Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Common Dreams:
"Amid warnings that the proposed TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could undermine global attempts to rein in runaway climate change, new documents reveal that EU trade officials gave U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil access to confidential negotiating strategies considered too sensitive to be released to the European public.

The documents, obtained by the Guardian, offer 'an extraordinary glimpse into the full degree of collusion between the European commission and multinational corporations seeking to use TTIP to increase U.S. exports of fossil fuels,' said John Hilary, the director of the UK organization War on Want. 'The commission is allowing the oil majors to write the proposed energy chapter of TTIP in their favor.'

According to the Guardian: 'Officials also asked one oil refinery association for concrete input on the text of an energy chapter for the negotiations, as part of the EU’s bid to write unfettered imports of U.S. crude oil and gas into the trade deal.' ... In particular, wrote War on Want campaigner Mark Dearn on Friday, 'a key aim of TTIP has been to destroy regulations that prevent high-polluting tar sand crude oil from entering Europe.' "

-->The NYT didn't cover this story. Our newspaper of record would have to get out of bed with Big Oil to let its readers know how ExxonMobil is writing international trade deals to favor the import of high polluting tar sands.

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The Guardian UK:
"JERUSALEM — Israel on Sunday suspended contacts with European Union representatives on Mideast peace issues to protest the 28-nation bloc's decision to label Israeli exports from the West Bank. ...

Israel has been up in arms since the EU announced this month that goods produced in Israeli settlements must have special labels and cannot say they were made in Israel. Israel has said the decision is discriminatory and unfairly singles out Israel, while the EU says it is a technical matter to clarify the origins of the products.

Israel's Foreign Ministry announced late Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ordered contacts frozen until a 'reassessment process is completed.' "

-->The NYT did not print this story, although it carried the Associated Press version on-line. Perhaps The NYT does not want to remind its readers of how pervasive the labeling of West Bank products is in the EU. Perhaps the US will allow its citizens to at least know the Israeli products that support apartheid.

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Common Dreams:
"Retail giant Walmart enlisted the help of a private military contractor and the FBI to spy on workers pushing for a $15 hourly wage and organizing Black Friday protests in 2012 and 2013, newly released documents reveal.
'We are fighting for all workers to be paid a fair wage and enough hours to put food on the table and provide for our families,' said Mary Pat Tifft, a Wisconsin Walmart employee of 27 years. 'To think that Walmart found us such a threat that they would hire a defense contractor and engage the FBI is a mind-blowing abuse of power.'

A document made public Tuesday by worker organization OUR Walmart reveals company testimony to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in January stating that Walmart had enlisted the help of arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to monitor workers who were organizing for higher wages and the right to unionize.  OUR Walmart workers said they were illegally fired and disciplined for taking part in the 'Ride for Respect' strike during Walmart's shareholder meeting in June of 2013."

-->Another subject off limits to our media is the use of the FBI to spy on workers and social justice activists. Fortune and Bloomberg reported this story, but not The NYT.

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