Dispute over Mideast nuclear arms ban set to torpedo U.N. meeting http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/22/us-mideast-nuclear-un-idUSKBN0O72J220150522 UNITED NATIONS | BY LOUIS CHARBONNEAU A month-long review conference on the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty appeared headed for failure on Friday after its members were unable to overcome disagreements on an atomic weapons ban for the Middle East and other issues. Continue reading
The final document of a landmark treaty review conference Friday would call on the U.N. secretary-general to convene the conference no later than March 2016, regardless of whether Israel and its neighbors agree on an agenda.
Israel is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has never publicly declared what is widely considered to be an extensive nuclear weapons program.
A conference might force Israel to acknowledge it.
Discussions on the draft document are continuing after a request from Iran.
Do we really want to tell governments all around the world, including the U.S., that if they pass
legislation protecting the well-being of their citizens they could pay substantial fines to multi-national corporations because of the loss of future profits? What an incredible undermining of democracy! But that’s exactly what will happen if the TPP goes into effect.
The TPP MUst Be Defeated http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/the-tpp-must-be defeated_b_7352166.html?utm_hp_ref=politics Sen. Bernie Sanders 22 May 15
Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont Congress is now debating fast track legislation that will pave the way for the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) unfettered free trade agreement. At a time when our middle class is disappearing and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider, this anti-worker legislation must be defeated. Here are four reasons why.
First, the TPP follows in the footsteps of failed trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China, and the South Korea Free Trade agreement. Over and over again, supporters of these agreements told us that they would create jobs. Over and over again, they have been proven dead wrong. Continue reading
US pushes Israel for progress on nuclear-free zone, Y Net News
State Department officials speak with Israeli counterparts on efforts to ensure Mid-East remains nuclear nuetral.Itamar Eichner, Associated Press 05.21.15, 20:18 / Israel News
|05.21.15, 20:18 / Israel NewsThe United States has sent a top official to Israel in an effort to revive talks on a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons, a central issue of a nuclear treaty review conference that some fear will end Friday without progress on global disarmament. The State Department confirmed that the assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation was in Israel to discuss the issue. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman declined comment on Thomas Countryman’s visit, saying it was a “very sensitive” matter.
Ynet was informed that conversation lasted until 3a.m.
Establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons in one of the world’s most tense regions is a rare point of agreement between the United States and Russia these days. Frustrated by the delay of a conference on the zone that was supposed to take place three years ago, Russia has proposed that UN-led talks be held no later than March 2016.
Secretary of State John Kerry this month called the proposed zone an “ambitious goal and fraught with challenges” but worth pursuing. The pressure comes as the president of the review conference, Taous Feroukhi of Algeria, on Wednesday pleaded with countries to close the “still wide” gaps on major issues under disarmament and non-proliferation…….
Israel is not a party to the treaty but showed up this year as a surprise observer…..
Iran, a party to the treaty and engaged in talks with world powers on its own nuclear program, this month spoke on behalf of more than 100 mostly developing countries in calling for Israel to give up its nuclear weapons, calling them a regional threat.
Israel has never publicly declared what is widely considered to be an extensive nuclear weapons program.http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4660237,00.html
Barack Obama wins support from Gulf leaders for nuclear deal with Iran
Qatar welcomes ‘key factor for stability in region’ and Saudis voice growing acceptance of deal at end of Camp David summit., Guardian, Dan Roberts 15 May 15 Barack Obama has secured support from Gulf leaders for his attempt to reach a nuclear deal with Iran as a summit outside Washington concluded on Thursday with the first glimpses of possible rapprochement on an issue that has alarmed many US allies in the region…….
IPA uses Australian tax breaks to help fund U.S. climate skeptic’s libel defence Independent Australia DeSmog Blog 16 May 2015 Environment charities like the ACF face having their Deductible Gift Recipient status stripped by the Abbott government, yet corporate mouthpiece, IPA, keep theirs to help fund U.S. climate skeptic Mark Steyn’s libel suit. Graham Readfearn fromDeSmogBlog reports.
