Agreement

Will China be a Factor in the Upcoming NAFTA Negotiations?

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Beijing is incentivizing Mexico City and others in Latin American to rethink their traditional trading relationships. Bill Bray Miyako Yerick The National Interest The first round of NAFTA renegotiations is set to take place in Washington, DC August 16–20 and one of the primary U.S. objectives is reducing its $63 billion trade deficit with Mexico. Mexico is in a position to drive a harder bargain than many would think, however. Unlike thirty years ago, Mexico today can leverage China’s growing foreign direct ... Read More »

Treaty to enable high seas marine protected areas takes step forward

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The NZ deep sea trawler West Bay does a fast turn after hauling its catch from international waters in the Tasman Sea. Greenpeace  along with more than a thousand scientists are supporting the call for a moratorium  on high seas bottom trawling, because of the vast amount of marine life that is destroyed by this fishing method.
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The United Nations has advanced a step closer to an international treaty to protect marine life on the high seas, with an aim of setting up a mechanism for creating marine protected areas in areas beyond national jurisdictions. Aaron Orlowski SeafoodSource International waters outside countries’ exclusive economic zones make up 60 percent of the ocean and cover almost half of the surface of the earth. The waters are rife with marine life, including many threatened species, but are subject to ... Read More »

Sri Lanka signs Hambantota port deal with China

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Billion-dollar agreement reached despite trade union opposition and protests over security fears, including from India. Al Jazeera and news agencies<imgheight=”1″width=”1″style=”display:none”src=”https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=968100353246427&ev=PageView&noscript=1″/> Sri Lanka has signed a $1.12bn agreement with a state-run Chinese firm to operate a port in the southeast of the country, despite security concerns and protests from trade unions. According to the long-delayed deal reached in the capital Colombo on Saturday, Sri Lanka Ports Authority agreed to sellΒ a 70 percent stake in the Hambantota port to China Merchants Ports ... Read More »

US calls for smaller deficits in new NAFTA talks

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The US government says trade deficits and market access will top the agenda as it renegotiated trade terms with Mexico and Canada. BBC US President Donald Trump has described the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a “disaster” and ordered fresh talks earlier this year. The objectives have been released in advance of the start of meetings with Canada and Mexico next month. Economists have warned that reaching the goals might be… US calls for… Read More »

Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign Minister Warns Donald Trump That Tehran Can Abandon the Nuclear Deal

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TNI’s Jacob Heilbrunn just sat down with Tehran’s top diplomat—and he was not happy with the Trump administration. Mohammad Javad Zarif The National Interest Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest, spoke with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister in an interview in New York on Monday, July 17, 2017. The following is a lightly… Jacob Heilbrunn: Yesterday you were on Fareed Zakaria’s show. And if, as you alleged, the Trump administration is indeed violating the… Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign… Read More »

Major German Universities Cancel Elsevier Contracts

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These institutions join around 60 others that hope to put increasing pressure on the publishing giant in ongoing negotiations for a new nationwide licensing… Diana Kwon The Scientist In Germany, the fight for open access and favorable pricing for journals is getting heated. At the end of last month (June 30), four major academic institutions in Berlin announced that they would not renew their subscriptions with the Dutch publishing giant Elsevier once they end this… Then on July 7, nine ... Read More »

EU encourages Balkans Unity at Trieste summit

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Leaders from six western Balkan countries have agreed to form a common regional economic area at a summit in Trieste. Euronews It’s been proposed by the European Union as an extension of the already existing Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), which is stepping stone towards full membership for the… EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini: “All the six partners of the western Balkans clearly want to be more integrated in the… EU encourages Balkans… Read More »

Democracy Breaks Out at the UN as 122 Nations Vote to Ban the Bomb

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We are witnessing a striking shift in the global paradigm of how the world views nuclear weapons. Alice Slater The Nation On July 7, 2017, at a UN Conference mandated by the UN General Assembly to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, the only weapons of mass destruction yet to be banned, 122 nations completed the job after three weeks, accompanied by a… The new treaty outlaws any prohibited activities related to… Democracy Breaks Out… Read More »

Can Kurt Volker Solve the Ukraine Crisis?

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Kurt Volker, widely known as a tough-minded and accomplished diplomat, confronts his biggest challenge in working to implement the… Curt Mills The National Interest As Donald Trump spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Hamburg late last week, his State Department announced the appointment of a… His mandate is to help implement the Minsk agreements. Kurt Volker is widely respected as an accomplished diplomat, but in Ukraine he confronts his… Can Kurt Volker… Read More »

UK business group: Government has no ‘clear plan’ for Brexit

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The President of the Confederation of British Industry Paul Dreschler said that business was “no wiser” about Brexit than a year… Joshua Posaner  Politico The U.K. government has no “clear plan” for Brexit and needs a “serious fact-based discussion about what the future looks like” outside the EU, Paul Drechsler, president of the Confederation of British Industry lobby group, said… Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday show, Drechsler said that… UK business group… Read More »

‘Democracies Die Behind Closed Doors’:

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The chilling parallels between the ‘Munich Conference’ and the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ According to the celebrated American judge, Damon J. Keith, ‘democracies die behind closed doors’.  (Source: Detroit Free Press v Ashcroft, 303 F. 3d 681, Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 2002.) Klearchos A. Kyriakides Published in Agora Dialogue on 26 June 2017 Judge Keith articulated his memorable dictum as a means of justifying the cherished principle of open justice. Nevertheless, his dictum is likewise capable of being applied in other ... Read More »

Egypt lawmakers approve deal giving islands to Saudi Arabia

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In defiance of a court ruling, Egypt’s parliament voted on Wednesday to ratify a disputed 2016 agreement that would transfer two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Hamza Hendawi Associated Press ABC The vote, in which lawmakers in favor were asked to stand up, came shortly after the 596-seat chamber opened a debate on the pact earlier in the day. The outcome was a foregone conclusion since the legislature is packed with supporters of President Abdel-Fattah el… Egypt lawmakers ... Read More »

Israel says it approves of the controversial transfer of two Egyptian islands to Saudi control

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The transfer of the islands has provoked anger in Egypt [AFP] Israel says it backs the controversial handover of two Red Sea islands from Egyptian to Saudi control, despite having no formal relations with Riyadh. The New Arab Tiran and Sanafir islands in the Gulf of Aqaba have been under Cairo’s administration since at least the 1950s, but will be handed over to Saudi Arabia later this… Israel says it… Read More »

Egypt Gives Saudi Arabia 2 Islands in a Show of Gratitude

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CAIRO — Since King Salman of Saudi Arabia arrived in Cairo on Thursday for a five-day visit, the leader of the oil-rich kingdom has lavished his Egyptian allies with promises of aid and… DECLAN WALSH  The New York Times But this time, instead of writing a blank check with little more than a polite “thank you” to show for it, King Salman will return home Monday with something more substantial in return: two islands in a… Egypt’s cabinet announced on ... Read More »

To slow climate change, India joins the renewable energy revolution

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On June 3, two days after President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanged a hug with French President Emmanuel Macron during an… Arun Agrawal The Conversation Modi and Macron pledged to achieve emissions reductions beyond their… For observers who equate India’s energy production with a… To slow climate… Read More »

MIT issues statement regarding research on Paris Agreement

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MIT issued the following statement on Thursday, June 1 2017. A set of talking points circulated in support of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement included this statement: “The [Paris] deal also accomplishes LITTLE for the climate MIT “According to researchers at MIT, if all member nations met their obligations, the impact on the climate would be negligible. The impacts have… The researchers in MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and MIT issues statement… Read More »