France said Monday that 20 European nations have rejected the latest World Trade Organization proposals for a global trade deal, saying they would be too damaging to European farming.
"We prefer there is no agreement rather than a bad agreement," French Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier said, after 20 of the EU's 27 farm ministers met in Brussels to discuss the WTO's compromise proposals put forward 10 days ago.
But Barnier insisted that farming had been unfairly targeted within the global package.
"It is totally unbalanced between concessions that would be made and other issues like services, industry or geographical indications, where we see no progress," he said.
The top supermarket chains in the European Union are potentially "abusing" their market clout to drive down prices to suppliers and should be investigated, the European Parliament said on Monday.
A small number of the largest supermarket chains including Tesco of Britain and Carrefour of France, were becoming "gatekeepers", controllling the access of farmers and other suppliers to consumers, the declaration said.
It said evidence from accross the 27 EU member countries suggested that big supermarkets were abusing their buying power to force down prices paid to suppliers to "unsustainable" levels and impose unfair conditions on them."
The Indian economic boom has not reached Bihar, a state of 90 million people almost completely disconnected from the global economy.It is the poorest state in India and one of its slowest-growing, with "exceptionally low" levels of private investment, according to the World Bank. There is no sign of any foreign investment.
Rajesh Singh received a master's degree in business administration at Bombay University before returning to Bihar to set up a tiny factory on his family's farmland to manufacture jams, juices, sauces, pickles and canned fruits."I realized things in Bihar were not very good, so I decided to start an agri-venture," he said. "It was a mix of good potential and good intentions."
It took Singh five years to get a bank loan of just 500,000 rupees, or $13,000. To get it, he needed to offer three million rupees as security and have 250,000 parked in fixed-term deposits.Today, his loan has been extended to four million rupees - still, in his terms, "a meager amount," equivalent to just 10 days of raw material and labor costs."I had a lot of orders from the U.K., from Sainsbury's for litchis but I couldn't complete them because bankers are not ready to back us," he said. "I am educated and I have assets. If I can't get finance, how can ordinary Biharis get finance?"
The food component of the U.S. consumer price index rose 4.9 percent in 2007, according to U.S. Labor Department data. That factor was part of the largest overall CPI increase since 1990.
On store shelves, Sara Lee has announced three separate price increases for bread over the past year; Hershey announced a 13 percent increase in the price of about a third of its American candy products at the end of January; and General Mills reduced the size of its cereal boxes last year, effectively raising the price per ounce.
In one example of the reasons for higher prices, wheat prices have increased 127 percent in the past year, according to the futures price at the Chicago Board of Trade. Cocoa has been at a 24-year high and is up 45 percent on the ICE, the global commodities exchange.
EU farm ministers fell short of a consensus Monday on allowing imports of five genetically modified products, setting the stage for default approval by the European Commission, Reuters reported.
The products were four insect-resistant types of corn, including three hybrids developed by the U.S. biotechnology company Monsanto. The other corn, GA21, is marketed by the Swiss agrochemicals company Syngenta.
The other biotech product was a potato, known as Amflora, from the German chemicals group BASF. It is engineered to produce high amounts of starch for use in industrial processing, but its by-products can also be used in animal feed.
None of the five are intended for growing in the EU but for use in food and animal feed. EU officials said there were not enough votes to either approve or reject any of the proposals. Therefore, the applications return to the European Commission, most probably for a default approval. Since 2004, the commission has authorized a string of organisms - nearly all corn types.
Politicus: Sarkozy will prevail
It is a view that casts France as a determinedly rigid society, confined by twin conservatisms of the left and right, and in the process of rejecting a leader who offends the system's narrow formats for permissible politics and personal behavior.
At its darkest, that notion considers that this president confronts deep hatreds dredged up from the French psyche of the kind that afflicted groundbreaking politicians like Leon Blum and even, at times, Charles de Gaulle.
But the evidence for certain failure looks more like dread than a fatal conclusion.
"When cameras are taken along on massive police operations during an election period, I think it's a way of influencing opinion, with the goal of spreading fear," said Ségolène Royal, a prominent member of the Socialist Party who lost the May 2007 presidential election to Sarkozy.
I want my children and students to learn about a past with causes and effects. I do not want to send them forth armed only with emotion and confusion. I want them equipped with a secure and serene identity that permits them to recognize cruelty, injustice and falsehood and gives them the strength and patience to study, tolerate and defend the identities of others. They should know the difference between what has happened to them and what has happened to others.
Mark Meigs, Professor of History, University of Paris-Diderot
Adamantly secular Turks "hate religious people," said Atilla Yayla, a Turkish political philosophy professor teaching in England. "They don't encounter them as human beings. They want them to evaporate, to disappear as fast as possible."
That attitude surfaced with the repeal of the ban by Parliament this month.
"In the past, when a person with a scarf walked by me, I didn't feel anything toward them," said a 24-year-old lawyer in a Starbucks in a fashionable Istanbul neighborhood the day after the repeal. "Now I just want to hit them."
"We're seeing a change of spirit, said Jan Pieter Krahen, director for Financial Studies at the University of Frankfurt. "Things that were once tolerable are no longer acceptable."
