Thursday, March 27, 2008

McCain says Russia should be booted from G8, rebukes China

The US kept quiet on China's handling of the Tibetian Protesters. Everyone has been fine and dandy with the emerging China power due mostly to economic reasons, the French aside. I'm surprised that McCain has actually spoken out against them.


Arizona Sen. John McCain called for free trade throughout the Western Hemisphere, accusing China of trying to exclude the U.S. from foreign markets.

During a foreign policy and international economics speech in Los Angeles, he also said Russia should be booted from the G8, the group of eight largest industrialized and democratic economies, while India and Brazil should be added. Other G8 members are the U.S., Japan, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Canada

The Arizona senator cited Russia's purported cyber attacks against businesses and others in the Baltic state of Estonia.

McCain said China should take part in international boycotts of the Sudan and Burma and criticized the Asian country for sometimes looking to exclude the U.S. from foreign markets.

"China could bolster its claim that it is peacefully rising by being more transparent about its significant military buildup, by working with the world to isolate pariah states such as Burma, Sudan and Zimbabwe, and by ceasing its efforts to establish regional forums and economic arrangements designed to exclude America from Asia," McCain said in his speech.

China, which enjoys a huge trade imbalance with the U.S., is Arizona's third largest export market.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

IMF Admits 'weak' US is Close to Recession

The International Monetary Fund released a most belated and obvious statement citing the already taking place recession. How can we trust the IMF to lift countries out of poverty?


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) today added to the growing chorus of concern the US is heading for a full-blown slowdown, stating that the world's largest economy "remains very weak, certainly close to a possible recession."

A leaked draft copy of the IMF's world economic outlook, the agency confirmed US growth would reach 1.5 per cent over 2008.

The forecast, which could still be changed before the report is released in April 9, is in contrast to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) US gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by 0.1 percent in the first three months of this year, and then slow to zero expansion in the second quarter.

Earlier this week, the IMF said the Federal Reserve’s emergency measures to calm turmoil in the credit market, including a three-quarters of a percentage point cut in interest rates, were “appropriate”.

The IMF's outlook report is expected to confirm global growth at 4.2 per cent in 2008, slightly above the IMF’s last forecast in January of 4.1 per cent but well below its 2007 forcecast of 4.9 per cent.

ANSA, an Italian News Agency, states that the IMF study backs the European Central Bank's (ECB) hardline stance in not cutting interest rates.

It said: “The ECB is rightly holding interest rates stable for now,” adding that the ECB “should be ready to respond in a flexible manner if downward risks to growth and inflation growth intensify.”

IMF First Deputy Managing Director, John Lipsky, has said in recent weeks that growth in the US is sluggish but it is not in recession.

US Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, this week described the country’s economy as being in“sharp decline." This is the closest he has come to conceding an election-year recession.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Overseas Citizens' Groups Prepare G8 Strategy

Another meeting which bars members from entering the country. Increased negative vibes on the meeting and no real news from the G8 leaders. Join us in our protest


As the Group of Eight summit approaches in July, leaders of overseas citizens' groups got together Friday in Tokyo to prepare countermeasures for the upcoming annual meeting of the major developed countries near Lake Toya, Hokkaido.

The G8 Action Network, holding a press conference in Tokyo, argued that the G8 summit members have only worsened the poverty and debt of developing countries by pushing for global free trade and deregulation.

The network will organize forums and demonstrations during the period of the summit in Hokkaido, the group said at the news conference.

The G8 Action Network currently consists of 32 nongovernmental organizations as well as 141 individuals in Japan, plus overseas groups such as, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions from South Korea, and Migrant Forum in Asia and Focus on the Global South, both from the Philippines.

"We have come here all of us from different movements and organizations from around the world . . . to call for solidarity from the Japanese organizations," said Mary Lou Malig of Focus on the Global South.

"The G8 nations account for just 14 percent of the world's population," Malig said, claiming that its decisions could largely dictate the course of the rest of the world and have worsened poverty and increased insecurity during the past few years.

During the conference, the group also announced that a representative from the Committee for Asian Women was rejected by immigration officials trying to enter Japan on Thursday at Narita airport.

The reason for the refusal was not immediately known as of Friday night.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

G8: Call for Action

Resisting Free Trade, Militarism and Fighting for Real Solutions to Climate Change

The G8 Summit will be held this year from July 7-9 in Toyako, Hokkaido, Japan. This will be a culmination of a series of ministerial preparation meeting beginning in March. The G8 Action Network, a network of various Japanese organizations and movements, is calling on all social movements, peasant organizations, women, migrants, urban and rural poor, fisherfolks and civil society from all over the world who are resisting free trade in its many forms, war and militarism, the privatization of essential services and natural resources, illegitimate debt and the domination of global finance, and fighting for and building real people based solutions to global warming, to come and join us in the week of action against the G8 here in Japan.


The G8 nations account for just fourteen percent of the world’s population and yet decisions made at these summits dictate the course of the rest of the world. And now more than ever, the evidence is stark that decisions that these nations have made have brought nothing but worsening poverty, increasing insecurity, deepening indebtedness, militarization and wars and now they are pushing for market based solutions to climate change which threaten to endanger the future of the planet. The host of the summit, the Government of Japan, says that it will make this summit a summit on the climate. This is rank hypocrisy. The reality is that the government, under pressure from Japanese industry, is backing away from mandatory limits to greenhouse gas emissions.

We can no longer let this continue. The time is now for all of us around the world to come together and join forces to make our voices heard and stop the G8 from doing any further damage to the world.


We will also begin preparations to challenge the G8 Summit beginning March. We invite all of you to come to Japan and join in our international preparatory meeting from March 7-11, 2008.

This is our schedule:
March 7, 16:00: Press conference at Parliamentarian building
March 8-9: International Coordination Meeting & G8 Seminar
March 9: evening, Move to Hokkaido by plane
March 10-11: Activities in Hokkaido

If your organization is planning to attend the meeting, please email to register your participation. You can also contact this email for more information on the meeting.


As with all struggles, we can only be successful with the solidarity, support and involvement of movements and activists around the world in resisting this G8 Summit. We invite all of you who are with us in the struggle against trade liberalization, corporate globalization, war and militarism and false solutions to climate change and demanding for
cancellation of all developing country debt to sign on to this call. We urge all of you to join us in Japan and to strengthen our struggle and together, build another world.


G8 Action Network, Japan
Consumers Union of Japan
Forum for Peace, Human Rights and Environment
Globalization Watch Hiroshima
Iwate Network for Protecting Article 9
Japan Asia Africa Latin America Solidarity Committee (AALA)
Japan Family Farmers Movement(NOUMINREN)
National Coalition of Workers, Farmers and Consumers for Safe Food and
Health, Japan (SHOKKENREN)
No! G8 Action
No to WTO/FTA Coalition
No-Vox Japan
Peoples' Plan Study Group (PPSG)
The New Communist Association for the Future

(list of organizations outside Japan who sign on)
Alliance of Progressive Labor, Philippines
Anti-Debt Coalition Indonesia (KAU)
Fisherfolk Movement-Philippines (Kilusang Mangingisda)
Focus on the Global South
Global Network Asia
Globalization Monitor, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU)
Indonesian Peasants Union (SPI)
Institute for Global Justice, Indonesia
Jubilee South - Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JS-APMDD)
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU)
Migrant Forum in Asia
Stop the New Round! Coalition, Philippines
Transnational Institute (TNI)
WALHI-Friends of the Earth Indonesia
Womyn’s Agenda for Change, Cambodia

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