Consumer sovereignty in the framework of social justice, economic equality and environmental balance, within and across borders


  • Samsung Electronics to pass fewer orders to China supplier in child labour response

    August 5, 2014

    Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said it will do 30 percent less business with a parts supplier after uncovering employment of child workers at the China-based firm, marking the IT giant’s strongest objection to the illegal practice to date.

    In July, Samsung Electronics suspended business with Dongguan Shinyang Electronics Co Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kosdaq-listed Shinyang Engineering Co Ltd, after U.S.-based China Labor Watch said it found at least five child workers without contracts at the Guangdong province-based supplier.

    Samsung said Chinese authorities found that while Dongguan Shinyang did not directly employ child workers, a subcontractor had hired them through a labour dispatch agency.
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  • Will Climate Change Lead to Conflict or Cooperation?

    August 4, 2014

    UNITED NATIONS – The headline of every article about the relationship between climate change and conflict should be “It’s complicated,” according to Clionadh Raleigh.

    Director of the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, Raleigh thinks that researchers and the media have put too simplistic a spin on the link between climate change and violence.

    In recent years, scientists and the United Nations have been increasing their focus on climate conflict. The debate ranges from sensational reports that say the world will soon erupt into water wars to those who do not think the topic is worthy of discussion at all.
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  • Pro-Singaporean hiring rules kick in

    August 1, 2014

    New hiring rules favouring Singaporeans have kicked in as part of measures aimed at addressing citizens’ complaints about foreigners stealing jobs from them.

    Singapore-based companies needing professional workers now have to advertise on an online ‘Jobs Bank’ for at least 14 days before they can seek an employment pass for a foreigner.

    The government-run website will match employment opportunities with profiles of locals seeking employment or a change of jobs.

    Singapore citizens and permanent residents looking for employment must create an account on the jobs bank that will allow them to apply for vacancies.
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  • India Stands Firm on Protecting Food Security of South at WTO

    August 1, 2014

    GENEVA – The failure of the two major players in global trade negotiations to bridge their differences has put paid to the adoption of the protocol of amendment for implementation of the contested Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) for the time being.

    India and the United States failed Thursday at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to reach agreement on construction of a legally binding decision on a “permanent peace clause” that would further strengthen what was decided for public distribution programmes for food security in developing countries at the ninth ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia, last year.

    The Bali decision on food security was one of the nine non-binding best endeavour outcomes agreed by trade ministers on agriculture and development.
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  • WTO fails to agree key trade deal

    August 1, 2014

    The World Trade Organization on Thursday said its 160 members had failed to agree a landmark global customs pact in a move the US said left the body on “uncertain new ground”.

    “We have not been able to find a solution that would allow us to bridge the gap,” WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo said in a statement after the passing of a July 31 deadline for the deal.

    A draft of the so-called Trade Facilitation Agreement, which would streamline global customs procedures, was agreed at a Bali conference in December last year and was meant to be finalised this month.
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  • Report outlines Myanmar’s HIV problem

    August 1, 2014

    Myanmar is seeing a rise in the number of wives infected with HIV by their husbands, while those under the age of 24 remain the most vulnerable to infection by the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), according to a new report from the World Health Organisation.

    The report adopts the Asian epidemiological model for projections and estimate on infection rates. This model was designed to reflect the primary groups and transmission modes driving HIV transmission in Asia, which include sex workers, injecting drug users as well as men who have sex with men.

    Myanmar has seen declines in death rates, new infection rates and the number of people living with HIV/AIDS, according to the report.
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  • European regulators training sights on Google’s mobile software

    July 30, 2014

    European regulators are preparing what could be a stern challenge to Google Inc’s (GOOGL.O) (GOOG.O) mobile software business in the coming months after a nearly four-year investigation into the company’s Web search practices left rivals and European politicians dissatisfied.

    Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said that with a new antitrust chief taking over in November, European regulators are laying the groundwork for a case centered on whether Google abuses the 80 percent market share of its Android mobile operating system to promote services from maps to search.

    The Commission has stepped up inquiries just in recent weeks, sending companies questionnaires that seek far more details than previous queries on the matter in 2011 and 2013.
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  • McDonald’s Japan withdraws profit guidance after China food scare

    July 29, 2014

    McDonald’s Holdings Co (Japan) withdrew its earnings guidance for the year on Tuesday and said it was working on a contingency plan after a major meat supplier in China was shut down by regulators for food safety breaches.

    It also said it would consider seeking damages from the supplier.

    The Japanese unit of the world’s biggest hamburger chain immediately switched to alternative chicken supplies both in China and Thailand after the scandal broke last week.

    But days later it narrowed its sourcing to two existing suppliers in Thailand due to Japanese consumers’ widespread distrust of food originating in China.
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