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Reviews of World Bank Group’s accountability mechanisms too important to be done in secret

You would be forgiven if you didn’t know that the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector lending arm, was reviewing its accountability framework, including the effectiveness of its independent accountability mechanism (IAM), the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) (see Observer Winter 2018). Despite the importance of the process, in particular given the numerous documented cases in which IFC financing has resulted in harms to communities (see Observer Spring 2015), the only publicly available information about the review is a brief announcement made in October by the IFC and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency board of directors.

Trade Creep: The Implication of GATS for Higher Education Policy

by Jane Knight. The General Agreement on Trades in Service (GATS) plus other regional trade agreements are testimony to the increased emphasis on trade and the market economy in this era of globalization. GATS is the first legal trade agreement that focuses exclusively on trade in services—as opposed to products. It is administered by the World Trade Organization, a powerful organization with 144 member countries. Education is one of the 12 service sectors covered by GATS. The purpose of GATS is progressively and systematically to promote freer trade in services by removing many of the existing barriers. What does this mean for higher education? The current debate on the impact of GATS on higher education is divided, if not polarized. Critics focus on the threat to the role of government, the “public good,”and the quality of education. Supporters highlight the benefits that more trade can bring in terms of innovations through new providers and delivery modes, greater student access, and increased economic gain. The purpose of this article is to discuss both the risks and

ip-health mailing list Archives

Discussions of Intellectual Property and Health Care "To see the collection of prior postings to the list, visit the Ip-health Archives." This is one of the very best places to learn about the battle -access to medicines vs drug patents and the drug cartel. If you saw the film "Fire in the Blood" you saw how, in this era of global epidemics and corporate greed people must stand up for the rights of human beings to lifesaving drugs at affordable and not extortionate prices. This URL brings one straight to the list archives.

Enron's Global Crusade by Jon Nichols

"And Enron’s domestic activities are only a part of the story. To limit discussion of Enron to them is to miss the most dramatic lessons of this burgeoning scandal. “If you want to know where economic globalization along the lines cheered on by the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, George W. Bush and Tony Blair is headed, look at Enron. Globalization has created an international no man’s land where businesses survive by engaging in financial practices that no responsible nation-state would permit,” says Tony Benn, Britain’s former minister of industry. “When you allow corporations to write their own rules in the global marketplace, which is what has essentially been the case in recent years, you will see unimaginable abuses.” Enron was big on writing the rules. Before its collapse, it held a place on the board of the National Foreign Trade Council, which worked with the WTO to forge trade policy. It sponsored the 1999 World Services Congress in Atlanta, where, Polaris Institute researchers say, the services industry set its agenda for a new round of WTO negotiations. Along with its accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, Enron was at the center of the shadowy US Coalition of Service Industries’ campaign to negotiate General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) schemes that remove restrictions on international commerce involving services. The GATS negotiations, which have been going on for two years under the aegis of the WTO, were described at the World Economic Forum by former Clinton Administration Treasury Department official Stuart Eizenstat as a move to “allow [Arthur] Andersen to export its accounting services to the world.” Eizenstat’s attempt at humor was actually a blunt statement of reality. The first rules for a profession developed by the WTO as part of the GATS negotiations were for the accounting sector–and the rules were indeed shaped with a big assist from Arthur Andersen. So what might appropriately be dubbed “Enron accounting” is already in the process of going global. The loosening of rules governing sectors of the global economy in which Enron was involved was a long-term corporate priority. During the go-go years of business expansion in the 1990s, the company scoured the planet in search of opportunities in countries that were embracing–sometimes willingly, often under pressure from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund–“market-oriented reforms.” These public-policy shifts allowed multinational corporations to buy formerly public utilities and capitalize on the lifting of traditional regulations–moves that opened the door to aggressive global corporations like Enron. Forged in the last years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency by an ambitious former Pentagon economist named Ken Lay, Enron was a corporation designed to shape and then master the new economy of the post-cold war era. Lay preached what Britain’s Independent newspaper described as a “deregulation-happy philosophy” with such passion that The Economist would eventually describe Enron as “an evangelical cult” in which Lay was the messiah. Enron’s crusading globalism extended the corporation’s operations into virtually every sector of every economy worth owning a piece of, using all the tricks in the corporate globalizer’s handbook. “The thing that you have to understand about Enron is this: They have taken advantage of every opportunity globalization has presented them. They have been in the forefront of pushing deregulation and privatization, pushing for access to markets around the world, using pressure from the US government to open trade,” says the Polaris Institute’s Puscas. Once borders opened, once privatized industries were put up for sale and once sectors of economies were deregulated, Enron moved aggressively to gain advantage. Business Week explained that for companies like Enron, “the approach to globalization then was brutally simple: get in fast, strike megadeals with top officials, and watch the profits roll in.” Initially, it seemed, the model was working. Enron was often credited with putting new technologies to work in the service of its rapid expansion. But as much as the corporation benefited from the rise of the Internet, a case can be made that its bottom line gained at least as much from the opening of markets around the planet to swashbuckling corporate adventurers, who brought Texas-style business practice to Australia, Brazil and Croatia. Between 1998 and 2001 Enron’s foreign revenues increased from 7 percent to 23 percent of the company’s total revenues–adding $22.9 billion in 2001 to the coffers of a company that, it turns out, needed every cent it could get its hands on. Enron executives embraced the gospel of globalization with a fervor that portrayed free trade, deregulation, privatization and other planks in the neoliberal platform as the necessary and inevitable face of progress. “We are on the side of the angels,” declared former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling. “People want to have open, competitive markets.” That is a debatable point. When officials in the Indian state of Maharashtra took advantage of a recent relaxation of India’s restrictions on foreign investment to invite a joint venture led by Enron to build a power plant south of Bombay, nearby villagers were certainly not clamoring for the “open, competitive markets” Enron was offering. They worried that the Dabhol power-plant project would destroy their livelihoods and their environment. When they launched a movement to stop it, leading activists were dragged from their homes and beaten by Enron-paid “police” in what Human Rights Watch describes as “serious, sometimes brutal human rights violations carried out on behalf of the state’s and the company’s interests.” “Enron is now being widely accused of arrogance and lack of transparency, but the people of Dabhol have known that all along,” says Arvind Ganesan, who directs the group’s business and human rights program. “Enron was complicit in human rights abuse in India for several years.”