WHEN THE facts on climate change become inconvenient or they start to rub your ideology or vested interest up the wrong way, then there are really only two options available.
Option one is to change your mind. Option two is to try and change, distort, misrepresent or just outright ignore the flood of scientific studies over decades showing the serious impacts of loading the biosphere with fossil fuel emissions.
Mark Steyn is a prominent conservative polemicist and writer in the United States and Canada who has chosen option two.
Australian “free market” think-tank The Institute of Public Affairs chose option two in the late 1980s and has stuck with it since.
Now a climate misinformation book produced by the IPA and paid for with the help of tax breaks in Australia is seemingly helping to finance Steyn in a high profile libel case.
So there are two stories to tell here – one about the libel case and the other about the book. The two meet up at the end…….. Continue reading
Taiwan to ban all food imports from Japan http://fukushima-diary.com/2015/05/taiwan-to-ban-all-food-imports-from-japan/ Iori Mochizuki From 5/15/2015, Taiwan is going to ban importing all kinds of food from Japan.
Since 311, Taiwan has been banning all the food imports from 5 prefectures around Fukushima and required radiation test on over 800 sorts of food imports. On 4/16/2015, Taiwan announced the further restriction on Japanese food imports, which practically bans all food imports from Japan.
Japanese Ministry Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries states the measures of Taiwan is not based on scientific facts and suggested the possibility to appeal to WTO (World Trade Organization).
Sovereignty For International Investors (Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)) http://tm.durusau.net/ May 11th, 2015 Elizabeth Warren makes a compelling case against the Trans-Pacific Partnership in The Trans-Pacific Partnership clause everyone should oppose, where she says:
ISDS [Investor-State Dispute Settlement] would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws — and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers — without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court. Here’s how it would work. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions — of dollars in damages.
If that seems shocking, buckle your seat belt. ISDS could lead to gigantic fines, but it wouldn’t employ independent judges.Instead, highly paid corporate lawyers would go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgment the next. Maybe that makes sense in an arbitration between two corporations, but not in cases between corporations and governments. If you’re a lawyer looking to maintain or attract high-paying corporate clients, how likely are you to rule against those corporations when it’s your turn in the judge’s seat?
The use of ISDS is on the rise around the globe. From 1959 to 2002, there were fewer than 100 ISDS claims worldwide. But in 2012 alone, there were 58 cases. Recent cases include a French company that sued Egypt because Egypt raised its minimum wage, a Swedish company that sued Germany because Germany decided to phase out nuclear power after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, and a Dutch company that sued the Czech Republic because the Czechs didn’t bail out a bank that the company partially owned. U.S. corporations have also gotten in on the action: Philip Morris is trying to use ISDS to stop Uruguay from implementing new tobacco regulations intended to cut smoking rates.
I understand Senator Warren’s focus on the United States, but it diverts her from a darker issue raised by the TPP.
The TPP gives international investors sovereignty equivalent to national governments. Continue reading
The UN plans to launch a brand new plan for managing the entire globe at the Sustainable Development Summit that it will be hosting from September 25th to September 27th. Some of the biggest names on the planet, including Pope Francis, will be speaking at this summit. This new sustainable agenda focuses on climate change of course, but it also specifically addresses topics such as economics, agriculture, education and gender equality. For those wishing to expand the scope of “global governance”, sustainable development is the perfect umbrella because just about all human activity affects the environment in some way. The phrase “for the good of the planet” can be used as an excuse to micromanage virtually every aspect of our lives. So for those that are concerned about the growing power of the United Nations, this summit in September is something to keep an eye on. Never before have I seen such an effort to promote a UN summit on the environment, and this new sustainable development agenda is literally a framework for managing the entire globe.
If you are not familiar with this new sustainable development agenda, the following is what the official United Nations website says about it…
The United Nations is now in the process of defining Sustainable Development Goals as part a new sustainable development agenda that must finish the job and leave no one behind. This agenda, to be launched at the Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, is currently being discussed at the UN General Assembly, where Member States and civil society are making contributions to the agenda.
