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SUNS # 7791  Friday  25 April 2014
Contents

United Nations : TNCs and their changing role in global banana trade    (PRIV)
(Kanaga Raja, Geneva)
The nature of the engagement of transnational companies (TNCs) in the banana market has changed considerably over the past decade, where they have divested a large share of their own production and replaced it with greater purchases from independent producers, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

South Korea : Storm in a rice bowl    (PRIV)
(IPS, Seoul)
Rice, a staple of the South Korean diet, is stirring up a bowlful of worry for Seoul. Under a promise to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the government has to make a tough choice on rice imports by June this year.

Environment : Charting a course for survival, or oblivion?    (PRIV)
(IPS, Uxbridge)
Hopefully, on Earth Day on 22 April, high-level ministers from all countries are thinking about what they can bring to the table at a key set of meetings on climate change in early May.

Argentina : Informal economy shrinks, but not fast enough    (PRIV)
(IPS, Buenos Aires)
At the age of 22, Franco finally landed his first job, although he is not on any payroll and receives no labour benefits. He is part of Argentina's informal economy, where one out of three workers are employed - a proportion the government aims to reduce by means of a new law.

Japan : Seeks foreign workers, uneasily    (PRIV)
(IPS, Tokyo)
Desperate for more workers to support a construction boom, Japan has proposed to expand its controversial foreign trainee programme to permit more unskilled labour from Asia to work in Japanese companies for five years from the current three years.

Cuba : Culture increasingly unaffordable    (PRIV)
(IPS, Havana)
Standing in line for a concert at the Centro Cultural Fabrica de Arte, a cultural centre in the Cuban capital, Alexis Cruz anxiously checks his billfold, where he has the price of the ticket - 50 Cuban pesos (two dollars) - and three CUCs (equivalent to one dollar each) to buy something to drink.

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