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"Next Generation" Trade and Investment Agreements: Upcoming Challenges for Public Services

This is an excellent recent presentation by a EU public services group about the attacks on public services in the EU by the trade agreements of countries like the US ('next generation' trade deals refers to US style negative list agreements which are particularly aggressive in privatizing and capturing public services, permanently (example, the US capture of healthcare around the globe by transnational corporations) ending public ownership and voter control over irreplaceable services and resources.. It shows the strategies which this global scheme, uses. Very much worth reading.

Human Trafficking and Slavery: Towards a New Framework for Prevention and Responsibility

By Dana S. Hathaway "Human trafficking and slavery are horrific crimes that require strict penalties for perpetrators and effective protections for survivors, but these crimes are in part facilitated by a system of laws and norms that effectively marginalize certain populations—the “unskilled” migrant. In this thesis I aim to reexamine and reinterpret the problem of human trafficking and slavery in a way that highlights the background conditions to the problem. - - - I argue that the framework used as a conceptual foundation for addressing the problem limits the scope of responsibility. Specifically, the framework fails to acknowledge structural contributing factors I show to be relevant: law, policy, and norms impacting immigration and migrant labor. I assert that the limited scope of responsibility, which focuses heavily on direct perpetrators of the crime, leaves largely unexamined the role of social-structural processes in contributing to the problem. I use the United States as a case study in order to provide a targeted analysis of social-structural processes that contribute to the problem. In this examination of the United States, I focus on agricultural and domestic slavery."

The COVID-19 situation illustrates why trade agreements should never have been used to hijack the peoples wishes to lock in bad policy on healthcare and drugs, trapping politicians in big lies.

Most Americans mistakenly believe we can just vote to fix these things, and solve them. Unfortunately, its not so easy. We've been misled by the people in high places, and the media. The fact is the government now has intentionally created a system to TIE ITS OWN HANDS, locking out all progressive change, it hopes, forever. Showing how Its so very confident of its ability to pull the wool over our eyes, indefinitely.

Declassified: Chinese official said at least 10,000 civilians died in 1989 Tiananmen massacre, documents show

A member of the Chinese State Council estimated that at least 10,000 civilians were killed in the Tiananmen massacre of June 4, 1989, declassified files reveal. Alan Donald, Britain’s ambassador when the Chinese government sent tanks into Tiananmen square to quell the student-led protests, sent telegrams to the foreign office on June 5, a day after the massacre. He said a person – whose name was redacted from the document – passed along the information from an unnamed member of the State Council. The documents from the UK National Archives in London were declassified in October and obtained by news site HK01.

GATS and Financial Services: Redefining Borders

"The First Annex brings financial services into the GATS definition of trade in services. Services conducted by a governmental authority, including central bank functions, statutory schemes for social security and retirement funds, and other government activities are excluded from the definition of services provided that such government does not permit private sector competition in the relevant area.' Members are permitted to retain a "prudential carve-out." That is, measures created for prudential reasons such as the protection of either depositors or financial system integrity are permitted so long as such measures are not designed to defeat the commitments under GATS. As with NAFTA, the prudential carve-out may have important implications: it will be the basis to defend virtually all actions in the financial services sector that are the subject of a dispute."

FDI and the right to regulate: Lessons from trade law

The problem of domestic regulation versus international trade and international investment. Note: This is part of a larger PDF - THE DEVELOPMENT DIMENSION OF FDI: POLICY AND RULE MAKING PERSPECTIVES Proceedings of the Expert Meeting held in Geneva from 6 to 8 November 2002

Global capitalism, the anti-globalisation movement and the Third World

There are some interesting insights in this paper, deconstructing the whole scheme from several different direstions. I like his observation that this outcome is not inevitable. We have agency, we just need to take back our right to regulate by dumping the corrupt politicians and their trade deals and neoliberal dogma. Thats all! *sigh*

Fresh air for sale

It started as a joke, but now people spend a fortune on bottled fresh air. Alex Moshakis reveals how global pollution is fuelling this fad

Food security as a global public good

For too long, agricultural, energy and development policies have lost sight of the need for food security. Yet, as a global public good, food security should be a structural objective of global governance. But reform of the latter is not sufficient and we should be fully aware of the role to be played by national policies, and of the growing importance of private stakeholders.

Thousands of National Guardsmen activated for COVID-19 will be one day short of qualifying for federal benefits

It sure looks like thousands of National Guardsmen who are helping states cope with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are about to get screwed out of federal benefits. Politico reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein first revealed that federal orders for roughly 40,000 Guardsmen are set to expire on June 24 – putting guardsmen just one day shy of being able to qualify for early retirement and education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. A Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesperson confirmed to Task & Purpose that the federal government plans to stop funding the ongoing National Guard deployment on June 24.

'Ticking Time Bomb': Corporate Lawyers Openly Discussing Suing Nations Over Profits Lost to Covid-19 Measures

By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams. This is a major issue, Like Slovakia with its health insurance mess, in Achmea, once countries sign trade deals, they can't enact regulations that they need for common sense reasons, ISDS makes it impossible for countries to do things like close for epidemics, or limit business operations in needed ways, or (if they apply to foreign companies and their workers) It may even make it FTA illegal to raise minimum wages. Imagine if you could not fix deep seated problems like environmental risks, lack of affordable healthcare or rising education prices. That would be the US today. Thanks to ISDS and ISDS-like provisions in the WTO, now, for 20 years, corporations have always come first. This is why people can't be allowed to vote for improvements.

MSF briefing and position paper regarding WHA73 and COVID-19

MSF recommends the following actions to ensure access and equitable allocation of COVID-19 medical tools: * Adopt binding and enforceable measures * Encourage Member States to explore and use fully the existing policy and legal measures, including flexibilities under the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health * Ensure full transparency of all R&D funding agreements with explicit and binding obligations Briefing: Position paper:

Health Policy Watch: World Health Assembly Prepares For Show Of Unity On Global COVID-19 Response – But Potential Dispute Over Taiwan

Analysis 15/05/2020 • Elaine Ruth Fletcher The world seems set to make at least a symbolic display of unity in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic at the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA), which begins on Monday. The WHO’s 194 member states are expected to overwhelmingly approve a European Union-led Resolution that aims to step up the global COVID-19 response, and ensure equitable access to treatments and future vaccines. But the show is unlikely to go off as smoothly as some might hope, and not only because the 73rd Assembly is meeting for the first time ever in a virtual format.

It's still way too early to "open the US up" say the numbers.

It seems that if you remove the NYC metro area from the graphs, the infections in the rest of the US are still rising a lot. So many areas have not even been touched by the virus, yet. This is from an interesting looking site on coronavirus risk reduction..

Anti-inflammatory effect of resveratrol in human coronary arterial endothelial cells via induction of autophagy: implication for the treatment of Kawasaki disease.

NOTE: Its not known if these effects would translate to beneficial effects in COVID-19 at all. Please don't think it's known if it would or would not, it's not. ------ Kawasaki disease (KD) is an acute febrile vasculitis in childhood, which is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children. If untreated, KD can result in coronary aneurysms in 25% of patients, and even under intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment, 10-20% of children will have IVIG resistance and increased risk of developing coronary arteritis complication. Additional therapies should be explored to decrease the incidence of coronary artery lesions and improve the prognosis in KD. Autophagy has been reported to play a critical role in a variety of heart diseases. Resveratrol (RSV) confers cardio protection during ischemia and reperfusion in rats via activation of autophagy. Serum TNF-alpha levels are elevated in KD, which might activate the endothelial cells to express intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1(VCAM-1), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and IL-1β. METHODS: Human coronary arterial endothelial cells (HCAECs) were either untreated or treated by TNF-α 10 ng/ml for 2 h in the presence or absence of RSV or autophagy-related protein 16-like 1 (Atg16L1) siRNA. Total RNA was analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR for ICAM-1, VCAM-1, iNOS and IL-1β mRNA expressions. The involvement of autophagy proteins was investigated by Western blot. RESULTS: Pretreatment with resveratrol significantly inhibited TNF-α-induced ICAM-1, iNOS and IL-1β mRNA expression in HCAECs. Western blot revealed the enhanced autophagy proteins LC3B and Atg16L1 expression by RSV. The suppressive effects of RSV were obviously counteracted by Atg16L1 siRNA. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated RSV had anti-inflammatory effects on HCAECs via induction of autophagy. Our results suggest that resveratrol may modulate the inflammatory response of coronary artery in KD and explore the role of autophagy in the pathogenesis and alternative therapy of coronary arterial lesions in KD. KEYWORDS: Autophagy; Endothelial cells; Kawasaki disease; Resveratrol PMID: 28069066 PMCID: PMC5223384 DOI: 10.1186/s40360-016-0109-2

6000 Coronavirus dead unreported in Guayaquil: Corpses left on the sidewalk.

Ecuador has the highest per capita COVID-19 death toll in Latin America and the Caribbean. This story shows what will likely happen to the countries that have current infections if we abandon the social distancing too soon. The government should take care of people forced to stay at home, not give up on the poor and allow them to be evicted and forced to stand in line for aid. It should not be telling people to do things that will get them sick. This is why we should never have signed away the right to regulate. If we did not have GATS we could have public healthcare and housing, in particular. Not be trapped at a level set in the 90s. just before GATS (and perhaps soon TISA, TTIP, etc.) put us on their one way path to eventual "full unemployment" (due to it's massive offshoring, outsourcing, etc. jobs, a process which is only just beginning. Why? Its cheaper to offshore and outsource the jobs to temporary workers from developing countries than pay decent wages. That is "services liberalization": the Washington Consensus's real plan for everything. We should especially dump GATS before it dumps us.)

Antiviral properties of resveratrol against pseudorabies virus are associated with the inhibition of IκB kinase activation

Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 8782. Published online 2017 Aug 18. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-09365-0 PMCID: PMC5562710 PMID: 28821840 Pseudorabies virus (PRV) is a pathogen of swine resulting in devastating disease and economic losses worldwide. Resveratrol (Res) exhibits inhibitory activity against a wide range of viruses. Despite these important advances, the molecular mechanism(s) by which Res exerts its broad biological effects have not yet been elucidated. In this paper, the antiviral activity of Res against PRV and its mechanism of action were investigated. The results showed that Res potently inhibited PRV replication in a dose-dependent manner, with a 50% inhibition concentration of 17.17 μM. The inhibition of virus multiplication in the presence of Res was not attributed to direct inactivation or inhibition of viral entry into the host cells but to the inhibition of viral multiplication in host cells. Further studies demonstrated that Res is a potent inhibitor of both NF-κB activation and NF-κB-dependent gene expression through its ability to inhibit IκB kinase activity, which is the key regulator in NF-κB activation. Thus, the inhibitory effect of Res on PRV-induced cell death and gene expression may be due to its ability to inhibit the degradation of IκB kinase. These results provided a new alternative control measure for PRV infection and new insights into the antiviral mechanism of Res.

Talking Points on Guest Workers

The future of work? (in the US?) This is a snapshot from 2005 but it could be today but for its emphasis on lower paid, agricultural workers. Services liberalization could involve millions of jobs, in dozens of fields, including large ones like teaching and nursing. Imagine an engineer working for $9/hr. (Not out of choice).

United Nations (Service Sectors) Sectoral Classification List (W/120) This is the service sector list that the WTO GATS uses.

