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Arms and drug smuggling combine with kidnapping in the Algerian Sahara

By Kaci Racelma, in Tizi Ouzou, Algeria; and Paul Cochrane, in Beirut

This article appeared last March (2012) in Commercial Crime International, a specialist title run by the International Chamber of Commerce. It foreshadowed the Islamist-related unrest and rebellion that actually occurred later in Mali and Algeria….

COMMERCIAL crime may not be as omnipresent in North Africa as in some other parts of the world, but companies operating in the region have risks to contend with. Corruption is rife, smuggling across the borders with Sub-Saharan countries is a major activity, and terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are in the ascendancy. Kaci Racelma and Paul Cochrane take a detailed look at these problems.

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BHARTI WALMART TRAINING CENTRES IN INDIA

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China introduces sex education in primary schools

By Wang Fangqing


China, a nation once so secretive about sex, is determined to introduce sex education as early as primary schools. On December 12, China’s Ministry of Education released a draft of the National Standard for Primary School Teachers that included a requirement that teachers “get the knowledge and methods of puberty and sexual education.”

Beijing and Shanghai, the two most developed cities in China, launched sex education programs in selected local primary schools months ago along with the textbooks: “Steps of Growth” in Beijing and “Boys and Girls” in Shanghai, both presented in manga style to appeal to the young students.

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China Introduces Sex Education in Primary Schools

By Wang Fangqing

China, a nation once so secretive about sex, is determined to introduce sex education as early as primary schools. On December 12, China’s Ministry of Education released a draft of the National Standard for Primary School Teachers that included a requirement that teachers get the knowledge and methods of puberty and sexual education.”

Beijing and Shanghai, the two most developed cities in China, launched sex education programs in selected local primary schools months ago along with the textbooks: “Steps of Growth” in Beijing and “Boys and Girls” in Shanghai, both presented in manga style to appeal to the young students.

 

 

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Saudi Arabia looks worldwide for nuclear collaborators

By Paul Cochrane, in Beirut

Saudi Arabia’s failure to secure a wide-ranging atomic energy treaty with the USA, continues to push the oil-rich country into the arms of other nuclear suiters, experts on the kingdom have argued. The Saudi's plan is to invest USD112 billion over the next 20 years to build 16 nuclear power plants (NPPs) to offset rising domestic energy demand and retain its position as a leading hydrocarbons exporter.

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Dreamy British Eurosceptics fantasize about UK leaving the EU – but their arguments are weak

By Keith Nuthall, International News Services

Britain’s recent refusal to sign a new European Union (EU) treaty that would impose tougher controls over the level of budget deficits EU governments can run might seem like prudence, given the appalling state of the Euro. But the failure of Britain to negotiate itself a real say in how Eurozone members control public spending poses grave risks for the UK and its financial sector.

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The Middle East: On the edge of the abyss?

By Paul Cochrane, in Beirut

Countless times I've read analysis and the blurb on the back of books that the Middle East is ‘on the brink’, a ‘tinderbox’ ready to explode due to the nepotistic nature of governments and the dire economic conditions of much of the region. Now more than ever, these predictions look like they may be coming true - a dictatorial regime has fallen in Tunisia and another is tottering in Egypt.
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Climate change spreads infectious diseases worldwide

mosquitoBy Alyshah Hasham, International News Services As negotiators at the recent United Nations climate change conference in Cancun wrapped up their work, one problem concentrating minds enough to secure a partial deal was the spread of disease on the coat-tails of global warming. Infectious diseases are spreading to regions where they were previously absent, driven by warmer temperatures and changing rainfall patterns. Europe and North America have been seeing an increase in cases of West Nile disease, which as the name suggests thrives in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Warmer temperatures are allowing the mosquitoes that carry the disease to roam further north. It’s a similar story for diseases such as dengue fever or tick-borne encephalitis (which causes brain inflammation).
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INS textile regulation ebook - chapter summary

Chapter 1: 2001

Perhaps the biggest news in 2001 was China’s admission as a member of the World Trade Organisation, which opened countless trade avenues but caused significant anxiety for China’s competitors. Meanwhile, governments prepared for the slow abolition of textile quotas with the phase-out of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing. In March, for instance, the European Union (EU) removed its textile quotas for Sri Lanka, Bosnia and the Ukraine, widening the import market for those producers in exchange for lower tariffs on EU exports. In July, the European Commission issued a warning to the European textile industry to change its structure to remain competitive in light of the ATC (agreement on textiles and clothing) phase-out.