Who’s Fighting The War Against Cash?

Mastercard, Visa, and Bill Gates are all pushing for polices to make it harder to use cash, hoping to keep closer tabs on the population through the trail of electronic transactions. Here Norbert Haring speaks with Real News about the implications to the world and our future of the mostly US's combatants' war on cash, including the so called "Better Than Cash Alliance" including their involvement with India's demonetization.

The economics of populism by Dani Rodrik

(Video, quite good) "When it comes to free trade, democracy, and national sovereignty, you have to pick two and abandon one, so Dani Rodrik emphasizes. Herein lies the trilemma, which is related to a particular kind of globalization that we have been striving for since the 1980s, and which Rodrik calls hyperglobalization. It is an attempt to get rid of all the transactional costs associated with the national borders. This conception of globalization – which has been taken to its most extreme form in the Eurozone – runs into severe problems in practice, he argues. The trilemma manifests itself in all globalized sectors, such as trade, finance, and migration."

Put Globalization to Work for Democracies (and not the other way around)

By Dani Rodrik We need to rescue globalization not just from populists, but also from its cheerleaders. Globalization evangelists have done great damage to their cause not just by underplaying the real fears and concerns on which the Trumps of this world thrive, but by overlooking the benefits of a more moderate form of globalization. We must reassess the balance between national autonomy and economic globalization. Simply put, we have pushed economic globalization too far — toward an impractical version that we might call “hyperglobalization.” The transition to hyperglobalization is associated with two events in particular: the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s decision in 1989 to remove all restrictions on cross-border financial flows, and the establishment in 1995, after almost a decade of negotiations, of the World Trade Organization, with wide-ranging implications for domestic health and safety rules, subsidies and industrial policies. The new model of globalization stood priorities on their head, effectively putting democracy to work for the global economy, instead of the other way around. The elimination of barriers to trade and finance became an end in itself, rather than a means toward more fundamental economic and social goals. Societies were asked to subject domestic economies to the whims of global financial markets; sign investment treaties that created special rights for foreign companies; and reduce corporate and top income taxes to attract footloose corporations.