The process of arriving at the post 2015 development agenda is Member State-led with broad participation from Major Groups and other civil society stakeholders. There have been numerous inputs to the agenda, notably a set of Sustainable Development Goalsproposed by an open working group of the General Assembly, the report of an intergovernmental committee of experts on sustainable development financing, General Assembly dialogues on technology facilitation and many others.
Posted below are the 17 sustainable development goals that are being proposed so far. Some of them seem quite reasonable. After all, who wouldn’t want to “end poverty”. But as you go down this list, you soon come to realize that just about everything is involved in some way. In other words, this truly is a template for radically expanded “global governance”. Once again, this was taken directly from the official UN website…… http://linkis.com/theeconomiccollapseblog.com/jA9PM
On April 28 three European foreign ministers—Serbia’s Ivica Dačić, Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Switzerland’s Didier Burkhalter—met in their capacities as members of the OSCE’s Ministerial Troika to discuss the latest developments in eastern Ukraine. According to the OSCE, the foreign ministers “reiterated that [the Ukraine] crisis can be resolved only through peaceful means and that the political process in that regard should be advanced without delay” and “called on all sides to fully and unconditionally respect the cease-fire.”
Meanwhile, on April 26, Financial Times reported that Kiev is coming under increased pressure from Western European capitals to do its part to implement the Minsk cease-fire agreement. According to FT, German diplomats expressed frustration that Kiev is “dragging its feet” in implementing the agreement. For his part, French President Françl;ois Holland has warned Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that “the only line of conduct is the full implementation of the Minsk accord.”
Yet it seems these calls for a peaceful solution to the crisis are not only falling on deaf ears, but are also purposefully being undermined, in Washington.
To wit: the same day the aforementioned troika met in Belgrade, the 28th, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on “United States Security Policy in Europe,” though perhaps, given the tenor of the hearing, it should have been held under the rubric “The Russians are Coming!”
Armed Services Committee Chairman, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), got right to the point, running down a list of Russia’s sins—real and imagined. He derided the Obama administration’s “so-called reset” policy and warned of Mr. Putin’s “neo-imperial objectives.” McCain accused Russia of violating the Minsk II cease-fire agreement and hectored NATO allies to follow the example of Poland and Estonia and increase its defense expenditures. Unbelievably, McCain closed his remarks by telling the gallery, which included a visiting delegation of Ukrainian parliamentarians, that “none of us wants to return to the Cold War.”
Depressingly, there seemed to be little daylight between McCain and the committee’s ranking member, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI). Both he and McCain have called on President Obama to “provide defense lethal assistance” to Ukraine. Only Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) expressed any skepticism towards the idea of sending lethal aid to Ukraine. The situation that pertains in the Washington of 2015, is in stark contrast to the previous Cold War. Today, it would seem, Democrats and Republicans are engaged in a contest of who can ‘out-hawk’ the other on Russia………..
it is hard, given the tenor of the policy discussion on Capitol Hill over the past week, to escape the conclusion that President Obama is under intense pressure—not only from both political parties, but also, disturbingly, from the NATO supreme allied commander—to wade ever deeper into the Ukrainian morass.
Originally published at http://www.thenation.com/article/205921/how-senate-armed-services-committee-undermining-minsk-ii http://www.helencaldicott.com/how-the-senate-armed-services-committee-is-undermining-minsk-ii/
But in the last few years, the French dynamo has started to stall. New plants that were meant to showcase the industry’s most advanced technology are years behind schedule and billions of euros over budget. Worse, recently discovered problems at one site have raised new doubts about when, or even if, they will be completed……..
Alarmed by the French industry’s problems, the Socialist government of President François Hollande is expected soon to announce an industry overhaul. As the majority owner of the country’s two main nuclear companies — the reactor maker Areva and the big utility operator Électricité de France — the government will aim not only to put the companies on a firmer financial footing but to reorganize them in hopes of restoring the French industry’s role-model luster.
