Transnationals &  Money News -- 4

The British American Project, seemingly a combination of the UK and US business, academic, and political leaders sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (USA) and Royal Institute of International Affairs (UK), will meet at the Majestic Hotel, Harrogate, England, 13-17 November 1999.  This is about a fortnight before the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting planned for Seattle. The same Webpage has an article by a journalist saying why many of them never expose the corrupting influences among the elite.  See

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 New Internationalist Oct 1999 cover, 
orig 85x121, linked Bananas: The unholy struggle to gain control over the world banana trade:  New Internationalist has devoted most of the October 1999 issue to the banana trade.  Carl H. Lindner Jnr, who heads a company that owns Chiquita Brands of Cincinnati, wants the United States Government to get back $500 million from  the European Union, which he says the EU owes him because of its banana "regime."  (EU countries give preference to imports from former colonies.)  Note that Mr Lindner expects the U.S. government to act as his debt collector.  One of his political campaign donations in 1996 was $500,000 to Bill Clinton.  Less than a quarter of the world's bananas get involved in international trade.  Just three companies control most of the traded bananas -- Chiquita, Dole, and Del Monte.  These companies are the successor companies that arose some years ago out of United Fruit, dismembered by a U.S. anti-monopoly law case.

  The author writes:  "It became clear to me that the Banana War is being waged between two equally discredited protagonists.  On the one hand, in the form of the European regime, colonialism; on the other, in the form of the 'dollar' regime, plantation slavery and florid ecological insanity."  The article explains the slave-level wages, the poisoning of the workers and the countryside with chemicals, etc.  The articles also cover the moves of some farmers to free themselves from the monopolists, the successes of some organic growers, and proposed action to help the producers and workers. -- New Internationalist, October 1999, "The big Banana split," David Ransom,  pp 7-30.  The magazine is at and claims 65,000 subscribers worldwide.  Subscriptions to U.K. £24.85, concession £14.70; U.S. $35.98; Australia and Papua New Guinea $59.40, concession $29.70, to 28 Austin St, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia, +61 08 8232 1563, fax +61 08 8232 1887,; other countries as in the magazine and Subscription page.  UK editorial office: 55 Rectory Road, Oxford, OX4 1BW, England, +44 1865 728181, fax +44 1865 793152,   See also Bananas

  Campaign Donations, another exposure in the United States: Campaign Finance Reform Foes Lott and McConnell Delivered for Republican Soft Money Donors in 1998-99;  McConnell's Challenge to Reformers to Prove "Who is corrupted?" Answered; New Report Reveals Senate Republican Leaders' Legislative Favours for Managed Care, Casino Gambling, Tobacco Interests.
  WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A new Public Citizen report -- Delivering for Dollars -- documents how Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Senate campaign committee chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have worked legislatively over the past two years with great success on behalf of three major industries -- managed care, casino gambling and tobacco. At the same time the report documents how all three industries have donated huge amounts of soft money to Republican Party fund-raising committees that Lott and McConnell were deeply involved with and benefited from.
  As the U.S. Senate debates campaign finance reform, only Lott and McConnell, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), stand in the way of enacting a ban on soft money. They are poised to lead their fourth minority filibuster in two years against the McCain-Feingold bill (S. 1593), which would ban soft money -- those unlimited contributions to political parties from corporations, labour unions and wealthy individuals.
  Delivering for Dollars illustrates in very concrete terms why Lott and McConnell so vigorously oppose this legislation. The report answers the basic question posed by McConnell Thursday in the Senate floor debate on the McCain-Feingold bill: "Who is corrupted?" Among the report's findings are:
  Since 1995, the three national Republican fund-raising committees raked in $30 million in soft money from managed care, casino gambling and tobacco interests while Democratic committees collected $11 million.
  With significant help from Lott and McConnell, soft money given to the Republicans by the managed care industry rose from $5.4 million to $6.1 million between the 1995-96 election cycle and the 1997-98 cycle, while soft money from casino interests increased from $1.8 million to $2.4 million. (And there's more.)  Released Oct. 15, 1999, Public Citizen,

  Chinese Arms Dealers Deny Involvement in U.S. Smuggling Plot: By CHARLES HUTZLER, Associated Press Writer, May 24, 1996. BEIJING (AP) - Two leading arms dealers ...
767, (AltaVista)
Another amazing revelation I've just found -- 21 Oct 1999.  Re-discovered the source 09 Nov 99 and displayed it here, however, the San Diego Source requests payment to view newsitems.