GATS: Public Services under Pressure to Liberalize:

Global Issue – Paper 1 GATS: Public Services under Pressure to Liberalize Published on occasion of the WTO-Conference in Cancún 2003- The GATS-negotiations in the WTO – A challenge for international civil society by Thomas Fritz & Peter Fuchs

Five danger signs: The GATS assault on sovereignty and democracy

..."The time has come for developing countries and concerned civil society organizations to take a fresh and critical look at what could happen to services sectors, to national sovereignty, policy space and democracy under the GATS. The following is a hit list of five dangers associated with the GATS regime and the current round of negotiations on services."

"H-1B visa restrictions illegal, US companies allege in lawsuit"

"He added that the lawsuit asks the court to “prohibit and enjoin” the USCIS overstepping the boundaries of its power and to prevent USCIS from introducing “unlawful requirements in the H-1B process”. “Without sufficient employees to meet their clients’ needs, Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm to reputation and ability to compete,” the lawsuit says. “Defendants’ (USCIS) unlawful requirements will eventually choke out plaintiff’s work force through extension denials and refusing initial H-1B application. If left unchecked, Defendants will destroy Plaintiffs and hundreds of similar companies across the country.” The USCIS said it does not comment on pending litigation."

Bullshit Promises

by Curtis Bridgeman and Karen Sandrik A few years ago, the philosopher Harry Frankfurt published an essay provocatively entitled, "On Bullshit." Convinced both that our society is laden with bullshit and that we nevertheless do not have a clear idea of what it is, Frankfurt set out to explain what bullshit is and to distinguish it from lying. While the liar seeks to lead his listener to a false belief, the bullshitter is unconcerned with truth altogether. Although the project sounds at first like the essence of philosophical navel-gazing, Frankfurt was trying to make an important point about how this indifference to truth has caused us to lose our way a bit in philosophical and political discourse. In this project, we draw on Frankfurt's work to point out a disturbing trend in contract law: the use of bullshit promises. Bullshit promises are promises that are in a certain sense insincere even though they are not lying promises, at least not in a sense that would be actionable under the tort of promissory fraud. Promissory fraud is available in cases where a party makes a promise that it has no intention to keep, and it does so in order to deceive the promisee about its intentions. But it is quite common today for parties, especially companies dealing with consumers, to make promises that are not lying promises in that the promisor is not concealing an intention not to perform, but that are nevertheless insincere. In such cases a party uses promissory language but elsewhere reserves the right not to perform, or to change the terms of performance unilaterally as it sees fit. Such promises are not necessarily lying, especially if the promisor does not at the time have a specific plan to change the terms, but they are usually bullshit. By simply leaving its options open a party can help itself to the benefits of promissory language without being subject to the norms associated with promising, in particular some sort of commitment to a particular course of action. The tort of promissory fraud as now applied is not able to address this problem, but we will suggest minor modifications in both contract and tort that should help. At the very least, it is time courts and commentators recognized the phenomenon of bullshit promises and the potential challenges they create.

Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients

Higher rates of serious illness and death from coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection among older people and those who have comorbidities suggest that age- and disease-related biological processes make such individuals more sensitive to environmental stress factors including infectious agents like coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Specifically, impaired redox homeostasis and associated oxidative stress appear to be important biological processes that may account for increased individual susceptibility to diverse environmental insults. The aim of this Viewpoint is to justify (1) the crucial roles of glutathione in determining individual responsiveness to COVID-19 infection and disease pathogenesis and (2) the feasibility of using glutathione as a means for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 illness. The hypothesis that glutathione deficiency is the most plausible explanation for serious manifestation and death in COVID-19 patients was proposed on the basis of an exhaustive literature analysis and observations. The hypothesis unravels the mysteries of epidemiological data on the risk factors determining serious manifestations of COVID-19 infection and the high risk of death and opens real opportunities for effective treatment and prevention of the disease. The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the globe, affecting more and more people; thus, the identification of effective drugs for disease prevention and treatment is necessary. The overwhelming majority of people infected by SARS-CoV-2 have asymptomatic, mild, or moderate disease, and only 14% and 5% of patients developed severe or critical disease, respectively.1 Higher rates of serious illness and death from COVID-19 infection among older people and those who have comorbidities suggest that age- and disease-related biological processes make such individuals more sensitive to environmental stress factors including infectious agents like coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Specifically, impaired redox homeostasis and associated oxidative stress appear to be important biological processes that may account for increased individual susceptibility to diverse environmental insults. Oxidative stress is a nonspecific pathological condition reflecting an imbalance between the increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and an inability of biological systems to detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage.2 Notably, ROS are closely related with aging because they mediate a stress response to age-dependent damage.3 Mounting evidence supports the concept that oxidative stress and associated inflammation resulting from an increased production of ROS and/or decreased antioxidant defense contribute to the pathogenesis of various chronic diseases,4 including diabetes and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, known to increase the risk of severe illness and death in COVID-19 patients.5 It is also known that virus-induced modulation of the host antioxidant response represents a crucial determinant for the progression of several viral diseases.6 In this regard, the antioxidant defense system protecting against oxidative stress is of great interest in the context of understanding the mechanisms underlying nonspecific sensitivity or resistance to infectious agents. Glutathione (a tripeptide consisting of cysteine, glycine, and glutamate) is the most abundant molecular weight antioxidant that plays a crucial role in antioxidant defense against oxidative damage of cells from ROS and is also involved in the regulation of various metabolic pathways essential for whole body homeostasis.7 The maintenance of the highest (millimolar) concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH) in most cell types highlights its vital and multifunctional roles in the control of various biological processes such as detoxification of foreign and endogenous compounds, protein folding, regeneration of vitamins C and E, maintenance of mitochondrial function, antiviral defense, regulation of cellular proliferation, apoptosis, and immune response.7 Despite a number of publications reporting beneficial effects of glutathione on human health, the key role of this powerful antioxidant in human physiology and pathology and in clinical applications still remains underestimated. The aim of this Viewpoint is to justify (1) the crucial roles of glutathione in determining individual responsiveness to COVID-19 infection and disease pathogenesis and (2) the feasibility of using glutathione as a means for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 illness.

The Role of Glutathione in Protecting against the Severe Inflammatory Response Triggered by COVID-19

The novel COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the world’s population differently: mostly in the presence of conditions such as aging, diabetes and hypertension the virus triggers a lethal cytokine storm and patients die from acute respiratory distress syndrome, whereas in many cases the disease has a mild or even asymptomatic progression. A common denominator in all conditions associated with COVID-19 appears to be the impaired redox homeostasis responsible for reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation; therefore, levels of glutathione (GSH), the key anti-oxidant guardian in all tissues, could be critical in extinguishing the exacerbated inflammation that triggers organ failure in COVID-19. The present review provides a biochemical investigation of the mechanisms leading to deadly inflammation in severe COVID-19, counterbalanced by GSH. The pathways competing for GSH are described to illustrate the events concurring to cause a depletion of endogenous GSH stocks. Drawing on evidence from literature that demonstrates the reduced levels of GSH in the main conditions clinically associated with severe disease, we highlight the relevance of restoring GSH levels in the attempt to protect the most vulnerable subjects from severe symptoms of COVID-19. Finally, we discuss the current data about the feasibility of increasing GSH levels, which could be used to prevent and subdue the disease. Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), glutathione, inflammation, ROS, N-acetylcysteine, NAC, glycine.

Silicon Valley's “Body Shop” Secret: Highly Educated Foreign Workers Treated Like Indentured Servants

The Future of Work in America? A year-long investigation by NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit and The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) raises questions about a well-known visa program setup to recruit foreign workers to the US: Is it indentured servitude in the high tech age? Or is it a necessary business model to compete in a quickly changing high tech economy? NBC Bay Area and CIR’s team discovered an organized system that supplies cheap labor made up of highly-educated and highly-skilled foreign workers who come to the US via H-1B visas. Consulting firms recruit and then subcontract out skilled foreigners to major tech firms throughout the country and many in Silicon Valley.

"On TTIP and the NHS, they are trying to bamboozle us"

The TTIP trade treaty talks re-open in Brussels this week. We should not be reassured by the convenient 'leak' of a private letter between key TTIP advocates claiming the treaty poses no threat to the NHS. (This is part of a series (keyword: 'neoliberal deception') to show typical neoliberal tactics that are being used successfully to strip countries of democracy and public services as part of its global privatization agenda. Mistake #1 assuming they play by rules of any kind.)

FIRE IN THE BLOOD Preview Clip #1: Thematic Overview

FIRE IN THE BLOOD: Sundance Film Festival Official Selection 2013 A shocking exposé of how pharmaceutical companies use patent law to keep profits unconscionably high even at the expense of peoples' lives, and a plea for universal access to affordable, life-saving generic medicines. An intricate tale of "medicine, monopoly and malice", FIRE IN THE BLOOD tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments aggressively blocked access to affordable AIDS drugs for the countries of Africa and the global south in the years after 1996 - causing ten million or more unnecessary deaths. It is also the inspiring story of the improbable group of people who decided to fight back. Shot on four continents and including contributions from global figures such as President Bill Clinton, Bishop Desmond Tutu and economist Joseph Stiglitz, FIRE IN THE BLOOD is the never-before-told true story of the remarkable coalition which came together to stop 'the Crime of the Century' and save millions of lives.

"Fire in the Blood": Millions Die in Africa After Big Pharma Blocks Imports of Generic AIDS Drugs (Democracy Now)

(From Democracy Now) The new documentary, "Fire in the Blood," examines how millions have died from AIDS because big pharmaceutical companies and the United States have refused to allow developing nations to import life-saving generic drugs. The problem continues today as the World Trade Organization continues to block the importation of generic drugs in many countries because of a trade deal known as the Trips Agreement. We're joined by the film's director, Dylan Mohan Gray, and Ugandan AIDS doctor Peter Mugyenyi, who was arrested for trying to import generic drugs, and is

Access to Medicines: Panel Discussion at Georgetown University about the "Crime of the Century" the disastrous murder by drug prices, of millions shown and discussed in the award winning film, Fire in the Blood

Doctors Without Borders and the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University screen (the 2013 film) Fire in the Blood and a discussion of challenges and opportunities for access to medicines, featuring a panel of distinguished speakers representing a range of expertise in the field of access to medicines.

Urgent-Biden and Trump's Medicare and Social-Security traps for the unwary -proof below

URGENT: Both US Presidential candidates have plans to make changes to our current Medicare and Social Security systems that WILL DESTROY THEM . A little known trade agreement literally dooms them unless we leave it immediately. GATS COMMITMENTS PUT ALL PUBLIC SERVICES ON A FAST TRACK TO PRIVATIZATION THAT RATCHETS IN. GATS MUST BE LEFT NOW. As things are now, expanding either of these programs in any way is virtually guaranteed to destroy them. Proof is below.

Interpreting the General Agreement on Trade in Services and the WTO Instruments Relevant to the International Trade of Financial Services: The Lawyer's Perspective

25 N.C. J. Int'l L. & Com. Reg.1 (1999). by J. S. Jarreau, This is a very good essay on the GATS financial services provisions, especially their history and where they sit in the general GATS and WTO millieu. These additions to the GATS are of extreme relevance to anybody hoping to bring about any of the changes which US progressives want, which unfortunately have been locked down by the GATS, without the nation's ever having been informed. So if you are interested in those areas, "single pauer" (a tierless, national universal healthcare system, which is really the only way to gain sustainable universal healthcare within the GATS, - This requires we withdraw/modify relevant commitments via Article XXI) Also, banking, expansion of student loans, and loan forgiveness, free college, etc. Many things conflict with the new constraints GATS created.

Cultural Malware: The Rise of the RSS

India is part of the new global fascist alliance. We need to return democracy in all of our countries where it has been stolen by extremists, including our own.

Arkansas Senator calls slavery "a necessary evil" - showing how the United States is plagued by institutional racism at the highest levels of government

Cotton is trying to whip up a frenzy over a movement to teach our history without glossing over enslavement of millions of Africans who were sold into slavery in Africa and brought to the US in the 17th to 19th centuries. Many died on the journey. Cotton implied that commercial enslavement "was a necessary evil" suggests that enslavement of millions of Americans still is an option, a scary admission about capitalism which should be understood as having contemporary relevance.

