As the heavyweight Outdoor Retailer trade shows decamp for Colorado, the outdoor industry is wielding a newfound power. Last month, as the trade show’s attendees wrapped their final stand in Salt Lake City after 20 years, thousands marched supporting public lands. Utah’s position on those lands — urging the federal government to downsize national monuments such as Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante — triggered the departure of Outdoor Retailer. Outdoor Retailer arrives in Denver in January , the first of five biannual gatherings that will establish Colorado as the command post for all things outdoor recreation. Favoring public lands is an easy motivator. Everyone under the outdoor-recreation tent — a widely diverse lot including sportsmen, paddlers, campers, bikers, skiers, hikers, conservationists, retailers, gear makers and motorized users — can get behind a fight to defend access to well-protected and amply funded national forests, monuments and parks . The … [Read more...] about Power play: How outdoor retailers are positioned as a political, economic and social force for change
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American statesman John Adams, who served as president from 1797 to 1801, famously said , “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country: One is by the sword; the other is by debt.” China, choosing the second path, has embraced colonial-era practices and rapidly emerged as the world’s biggest official creditor. With its international loans surpassing more than 5 percent of the global GDP, China has now eclipsed traditional lenders, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and all the creditor nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) put together. By extending huge loans with strings attached to financially vulnerable states, it has not only boosted its leverage over them but also ensnared some in sovereignty-eroding debt traps . ADVERTISEMENT The latest to fall prey to China’s debt-trap diplomacy is small Laos, which recently signed a 25-year concession agreement allowing a majority Chinese-owned company to … [Read more...] about China’s debt-trap diplomacy
Pressure is mounting on the Biden administration to back a waiver for COVID-19 vaccine patents or take other action to share more doses with other countries amid a global surge in cases. A group of Democratic lawmakers met with White House officials on Friday to push for the waiver at the World Trade Organization, which proponents argue would enable lower-income countries to manufacture the vaccines themselves. Sources said the eight lawmakers did not get a firm answer from U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai Katherine Tai Pressure builds for Biden to back vaccine patent waivers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Biden sales pitch heads to Virginia and Louisiana On The Money: Breaking down Biden's .8T American Families Plan | Powell voices confidence in Fed's handle on inflation | Wall Street basks in 'Biden boom' MORE and White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients Jeff Zients Overnight Health Care: US to … [Read more...] about Pressure builds for Biden to back vaccine patent waivers
This is a wrap of several top stories from China for May 5, 2021. (CNN) For a country with a much smaller military and no nuclear weapons, Australia is suddenly hinting an awful lot about a war with China. On April 25, the symbolic date of Anzac Day, when Australia honors its war dead, newly appointed Defense Minister Peter Dutton said a conflict with China over Taiwan shouldn't "be discounted," adding that Australians needed to be "realistic" about tensions around the region. In another Anzac Day message, the top official at Australia's powerful Home Affairs department, Mike Pezzullo, told his staff "free nations" were hearing the "drums of war" beating again. A few days later, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced $580 million in military upgrades. One week on, several newspapers published a confidential briefing by Australia's Maj. Gen. Adam Findlay to special forces soldiers, in which he said conflict with China was a "high likelihood." … [Read more...] about Why are Australian officials hinting at war with China?
Democrat Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) has taken more than $110,000 worth of special interest-funded lavish trips, filings with the U.S. House Ethics Committee reveal. Documents show that between March 2001 and August 2019, Kind took at least 14 trips valued at $110,665—all funded by special interest groups. He has taken trips everywhere from Tel Aviv to Geneva to Rome to Munich to Fort Lauderdale to New Orleans to Houston to Seattle and more, funded by various different special interest groups and corporations. The documents, while filed with the House Ethics Committee as required by congressional ethics regulations, have not been publicly reported until now. Kind’s office declined to make the congressman available for an interview to explain his high-class globetrotting on special interest groups’ dimes, and would not provide a comment in response to these revelations. It’s worth noting that instead of doing her job and answering press inquiries about her boss’s extravagant travel, … [Read more...] about Exclusive — Special Interests Funded $110K-Plus of Globetrotting Lavish Travel for Democrat Ron Kind