*9,500 words and 50 articles of varying lengths

Other articles in 2001 include:

*EU LOSES INDIAN BED LINEN APPEAL AT WTO

*OLAF REPORTS GERMAN-MALAYSIAN SCAM

*US HOUSE DOUBLES DUTY FREE AFRICAN QUOTAS

*SAFETY FOUND WANTING IN 20 AFRICAN FACTORIES

Chapter 2: 2002

Significant issues in 2002 included the beginning of India and US’s multi-year battle over rules of origin legislation, and frustrating diplomatic wrangles over the WTO’s ATC phase-out. Grumbling exporters and defendant importers could not agree to a final deadline for an official report on the issue, leaving unresolved issues and frustrated stakeholders. The WTO, perhaps in response to the vicious battle between India and the US, launched an investigation into creating a set of global rules of origin regulations, a debate which would also rage on for years.

*15,000 words and 101 articles of varying lengths.

Other articles in 2002 include:

*BLACK MARKET CLOTHES HURT INDONESIA TEXTILE TRADE

*EU MINISTERS APPROVE BED LINEN ANTI-DUMPING DUTIES FOR INDIA*SHORT CHAIN PARAFFIN BANNED IN LEATHER PRODUCTION

*EU EXTENDS VAT REDUCTIONS OPTION FOR TEXTILE SERVICES

Chapter 3: 2003

Chapter 3 follows the textile industry as it crept closer to quota abolition and a liberalised market. The European Union (EU) announced sweeping reforms to its textile trade regulations, and at the WTO the ongoing Indian-EU anti-dumping dispute ruled for India in an appeal, overturning yet another ‘final’ decision. This battle would flip-flop several more times before finally being resolved for good. Meanwhile, cotton became a hot issue in August, as subsidy reforms got under way at the EU and WTO to much global debate.

*4,800 words and 80 articles of varying lengths

Other articles in 2003 include:

*US SIGNS UNPRECEDENTED TEXTILE DEAL WITH VIETNAM

*INDIA LOSES RULES OF ORIGINS DISPUTE WITH US

*HFCF EMISSIONS REPORT CALLS FOR FLUORINATED GAS BAN

*MALAYSIA TEXTILE SECTOR COULD DISAPPEAR, NATION FEARS

Chapter 4: 2004

Among the biggest headlines was the US-Australian free trade agreement for the textile industry, which received mixed reviews from affected parties. As the ATC quota deadline approached, major textile countries also began to consider their options; a report in the EU predicted economic pain for the European textile industry, vulnerable to demand and high costs. Chinese production was predicted to soar to new heights under the ATC agreement, staking market shares from other nations, building a textile expire. In response, the EU vowed to monitor China for a year after quota abolition, reinstating quotas if necessary. *11,000 words and 74 articles of varying lengths.

Other articles in 2004 include:

*EU EXPANDS IMPORT QUOTAS IN PREP FOR NEW MEMBERS

*NETHERLANDS TO CONTINUE WITH SPECIAL VAT PROCEDURES

*ATC REPORT SUPPORTS PREFERENTIAL TARIFFS FOR LOSING MARKET

*US AND PAKISTAN NEGOTIATING MAJOR TRADE TREATY

Chapter 5: 2005

As the global textile industry abolished quotas for good, reporters documented how the ATC phase-out agreement had changed the global textile sector. Almost immediately, short-term job losses were predicted in sectors like the leather industry, and China’s clothing market share began to grow remarkably fast, sparking restrictions and temporary quotas in the EU. The EU’s REACH chemical control programme was approved, creating debate and controversy for the dye sector especially.

*7,200 words and over 50 articles of varying lengths

Other articles in 2005 include:

*EU-CHINA CUSTOMS DEAL TO FIGHT COUNTERFEIT CLOTHING

*DYE INDUSTRY SUPPLIED SADDAM KICKBACKS IN IRAQ

*EU TO IMPOSE ANTI-DUMPING DUTIES ON CHINESE/SAUDI POLYESTER

*AFRICAN COTTON PRODUCERS WIN SUBSIDIES FIGHT IN HONG KONG

Chapter 6: 2006

Chapter 6 follows the textile industry through its ongoing trade and policy changes, and its second year of market liberalisation. At the WTO, Doha development round negotiators worked on liberalising the international dye sector, while the EU continued to review and revise its cotton subsidies plan under increased pressure from West Africa and other producer countries. China and South Africa, meanwhile, worked throughout the year to resolve an ugly spat over textile quotas, with China coming out victorious.

