Future predicted 9/11 is the latest in a long and often bizarre tradition of questioning key moments in history. "I think there’s a less than 1 percent chance that we’re ruled by reptilian overlords." *RON*]
Adrienne LaFrance, Atlantic Monthly, 21 October 2015

In the weeks and months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, there was an image that circulated heavily online, mostly via email. It showed a man who appeared to be standing on the observation deck of one of the World Trade Center towers. Pictured over his right shoulder was the nose of a jet. A tourist had captured a photo of one of the highjacked airplanes moments before it struck the tower, the story went, and the camera found in the debris at Ground Zero was all that remained.

The photo was doctored, a digital joke made by the man pictured. It was also one of the first in a …

Criminal Charges and $50 Million Fine Expected in Goldman-New York Fed Case

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[Corporatocratic justice. I guess the government needs to make it appear as though they're cracking down on something. Note that: a) the fine is a pittance, b) the charge involves at most pleading guilty to a misdemeanor, and c) that the banker (whom they don't even name) was part of the revolving door between Goldman Sachs and the Federal Reserve Bank. Smells like a 'Potemkin' crime to me. See, this is more like it: Nigeria telecom giant MTN fined a record $5.2bn*RON*]

By Ben Protess and Peter Eavis, New York Times, 26 October 2015

Federal prosecutors are preparing to announce a criminal case against a former Goldman Sachs banker suspected of taking confidential documents from a source inside the government, a rare criminal action on Wall Street that comes as Goldman itself is facing an array of penalties over the leak.

The banker and his source, who at the time of the leak was an employee at the Federal Reserve Bank of New Yo…

Eurosceptics claim victory in landmark Poland election

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[Poland has always been a very right-wing and exclusionary nation - observe how ethnically homogeneous the people are on the victory stand! In significant part their victory is due to the party's strongly anti-immigrant and anti-refugee stance. Their main geopolitical position is rabid nationalism - they are both Euroskeptics and big fans of keeping firm NATO controls on Russia. *RON*]
By Pawel Sobczak and Wiktor Szary, Reuters, 26 October 2015
Poland's eurosceptic Law and Justice party (PiS) claimed victory on Sunday in a watershed election that risks putting the ex-communist state on a collision course with key European Union allies.

Run by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the twin brother of Poland's late president Lech Kaczynski, PiS secured 37.7 percent of the vote, just enough to govern alone and well ahead of the incumbent, staunchly pro-EU Civic Platform (PO) at 23.6 percent, said pollster IPSOS, based on 90 percent of election committees…

Morocco poised to become a solar superpower with launch of desert mega-project

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[Good for them! World’s largest concentrated solar power plant, powered by the Saharan sun, set to help renewables provide almost half the country’s energy by 2020. *RON*]
Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 26 October 2015
The Moroccan city of Ouarzazate is used to big productions. On the edge of the Sahara desert and the centre of the north African country’s “Ouallywood” film industry it has played host to big-budget location shots in Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, The Living Daylights and even Game of Thrones.

Now the trading city, nicknamed the “door of the desert”, is the centre for another blockbuster – a complex of four linked solar mega-plants that, alongside hydro and wind, will help provide nearly half of Morocco’s electricity from renewables by 2020 with, it is hoped, some spare to export to Europe. The project is a key plank in Morocco’s ambitions to use its untapped deserts to become a global solar superpower.

'Positive' economy stats 'ignore growing income inequality'

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[Positive reports on the UK's growing economy mask a large and growing inequality in income - with stark warnings of more and more low-paid jobs leading to a "race to the bottom", according to a new report. *RON*]

Juliet Michaelson, ITV News, 26 October 2015
A study by the New Economics Foundation found that while employment rates were on the rise, more people were stuck in insecure and poorly-paid positions.

The thinktank has now called on the government to measure the economy in terms beyond just Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

It is a very mixed picture, and very different from the headline messages we hear from the Chancellor that the sun is shining on Britain when you just look at the growth rate pointing upwards.

Why do we want economic growth? It's to make sure we can have things like a good job - that is something we almost all aspire to if not for ourselves then for our children.

We don't just want an economy that just pr…

Portugal's Democracy Cracks Under Weight Of Austerity

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[The country’s president reappointed a center-right pro-austerity government despite majority support for anti-austerity parties that were actively seeking a coalition. Mind you, David Climenhaga is over-doing it with his story: Was there just a coup in Portugal? Why did Canada's media ignore the story? *RON*]

Daniel Marans, The Huffington Post, 24 October 2015

Elections in Portugal this week offered the latest sign that when an individual European nation’s voters challenge eurozone austerity policies, the monetary union -- and the international creditors it represents -- takes precedence.
Portugal’s president, Anibal Cavaco Silva, fueled an ongoing debate about the future of European democracy on Thursday when he reappointed an outgoing center-right prime minister despite election results that gave three left-leaning political parties the majority of seats in parliament.

Cavaco Silva named center-right leader Pedro Passos Coelho prime minis…