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WTO seeks to land big prize after 20 years of fish talks

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Negotiators are hoping the World Trade Organization will on Thursday not only deal a major blow to overfishing after 20 years of trying, but in doing so also dispel doubts about its own usefulness.

The global trade watchdog, whose 164 members are also at loggerheads over how it should settle disputes, has not clinched a major trade deal for years, and analysts say it needs to land one this year to maintain its credibility.

The prize could be a sharp reduction of the widespread fishing subsidies that are generally held to be the single biggest factor in depleting the world’s fish stocks.

The WTO says it is “on the cusp” of a deal; Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the ministerial meeting, being held virtually, “should kick us along the path towards agreement”, before a November session intended to seal the deal.

Some delegates are privately more sceptical, saying there is still a gulf in views over the allocation of subsidies between wealthy members such as the European Union on one side and developing countries such as India on the other.

“Many members feel that the larger subsidisers should make larger cuts to their subsidies, given the worldwide impact of their fishing, both historical and current, whereas many developing countries feel the rules should be different for them,” said Alice Tipping from the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

A confidential proposal in May by African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, seen by Reuters, seeks exemptions for members that take less than 2.5% of the global catch – which others say would undermine the whole deal.

‘RACE TO THE BOTTOM’

While China is the biggest single subsidiser, it accounts for only 21% of the $35.4 billion that countries and trading blocs around the world, including the EU and Japan, spend propping up their fleets every year, according to a 2019 study by academics from universities and institutes in Canada, China and the United States. ( https://tmsnrt.rs/3AyX2Jh )

Meanwhile, sustainable fish stocks have plunged from 90% of the total in 1990 to below 66% in 2017, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says. ( https://tmsnrt.rs/3yt6ufv )

A 2018 study https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/6/eaat2504 by American-, Canadian- and Australian-based researchers found that much fishing in international waters – the “high seas” – would be unprofitable without state handouts.

“In the waters in countries from which fleets emanate, the stocks are devastated, so they have to go elsewhere and they compete with each other,” said Daniel Pauly, a fisheries biologist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, expressing particular concern about tuna. “This is a race to the bottom.”

Tipping says the WTO is closer than ever to a deal – but that a draft text still has 84 places where there is no agreement yet.

Negotiators say China could help by dropping its opposition to subsidies on the high seas, and the EU could likewise drop its opposition to fuel subsidies.

Some also want Washington to budge, possibly by dropping its proposal on curbing forced labour — another cost-saving measure that spurs overfishing.

“This is the last chance for a deal,” said Friends of Ocean Action’s Remi Parmentier. “If not, there’s an existential crisis at the WTO.”

(Additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Prime Minister Trudeau pledges more aid and loans to Ukraine at G7 summit

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SCHLOSS ELMAU, GERMANY — Canada is looking at developing new infrastructure to help other countries transition away from Russian oil and coal, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday at the conclusion of the G7 summit in Germany focused on the conflict in Ukraine.

In their final communique for the meeting, the G7 leaders said they are working to make sure Russia does not exploit its position as an energy producer to profit from its aggression at the expense of vulnerable countries.

The conflict has squeezed energy markets in Europe and the security of the supply around the world.

Over the course of the three-day summit, the leaders agreed to consider a cap on the price of crude oil and petroleum from Russia, and even a comprehensive ban on Russian oil and coal.

“Canada obviously as an oil and gas producer is ensuring that in the short term we’re doing what we can to alleviate pressures,” Trudeau said at a news conference at the close of the summit.

“We’re also looking medium term at expanding some infrastructure, but in a way that hits that medium -term and -long-term goal of accelerating transition, not just off Russian oil and gas, but off of all our dependence on fossil fuels.”

The leaders agreed compromising on climate and biodiversity goals was not on the table to address the growing energy crisis.

The idea to ban Russian oil is still only in discussions, and would need to be implemented careful to mitigate the potential fallout for vulnerable countries that rely on Russia for power.

Trudeau said Canada remains determined to support Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“It’s important that the world doesn’t lose its attention and focus over what’s happening in Ukraine, we must and we will remain committed until Ukraine and democracy prevail,” Trudeau told a news conference.

He announced more money for Ukraine on Tuesday, including a $200-million loan through the International Monetary Fund.

In addition to the loan to the Ukrainian government, Canada is giving $75 million in humanitarian assistance to help with operations in Ukraine and in the neighbouring countries. The aid will include the provision of in-kind food assistance, emergency cash and vouchers, protection, shelter and health services.

Earlier in the summit, Trudeau announced $52 million in agricultural aid including mobile grain storage equipment to increase grain storage capacity as well as help to provide speedy diagnostic testing and monitoring of animal diseases to allow for export certification.

“Our farmers typically face big challenges and have been proven to be inventive and creative. So we’ll bring this expertise to Ukraine to help as much as we can,” Trudeau said.

Canada is also contributing $15 million to help fund demining efforts and $9.7 million for those tracking human rights violations in Ukraine.

The leaders have also agreed to intensify their efforts to mitigate rising food prices and scarcity, which have been exacerbated as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

They plan to expand their resettlement programs to accommodate the millions of Ukrainian refugees who have been displaced by the conflict.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2022.

 

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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More than half of Canadians oppose Oath of Allegiance to the Queen

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OTTAWA — Most people in Canada do not think people should have to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the Queen, according to a poll ahead of Canada Day.

A Leger poll for the Association of Canadian Studies found that 56 per cent of respondents did not agree with swearing allegiance to the Queen.

New Canadians have to swear an oath to the monarchy at citizenship ceremonies including a pledge to “be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors.”

Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, said most people born in Canada were probably unaware that new Canadians had to swear an oath to be faithful to the Royal Family.

“If you ask Canadians about their identity, few would mention the monarchy,” he said.

The poll of 2,118 people earlier this month cannot be assigned a margin of error because online panels are not considered truly random samples.

While 58 per cent of those who responded are positively disposed toward the Queen, with only 28 per cent negatively disposed, Canadians are evenly divided — 40 per cent positively and 40 per cent negatively — in their view of the monarchy overall.

The poll asked whether, “as a Canadian, we should all agree to be faithful and bear true allegiance” to the Queen and her heirs.

Those who are very favourable toward the monarchy were more likely to approve of pledging allegiance.

Sixty per cent of men and 52 per cent of women who did the survey answered no. Opposition was stronger among Canadians aged 18-34 than those over the age of 55.

Almost three-quarters of people living in Quebec opposed the oath, compared to only 47 per cent in Alberta.

A large proportion of those polled — including 20 per cent of women — said they had no view or did not want to answer.

Canada is a constitutional monarchy, with the Queen as the head of state. She is represented federally by Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, and at a provincial level by lieutenant-governors.

Any change to the position of the Queen or her representatives in Canada would need the unanimous consent of the House of Commons, the Senate and provincial legislatures.

Taking an oath of citizenship is the final step in becoming a Canadian citizen. Ceremonies take place across the country, with special ceremonies on Canada Day.

New Canadians must also promise to faithfully observe the laws of Canada.

Earlier this month, the Queen celebrated her platinum jubilee with celebrations in Canada, the U.K. and across the Commonwealth. She ascended the throne at age 27 in 1952 and is England’s longest-serving monarch.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2022.

 

Marie Woolf, The Canadian Press

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How to play online casinos with minimal investment

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If you walk into a traditional brick-and-mortar casino, you have to buy a minimum number of chips. Similarly, in online casinos, you need to deposit a minimum amount to begin playing. Some casinos have a minimum low deposit, known as the minimum deposit casinos that remain on top of the players’ list. A minimum deposit casino is the one that charges less than 10 units of any currency, be it euro (€), dollar ($), or pound (£).

Minimum deposit casinos are increasing in popularity as these allow players to experience the full benefits of high deposit casinos but at a lower risk. The gamers can experience new games without risking much money.

