Archive for the ‘Legal Framework’ Category

The Great Eskimo Tax ScamThe Great Eskimo Tax Scam

by Robert Lettin, March 30, 2016

[H]ere’s a fun story from the Wayback Machine to remind you it’s never the wrong time to pay attention to taxes.

Back in 1971, President Nixon signed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The law was intended to settle a long history of land disputes dating back to before Alaskan statehood. It distributed up to 104.5 million acres of land to the native tribes, paid out $962.5 million… and created 13 “Alaska native regional corporations” to manage those assets. But timing, as they say, is everything. Fishing, timber, and oil industries collapsed, and nearly all of the new corporations were left with losses. (more…)

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Activists protest against WTO in Nairobi - Xinhua ...

TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues
By Third World Network, in SUNS #8583, 27 November 2017

US rejects proposal by 52 WTO members on AB selection

Geneva, 24 Nov (Kanaga Raja) – The United States has again blocked efforts to launch the process for filling three vacancies at the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization.

At the meeting of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on Wednesday (22 November), the United States rejected a new proposal tabled by some 52 members calling for the simultaneous launch of the selection processes to fill three vacancies at the seven-member Appellate Body (AB). (more…)

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Photos from the Women's March on the WTO Protests; Hong ...The WTO has failed developing nations
Aurelie Walker, The Guardian, 2011

In the 10 years since the WTO pledged to deliver pro-development changes, developing countries have been completely sidelined by the global powers

Ten years ago, a new World Trade Organisation that put developing country needs at the centre of the international trade negotiation agenda was proposed. The Ministerial Declaration adopted at the start of the Doha Development Round of trade negotiations, on 14 November 2001, was a promising response to the anti-globalisation riots of the 1990s.

But the WTO membership has failed to deliver the promised pro-development changes. Finding “development” in the Doha Development Round today is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Developing countries have been completely sidelined by the economic and political interests of global powers. (more…)

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Amina Mohamed.jpgAmina Mohamed

Amina Chawahir Mohamed Jibril (Somali: Aamina Maxamed Jibriil; Arabic: امينة محمد جبريل‎‎) (born 5 October 1961) is a Kenyan Somali lawyer, diplomat and politician. She previously served as Chairwoman of the International Organization for Migration and the World Trade Organisation’s General Council, as well as Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. She is the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya.

Minister for Foreign Affairs
Assumed office: 20 May 2013
President Uhuru Kenyatta
Preceded by Sam Ongeri
Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme
In office: 13 May 2011 – 20 May 2013
Appointed by Ban Ki-moon
Preceded by Angela Cropper

Personal details
Born 5 October 1961 (more…)

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New method of calculating a qualified majority in the Council
Council of the European Union, 29 September 2014

As from 1 November 2014 new rules for the calculation of a qualified majority in the European
Council and in the Council of the EU will apply. As from this date, a system of double majority of members and of population will replace the current rules based on a system of weighted votes attributed to each member state, applied since 1957.

The new voting rules are aimed at facilitating the European Council’s and the Council’s decision taking by qualified majority and at strengthening the democratic legitimacy, in line with the principle “one citizen – one vote”.

When acting on a proposal from the Commission or the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, a qualified majority will require the support of at least 55% of the members (i.e. in the EU 28 at least 16 member states) representing at least 65% of the EU population (i.e. in 2014 around 328.6 million).1 A blocking minority will have to include at least four members; otherwise, the qualified majority will be deemed to have been attained. (more…)

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UCD Working Papers in Law, Criminology & Socio-Legal Studies, Research Paper No.02/2016

Article 50, introduced into the Treaty on European Union by the Treaty of Lisbon, sets out a mechanism for a state which wishes to end its membership of a supposedly ‘ever closer Union’. Article 50 provides

“ 1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.2 It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period. (more…)

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Maastricht Treaty
European Union treaty of 1992
From Wikipedia [Excerpted]

The Maastricht Treaty (formally, the Treaty on European Union or TEU) undertaken to integrate Europe was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Community in Maastricht, Netherlands. (On 9–10 December 1991, Maastricht hosted the European Council which drafted the treaty.) Upon its entry into force on 1 November 1993 during the Delors Commission, it created the European Union and led to the creation of the single European currency, the euro. The Maastricht Treaty has been amended by the treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon.

The treaty established the three pillars of the European Union — one supranational pillar created from three European Communities (which included the European Community (EC), the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Atomic Energy Community), the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) pillar, and the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) pillar. The first pillar was where the EU’s supra-national institutions—the Commission, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice—had the most power and influence. The other two pillars were essentially more intergovernmental in nature with decisions being made by committees composed of member states’ politicians and officials. (more…)

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Lisbon Treaty

The Lisbon Treaty was drafted as a replacement for the Constitutional Treaty which was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005.

The Lisbon Treaty was signed by the heads of state and government of the 27 EU Member States on 13 December 2007. It is intended to reform the functioning of the European Union following the two waves of enlargement which have taken place since 2004 and which have increased the number of EU Member States from 15 to 27.



IN VIEW of further steps to be taken in order to advance European integration,
HAVE DECIDED to establish a European Union and to this end have designated as their Plenipotentiaries:
(List of plenipotentiaries not reproduced)
WHO, having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed as follows.


Article 50 (more…)

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Enbridge Oil Spill: Five Years Later, Michigan Residents Struggle To Move On
By Maria Gallucci (2015)

Five years and billions of cleanup dollars after the worst inland oil spill in U.S. history, the [Kalmazoo] river is largely revitalized. Resuscitated wetlands hug the river, while three new boat launches and man-made rapids draw paddlers, fishers and weekenders.

“We’re looking forward to promoting it as a destination, instead of it being a liability,” said Brad Wurfel, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the agency leading the spill response for the state. “We’re proud of the cleanup effort here.”

Yet for many residents in southern Michigan, it feels like the spill never ended. Some say they worry the beautiful landscape belies the danger of chemicals and crude oil still lurking in the water. For others, the anniversary dredges up painful reminders of the day they were evacuated and their lives upended by the stench of oil and the noise of cleanup crews. (more…)

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The Michigan government water torture
From Illicit Articles (Jan. 28 2016)

Who would HB 4540 actually benefit? Enbridge. Notice “Line 6B”? That pipeline burst into the Kalamazoo River back in 2010, and there was a major state cover-up to hide the facts. HB 4540 would just make it easier to make another cover-up the next time a pipeline leaks oil into our Great Lakes and rivers.

Well, things are finally looking better for Flint, now that they’ve gotten a lead-free water source, millions of bottles of water, and hometown band King 810 promising to save them all. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, we can take one step ahead while taking two steps back.

House Bill 4540, originally sponsored by state representative Kurt Heise, is a bill that was introduced solely to conceal information about oil and gas pipelines from being public information. It is basically an amendment added on to the state Freedom Of Information Act, and will make it a requirement for anybody who wants to (more…)

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