"The moment it is announced that the talks collapsed, I am sure there will be an eruption countrywide," he said. "It will be chaos."
The government has dismissed these threats and accused opposition leaders, including Odinga, of inciting their supporters to kill members of Kibaki's ethnic group.
"It is unacceptable to people here in Africa, who see their families devastated and economies crippled. It is unacceptable to people in the United States, who believe every human life has value, and that the power to save lives comes with the moral obligation to use it."
Bales of completed nets with tags saying "Usaid, From the American People, President's Malaria Initiative" were prominently displayed.
Nevertheless, sepratist movements have taken heart from the declaration in Kosovo. The Basque government welcomed the developments in Pristina as a "new example of the right of self-determintation" and criticized Spain for not granting formal recognition.
In Beijing, the government, which has threatened military action if Taiwan declared independence, voiced "grave concern" about the Kosovo action.
"China is deeply worried about its severe and negative impact on peace and stability of the Balkan region and the goal of establishing a multi-ethnic society in Kosovo," said Liu Jianchao, the Foreign Ministry spokesman.
China's hostility to independence for Kosovo aligns it with Russia, a close ally of Serbia's that has struggled with its own separatist movements over the years, most notably in Chechnya.
Many in the rest of the world do not even credit the West with good intentions, noting that some influential voices in Western capitals would be happy to see Iraq divided into three states, Shiite, Sunni and Kurd.Even if they appreciate that the European Union and the United States are trying to solve problems rather than introduce new divide-and-rule stratagems, they worry.Take Sri Lanka. Kosovo logic suggests that the Tamils in the north deserve a separate state, an eventuality that would have huge implications for an India which can only exist if its major constituent parts - be they Tamil, Sikh or Bengali - accept an overriding identity and the benefits of diversity and size.
When I said it was not my practice to take my article subjects from the American ambassador (nor his to offer them), he said: "It's the pope then. He's forcing you to write these things; you're a Catholic and the pope is allied with the Nazis and Americans to destroy Serbia and Orthodox Christianity!"
It is a convenient argument for companies that make money compiling and selling personal data, but it's not true. Protests forced Facebook to modify Beacon and to ease its policies on deleting information. Push-back of this sort is becoming more common.
But Guantánamo is no longer just a naval station or even just a detention center. It is an idea in worldwide culture — in more than 20 books and half a dozen movies and plays, with more coming out every month.
It has become shorthand for hopeless imprisonment and sweltering isolation. “The strange new Alcatraz,” one writer calls it, “the gulag of our times.”
"After all, it's known that state-financed structures like the British Council ... conduct a mass of other activities that are not so widely advertised," Medvedev was quoted as saying. "Among other things, they are involved in gathering information and conducting intelligence activity."
Heavy snowfalls and temperatures around minus 20 degrees Celsius, or minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit, have cut off food supplies to rural communities in the mountainous Central Asian state, and cities are enduring drastically reduced electricity and water supplies.
Officials at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, say that the crisis has already caused a jump in illnesses from the cold and contaminated water, with children and the elderly the most at risk. Maternal deaths also more than doubled last month, according to Tajikistan's Health Ministry.
Mr. Bandele, 40, often visits New York, where he has many friends in theater and among writers. But he said he was not entirely sure how “Oroonoko,” which deliberately avoids taking sides along racial lines, would be received by an American audience.
“There were nights at the R.S.C. when the audience was predominantly American because of tourist season,” he said, “a mixture of black and white, and the response was always very emotional. At the end people would come out like this.” Backlighted against a window in the stage manager’s office, Mr. Bandele touched a hand to his face in a gesture of crying. (Reviewers have not been as moved. Charles Isherwood, writing in The New York Times, called it “a strangely bland if superficially exotic work of theater.”)
But Mr. Bandele wouldn’t have had it otherwise. “I am a writer because I have always been an inside outsider,” he said, adding that he felt intimately tied to the “poets and praise singers” who traveled from town to town for hundreds of years in what became Nigeria.
"With everything becoming so widespread, it's nice to have some things that, simply put, just aren't," he said.
The volume of data on wireless networks is surging 50 to 1,500 percent a year, said Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chief executive of Ericsson, the world's largest maker of wireless networks. In May 2007, the volume of data for the first time exceeded voice information on the hundreds of wireless networks that Ericsson manages for operators, Svanberg said last week at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona.
But those economic realities do not play into the mind of Daniel Pan, a 22-year-old Web site designer who says a friend recently bought an iPhone for him in the United States.
"This is even better than I thought it would be," he said, toying with his iPhone at an upscale coffee shop. "This is definitely one of the great inventions of this century."
"My friends envy me a lot," said Pang, the Web designer. "They say, 'Wow, you can get an iPhone.' "
The similarities are no accident: The American Living ads are produced by the Global Brand Concepts division of Polo Ralph Lauren, under the aegis of David Lauren.
The photographer and director for the ads is Bruce Weber, whose work has been featured in campaigns for Ralph Lauren as well as other upscale brands like Calvin Klein and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Asked whether he feared consumers might mix up the American Living campaign with the others because they all have the trademark Weber touch, Boylson replied, "How could it be anything but a plus?"