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Rainer Hachfeld | TTIP Uncovered / media.cagle.com

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How the World's Biggest Polluters are Two Trade Deals Away from Steamrolling Climate Protections

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  • "45 of the 50 private corporations historically responsible for the most climate-disrupting emissions" would be emboldened to challenge climate protections.
  • Related: What Ever Happened to Normal Weather?

Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams

http://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/headlines/notoxictradea.jpg?itok=Nxw9pUOd"These trade deals would empower some of the world's largest polluters... to use unaccountable tribunals to defend a model of fossil fuel dependency that spells climate crisis," said Ben Beachy of Sierra Club. (Photo:  Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/cc)  

Thursday, March 24, 2016 | When TransCanada announced at the start of the year that it that it was demanding compensation under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules for the Obama administration's decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, many observers saw it as a sign of things to come.

http://peoplesworld.org/assets/Uploads/stopp-tppa.jpg Indeed, critics of two pending trade deals—the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)—have already warned that other corporations could take similarly take advantage of the same mechanism to exert their power before private tribunals, demanding compensation for lost profits while supplanting democracy and trampling on workers' rights and environmental protections.

Andrea Germanos, staff writer, Common Dreams

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What Ever Happened to Normal Weather? Paul Douglas, Guardian 

Weather is becoming more extreme, and meteorologists are taking notice.

Guide to Understanding Your Cable Bill

  • Why are loyal long-time cable customers the ones paying more?
  • Have you checked out your monthly bill lately?

Kate Cox, Consumerist.org

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Mike Steigerwald.

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http://www.consumerreports.org/content/dam/cro/news_articles/Electronics/CR-Electronics-Inline-Understanding-Your-Cable-Bill-05-16.jpg May 19, 2016 | Over the last few months, our colleagues at Consumerist have reviewed cable and internet service bills for seven of the nation’s largest providers in an attempt to make sense of all those fees and charges. Here's what they learned from these bills covering cable, satellite, and fiber customers from Connecticut to California.

1. Everyone Is Nickel-and-diming Their Customers, Some More Than Others

The fees! The fees are everywhere!

As a rule of thumb, the collection of taxes, fees, and surcharges above the stated subscription price ranged from about 15% to 30% of any given customer’s total bill (including bills we looked at but didn’t publish).

Kate Cox, Reporting for Consumerist.org. Consumerist is an independent source of consumer news and information published by Consumer Media LLC, a not-for-profit subsidiary of Consumer Reports. Our mission is to help consumers understand, engage with, and discuss the systems and forces that influence the marketplace, so that we, as consumers, can all make better, more informed decisions.

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Special Report | The Francis I Chronicles: Employers not offering health insurance are 'true leeches.'

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  • "Living off the blood of the people: This is a mortal sin," said the pope. "It is a mortal sin. And it takes much patience, much restitution to convert ourselves from this sin."
  • Related: It's time for business leaders to stand up for the community.

Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Mike Steigerwald

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/End%20Corporate%20Greed%20Occupy.jpg May 19, 2016 | Pope Francis has condemned employers who exploit their workers by offering only temporary contracts or not providing health insurance, calling them "true leeches [that] live on the bloodletting of the people they make slaves to work."

Reflecting Thursday on the day's Mass readings during his homily at Casa Santa Marta, the pontiff also said that Christians err when they think there is a "theology of prosperity" in which God "sees that you are just and gives you much wealth."

Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. 

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It's time for business leaders to stand up for the community, Robert MacGregor, Minneapolis (MN) StarTribune 

Corporate elites nearly moved mountains for the good of society, residents and cities. Here's a wake-up call to get going again. 

 

It's time for business leaders to stand up for the community.

Corporate elites nearly moved mountains for the good of society, residents and cities. Here's a wake-up call to get going again. 

