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Things of interest...

France Telecom places C$450 mln in Canadian private bonds
France Telecom (FTE) has placed C$450 million in privately placed bonds in order to refinance debt, according to a news release on the French financial regulator's Web Site on Monday.

Genetically Modified Seeds Imposed on Farmers in Developing Countries Trigger Famine and Social Devastation
The country's extensive reserves of traditional seed varieties (barley, teff, chick peas, sorghum, etc) were being appropriated, genetically manipulated and patented by the agribusiness conglomerates: "Instead of compensation and respect, Ethiopians today are ...getting bills from foreign companies that have "patented" native species and now demand payment for their use."13 The foundations of a "competitive seed industry" were laid under IMF and World Bank auspices.14 The Ethiopian Seed Enterprise (ESE), the government's seed monopoly joined hands with Pioneer Hi-Bred in the distribution of hi-bred and genetically modified (GM) seeds (together with hybrid resistant herbicide) to smallholders. In turn, the marketing of seeds had been transferred to a network of private contractors and "seed enterprises" with financial support and technical assistance from the World Bank. The "informal" farmer-to-farmer seed exchange was slated to be converted under the World Bank programme into a "formal" market oriented system of "private seed producer-sellers."
(Another old article but still relevant today. A_R)

In Canada, Private Medicine Spreads
The Canadian publicly financed health insurance system frequently described as the third rail of its political system and a core value of its national identity is gradually breaking down. Private clinics are opening around the country by an estimated one a week, and private insurance companies could soon find a gold mine.
Day, for instance, is planning to open more private hospitals, first in Toronto and Ottawa, then in Montreal and two cities in Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton.
Ontario provincial officials are already threatening stiff fines. Day says he is eager to see them in court.
(The more we align ourselves with the way America does things, the easier it will be to integrate North America. Baby steps for now...the complete sell out down the road. I'll be posting many more articles on further integration over the next few weeks A_R)

Central Asia's Great Game Turned on its Head

(An article from 2001. Take the time to read this. This is what it's all about folks. A_R)

Consortium formed to build Central Asia gas pipeline

(An article from 1997. A_R)

TESTIMONY BY JOHN J. MARESCA
VICE PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS UNOCAL CORPORATION TO
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
FEBRUARY 12, 1998
WASHINGTON, D.C.

The Central Asia and Caspian region is blessed with abundant oil and gas that can enhance the lives of the region's residents and provide energy for growth for Europe and Asia.
The impact of these resources on U.S. commercial interests and U.S. foreign policy is also significant and intertwined. Without peaceful settlement of conflicts within the region, cross-border oil and gas pipelines are not likely to be built. We urge the Administration and the Congress to give strong support to the United Nations-led peace process in Afghanistan.
U.S. assistance in developing these new economies will be crucial to business' success. We encourage strong technical assistance programs throughout the region. We also urge repeal or removal of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. This section unfairly restricts U.S. government assistance to the government of Azerbaijan and limits U.S. influence in the region.

Processed Chocolate Contains Dangerous Lead Concentrations, Study Says