As production is moved to ever more distant locales, with ever lower labor and environmental standards, the corporations behind these moves want all barriers to the movement of raw materials and finished products removed. Thus the era of so-called “free trade” agreements. These agreements, which are written to elevate corporations to the level of national governments (and in practice, actually above governments), have become so unpopular thanks to the efforts of grassroots activists to expose them to public scrutiny that governments have become cautious about embracing new ones.
“When it comes to launching rockets into outer space, there lies many hidden problems particularly with launch sites. The launching of a rocket before it ever reaches outer space is a major problem. It concerns the environment, nearby wildlife and overwhelmingly impacts the local communities in negative ways.”
An article I read shortly after Jacinda Ardern’s re-election in New Zealand noted, with a touch of weariness, that Labour’s victory came after a campaign measured in “weeks.” Folks there ought to count themselves lucky — the United States has endured years of campaigning in what has proved, to the surprise of no one, its nastiest presidential contest in memory.
On June 4 NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key signed a partnership agreement at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
As the Western military bloc reported, the Individual Partnership Cooperation Programme conferred on the South Pacific nation “formalised ties between the two sides after almost two decades of increased cooperation.”
This week a special interview with Tame Iti, a Māori Freedom Fighter who was accused of terrorism during the most expensive trial in New Zealand’s history. Check out ‘Operation 8‘ to learn more about the 2007 terror raids.
Financial and fiscal austerity policies; the appeal of economic austerity to bankers; economic depression and war; post-WWII vs. post-cold war economic policy; government to government grants vs. commercial lending; the euro and dollar; privatization in New Zealand and elsewhere; social unrest; speculation and prices; criminalization of the economy; impoverishment of the US.
President Barack Obama arrived in Mumbai, India on November 6 and announced $10 billion in business deals with his host country which he claimed will contribute to 50,000 new American jobs. By some accounts half the transactions will be for India’s purchase of U.S. military equipment and half the new jobs will be created in the defense sector.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is completing a nearly two-week tour of the Asia-Pacific region which will culminate in meeting up with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen in Australia on November 8 to among other matters secure the use of the country’s military bases.
Two days ago Carolina Toha, spokeswoman for Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, stated that “Chile has developed strategic ties with the United States since long ago” and expressed her government’s eagerness to expand them. 
Employing the standard rationale of sharing “more similarity with the Obama administration” than with its predecessor, a pose adopted by world politicians of all stripes since the US presidential election of last November 4th – including conservatives like France’s Nicholas Sarkozy – the Chilean statement could be seen as nothing more than desiring to be on the winning side and to curry favor with the new Planitarchus (lord of the planet), as Greek demonstrators who curtailed a proposed three-day visit to Athens in November of 1999 of Obama’s predecessor once removed, Bill Clinton, described the post of US president.
On March 2, 2009 the Australian Department of Defence released a 140-page white paper called Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific century: force 2030 (1), which announced $72 billion in new military spending for an island nation of barely 20 million inhabitants with no adversaries except those it chooses to make for itself.
The document details the Australian government’s plans to acquire and expand a full spectrum – air, sea and land – arsenal of advanced weaponry in the nation’s largest arms buildup since World War II. Canberra will replace six submarines with double that amount possessing greater range and longer mission capabilities, “hunter-killer submarines” , representing “a big new investment in anti-submarine warfare”  ; three new destroyers “specialising in air warfare” , which presumably be be Aegis class ones with missile killing capacity, and eight new frigates.