News, views and events round-up

Minerals are murder

The Democratic Republic of Congo suffers some of the most violent consequences of the international trade system.  With more than 40 mass grave discovered in April, Red Pepper magazine looks at the reasons for the continuing rape and murder of innocent villagers.

Corporate drug pushers

The Guardian has been running a major expose of the international tobacco industry.  Catch up here.

Trade workshop in Manchester

A date for your diaries.  Nick Dearden of Global Justice Now will be coming to Manchester to do a trade workshop on the afternoon of Saturday July 29th.  Watch this blog for further details.  Update: report here.

CETA cheese dispute rumbles on…

Canadian and EU negotiators may have thought they had finally nailed the agreement, with their concessions to Canadian cheese-makers, but now the European dairy industry is up in arms.  Objecting to the reported 60% quota allocated to the Canadians, the European Dairy Association says:

We do not find it acceptable that the quota would be used as compensation to the Canadian dairy sector for the market opening agreed under CETA.

Source: DAIRY reporter

Stop the Microsoft tax

It’s often puzzling to users of alternative operating systems (OS) why so many computer users still rely on expensive corporate software such as MS Windows, when there are so many excellent non-corporate systems available.  One reason is that computers come with the OS already installed, meaning that you automatically pay a tax to Microsoft for an OS you may not need or want.

The European Parliament has recently confirmed that it will consider a petition asking that computers should be sold without a pre-installed OS.  A parliamentary committee will study the subject, to decide whether it should go on the Parliament’s agenda.

The petition is still open for signatures.


The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is looming on the horizon, like Coleridge’s Nightmare Life-in-Death and the Rosa Luxemburg Siftung have just published the best analysis of it that we’ve come across so far.  Get it here.

Who’s confused?

Nice to know when the capitalist press takes notice of people’s concerns about trade treaties.  Unsurprising though that Tim Worstall over at Forbes doesn’t get it.  He calls Nick Dearden “confused” about the process for ratifying trade treaties, because he doesn’t like either the EU or Brexit.  Of course it is Worstall who is confused, Dearden’s message is quite cogent and clear: the EU allows very little democratic control over trade deals, Brexit promises to allow even less.

Photo: Creative Commons


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