Tag Archives: International relations

23May/20

10th anniversary of Israeli Attack on The Mavi Marmara (Gaza Freedom Flotilla) live online discussion 2020 May 30th with filmmaker Iara Lee whose crew smuggled out assault footage, author Dr. Norman Finkelstein and ship survivors

On May 31, 2010, filmmaker Iara Lee (director of the Cultures of Resistance Network) was on the Mavi Marmara, part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, when the boat was attacked by Israeli military forces. The flotilla was an effort to bring humanitarian aid to the illegally blockaded Gaza Strip, and the largest boat in the flotilla was the Mavi Marmara. In the early morning hours of May 31, Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara and opened fire on civilians, killing nine passengers (a tenth passenger died later from his injuries) and wounding dozens more. Despite Israeli attempts to confiscate all video taken during the attack on the boat, Iara Lee’s film crew smuggled out footage of the assault, which she later screened at the United Nations.

Watch the Israeli Attack on the Mavi Marmara – Iara Lee Testifies to the UN (3-minute short film) or the raw footage of the attack, courtesy of Cultures of Resistance Films. Read more

29Sep/17

Senator Warner blasts Twitter

U.S. Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said on Thursday he was deeply disappointed by the lack of information Twitter provided at a briefing for congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. election. Continue reading

03Sep/17

China says BRICS summit expected to oppose trade protectionism

XIAMEN, FUJIAN PROVINCE, CHINA (SEPTEMBER 3, 2017) (REUTERS) – A meeting of the BRICS group of emerging economies is expected to rally against trade protectionism, China’s vice trade minister said on Sunday (September 3), the first day of the summit in southeastern China. Continue reading

03Sep/17

BRICS spurs up Africa’s economic growth: Kenyan economist

SOURCE:China Global Television Network (CGTN) – BRICS has been providing positive effects for the economic growth in the African continent, said a Kenyan economist in an exclusive interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN) in Nairobi on Saturday. Continue reading

11Aug/17

Africa-U.S. AGOA trade talks end with no decision, waning enthusiasm

Togo hosted an annual conference on the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) this week, bringing together various stakeholders from African nations and the United States. In 2015, the US Congress renewed the zero tariff deal for 10 years. Analysts have questioned how the programme will fare under U.S president Donald Trump’s presidency, given his “America First” campaign, that has seen him withdraw from various international trade deals.

SHOWS: LOME, TOGO (AUGUST 09, 2017) (REUTERS) – Talks between African and U.S. officials to review the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) free trade deal ended on Thursday (August 10) with no decision and a feeling of all sides that it had achieved little since it was set up.

President Donald Trump’s top trade negotiator Robert E. Lighthizer and other U.S. officials have been in the tiny West African nation of Togo over the past two days to discuss the Clinton-era trade pact with sub-Saharan Africa.

Trump’s “America First” campaign has seen him withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership, threated to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and seek to renegotiate the U.S.-South Korea free trade deal.

But his administration has said little about Africa, and had not previously mentioned the 2000 AGOA trade agreement. It is not clear whether the U.S. wants to change the deal before it expires in 2025 or extend it further – no decision was made on either count.

AGOA allows tariff-free access for thousands of goods from 38 African nations to U.S. markets.

But few African economies can take advantage of a U.S. trade initiative providing to the world’s largest market because they have little to export beyond commodities, an asset class where prices are in free fall.

Togo’s minister of commerce Bernadette Legzim-Balouki said that although not all the countries eligible have benefited from the law, the agreement allowed Africa to access the US market and that member countries will examine the constraints that prevent some African countries from profiting.

“2025 was the year that the AGOA agreement will officially came to an end. If the United States decides not to extend the agreement, does that mean that our trade relationship with the U.S must also come to an end? Not at all! African entrepreneurs and other stakeholders were able to have access to the US market. They have straightened their partnerships with economic partners in the U.S. A door has been opened, a relationship was established between the US and African countries,” she said.

Legzim-Balouki also said that the United States and the nations eligible for AGOA had agreed on some loose aims, including: to develop a better plan to take full advantage of the pact, for each eligible country to have bilateral talks with the United States, and the need for a mechanism to protect African producers from price volatility.

US officials at the forum said that the number of countries benefiting from AGOA was very limited, as is the number of sectors, adding that they will see if the situation improves in the coming years, but it is also up to the beneficiary countries to enhance their business climate.

“The AGOA programme was renewed for ten years by congress by a large margin. That means that we have 8 years of the law in place. It’s true that the environment has changed, and we are currently studying the best ways for African countries to benefit from AGOA,” said Peter Barlerin a representative of the US state department.

The U.S. trade deficit with the AGOA countries shrank to about $7.9 billion last year from a peak of $64 billion in 2008, as U.S. shale oil production increases have lessened the need for oil imports from major exporters Nigeria and Angola.

27Apr/17

Trump open to renegotiating NAFTA

U.S. President Donald Trump says he is open to renegotiating NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, rather than scrapping the pact.

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17Apr/17

Pence stresses “era of strategic patience” over as he visits Korean DMZ

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence say the U.S. “era of strategic patience” with Pyongyang is over as he visits the Korean DMZ.
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14Apr/17

U.S. releases video of ‘mother of all bombs’ strike in Afghanistan

The U.S. military releases video of the ‘mother of all bombs’ strike used in Afghanistan on ISIS targets, one of the largest non-nuclear devices ever unleashed in combat.

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30Mar/17

Press Release – Pledge your support for our Plan for Britain today

Today we formally begin the process of leaving the European Union. This is a moment for our country to come together and to forge a new partnership with Europe and with the rest of the world. Continue reading