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EU seeks public comment on US trade pact investment protection terms

The European Commission said Tuesday it will seek public comment on controversial investment protection provisions being negotiated as part of a massive EU-US free trade deal. "I know some people in Europe have genuine concerns about this part of the EU-US deal. Now I want them to have their say," EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said. "Some existing arrangements have caused problems in practice, allowing companies to exploit loopholes where the legal text has been vague," De Gucht noted in a statement.

EU seeks public comment on US trade pact investment protection terms

The European Commission said Tuesday it will seek public comment on controversial investment protection provisions being negotiated as part of a massive EU-US free trade deal. "I know some people in Europe have genuine concerns about this part of the EU-US deal. Now I want them to have their say," EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said. "Some existing arrangements have caused problems in practice, allowing companies to exploit loopholes where the legal text has been vague," De Gucht noted in a statement.

N. Korea warns of disaster over S. Korea-US drills

North Korea warned Wednesday of "calamities and disaster" if the United States and South Korea push ahead with a series of annual joint military drills from next month. The threat, which also said the drills would be tantamount to declaring nuclear war, came from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK), a North Korean state body in charge of inter-Korean affairs.

N. Korea warns of disaster over S. Korea-US drills

North Korea warned Wednesday of "calamities and disaster" if the United States and South Korea push ahead with a series of annual joint military drills from next month. The threat, which also said the drills would be tantamount to declaring nuclear war, came from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK), a North Korean state body in charge of inter-Korean affairs.

U.S. judge tosses bankers' suit over rules to fight tax-dodging

By Patrick Temple-West WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a win for the Obama administration's fight against offshore tax evasion, a U.S. federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit challenging new rules forcing U.S. banks to tell the Internal Revenue Service about certain accounts held by foreigners. Set to take effect in March, the rules are part of a fast-emerging global web of bank information-sharing agreements between the United States and many other countries meant to combat the hiding of assets abroad to avoid paying taxes.

S. Korea, U.S. sit down to finalize defense cost accord

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States plan to resume their talks Saturday on sharing the cost of keeping 28,500 U.S. troops here with a view to finalizing a deal, defense sources said. The two parties are anticipated to come up with a final deal to end the 10th round of their negotiations that started Thursday to renew the latest five-year Special Measure Agreement (SMA).

S. Korea, U.S. sit down to finalize defense cost accord

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States plan to resume their talks Saturday on sharing the cost of keeping 28,500 U.S. troops here with a view to finalizing a deal, defense sources said. The two parties are anticipated to come up with a final deal to end the 10th round of their negotiations that started Thursday to renew the latest five-year Special Measure Agreement (SMA).

U.S. official visits Alan Gross behind bars in Cuba

Havana, Jan 10 (EFE).- The head of the U.S. delegation that held a new round of migration talks with Cuba, said Friday that he had been able to visit Alan Gross, the American contractor serving a 15-year sentence on the Communist-ruled island after being convicted of subversion. Edward Alex Lee, the U.S. acting deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, told reporters that he saw Gross, though he declined to give details. Lee said that during his migration talks with the Havana government, the United States again demanded Gross's release.

U.S. official visits Alan Gross behind bars in Cuba

Havana, Jan 10 (EFE).- The head of the U.S. delegation that held a new round of migration talks with Cuba, said Friday that he had been able to visit Alan Gross, the American contractor serving a 15-year sentence on the Communist-ruled island after being convicted of subversion. Edward Alex Lee, the U.S. acting deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, told reporters that he saw Gross, though he declined to give details. Lee said that during his migration talks with the Havana government, the United States again demanded Gross's release.

S. Korean, U.S. marines to hold large-scale landing exercise

South Korean and U.S. marines are scheduled to hold a large-scale landing exercise in late March in an apparent show of force against a possible provocation from North Korea, a Seoul daily reported Friday. "A solid defense posture between South Korea and the United States is absolutely necessary to cope well with a contingency in North Korea, and the landing exercise of South Korean and U.S. marines will become an example," an unidentified South Korean senior military officer told the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper.
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