Global Trade

A damning report on Mittal Steel's acquisition of an impoverished African country's iron ore reserves is published today, accusing the world's largest steelmaker of offering an inequitable "raw deal" that has created an unaccountable "state within a state".
British by birth, Ms. Brown is married to an Italian and works at a hair salon that will not open for business on Friday when President Bush and seven other government leaders arrive. Neither will almost all of the other shops and restaurants inside the so-called red zone, a secure six- square-mile area where leaders will meet from Friday though Sunday. Some anti-globalization groups have pledged to penetrate the zone.
Cancer patients in India have reason to be relieved at a high court ruling this week which dismissed a petition by Swiss pharmaceuticals multinational corporation (MNC) Novartis challenging an Indian law which denies patents for minor or trivial improvements to known drugs.
Some of the greenest technologies of the age, from electric cars to efficient light bulbs to very large wind turbines, are made possible by an unusual group of elements called rare earths. Most of these come from China. "In many places, the mining is abused," said Wang Caifeng, the top rare-earths industry regulator at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China.
The World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has ordered the government of Venezuela to pay US$1.386 billion to Crystallex, a bankrupt Canadian gold mining company, for canceling a 2002 permit to mine for gold in the Imataca Forest Reserve
In moves that are winning them praise, two South-east Asian governments -- in Thailand and the Philippines -- appear determined to push ahead with plans to provide cheaper generic drugs even if they incur the wrath of pharmaceutical giants.
The globalization of work tends to start from the bottom up. The first jobs to be moved abroad are typically simple assembly tasks, followed by manufacturing, and later, skilled work like computer programming. At the end of this progression is the work done by scientists and engineers in research and development laboratories.
For nearly a week, the advertising pages of Thai- and English-language dailies have been the stage for debates on Thailand's decision to break patents on anti-AIDS drugs in the interest of public health. A lobby championing the cause of the powerful pharmaceutical companies ran full-page spreads in the morning newspapers with an eye-catching warning in large, bold text, which said: "The Wrong Prescription for Thailand".
The Government Accountability Project (GAP) today released the Vaughn Report, commissioned by the World Bank as a guide to modernize the Bank's whistleblower protection policies. In the nine months since the Vaughn report was released on April 30, 2005, the World Bank has refused to publicly release the report, consult staff on Vaughn's recommendations, or accept any offers from experts to help implement Vaughn's analysis.
China Security and Surveillance Technology, a fast-growing company that installs and sometimes operates surveillance systems for Chinese police agencies, jails and banks, has just been approved for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company's listing is just a sign of ever-closer ties among Wall Street, surveillance companies and the Chinese government's security apparatus.