  Probe into gifts to Clinton fund expands to include Chinese arms dealer's visit to White House: As the Justice Department launched an investigation into more than $600,000 in questionable contributions to President Clinton's legal-defence fund, administration officials said yesterday the central figure in the controversy had brought Wang Jung, the chief of a Chinese military-weapons trading company, to meet the president last February.  Copyright © 1996 The Seattle Times Company Dec. 20, 1996.  Full Story:  Found by Infoseek through MetaCrawler and see chinese.htm

  Challenging Corporate Power -- The Cordoba Declaration: From October 14 to 17, 1999, thirty progressive activists and researchers assembled in Cordoba, Spain, for a European strategy session, solidifying an international network and movement challenging the increasing power of corporations. Read cordoba.htm

  Internet open access under threat through court actions in the U.S.A.:  Read the series by Peter S. Goodman, Washington Post Staff Writer starting 26 October 1999, starting at inter1.htm

  U.S. firm wants to profit from 'human blueprint' gene rights: By Julian Borger in Washington, The Guardian (London) 25 Oct. 1999, at genes.htm

  Biotechnology = Hunger: If the world really wants to feed the hungry, the way to do it is to put farmers back on the land, growing staple crops for themselves, their families and communities, not export crops for wealthy nations. Rather than destroying people's abilities to feed themselves, we should be encouraging it.  More than 60 organisations supported this advertisement in  the New York Times, Nov 8 1999, advertisement, one of a series inserted under the banner of a group formed in 1999, Turning Point Project, 310 D St. NE, Washington, DC 20002; 1-800-249-8712 email:  See it on this Website at biotech.htm

  Critics of Oxfam's support to GM crops for the Third World: Oxfam has backed Genetically-Modified crop research.  However, Vandana Shiva at of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, New Delhi, on 4 Nov 1999 e-mailed to Oxfam: "Farmers in fact have a tripling of incomes by getting off the chemical treadmill and getting out of the debt trap created by purchase of costly seeds and chemicals."  Read more at genetic.htm

  A Declaration by 51 scientists from around the world  calls on governments to slow down Genetic Modification:
1. Impose an immediate moratorium on further environmental releases of transgenic crops, food and animal-feed products for at least 5 years.
2. Ban patents on living organisms, cell lines and genes.
3. Support a comprehensive, independent public enquiry into the future of agriculture and food security for all, taking account of the full range of scientific findings as well as socioeconomic and ethical implications. In full delay.htm

  Kosovo -- the foolish bombing of the Danube bridges mainly harms other nations: More than 200 vessels from Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Russia are still trapped. Most crews have gone home, to find the shipping company has sacked them.  Direct losses to river trade and shipping there may amount to at least £125m. And upstream of the bridges, given low water levels and a sudden freeze, winter ice could rapidly stack up against the wreckage and form a huge dam.  Novi Sad would drown first. But then the floods would submerge southern Hungary.   From The Guardian London. In full danube.htm

  Campaign Donations again, German and Italian style: A long-time German Chancellor and Christian Democrat leader was around early December 1999 trying hard to explain a secret bank account into which more than a million dollars (US) had been placed. It reminds us of the exposure in Italy of the Mafia links to the Christian Democrats there.  (inserted 10 Dec 1999)  

    Sea border 'key' to boat people:  Australia could keep boat people at bay by not ratifying the over-generous seabed treaty signed with Indonesia in 1997, an expert on maritime borders has claimed.  He is Dr Vivian Forbes, whose specialty is maps, of the University of Western Australia's professional maps section in its library.  The treaty restricts the Royal Australian Navy's area of patrols.

  The border between Christmas Island and Indonesia ought to be 94 nautical miles from the island, not 39 as provided in the treaty.  In 1997 Christmas Island representatives had pointed out that the proposed border would assist more illegal immigrants to come.

  It was the same with the Ashmore Islands [often called the Ashmore Reef in newsitems].  The boundary was only 24 nautical miles from the islands instead of about 37.5.

  Dr Forbes said on December 10 1999 that Australia also ought to renegotiate the 1989 Timor Gap Treaty, which unnecessarily gave away oil-producing areas of the Australian continental shelf, and would cause the loss of oil revenue.  -- adapted from an article by Michael Day, with AAP,  "Sea border 'key' to boat people," The West Australian, Dec 11 1999, p 12.

[COMMENT:  Note that the government advisers and Big Business were happy to co-operate with the ignorant politicians of Labor in 1989 and the Coalition in 1997, while dealing with the Jakarta dictators.  "Tweedledum and Tweedledumber" is the apt name some wits have given the two-party system.  The murderous rampage in East Timor after the 30 August 1999 vote would have been "overlooked"  like the previous murders except for two important differences: 1) Brave journalists kept sending video pictures etc., and 2) Private property was destroyed.  The destruction must have enraged some of the Westerners (especially Big Business) who had invested money there.  So when some members of the public became enraged from seeing the television, Western Big Business finally gave its blessing to the politicians to do a complete U-turn, and after seeking permission of Indonesia's Big Business leaders, finally sent in a handful of troops from various countries.  --JCM]  You can read about Dr Forbes or e-mail to:

BRIBERY, CORRUPTION, and DESTRUCTIVENESS of a large segment of the Global Corporate sector.  Want to read a magazine excusing it?  Click  or e-mail to  or send letter to its editor at at  and consider subscribing to Foreign Policy, published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. (put on this Webpage 21Apr00)

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