The US Bishops’ International Justice and Peace Committee has urged Secretary of State, John Kerry, to step up efforts to advance nuclear disarmament and ensure the success of a multilateral conference being held in New York. The comments were made in a May 12 letter issued as the Ninth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) meeting continues at the United Nations.
“For most Americans, there is an assumption that the nuclear threat receded with the end of the Cold War. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth,” said Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the Committee. “In a multi-polar world where there are risks of nuclear proliferation and even nuclear terrorism, it is imperative that the world move systematically and relentlessly toward nuclear disarmament and the securing of nuclear materials. Preserving the NPT is a cornerstone of this effort.”
The International Justice and Peace Committee also urged bold and concrete commitments to “accelerate verifiable nuclear disarmament, including taking weapons off ‘launch on warning’ status to prevent a catastrophic accident, deeper cuts in nuclear arsenals, ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and serious negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty and other prudent measures.” Read full text of the letter…
The US and the world are engaged in a great debate about new trade agreements. Such pacts used to be called free-trade agreements; in fact, they were managed trade agreements, tailored to corporate interests, largely in the US and the EU. Today, such deals are more often referred to as partnerships, as in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But they are not partnerships of equals: the US effectively dictates the terms. Fortunately, America’s “partners” are becoming increasingly resistant.
It is not hard to see why. These agreements go well beyond trade, governing investment and intellectual property as well, imposing fundamental changes to countries’ legal, judicial, and regulatory frameworks, without input or accountability through democratic institutions.
Perhaps the most invidious – and most dishonest – part of such agreements concerns investor protection. Of course, investors have to be protected against rogue governments seizing their property. But… More…
‘Rising anti-American sentiment linked to revelations of U.S. spying and fears of digital domination by firms like Google’
Demonstrators marched around the globe Saturday to protest the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a ‘free trade’ agreement currently being negotiated between the European Union (EU) and the United States.
Opponents fear that TTIP will erode food, labor and environmental standards particularly with regard to the EU’s strict regulations on food additives, genetically modified crops and the use of pesticides. “There is a very big risk: TTIP will restrict our democratic rights. In the future, large corporations will have an even greater influence on the legislative process,” said Thilo Bode of Foodwatch. Continue reading ‘Stop TTIP’: Global Day of Action Draws Tens of Thousands→
by Joe Romm
Decadal index of two-day precipitation totals that are exceeded on average only once in a 5-year period. Changes are compared to the period 1901-1960. As data show, such once-in-five-year events have become much more common (via NCA.)
Trade agreements are a subject that can cause the eyes to glaze over, but we should all be paying attention. Right now, there are trade proposals in the works that threaten to put most Americans on the wrong side of globalization. Continue reading On the Wrong Side of Globalization→
Haitian women workers tell of their experiences in sweatshops. These interviews, gathered over the past two years, are among many dozens that this writer has collected from Haitian sweatshop workers since the early 1980s. Not one has ever diverged from the narrative of miserable working conditions and the inability to feed, shelter, and educate their children on insufficient wages. Below, womentell of their experiences as sweatshop workers and offer their analysis on better types of jobs for Haiti. Continue reading Haitian Sweatshop Workers Speak: Sub-Poverty Wages and Sexual Coercion→
We present Robert Scheer’s critique of President Obama’s State of the Union talk last night, followed by Rabbi Michael Lerner’s analysis of the State of the Spirit. Both have important elements of truth, and Lerner’s remarks appear in the Winter 2011 issue of Tikkun and were written over a month ago. Yet Lerner’s approach, if applied to Obama’s talk, would agree with many of Scheer’s points, yet take a more compassionate approach, balancing Scheer’s correct righteous indignation with a larger view of the crisis facing the human race. Continue reading The State of the Union vs The State of the Spirit→