Global Trade

While the world braces for a US war against Iraq, Washington is using its newly inked Free Trade Agreement with Jordan to open sweatshops and secure an ally in the region.
For many other poor countries, like Nigeria and Chad, oil has been a poisoned bonanza, paradoxically dragging them into deeper poverty and corruption in what some call the oil curse.
Chinese and South Korean companies are leading an investor rush to Burma to build lucrative cross-country pipelines to deliver Saudi oil and Burmese natural gas to China. Poor communities have been displaced and allegations of human rights abuses are rife in the pipeline's route.
Bolivia has been rocked by protests against a proposed gas pipeline to be built by Pacific LNG. The consortium is made up of notorious British and Spanish multinationals, including BP and Repsol-YPF.
This travesty of a vote will be remembered as the Midsummer Nights Massacre, where growing popular concern about corporate-led globalization was shot down in favor of a backwards policy combining corporate managed trade and global deregulation of basic consumer, environmental and other public interest standards.
They're often portrayed as obstructionists to trade and the global economy. But the social movement that mobilized thousands in Quebec last month -- and earlier in Seattle and Prague -- is maturing beyond street protests.
In a secluded valley a few miles from Kabul's international airport, $285 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars have flowed into a Black & Veatch-built power plant outside Tarakhil village. But, far from the public relations coup the project was intended to supply, the plant has run into problems with planning, cost over-runs and alleged corruption.
It's not just that the police didn't get the joke, it's that they don't get that they the new era of political protest, one adapted to our post-modern times. There was no one person or group who could call off "their people," because the tens of thousands who came out to protest the Free Trade Area of the Americas are part of a movement that doesn't have a leader, a center, or even an agreed-upon name.
In late May, a Russian agent slipped unnoticed into a Moscow movie theater showing Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. He donned night-vision goggles, scanned the theater, and spotted his target. But this was no Cold War spy scenario: The agent was an ex-Russian cop, and he was searching for real-life pirates making illicit copies of the Walt Disney (DIS ) film.