On Thursday, Areva took the first of those steps by announcing big cost-cutting plans. The move is likely to trim as many as 6,000 jobs from the company’s global work force of 45,000 — as many of 4,000 of those coming in France……….
With the French companies struggling, some nuclear experts see a slippery geopolitical slope. Continue reading
Republicans and some Democrats in Congress have been pushing for oversight of the pending deal given that current proposals include relief from some of the sanctions placed on Iran by Congress. The bill that passed Thursday requires that Congress be able to review and possibly reject any deal the U.S. and world powers make with Iran regarding nuclear weapons. If Congress approves of the deal — or fails to disapprove within a certain timeframe — the President’s deal can move forward……
While the debate continues, however, some lawmakers have signaled their support for the President’s negotiations with Iran. In a letter first reported on by the Washington Post, 150 Democrats urged Obama to “stay on course” and commended the work of world powers so far in the process.
“The stakes are too great and the alternatives are too dire,” the letter reads. “If the United States were to abandon negotiations or cause their collapse, not only would we fail to peacefully prevent the nuclear-armed Iran, we would make that outcome more likely.”
The Washington Post reports that the letter could mean the President has enough Congressional support to override a veto should lawmakers vote to reject the deal once it is released in June. http://time.com/3850806/congress-iran-nuclear-deal/
Congressional review of Iran nuclear deal is threatened by GOP amendments LA Times, By PAUL RICHTER AND LISA MASCARO contact the reporters A bipartisan bill for Congress to review any nuclear agreement with Iran faced new danger Thursday as Republican senators sought to force votes on controversial amendments that leaders had hoped to avoid.
Senate Republican and Democratic leaders have worked all week to shield the bill from politically sensitive changes that are likely to drive away some Democratic supporters and sink its chances for passage.
Presidential campaign politics have complicated the process. One such amendment, from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a presidential candidate, would require Iran to recognize Israel’s right to exist, something all senators would like to see, but that Iran is unlikely to do. The issue was not on the table during more than 10 years of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
But Republican senators pressed hard for their proposals……http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-iran-congress-20150501-story.html
Obama Threatens China with Nuclear Weapons. Militarization of Asia-Pacific By Stephen Lendman Global Research, May 01, 2015 Last Friday, National Security Council senior Asian affairs director Evan Medeiros said John Kerry and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter would meet their Japanese counterparts in New York on Monday.
They’d “announce some historic changes to the way US-Japan alliance operates” ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Washington visit this week. Continue reading
China warns North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is expanding, report says, Guardian, 23 Apr 15
Chinese experts believe their communist ally may already have an arsenal of 20 warheads and the enrichment capacity to double that figure by next year. Chinese nuclear experts believe North Korea may already have a nuclear arsenal of 20 warheads and the uranium enrichment capacity to double that figure by next year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The estimate, which the Journal said was relayed to US nuclear specialists in a closed-door meeting in February, is significantly higher than any previously known Chinese assessment.
It also exceeds recent estimates by US experts which put the North’s current arsenal at between 10 and 16 nuclear weapons.
A leading expert on North Korea’s nuclear programme, Siegfried Hecker, who attended the February meeting, said a sizeable North Korean stockpile would only compound the challenge the international community faces in persuading Pyongyang to decommission the weapons.
“The more they believe they have a fully functional nuclear arsenal and deterrent, the more difficult it’s going to be to walk them back from that,” Hecker told the Journal.
The Chinese estimate reflects growing concern in Beijing about the nuclear ambitions of its errant ally, and is the latest in a series of expert assessments that suggest Pyongyang is moving faster down the nuclear path than previously thought.
A recent report by US researchers warned that North Korea appeared poised to expand its nuclear program over the next five years and, in a worst case scenario, could possess 100 atomic arms by 2020……http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/23/china-warns-north-koreas-nuclear-arsenal-is-expanding-report-says
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- RARE EARTHS
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual