North America

Panama Regulators Could Slow U.S. Approval of GM Salmon

Officials in Panama have fined the local facility of a U.S. biotechnology company for a series of permitting and regulatory failures around a pioneering attempt to create genetically modified salmon.

OPINION: Contras and Drugs, Three Decades Later

In late 1986, Washington was rocked by revelations that the Ronald Reagan administration had illegally aided a stateless army known as the contras in Central America.

OPINION: Water Shutoffs and Unintended Consequences – Lessons from Detroit

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation Catarina de Albuquerque and Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Leilani Farha were in Detroit, Michigan Oct. 17-20.

U.S. Contractors Convicted in 2007 Blackwater Baghdad Traffic Massacre

A federal jury here Wednesday convicted one former Blackwater contractor of murder and three of his colleagues of voluntary manslaughter in the deadly shootings of 14 unarmed civilians killed in Baghdad’s Nisour Square seven years ago.

Despite Media, Rightwing Ebola Hype, U.S. Public Resists Total Panic

Despite media hype, missteps by federal health agencies, and apparent efforts by right-wing and some neo-conservatives to foment fear about the possible spread of the Ebola virus in the U.S., most of the public remain at least “fairly” confident in the authorities’ ability to deal with the virus.

U.S. Revisiting “Broken” Workplace Chemicals Regulation Process

The U.S. government will soon begin receiving public suggestions on how federal regulators should update their oversight of toxic chemicals in the workplace.

Despite Public’s War Weariness, U.S. Defence Budget May Rise

Despite the public’s persistent war weariness, the U.S. defence budget – the world’s biggest by far – may be set to rise again, according to a new study released here this week by the Center for International Policy (CIP).

U.S. Investigation into Illegal Timber Imports a “Sea Change”

A year after a U.S. company was accused of engaging in the systematic importing of flooring made from illegally harvested timber, pressure is mounting on federal agencies currently investigating the allegations.

Harper Playing Defence in Canada’s Pipeline Politics

Canada’s tar sands oil boom may be in jeopardy and it appears the ruling Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper does not have any plan B in its ambition to remake this resource-rich country into “an energy superpower.”

U.S. to Create National Plan on Responsible Business Practices

The United States will begin developing a national action plan on responsible business practices, following on several years of related advocacy from civil society.

Championing Ocean Conservation Or Paying Lip Service to the Seas?

President Barack Obama this week extended the no-fishing areas around three remote pacific islands, eliciting praise from some, and disappointment from those who fear the move did not go far enough towards helping depleted species of fish recover.

Obama Mandates Climate Resilience in All U.S. Development Projects

All international development assistance and investments from the United States will now be required to take into account the potential impacts of climate change, according to a new rule signed Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

“No Planet B”: Marchers Demand Swift Action on Climate Change

On Sunday, Sep. 21, at least 300,000 people filled the streets of New York City ahead of the U.N. General Assembly and special one-day Climate Summit Sep. 23 to protest the ongoing lack of political will to cut global CO2 emissions and kick-start a greener economy. They came by bus and bike and train. They came with their kids -- some in strollers, others old enough to proudly carry signs. By afternoon, it had become clear that the march in New York was the biggest climate-change gathering in history. Protesters also turned out in more than 150 other cities around the world.

Surprisingly Equal, Surprisingly Unequal

Thomas Piketty, a French economist who works on wealth and income inequality, has triggered a debate on the distribution of income and wealth in many countries. This is no small issue because views on income inequality and concomitant redistributive preferences are crucial to the design of tax and transfer systems.

Declining Majority Still Supports “Active” U.S. Role in World Affairs

Despite elite concerns about growing “isolationism” in the U.S. electorate, nearly six in 10 citizens believe Washington should “take an active part in world affairs,” according to the latest in a biennial series of major surveys of U.S. foreign-policy attitudes.

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