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Slavery's Last Stronghold (CNN)

Moulkheir Mint Yarba returned from a day of tending her master’s goats out on the Sahara Desert to find something unimaginable: Her baby girl, barely old enough to crawl, had been left outdoors to die.

The Scramble for Africa

A previous "gold rush" or "land grab" structurally similar to GATS and its global grab of today Exploration of Africa Scramble for Africa Part of a series on New Imperialism "The Rhodes Colossus" (1892) by Edward Linley Sambourne History Western imperialism in Asia "The Great Game" The "Scramble for Africa" Historiography of the British Empire Theory The Expansion of England Gentlemanly capitalism The Imperialism of Free Trade Imperialism: A Study Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism Porter–MacKenzie debate See also ImperialismColonialism Decolonization Areas of Africa controlled by European colonial powers (Belgian, British, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish Empires) The Scramble for Africa, also called the Partition of Africa, Conquest of Africa, or the Rape of Africa,[1][2][3] was the invasion, occupation, division, and colonization of most of Africa by a handful of European powers during a short period known to historians as the New Imperialism (between 1881 and 1914). The 10 percent of Africa that was under formal European control in 1870 increased to almost 90 percent by 1914, with only Ethiopia (Abyssinia) and Liberia remaining independent. The Berlin Conference of 1884, which regulated European colonization and trade in Africa, is usually referred to as the starting point of the Scramble for Africa.[4] There were considerable political and economic rivalries among the European empires in the last quarter of the 19th century. Partitioning Africa was effected largely without Europeans going to war.[5] In the later years of the 19th century, the European nations transitioned from "informal imperialism" — i.e., exercising military influence and economic dominance — to direct rule, bringing about colonial imperialism.

TISA vs Climate Action: Trading Away Energy Democracy

Energy is possibly the global economy’s most strategic sector given its implications for national security, economic growth, social stability, and ecological sustainability. Yet 80% of the world’s primary energy comes from fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases. If humanity is to avert the worst extremes of the climate crisis, we must all reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, rapidly and dramatically. This was recognised by UN Member States in the December 2015 Climate Agreement. Yet, at the very time that Member States were negotiating the Paris Climate Agreement 1 , their trade negotiators were meeting in Geneva to secretly forge a new Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) covering Energy Related Services (ERS). The climate crisis is recognized as the free market’s single largest failure, and there are few who think that markets have the tools needed to solve the deepening climate crisis. Yet, TiSA’s ERS aims to strengthen the market and limit the space for government policy and regulation in the energy sector. Governments preparing to implement the Paris Agreement may find their trade ministers undermining their efforts in the TiSA negotiations.>>More at link- (PDF)

Webinar: The Energy Charter Treaty: To "modernize" or to exit?

This webinar, part of IISD's series of Webinars on Investment Law and Policy, focused on the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). The event was held on January 22, 2020, at 3:30 PM CET/9:30 AM EST. The ECT is a treaty from 1994 that aimed to set out a multilateral framework for cooperation in the energy sector. It covers, among other areas, trade and investment, and includes an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism that has been used in various arbitration cases. A negotiation mandate for an ECT "modernization" process was adopted in late 2019, with meetings planned throughout the coming year. Given this context, this webinar considered the history of the ECT, the modernization process now underway, and some of the main aspects of reform, including from the perspective of climate action. It considered questions such as the implications of ECT termination and withdrawal and noted the case history under the ECT to date. The guest speaker for the webinar was *Kyla Tienhaara*, Canada Research Chair in Economy and Environment and Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Studies and Department of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. IISD International Law Advisor Martin Dietrich Brauch also served as speaker as well as webinar moderator. The webinar was held on the Zoom platform. It can be viewed below and on IISD's YouTube channel.

