After five years of secret negotiations, diplomats from 12 countries signed the massive Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement Thursday in Auckland, New Zealand. Proponents say the deal that binds 40 percent of the world’s economy will give signatory nations an enormous economic boost, largely through tariff cuts. But opponents say it’s just a foil for expansion of unaccountable corporate power. They see a lack of action against currency manipulation coupled with bias toward large investors at the expense of public health, human rights and the environment.
The signing ceremony came after months of protest in Pacific rim countries party to the deal, including the United States, Canada, Chile, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand where thousands of anti-TPP activists delivered on promises to picket and protest the signing ceremony. Carla Green has more, from Auckland.
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan reached U.S. congressional chambers this week as an investigation heats up to figure out who was responsible for the lead crisis and what can be done about it. FSRN’s Tanya Snyder reports.
Access to fresh water is a growing issue for both communities and ecosystems across the globe. A stark example of the effects of stressors like mining activities, climate change, and El Niño driven drought is Bolivia’s Lake Poopó. Once the country’s second largest lake -- it’s dried up to little more than a puddle. The consequences of the lake’s demise affect local indigenous communities and others who depend on fishing for their livelihoods.
Experts say even if authorities make lake recovery a priority, it could take upwards of ten years. They recommend alternative projects to stop a mass migration of families who relied on the lake for their subsistence. FSRN’s Aldo Orellana López reports from Oruro, Bolivia.
A recent attack in northeastern Nigeria widely attributed to the Islamist sect Boko Haram left scores of people dead. Many of them, including children, were locked up in their homes and burned alive. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos.