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


  • Students need financial skills

    June 21, 2014

    HA NOI — Financial education and money-managing skills should be an essential skill for students at secondary schools and higher levels, said deputy director of Save the Children Viet Nam, Doan Anh Tuan.

    Speaking at a workshop on financial education for youth yesterday, Tuan said that Viet Nam’s education programme concentrated too much on providing academic knowledge rather than equipping students with soft skills, including those related to money.

    In 2009, the organisation started a project called Smart Start in HCM City which taught high school students – and teachers – how to manage, spend and save money efficiently.
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  • Apple settles $840m ebook price-fixing case

    June 17, 2014

    Settlement avoids trial judgment over conspiracy with publishers to raise the price of ebooks in the US

    Apple has settled its case with US states and consumers over ebook price fixing, according to a filing with a New York court made on Monday.

    The attorney Steve Berman, representing US consumers and some states, told the US district judge Denise Cote that Apple had reached an agreement in principle with the plaintiffs. Cote ruled against Apple in a non-jury trial in 2013. Full details of the settlement are being kept under seal before approval by the court.
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  • Regional trade blocs put non-members in dark

    June 13, 2014

    The rise of mega-free trade agreements (FTAs), the so-called mega-regionals such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in East Asia and the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) suggest that the world trade system is fragmenting to appear more like a jigsaw puzzle than a spaghetti bowl. Carving up global trade in this way is far from ideal for members of the mega-regionals, and much worse for non-members.

    How do we resolve the growing mess? One approach is to consolidate bilateral FTAs into regional blocs, a process similar to solving a regional jigsaw puzzle and then link them up globally. But both regional and global jigsaw puzzles need to be solved, and in that order, if this route is to work. But can it?
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  • The case for a climate levy on big polluters

    June 13, 2014

    BONN – A groundbreaking study published last November revealed that the activities of a mere 90 producers of coal, oil and gas, and cement – dubbed the “carbon majors” – have led to 63% of all CO2 emissions since the Industrial Revolution.

    The report was released just weeks after Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda as it was known locally) tore through the Tacloban region in the Philippines. With unprecedented wind speeds of 315 kilometers (196 miles) per hour, the storm killed 6,300 people, left four million homeless, and caused more than $2 billion of damage.

    Haiyan and its devastation became a rallying cry for delegates at the subsequent United Nations climate-change conference in Warsaw. In response, they agreed to establish an international mechanism to address climate-change-related “loss and damage,” to be applied in countries that are unable to adapt or protect themselves from the worst effects of global warming.
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  • Natural forest sacrificed for profitable cassava crop

    June 12, 2014

    KON TUM — Cassava plantations are helping reduce poverty in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum.

    However, natural forests are being chopped down to make way for the highly profitable crops.

    In Dak Ro Wa Commune in Kon Tum City, 400ha of 2,000ha of forest has already disappeared.

    With incomes of VND20 million (US$950) per hectare, the tubers have improved living standards for many households, said Phan Thanh Nam, chairman of the Dak Ro Wa People’s Committee.

    Cassava farms have made serious encroachments in Sa Son, Sa Nhon and Mo Rai communes in Sa Thay District, which are next to Chu Mom Ray National Park.
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  • First decolonization, now ‘depatriarchilisation’

    June 11, 2014

    UNITED NATIONS – At the end of this week leaders of the Group of 77 and China will meet in Bolivia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the group.

    From the original 77, this group now brings together 133 countries, making it the largest coalition of governments on the international stage. Promoting an agenda of equity among nations and among people, sustainable and inclusive development and global solidarity have been at the heart of the G77’s priorities since its inception. But none of it will be achieved without fully embracing the agenda of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

    Two weeks ago, I travelled to Bolivia to attend a historic international meeting in preparation for the G77 Summit, exclusively dedicated to women and gender equality. More than 1,500 women, many of them indigenous, packed the room, full of energy. Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, was also present – a testimony to his commitment and leadership to this critical agenda.
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  • Advertisements cannot confer unfair advantage

    June 11, 2014

    In an imperfect competitive environment with asymmetrical information that we have today, advertisement is a marketing tactic that plays an important role in the existence and development of most enterprises.

    Advertisement is a form of communication used to introduce products, goods or services to the public with or without a lucrative purpose.

    Currently, it is generally agreed that an advertisement has to meet the following three conditions to be deemed lawful: (i) people producing and displaying the advertisement are individuals and enterprises permitted by law to carry out promotional activities; (ii) the promoted products are allowed by law to be advertised; and (iii) the means and forms of advertising comply with relevant provisions of the law.
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  • Sprint, T-Mobile deal to face challenges

    June 7, 2014

    WASHINGTON – Sprint Corp and T-Mobile might have some fresh arguments to allay regulator skepticism about a merger, but the government may still be reluctant to approve shrinking the U.S. wireless market from four main players to three.

    Analysts said a decline in shares of both companies on Thursday reflected those high regulatory hurdles. T-Mobile closed 2.3 percent lower and Sprint 4 percent lower.

    Sprint, purchased by Japan’s Softbank Corp in 2013, has agreed to pay about $40 per share, or over $32 billion, for T-Mobile US, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, bringing to a head a long-discussed and controversial deal to reshape the U.S. cellphone market.
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