OSCE Highlights Points of "Weakness" in US Election

November 30, 2016

While they credited the recent US elections as largely "well-run," OSCE monitors criticized "intolerant discourse" during the campaign, called voter identification laws "unnecessary obstacles for voters," claimed a lack of nationwide voting standards as a "weakness," and warned of voting restrictions for convicted felons and residents of certain jurisdictions.

EU Considers Deterring "Aggressive" Tax Advice

November 30, 2016

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on measures to deter tax advisers in the EU from proposing tax planning schemes to help corporations and others avoid taxes, including by implementing at the EU level a "mandatory disclosure scheme" for tax advice that might be viewed as overly "aggressive."

Lego Cites "Hate Speech" in Halting Newspaper Ads

November 30, 2016

Under pressure from social media campaigners decrying stories in The Daily Mail they say incite violence and hatred toward migrants and others, Danish toy company Lego has agreed to stop running advertisements in the British tabloid newspaper because of its alleged promotion of "hatred, discrimination and demonisation."

Swiss Government Seeks Broad EU Treaty

November 30, 2016

EurActiv reports that the Swiss Government has published plans to propose a new treaty with the EU to the country's Parliament to replace a patchwork of deals on access to the bloc's "single market," as critics warn that such a new treaty would subject Switzerland to broader control by the Court of Justice of the EU.

 

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  • ILO, Russia Sign Deal on Labor, "Social Protection"

    December 02, 2016

    The UN's International Labour Organization and the Russian government have signed a Programme of Cooperation for 2017-2020 under which Russian authorities have agreed to expand "social protection" schemes and promote global labor standards in their country.

     
  • OECD Mayors Initiative Launches "Inclusive Growth" Plan

    December 02, 2016

    Meeting in Paris, a group of 50 mayors from around the world participating in the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative launched a "comprehensive," global action plan to reduce income inequality and ensure that economic growth in urban areas is sufficiently "inclusive."

     
  • Oxfam Criticizes "Climate Finance" Failure in Marrakesh

    December 02, 2016

    The nongovernmental organization Oxfam criticized developed countries participating in the UN's recent climate change summit in Marrakesh, Morocco, for declining to specifically identify funds set for redistribution to poor countries to go toward "adaptation" efforts to help people in these countries endure the impacts of global warming.

     
 
  • UN Fund Pushes Broad Corporate Participation in SDGs

    December 02, 2016

    The UN-backed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Fund has released a report calling on the UN to engage in "educating" businesses on the importance of their participation in the organization's initiatives on "sustainable development" and pushing partnerships between development actors and companies to achieve the comprehensive SDG agenda.

     
  • NGOs Use UN Summit to Pressure Companies on Climate

    December 02, 2016

    At the recent UN Conference on Climate Change in Marrakesh, Morocco (COP22), a group of nongovernmental organizations announced the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance as one of several initiatives aimed to pressure businesses to adopt and advance the UN's agenda on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

     
  • WTO Members Debate IP Effects on Medicine Access

    December 02, 2016

    At a meeting of the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), member governments of the World Trade Organization debated the implications of a report by the UN's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines regarding whether certain aspects of the transnational TRIPS agreement aligns with the global "right to health."

     
 
  • Norway Calls on UK to Maintain Close Ties with EU

    December 02, 2016

    Norwegian Trade and Industry Minister Monica Maeland has intervened in the debate over the UK's relationship with the EU following Brexit by arguing that it would be in Norway's interest for the UK to remain "closely tied" to the EU's "common market."

     
  • Switzerland Open to UK Accession to EFTA

    December 02, 2016

    Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann has announced that Switzerland would agree to talks on the reentry by the UK into the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), a free trade zone comprising Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein that maintains access to the EU's "single market," upon the country's exit from the EU.

     
  • EU Commits Funding Toward "Sustainability" Agenda

    December 02, 2016

    In remarks on the adoption of an EU package implementing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini praised EU institutions for committing funding to non-EU countries to fulfill the global "sustainability" agenda.

     
 
  • EU Investigates IS Access to Slovenian Munitions

    December 02, 2016

    The discovery of munitions from Slovenia in Islamic State-controlled territories in the Mideast and North Africa is the subject of an EU inquiry aimed at identifying the access points to international weapons markets by which global Islamist extremist groups are able to acquire materiel used for jihadi attacks.

     
  • Europol Warns About IS Attacks in Europe

    December 02, 2016

    A new report by Europol's Counter Terrorism Center warns that, as the Islamic State retreats from its core caliphate territory in the Mideast, the Islamist jihadi group is likely to increase the scope, methods, and targets of terror attacks in European states.

     
  • Saudi-Iran Power Struggle Continues to Drive Mideast Chaos

    December 02, 2016

    Failed states, civilian casualties, and authoritarian regimes in the Mideast, along with the proliferation of global jihadi violence, are the outcomes of nearly three decades of competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran over Sunni-versus-Shiite Islamist hegemony on a regional and international scale.