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Monday, May 8, 2000

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  • Africa Trade Bill Part I: Nafta for Africa

    Late last week the House of Representatives passed the African Growth and Opportunity Act by a large majority. Supporters of the legislation, which includes a powerful consortium of corporations such as Chevron, Exxon, K-Mart, Ford and Enron, to name just a few, say the Act will stimulate market-led investment, economic growth and raise the living standards in some of the world’s poorest countries. But opponents of the Act including major labor unions such as the AFL-CIO, church organizations, and anti-globalization activists have been carrying out a consistent grass roots effort against the legislation which is expected to hit the Senate this week.

  • Africa Trade Bill Part II: How to Become a Top Banana

    Earlier this year there was an interesting article in Time magazine written by award-winning journalists James Steele and Donald Bartlett. It was called "How to Become a Top Banana" and it tells the story of how the Clinton Administration has imposed 100% tariffs on the products of hundreds of businesses in the US. Bartlett and Steele write: "What did these folks do to encourage the wrath of the White House?

  • Court Ruling in Pepper Spray Case Sets Legal Precedent for Use of Chemical Agents Against Protesters

    Last week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issued a decision in favor of protesters who are suing Humboldt County Law Enforcement Officials for "excessive force." The lawsuit stems from a 1997 protest over the Headwaters Deal in which police sprayed and swabbed pepper spray directly into the eyes of non-violent protesters. The activists were part of the "Headwaters Forest Defense" and were protesting an agreement between Pacific Lumber and the Federal Government. The deal allowed the timber giant to increase logging of old-growth redwoods in exchange for the government’s $500 million purchase of 7,500 acres of forest.

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