The Trans-Pacific Partnership

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an agreement that actually formalizes the priority of corporate power over government. It allows any foreign investor to go to a United Nations or World Bank-based tribunal of three private sector attorneys and sue our governments for our taxpayer-compensation over any domestic policy or action that the foreign investor thinks undermines their expected future profits.”

– Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, on a leaked draft chapter of the TPP, an agreement she describes as “NAFTA on steroids.”

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Secretly Negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Treaty Prioritizes Corporate Power over Governments

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Interview with Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, conducted by Scott Harris

TPPThe Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a proposed trade and investment treaty being negotiated in secret by 11 nations that include the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Japan has also expressed interest in joining the pact; however, that position was quite unpopular among Japanese voters in December’s election campaign. The 15 round of TPP talks held in Auckland, New Zealand from Dec. 3-12, drew militant protests. Despite growing opposition around the world, negotiators in New Zealand stated they hoped to conclude a deal by the end of 2013.  Story continues

West Antarctica Climate Now Warming Three Times Faster Than Global Average, New Report Finds

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Interview with Paul Anastas, professor at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

climateAn alarming new report by researchers finds that temperatures in West Antarctica are warming at twice the rate than earlier believed and three times the worldwide global warming average, making that area in Antarctica one of the fastest-warming regions on earth. The paper released on Dec. 23 by the journal Nature Geoscience, reports that the temperatures recorded at a research station in the center of West Antarctica have risen 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1958. Scientists say that this data forecasts a potential breakup of the enormous ice sheet there which could raise global sea levels by 10 feet or more in the next century.  Story continues

FCC Rules Change Would Further Consolidate Media Ownership, Reduce Diversity

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Interview with Josh Stearns, journalism and public media campaign director with Free Press, conducted by Scott Harris

FCCIn an echo of a failed 2007 effort by the Bush administration, the Federal Communications Commission, under current Chairman Julius Genachowski, an Obama appointee, will soon propose a change to the nation’s media ownership rules that will permit the cross-ownership of television stations and newspapers in the 20 largest U.S. media markets. Media consolidation over recent decades has led to only five major companies owning the majority of the nation’s television and radio stations, newspapers, publishing houses and movie studios. Fewer media companies means less diversity of opinion on the airwaves and in print.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

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