The services sectoral classification list (W/120) is a comprehensive list of services sectors and sub-sectors covered under the GATS. It was compiled by the WTO in July 1991 and its purpose was to facilitate the Uruguay Round negotiations, ensuring cross-country comparability and consistency of the commitments undertaken. The 160 sub-sectors are defined as aggregate of the more detailed categories contained in the United Nations provisional Central Product Classification (CPC). The list is also available at the WTO website at:

Open letter asking 37 WTO Members to declare themselves eligible to import medicines manufactured under compulsory license in another country, under 31bis of TRIPS Agreement

Background In 2001, the World Trade Organization (WTO) began negotiations on the rules regarding patents and access to medicine. While several issues were clarified and resolved in the November 2001 “Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health”, the negotiations took nearly two more years to adopt on August 30, 2003, a decision that was a limited “waiver of the export restriction” on medicines and diagnostic tests manufactured under a compulsory license. The final resolution was complicated. Among the controversial features was the definition of an “eligible importing member”, which allowed WTO members to declare themselves ineligible in some cases or in all cases. In 2017, this decision became a formal amendment to the TRIPS agreement. Today 37 members of the WTO are listed as ineligible to import medicines manufactured in another country under a compulsory license, including the governments of Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union, including the following member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden. On April 7, 2020, more than 30 groups and three dozen experts on health, law and trade sent an open letter to those 37 WTO members, asking that “countries to notify the WTO that they have changed their policy and now considers itself an eligible importing country, and in addition, to also use whatever legal means are available to revoke the opt-out as importing members, for goods manufactured under a compulsory license.”

Stop using big Internet companies, especially for email, and start providing REAL phone numbers that ring to people, not voicemail.

(Other big companies that provide "free email" or "social networks" are Non-private and inherently problematic). Journalists in particular should provide better addresses (NOT Gmail or Twitter, or companies that use gmail as their provider) than ones that data mine email and delete messages arbitrarily. If you dont have one, supply a phone number that does not use voicemail and say so. Otherwise well connected MITM attacks can be mounted which result in people never getting left messages.

Returning to a fact-based society

As we're being ruled by a cult that is promoting a simulacrum of non-fact, freeing ourselves of it requires a return to and an embrace of factual reality and behavior.

Certain U.S. Laws for Foreign Workers Draw Fire from India in the WTO (US Congress research "CRS" report)

This is an arguably incomplete, dismissive Congressional Research Reports report (PDF) on the DS503 case, but it fails to portray the situation with the needed urgency. . Note that they say that there is a possibility of the US losing the case, and having to modify behavior on the contested parts of our work visa system, which includes the visa quotas that limit the numbers of work visas granted per year. The effect of massive job outsourcing on workers is that many job ads turn out to be fake, using up jobseekers energy. It's only because of the quotas that far more jobs that can be, are not currently offshored. But the amount might rise very substantially. A very bad idea in this time of falling employment. GATS Mode Four and Three should be reduced or eliminated, not expanded. Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton found that 26% of all US jobs could be outsourced and offshored. A replication study of his study, attempting to verify his work found that actually 46% of our jobs are in immediate danger of outsourcing, But they left public services, the main target of GATS, out. So the actual number likely to be outsourced is potentially significantly higher.

Message to NGOs that should be obvious.

NGOS that are hoping to bring about social change should not use companies - like the biggest Internet companies, for ANYTHING. Not just critical infrastructure services like email, telephone, etc. ANYTHING.

Lowered insulin price should be made permanent

the Lilly company has temporarily lowered the price of insulin to $35/month. As anybody who reads the paper knows, LOTS of Americans, both young and old, are dying because they cannot afford insulin's insane price.

Biden, like Trump is not even remotely progressive

Both represent an attempt to legitimize a global capture scheme that is being forced upon us to legitimate itself. Be aware that neither could fulfill promises to their constituents that they are making, because all that policy space was taken off the table in the case of policy on services, 80% of a modern economy, by GATS, in the 90s.

services of general economic interest

Services which do not qualify for any governmental authority exclusion, i.e. commercial services with a shrinking public component (the public component must shrink, and transition to market based entirely.) Note, this only applies in services with government involvement at the federal, state or local level or when the government has control or where tax money is used see definition of "all measures of general application".