*10,500 words and almost 50 articles of varying lengths

Other articles in 2006 include:

*AZO DYE CONTAMINATION IN PRODUCTS DESPITE BAN

*BIN LADEN TRADEMARK CASE LAUNCHED AT THE ECJ

*GLOBAL DEAL GIVES FREE MARKET ACCESS TO POOR COTTON PRODUCERS

*VIETNAM MEMBERSHIP OF WTO WILL CREATE TEXTILE TRADE

Chapter 7: 2007

In January, Vietnam was formally welcomed into the WTO, giving another major textile and clothing producer access to world markets. The EU expanded its trade deal with Belarus despite its ongoing human rights abuses, and the EU also desperately tried to make last-minute trade deals with China before the end of the last WTO-authorised trade controls in January 2008.

*5,200 words and over 20 articles of varying lengths

Other articles in 2007 include:

*EUROPEAN STANDARD ON CLOTHING SIZES TO CHANGE BRITISH SIZING CUSTOMS

*EUROPEAN COMMISSION PREDICTS LEATHER COMMERCE GAINS FROM ASIA TRADE DEALS

*INDIAN TEXTILE INDUSTRY STRUGGLES TO SURVIVE RUPEE HIKE WITH LABOUR LIBERALISATION PLANS

*EU PLANS TO MATCH DYE PACKAGING WITH UN STANDARDS

Chapter 8: 2008

The EU compiled a host of textile naming regulations and laws into one EU-wide regulation, and the WTO predicted lower leather duties across the globe as it neared the end of its development round in Doha. By the end of the year, the EU was sparking controversy as it reviewed its anti-dumping duties imposed on China and Vietnam leather products, extending the duties for a year while the investigation continued.

*2,500 words, including 10 extended articles

Other articles in 2008 include:

*DISCORD AMONGST MEMBER STATES STYMIES ANTIDUMPING REFORMS

*POLAND FACES COURT ACTION OVER LOW CHILDREN’S CLOTHES VAT RATES

*EU FASHION INDUSTRY TO BENEFIT FROM ONCOMING EU-BOSNIA TRADE DEAL

*EUROPEAN COMMISSION PLANS TO INCREASE RAW MATERIALS SECURITY – INCLUDING LEATHER

Chapter 9: 2009

This follows textile and clothing international law and regulatory developments to the end of June. The EU banned seal product imports, which sparked a Canadian complaint at the WTO and created debate across the globe. Earlier in the year, the European Commission proposed doubling the life span of production-linked cotton subsidies, extending global deals until 2018. In the US, new president Barack Obama struggled to uphold his protectionist ideals while negotiating lower trade barriers for textiles at the WTO.

*6,000 words and over 20 articles of varying lengths

Other articles in 2009 include:

*EUROPEAN COMMISSION CALLS FOR MANUFACTURER IDENTIFIERS ON ALL CLOTHING LABELS

*HEALTH CONCERNS RAISED ABOUT CARBON NANOTUBES AND SILVER NANOPARTICLES

*EUROPEAN COMMISSION WANT CURBS ON USE OF RFID TAGS

*SOUTH KOREAN FIBRE PRODUCER WINS FOUR-YEAR LEGAL BATTLE TO CUT DUMPING DUTIES

 

Chapter 10: 2010

 

Although the EU faced delays in its biocides environmental health review, it forged ahead on other environmental initiatives such as restrictions on polluting dyes, pushing ahead with chemical registration through its REACH programme, approved more comprehensible textile labelling reforms, and defined nanotechnology health regulations. The EU’s Globalisation Adjustment Fund benefitted Spain. And international knitwear producers gained legal ammunition against counterfeiters through the new multilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The OECD claimed its shared safety test data had saved the sector millions of dollars.

 

*12,797 words, and over 20 articles of varying lengths

Other articles in 2010 include:

 

*BRUSSELS PLAN TO HELP LITHUANIAN TEXTILE AND CLOTHING WORKERS

*OECD-APPROVED CHEMICAL SAFETY TESTS FACING RECOGNITION IN INDIA AND BRAZIL

*UNIDO LAUNCHES NEW GLOBAL BIOTECHNOLOGY NETWORK

*IFC HELPS MAKE BANGLADESH TEXTILE INDUSTRY CLEANER AND GREENER

*ECJ REJECTS CALVIN KLEIN TRADEMARK LEGAL BID

*REACH RELEASES WEBLINK FOR CHECKING REGISTRATIONS

*FINAL TEXT OF ANTI-COUNTERFEITING TREATY RELEASED

*‘MADE IN’ LABELLING LEGISLATION DIVIDES MEMBER STATES

 

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