 

Robert MacGregor, Minneapolis (MN) StarTribune 

 

 

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May 13, 2016 | I recently attended a luncheon with some 85 Minnesotans in Naples, Fla. — a remarkable function focused on the exceptional work of the Minnesota Historical Society.

As I reviewed this outstanding Minnesota institution’s materials, acknowledging a long list of wealthy contributors and Minnesota foundations, I was especially proud to have strong Minnesota roots.

There are more large foundations in Minnesota developed by successful business people than perhaps anywhere else in the U.S.

Robert MacGregor is co-chair of the Global Governing Board of the Caux Round Table, an international network of business leaders working to promote a moral capitalism. 

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The EPA's Ties to Monsanto Could Be Disastrous for the US

It's time to end the revolving door between the private sector and government agencies like the EPA … because the American people deserve government regulators that put public safety ahead of corporate profits.

Thom HartmannSmirking Chimp / Op Ed News

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http://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadphotos/s_300_opednews_com_1486_hqdefault_668.gifEPA's Tie to Monsanto Could Be Disastrous for Us (Image by The Big Picture RT, Channel: The Big Picture RT

5/11/2016 | Conservative politicians love to talk about how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only issues "job-killing regulations," especially if they're taking campaign contributions from fossil fuel billionaires like the Koch brothers or from agrochemical giants like Monsanto.

Republican Chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee Lamar Smith, for example, has spent years trying to stop the EPA from conducting any real research about climate change or passing any real regulations in general. But apparently it's true that every once in a while, even a blind mouse finds cheese; it seems like Lamar Smith might actually have a legitimate complaint about an EPA report.

http://readersupportednews.org/images/stories/article_imgs9/9315-occupy-monsanto-032813.jpg (Image: Occupy Monsanto)

Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network.

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Big Oil Told to Adapt or Die

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“The oil markets are going through fundamental structural changes driven by a technological revolution and geopolitical shifts. The old cycle of lower prices followed by higher prices can no longer be assumed to be applicable.” -- Paul Stevens, a senior research fellow at the London-based Chatham House think tank, the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Kieran Cooke, Climate News Network / EcoWatch

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http://ecowatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/abandoned_gas_station_750.jpg There are doubts over whether the oil companies have the necessary technical and managerial skills to operate successfully in what is rapidly becoming a decentralized energy system.

May 9, 2016 | At best, big oil companies such as ExxonMobil, ShellChevron and BP face a period of gentle decline, but will ultimately survive.

At worst, if they do not adapt and change direction, “what remains of their existence will be nasty, brutish and short.”

That’s the core message of a research paper on the oil corporates by one of the UK’s leading energy experts, Paul Stevens, a senior research fellow at the London-based Chatham House think tank, the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Kieran Cooke, a founding editor of Climate News Network, is a former foreign correspondent for the BBC and Financial Times. He now focuses on environmental issues.

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The TTIP Leaks. The 248 Pages Reveal a Hidden Economic, Social and Environmental Agenda

The monstrous Siamese twin of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), has been in a growing puddle of dispute after 248 pages of its content were leaked.

Binoy Kampmark, Global Research / Rise Up Times

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http://peoplesworld.org/assets/Uploads/stopp-tppa.jpg May 06, 2016 | The organisation behind the measure, Greenpeace Netherlands, had done its best to shed light on a document that remains obscured, clandestine and hidden.  The TTIP leaks were initiated prior to the commencement of the 13th round of TTIP negotiations between the EU and the US held in New York (Apr 25-29).  According to the organisation, the final document will consist of 25 to 30 chapters with extensive annexes.

The leaked and hefty portion constitutes roughly half to two-thirds of the text under negotiation, providing more than a decent snifter as to what European and US diplomats are up to.  They have met 13 times over three years in situations that were far from transparent. Topics traversed are bound to worry any individuals with even the slightest leanings to democratic representativeness.  “Whether you care about environmental issues, animal welfare, labour rights or internet privacy, you should be concerned about what is in these leaked documents.”

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.

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