Webinar on Termination and Renegotiation of Investment Treaties (IISD)

This webinar involved a discussion on the termination and renegotiation of investment treaties, including the presentation of a paper from our Best Practices Series, entitled Terminating a Bilateral Investment Treaty. March 25, 2020 8:00 pm (Open to public) Share this page: Twitter Facebook This webinar was held on Thursday March 26 at 3 PM CET / 10 AM EST. It involved a discussion on the termination and renegotiation of investment treaties, including a presentation of our paper from our Best Practices Series, entitled Terminating a Bilateral Investment Treaty. This paper situates the growing trend of bilateral investment treaty (BIT) termination and renegotiation in the context of UNCTAD’s Phase II of International Investment Agreement (IIA) Reform, examining recent developments in this area. It undertakes a detailed examination of recent state practice in BIT terminations and related drafting, and presents options and recommendations for states that wish to use termination and renegotiation to deal with their stock of older BITs. The event is part of our series of Webinars in Investment Law and Policy. Our featured speakers included Sarah Brewin and Suzy Nikièma from IISD and Hamed El Kady from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, IISD Senior Director, Economic Law and Policy, served as the webinar moderator. It also involved a dedicated Q&A session.

GATES Foundation using coronavirus as a cover for its biometrics and global ID surveillance agenda

Please read this article, There is another issue..discussed in the linked article as well.. I would not have believed this had I not had arguments with "Malthusian" people who want population reduction myself a few years ago when I wrote an article about how Ambien sometimes almost miraculously brings TBI injured people out of comas. It attracted a lot of comments, some nasty, from creepy people who literally really wanted to just let them die. Yuck.

Papers please! EU heralds end of uncontrolled activities (a Trojan Horse for ID2020 campaign to force digital ID on the whole world- creepy special interests are promoting it)

By Norbert Haering of ID 2020 – a unified digital identity for everybody on earth April 21, 2020 | Eric Wagner of multipolar has written a piece on ID2020, which cites translated sections from my reporting in German. Since I have not gotten around to translating my recent writing on ID2020, I take this opportunity to familiarize international readers with this creepy campaign. The following is the second part of … a multipolar article ID 2020 – a unified digital identity for everybody on earth April 21, 2020 | Eric Wagner of multipolar has written a piece on ID2020, which cites translated sections from my reporting in German. Since I have not gotten around to translating my recent writing on ID2020, I take this opportunity to familiarize international readers with this creepy campaign. The following is the second part of a multipolar-article. A link to the first part on mass vaccinations is at the end. Eric Wagner. The “Digital Identity Alliance”, or “ID 2020”, says it is concerned with the creation of a digital identity that will enable people to identify themselves across borders while retaining control over their personal data. The founding partners of the project are Gates’ company Microsoft, the Gates-sponsored vaccination alliance GAVI, the management consultancy Accenture and the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the oldest and wealthiest foundations in the USA. Since September 2019, the “Digital Identity Alliance” has been cooperating with the government of Bangladesh to introduce digital identities. This involves combining vaccinations with the recording of biometric data, such as fingerprints, to enable digital identification of the respective person. By February 2020, 100 million digital identities had been created, as the responsible minister reported in an article for the World Economic Forum. This collection is marketed as “digital inclusion”, supposedly to include disadvantaged people in the benefits of the modern world. Traveling only with a “digital immunity proof”? Also in Europe, the first approaches to establish the technology are emerging. Journalist Norbert Häring, for example, reports on an application within the framework of the “Known Traveller” program of the arguably evil, antidemocracy World Economic Forum, which provides for an initially voluntary data release for preferred handling in air travel. In the long term, however, a mandatory regulation also appears possible, once the system has been established. Gates explained on 24 March in an interview with TED host Chris Anderson:

Gerald Casale: Oral History of Devo

This interview was originally intended to be used in a documentary on the history of rock 'n' roll in 1995. It is unclear as to what stopped this from being shown on TV, but the footage was clearly early in the filming process for the special. Either way, this interview contains tons of background information on Devo, a lot of interesting insight into punk and rocks histories, and some really hilarious stories.

Arbitrary bills successfully making the poor's healthcare subsidies subsidize the rich.

