Tag: Religion

Public health, union, and church groups slam TPP trade deal

Press Release – AFTINET As secret Trans-Pacific (TPP) trade talks resume in New York, an unusually diverse mix of 47 Australian community groups including public health, environment, union, church, development aid and other groups have written an open letter to Trade Minister …January 27, 2014 Public health, environment, union, and church groups slam Trans-Pacific trade deal as talks resume in New York As secret Trans-Pacific (TPP) trade talks resume in New York, an unusually diverse mix of 47 Australian community groups including public health, environment, union, church, development aid and other groups have written an open letter to Trade Minister Robb citing mounting evidence that the TPP is not in the national interest, and demanding that the text be released for public scrutiny before it is signed. “The TPP talks have missed many deadlines over the last five years because community groups in many TPP countries have pressured governments to resist US proposals which would benefit US pharmaceutical, media, IT and tobacco industries at the expense of peoples’ rights,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today. “TPP proposals to extend monopolies on medicines would delay access to cheaper generic medicines. A recent study shows that extending monopolies on ten key medicines would cost the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) $205 million in one year,” explained Dr Deborah Gleeson, from Latrobe University and the...

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US Department of State, Secretery Remarks (Sydney Australia)

Speech – US Department Of State Remarks With Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, and Australian Minister of Defense David JohnstonRemarks With Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, and Australian Minister of Defense David Johnston August 12, 2014 Remarks John Kerry Secretary of State Admiralty House Sydney, Australia FOREIGN MINISTER BISHOP: Ladies and gentlemen, today we have welcomed to Sydney and to AUSMIN Secretaries John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, and this is the second AUSMIN meeting that the four principals here have participated in. The United States alliance is the most important security relationship for Australia, and AUSMIN is an annual opportunity for us to take stock of this relationship. And today’s discussion was broad in its scope. We were frank in our exchanges, and there was a clear instinct for collaboration across a wide area of endeavor. There’s a desire to share the burden of implementing our mutual vision and mutual goal of regional and global peace and prosperity, security and stability. At a bilateral level, we signed the Force Posture Initiatives, the formal, legally binding document about a presence of U.S. Marines in the north of our country, and we focused particularly on the humanitarian disaster relief aspects of having the assistance of the U.S. in our region, which is, sadly, prone to natural disasters...

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Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good

Press Release – Public Good Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly by the St Andrews … Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly by the St Andrews Trust for the Study of Religion and Society and Public Good Aotearoa NZ. The aim of the conference is to kick start a conversation about the health and quality of democracy in New Zealand. NZ has a rich democratic history with an early start to universal suffrage, the adoption of the MMP system and high scores on openness and transparency internationally. However the frequent use of urgency in Parliament, the lack of local democracy in Canterbury, the difficulties for the very poor in a highly unequal society and the recent news that only 69% of 18-24 years olds are enrolled to vote are signs that all is not well in NZ’s democratic arrangements. The conference speakers, including some of New Zealand’s best- known academics, will develop a framework, and presentations from community and advocacy organisations...

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Gordon Campbell on not letting the year 2014 spoil Christmas

Column – Gordon Campbell One of the pitfalls of instant opinionating is the assumption that politicians know what theyre doing and that the job at hand is to unravel the conspiracies that surely behind the daily litany of brazen pandering. Gordon Campbell on year 2014, and not letting it spoil your Christmas by Gordon Campbell One of the pitfalls of instant opinionating is the assumption that politicians know what they’re doing and that the job at hand is to unravel the conspiracies that surely behind the daily litany of brazen pandering. Sure, conspiracies do exist and paranoids do have real enemies – but sometimes, politics is simply what it is. If it looks like pandering, it probably is. If it seems like incompetence and daylight robbery – as in the asset sales programme, which has no economic or politcal justification – then chances are, it is. Sometimes, the likes of John Banks and Peter Dunne just stumble from one self-inflicted disaster to the next. There is no plan, beyond survival. Yet as in any circus, the clowns do have their role to play. If only by contrast, Dunne, Banks and Co give the likes of Bill English their reputation for being a safe pair of hands. Besides, it’s not difficult to guess what 2014 holds for us. We are going to hear a lot about the policies and personality...

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Werewolf Edition #44 : Referendum On A Robbery

Article – Gordon Campbell Hi and welcome to the 44th edition of Werewolf. Our cover story this month has been timed to co-incide with the looming Citizens Initiated Referendum on the government’s asset sales programme . Werewolf Edition #44 : Referendum On A Robbery From Werewolf Editor Gordon Campbell http://werewolf.co.nz/ Enter the Wolf! Hi and welcome to the 44th edition of Werewolf. Our cover story this month has been timed to co-incide with the looming Citizens Initiated Referendum on the government’s asset sales programme. From the outset, opinion polls have shown the partial asset sales programme to be wildly unpopular with the general public. As our cover story amply indicates, the selldown is also socially and economically irresponsible – and will benefit only a tiny minority of the population. Voting in the referendum will be by postal ballot, anytime between November 22 and December 12. Despite what Russell Brand says, voting is a significant act – and while the government has already made it clear that the outcome won’t stop the selldown from proceeding, a large “No” verdict would be highly relevant to next’s year’s election campaign. Elsewhere in this issue, Werewolf continues with its series analysing the (lack of) progress being made on the TPP trade pact, and explains why the Labour Party has been wise to take a ‘wait and see’ approach to a deal that may...

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