Now you might be wondering that as the operators are asking for less money, the minimum deposit casinos might not be as good. This is far from the truth as minimum deposit casinos offer some unique advantages, like:

  • As you would be spending less, your gaming becomes more economical in the long run.
  • Minimum deposit casinos do not restrict your functionality in any way, as you can enjoy the same features as offered by high minimum deposit casinos.
  • One can gain access to all the promotions offered by the minimum deposit casinos, but the deposit to qualify for a bonus can be higher than the minimum.
  • You can easily sample new games, bonuses, promotions, and payment methods with a minimum deposit casino. For example, you can easily test 20 new games on 20 casinos offering a C$1 minimum deposit, instead of spending C$300 to test casinos at C$15 each.
  • You also gain access to bonuses and promotions like high deposit casinos, such as welcome bonuses, free spins, cashback bonuses, matched bonuses, and VIP loyalty programs.
  • Even if you fall victim to a casino scam, you won’t lose too big an amount while playing on a minimum deposit casino.

So, it makes sense, both financially and technically, to play at the best minimum deposit casinos, as you are getting the same level of service. Thanks to the wide availability of minimum deposit casinos, you can easily switch between brands if you want to.

Busting the myths

Also, it’s a misconception that small deposit casinos do not offer good casino bonuses. On the contrary, a welcome bonus is standard with minimum deposit casinos, although you may have to deposit more than C$1 for the bonus. Free spins are also commonly offered, and you may get as many as 70 free spins for just a C$1 deposit! Moreover, you can expect no deposit bonuses from these casinos at times, so you don’t have to think about how much to deposit, awesome!

One can also have mobile optimised minimum deposit casinos, or a full-fledged mobile app for a C$1 deposit. One can even play slot games like 3-reel classic slot, and 5-reel video slot on these casinos. Online roulette, blackjack, and online poker are some of the table games that you can play at minimum deposit casinos. Live dealer casino games, like baccarat, blackjack lobbies, and craps are also available at some minimum deposit casinos.

Here you can find minimum deposit casinos that have been evaluated on various parameters by the experts, such as:

License: The listed minimum deposit casinos are licensed by prestigious authorities around the world, such as UK Gambling Commission. Other trustworthy gambling jurisdictions include Malta and Cyprus that have well-regulated gambling industries.

Security features: The casino auditors have looked at the security features of the casinos from various perspectives, such as notable seals, payment protection, website security, alternative dispute resolution, and responsible gambling practices.

Games variety: The casino reviewers have looked at the variety of games available at the online casinos, like slots and table games, and the quality of the live dealer games. More the number of titles, the more experience one can expect from their minimum deposit casinos.

Payment methods: The casinos have also been ranked based on the payment methods offered by them among others, like Skrill, Neteller, Visa, Mastercard, and cryptos, like Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Customer support: You may face some issues with the minimum deposit casinos related to your account, payments, a game, or even compatibility. So, the quality of customer support has been a key consideration. The featured casinos mostly offer 24 x 7 live chat, telephone, social media support, and email support.

The risk of loss remains the same

The risk of loss remains the same, whether you are playing for high stakes or low stakes. Similarly, the house edge, or the risk of losing in different casinos remains the same for different staking amounts. For example, the classic blackjack game carries a risk of 0.05. So, if you play blackjack on a C$1 minimum deposit casino, such as Caxino, you stand to win C$0.95 for a stake of $1. On the other hand, if you play blackjack for a higher stake in a high deposit casino, you will win C$95 for a stake of C$100.

Getting started with minimum deposit casinos

To start with a minimum deposit casino, pick a brand listed on the trusted casinos’ websites such as https://bestonlinecasinocanada.com/minimum-deposit-casino/, read its reviews and ranking by the experts, visit the minimum deposit casino’s website and sign up there, deposit the minimum amount using any of the offered methods, claim any bonuses, promotions or checkboxes, and start playing right away.

Best for the new games and new gamers

Gambling carries an element of risk. The more you play, the more are your chances of losing money. With minimum low deposit casinos, you can play more for less, and would be saved from blowing all your bankroll in a single session. Also, look at online reviews of the casinos by real users, and be careful about withdrawal requirements. Avoid casinos that have a low minimum deposit but high withdrawal requirements. You will certainly not like to lock your money because of the casino’s wagering requirements. You can play plenty of games on the low minimum deposit casinos without worrying that there is a lot of money that you can’t withdraw. You can have more fun and games playing for real money without risking too much. Minimum deposit casinos are best for those who are new to the world of online casinos and online gaming, and want to test the waters.

 

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