This is because insured with outstanding meical debt are often not allowed to access the healthcare system, while the subsidy payments and bills in their names do not stop. The money end up effectively lowering the health insurance bills of the wealthy who can afford to use their "insurance". The Obamcare system, which ironically was intended to stop "free riding" and the "collapsing" of health care related prices by subsidizing the insurance and drug companies with tax money to preserve the system (which has killed many tens of thousands of Americans each year before their time} has become a means of creating large flows of money that subsidized wealthy people by sucking up payments intended so that the poor could get healthcare.

How Ladies Against Women Flummoxed Phyllis Schlafly

By Barbara Winslow, by way of --------------- If not planned well, *guerilla theater*–frequently an accompaniment to protests or sometimes the protest itself,–can fall flat, can confuse more than enlighten, and can insult the very people it’s trying to reach. At its best, however, guerilla theater can be both entertaining and consciousness-raising. Every movement has its traitors, be they called scabs (labor movement), antis (women’s suffrage), Uncle Toms (Black movement), running dogs of imperialism (Chinese Revolution). These traitors often have a lot of power and can be hard to deal with. Phyllis Schlafly, a right wing lawyer and conservative Republican Party operative, frequently led the charge against the feminist movement (among other progressive social change initiatives) in the last half of the 1900s. Here is an example of one group creatively and successfully taking on our nemesis in 1982. Who says radical feminists don’t have a sense of humor? We have been known to make people laugh when we go after misogyny’s jugular! Take 1982, for instance, when the Cleveland City Club, which liked to host “controversial speakers,” announced that Phyllis Schlafly, the leading right wing anti-feminist, architect of the successful campaign to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, had been invited to speak at its February meeting. The Cleveland Pro-Choice Action Committee, an organization of left feminists, decided to protest Schlafly, but we knew it had to be a carefully planned action. Schlafly was an expert at putting down feminists, relished calling protestors “Typhoid Marys.” A picket line alone would be boring, thus deadly. At one of those meetings which goes on late into the night, perhaps even early into the morning, we were talking, arguing, frustrated as we tried idea after idea, plan after plan. We were getting a bit punchy, thinking up outrageous forms of protest, when we remembered Ladies Against Women (LAW). Of course! LAW was a part of the Reagan for Shah coalition, which was founded by a guerilla theater troupe called the Plutonium Players following the 1980 Reagan landslide. Various groups affiliated with the Reagan for Shah Committee had marched in the 1981 Doo Dah Parade in Pasadena, California. I contacted Ladies Against Women, they sent us materials, and we created the Cleveland Chapter of LAW. The flyers we sent out, with a picture of Schlafly, announced how thrilled we were that “our dear leader” was coming to Cleveland and asked that everyone please come out and greet her. The leaflet was signed by faux groups whose names played on the various progressive groups in Cleveland. For example, “WELCOME,” an organization that promoted school desegregation, became “unWELCOME”; “Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice” became “Ladies Whisper for War and Injustice.” Schlafly’s organization, the Eagle Forum became the Vulture Forum…and so on.

The Role of Digital Products Under the WTO: A New Framework for GATT and GATS Classification

Sam Fleuter  Abstract This Comment provides a new system of classifying digital products as goods or services under international trade law. Under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), WTO member states have limited power to impose protectionist measures on the importation of goods. Under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), states face similar limitations on their ability to restrict international trade in services. But GATS only applies if states opt in, meaning that countries can choose which services are subject to trade liberalization. Within the GATT-GATS framework, digital products are notoriously difficult to classify because they possess traditional characteristics of both goods and services. Though this Comment applies to different types of digital products, it focuses on the international trade of 3D renderings used for additive manufacturing, as this is a type of digital product that has not received any attention in international trade literature. This Comment proposes a three-part taxonomy for distinguishing digital goods from digital services. To distinguish goods from services, I first look at formalistic definitions of good and services. Next, I look at practical concerns of consistency across international trade. Finally, I investigate the underlying goals of the WTO to identify which classification best suits digital products. I conclude that digital products should be treated as services and therefore be governed by the GATS.

Weaponizing Digital Trade.

from Councilo on Foreign Relations, which is a private non-democratic non governmental group that, like the Atlantic Council often takes extreme neoliberal positions and often, tries to look like part of the government, and pretend that neoliberalism is inevitable and, its assertions credible. As the last few years have shown, people are beginning to realize that if the world has democracy, then it has a choice to reject neoliberalism and neoliberals greed centered global coup. They don't own us.

Prosperity Undermined, by Public Citizen.

A few years ago Public Citizen published "Prosperity undermined", It is a must read for understanding how the spin on "trade deals" fails to tell the truth about them. They actually hurt trade.

WTO: I Am The Most Qualified For The Job - Okonjo-Iweala

Despite the fact that - I tend to like her when I see her speak, somehow this appontment doesnt seem to add up for me. It seems perhaps like another shameless attempt to cover up the antidemocracy WTO agenda. Its hard to believe that they would ever appoint anybody who was not a most enthusiastic drinker of the Kool Aid they are selling, A player of their game, or anybody, really, who didn't see it as totally legitimate which is still very much an open question. I certainly know that African-Americans generally - which she is, being a naturalized citizen of the US of African origin, as well as a Nigerian citizen, most AA's I have spoken to about the WTO are if not hostile to the idea of their giving up their jobs for the neoliberal "single undertaking" they certainly would hardly see the WTO agenda for them as being legitimate as its rigid neoliberal services ideologyreeks of the long and painful history of theft of everything of value ever posessed in any way by indigenous people. Of course, due to the WTO all of us, even white Americans have had our roles reversed, we are now the indigenous folks who are being asked to give up everything for the neoliberal payoff to the third world. To sacrifice our futures for a pile of steaming hyperbole.

The Amistad Trial

In August 1839, a U.S. brig came across the schooner Amistad off the coast of Long Island, New York. Aboard the Spanish ship were a group of Africans who had been captured and sold illegally as slaves in Cuba. The enslaved Africans then revolted at sea and won control of the Amistad from their captors. U.S. authorities seized the ship and imprisoned the Africans, beginning a legal and diplomatic drama that would shake the foundations of the nation’s government and bring the explosive issue of slavery to the forefront of American politics. Illegally Captured and Sold Into Slavery The story of the Amistad began in February 1839, when Portuguese slave hunters abducted hundreds of Africans from Mendeland, in present-day Sierra Leone, and transported them to Cuba, then a Spanish colony. Though the United States, Britain, Spain and other European powers had abolished the importation of slaves by that time, the transatlantic slave trade continued illegally, and Havana was an important slave trading hub. The Spanish plantation owners Pedro Montes and Jose Ruiz purchased 53 of the African captives as slaves, including 49 adult males and four children, three of them girls. On June 28, Montes and Ruiz and the 53 Africans set sail from Havana on the Amistad (Spanish for “friendship”) for Puerto Principe (now Camagüey), where the two Spaniards owned plantations. Revolt at Sea The Amistad Revolt Newspaper's depiction of the revolt aboard the Amistad. Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images Several days into the journey, one of the Africans—Sengbe Pieh, also known as Joseph Cinque—managed to unshackle himself and his fellow captives. Armed with knives, they seized control of the Amistad, killing its Spanish captain and the ship’s cook, who had taunted the captives by telling them they would be killed and eaten when they got to the plantation. In need of navigation, the Africans ordered Montes and Ruiz to turn the ship eastward, back to Africa. But the Spaniards secretly changed course at night, and instead the Amistad sailed through the Caribbean and up the eastern coast of the United States. On August 26, the U.S. brig Washington found the ship while it was anchored off the tip of Long Island to get provisions. The naval officers seized the Amistad and put the Africans back in chains, escorting them to Connecticut, where they would claim salvage rights to the ship and its human cargo. The Court Battle Begins Charged with murder and piracy, Cinque and the other Africans of the Amistad were imprisoned in New Haven. Though these criminal charges were quickly dropped, they remained in prison while the courts went about deciding their legal status, as well as the competing property claims by the officers of the Washington, Montes and Ruiz and the Spanish government. While President Martin Van Buren sought to extradite the Africans to Cuba to pacify Spain, a group of abolitionists in the North, led by Lewis Tappan, Rev. Joshua Leavitt and Rev. Simeon Jocelyn, raised money for their legal defense, arguing that they had been illegally captured and imported as slaves. The defense team enlisted Josiah Gibbs, a philologist from Yale University, to help determine what language the Africans spoke. After concluding that they were Mende, Gibbs searched New York waterfronts for anyone who recognized the language. He finally found a Mende speaker who could interpret for the Africans, allowing them to tell their own story for the first time. In January 1840, a judge in U.S. District Court in Hartford ruled that the Africans were not Spanish slaves, but had been illegally captured, and should be returned to Africa. After appealing the decision to the Circuit Court, which upheld the lower court’s decision, the U.S. attorney appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which heard the case in early 1841. John Quincy Adams for the Defense To defend the Africans in front of the Supreme Court, Tappan and his fellow abolitionists enlisted former President John Quincy Adams, who was at the time 73 years old and a member of the House of Representatives. Adams had previously argued (and won) a case before the nation’s highest court; he was also a strong antislavery voice in Congress, having successfully repealed a rule banning debates about slavery from the House floor. In a lengthy argument beginning on February 24, Adams accused Van Buren of abusing his executive powers, and defended the Africans’ right to fight for their freedom aboard the Amistad. At the heart of the case, Adams argued, was the willingness of the United States to stand up for the ideals upon which it was founded. “The moment you come to the Declaration of Independence, that every man has a right to life and liberty, an inalienable right, this case is decided," Adams said. "I ask nothing more in behalf of these unfortunate men, than this Declaration.” The Verdict On March 9, 1841, the Supreme Court ruled 7-1 to uphold the lower courts’ decisions in favor of the Africans of the Amistad. Justice Joseph Story delivered the majority opinion, writing that “There does not seem to us to be any ground for doubt, that these negroes ought to be deemed free.” But the Court did not require the government to provide funds to return the Africans to their homeland, and awarded salvage rights for the ship to the U.S. Navy officers who apprehended it. After Van Buren’s successor, John Tyler, refused to pay for repatriation, abolitionists again raised funds. In November 1841, Cinque and the other 34 surviving Africans of the Amistad (the others had died at sea or in prison awaiting trial) sailed from New York aboard the ship Gentleman, accompanied by several Christian missionaries, to return to their homeland.

Dawn of Day: Stories from the Underground Railroad

These are the stories of the people who fought at tremendous personal risk, to defy the government to help individual slaves reach Canada and their freedom from slavery. They provided safe houses and food for people making the difficult journey north, often traveling at night to avoid slave catchers.. "a rough road leads to the stars" (Kansas Historical Society)

Slavery By Another Name:Documentary about Debt Peonage in America.

After the Civil War and the emancipation of slaves the white Southerners were obsessed with enslaving the black population of the south by means of imprisonment often on made up excuses. These laws are still on the books. Slavery needs to be totally eliminated or it will return.

Ex Slaves talk about Slavery in the USA

I'm worried slavery might be revived because its still on the books, if somebody is convicted of any crime. Maybe its time for abolition of that loophole. Digital Trade is the cotton of the 2020s.

Princes of the Yen: A film on corporate capture in Japan and the postwar use of propaganda and the causes of the 1991 bubble..

Michael Oswald's film “Princes of the Yen: Central Banks and the Transformation of the Economy” 『円の支配者』reveals how Japanese society was transformed and manipulated to suit the ideological agenda and desires of powerful interest groups, and how citizens were kept entirely in the dark about this manufactured crisis which devastated the economy. Based on the book of the same title by Professor Richard Werner, a visiting researcher at the Bank of Japan during the 90s crash, during which the stock market dropped by 80% and house prices by up to 84%. The film uncovers the real cause of this extraordinary period in recent Japanese history. This film has huge lessons for Americans today. We must realize that much of what we take for granted has been fabricated, and the real story is quite different than what we're endlessly told in the corporate media. We live in a system that is much less of a democracy than what we think. The Cold war is no longer going on, its time for a fact based society. Governments do not have a god-given right to manipulate economies as they think, in order to effectuuate political hegemony. often with tragic effects on the citizenry. This especially applies to the banking system. Sign up to our newsletter and be the first to hear about upcoming releases​

Longevity derivatives

Bankers are making bets on lifespan, we are living too long, they think. Longevity Derivatives By DANIEL LIBERTO Updated Feb 6, 2021 What Are Longevity Derivatives? Longevity derivatives are a class of securities that provide a hedge for parties exposed to longevity risks through their businesses, such as pension plan managers and insurers. These derivatives are designed to deliver increasingly high payouts as a selected population group lives longer than originally expected or calculated. KEY TAKEAWAYS Longevity derivatives are a class of securities that provide a hedge against longevity risks. They are designed to deliver increasingly high payouts as a selected population group lives longer than originally expected. Longevity derivatives come in the form of survivor bonds, forward contracts, options, and swaps.

The Global Financial Crisis And Government Support For Banks : What Role For The GATS?

This paper examines whether the GATS is a useful instrument to tackle government support that creates distortions of international competition in the banking sector. The GATS has no specific provisions on subsidies. However, general support schemes ‘as such’ or ‘as applied’ may violate Article XVII if they exclude foreign- owned banks with a commercial presence in the territory of the WTO Member that adopts the scheme. This depends on the specific commitments of the WTO Member and the limitations to this commitment. Moreover, it is required that the excluded banks are ‘like’ the domestic banks. A single application of a general scheme may violate Article VI:1 if solid evidence is available that this application is not reasonable, objective or impartial. Despite these possible violations, the great majority of measures will still be justified under the broad ‘prudential carve-out’. Only support measures that are not reasonably able to achieve the prudential goal will not be exempted. Hence, the GATS imposes only in very limited cases restraint on government support. The WTO Members should address the remaining uncertainties with regard to both the obligations and the exception. This would ensure that the GATS is able to prevent that government support distorts competition and would also alleviate concerns that the GATS constitutes a danger to financial stability.

WAS THE RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 epidemic really planned in two weeks, or was it planned in advance?

Lock Step: How the Rockefeller Foundation wants to implement its autocratic pandemic scenario Mai 27, 2020 | Ten years ago, the rich and powerful Rockefeller Foundation played through and favorably described a scenario in which a pandemic would lead to autocratic forms of government with total surveillance and control of citizens. Now it has published a pandemic plan to make this scenario a reality.


A posted worker is a European Union (EU) worker who is sent from one EU Member State to another by an employer known as a ‘service provider’. The se are workers who are said to return to ‘ their country of origin after the completion of their work without at any time gaining access to the labour market of the host Member State’ , and are in this way legally constructed as workers ‘without footprints’ . 1 We argue that the notion that posted workers do not ‘gain access’ to the labour market of a host State is problematic, especially ‘hard times’ of financial crisis or recession. Our concerns are threefold. First, the terms on which posted workers are hired are more lightly regulated than host State workers, being subject only to those minimum standards which a host State is allowed to set under EU law. Opportunities to engage in collective bargaining over their wages have been limited by EU law. This allows their employers to undercut existing established terms and conditions for host State workers, which in times of fierce competition for work, has led to both legitimate concerns relating to access to work for host State workers and the expression of xenophobia. 2 Second, the lack of visibility of posted workers allows scope for poor treatment. As migrants from another State, posted workers are often isolated in terms of language, but the available evidence suggests instances where this can be compounded by forms of segregated housing and exposure to dangerous working conditions. 3 The circumstances in which posted workers work lead to de facto deprivation of access to a home State union representative and to that of relevant host State unions. 4 We argue that this capacity for breach of rights to freedom of association and access to justice is compounded by the current state of EU law regarding access to collective bargaining