International Institutions Today: An Imperial Global State in the Making, by B. S. Chimni

"The article argues that a growing network of international institutions — economic, social, and political — constitute a nascent global state, whose current task is to realize the interests of an emerging transnational capitalist class in the international system to the disadvantage of subaltern classes in the third and first worlds. The evolving global state formation can therefore be described as having an imperial character. Underpinning the emerging imperial global state is a web of sub-national authorities and spaces that represent, along with non-governmental organizations, its decentralized face. These developments, it is contended, seriously undermine substantive democracy at both inter-state and intra-state levels. Eight possible objections to the thesis that a nascent global state having an imperial character has evolved are next considered and rejected. The concluding section briefly explores the question as to whether international institutions can be reformed, the vision that should inform change, and some concrete proposals in this regard. It argues the case for a complex internationalism in which statist reforms are necessary in the short and medium terms. These reforms can only be brought about by a powerful global social movement."

European Parliament votes to strongly endorse new WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), de-linkage mechanisms, transparency, and compulsory licensing

On Friday, 10 July 2020, the European Parliament adopted a resolution entitled, *The EU’s public health strategy post-COVID-19* <>, by 526 votes to 105 and 50 abstentions. This resolution paves the way for the creation of a European Health Union and the establishment of a European Health Response Mechanism; the resolution contains strong language in support of WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), de-linkage mechanisms, transparency, and compulsory licensing.

The Trade, Investment and Competitiveness Implications of Unilateral Green Economic Pursuit (UNCTAD)

(NOTE: The creator of this site strongly disagrees with this approach to global economic integration) This PDF shows how trade in services (GATS) and procurement agreements such as the WTO "AGP" (or GPA) may likely block local green jobs programs in any countries that have made extensive commitments, due to restrictions against "local content requirements". This may mean that the "Green New Deal" could not be implemented under these FTAs without a withdrawing from the conflicting portions of these agreements entirely. Otherwise, going forward could have the exact opposite effect as desired with regard to local employment. It could actually decimate local employment in those areas. See Pages 11 and 12 in this document.

Neoliberalism is a species of fascism

by Manuela Cadelli, President of the Magistrates’ Union of Belgium, via Defend Democracy "The time for rhetorical reservations is over. Things have to be called by their name to make it possible for a co-ordinated democratic reaction to be initiated, above all in the public services. Liberalism was a doctrine derived from the philosophy of Enlightenment, at once political and economic, which aimed at imposing on the state the necessary distance for ensuring respect for liberties and the coming of democratic emancipation. It was the motor for the arrival, and the continuing progress, of Western democracies. Neoliberalism is a form of economism in our day that strikes at every moment at every sector of our community. It is a form of extremism. Fascism may be defined as the subordination of every part of the State to a totalitarian and nihilistic ideology. I argue that neoliberalism is a species of fascism because the economy has brought under subjection not only the government of democratic countries but also every aspect of our thought. The state is now at the disposal of the economy and of finance, which treat it as a subordinate and lord over it to an extent that puts the common good in jeopardy. The austerity that is demanded by the financial milieu has become a supreme value, replacing politics. Saving money precludes pursuing any other public objective. It is reaching the point where claims are being made that the principle of budgetary orthodoxy should be included in state constitutions. A mockery is being made of the notion of public service."

India Takes First Step Toward Challenging U.S. Visa Policy At WTO (March 10, 2016)

"India is also claiming that commitments made by the U.S. in its free trade agreements with Singapore and Chile to provide a certain number of H-1B visas to those countries violates the United States' commitment under GATS to annually provide 65,000 H-1Bs worldwide. However, the U.S. GATS schedule specifically states that it will offer "up to" 65,000 H-1B visas for persons annually on a worldwide basis. It also committed in its GATS schedule to allow entry for an unlimited number of qualifying L-1 visa holders."

The Critical Resource Theory of Fiduciary Duty

"Fiduciary law is messy. Courts routinely impose fiduciary duties in myriad relationships, including trustee-beneficiary, employee-employer, director-shareholder, attorney-client, and physician-patient. In each of these relationships, courts require fiduciaries to adhere to a general obligation of loyalty, 1 but countless variations on that theme tailor the general obligation to the specific context. In addition, courts regularly impose fiduciary obligations ad hoc in relationships where one person trusts another and becomes vulnerable to harm as a result. 2 Surveying this landscape, one of the leading commentators on the law of fiduciary obligation concluded that it is "atomistic," 3 and despite attempts to articulate a principled description of fiduciary relationships, 4 the prevailing view remains that fiduciary law is "elusive." 5 The purpose of this Article is to craft a unified theory of fiduciary duty."