Antigua Surrends No-win Hand Against WTO Online-gaming Sanctions
December 27, 2007 3:09 PM
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Antigua's bid to get big sanctions against the U.S. for its online gambling ban has for all intents and purposes failed
Last year saw the U.S.
ban online gambling in its many sordid and popular forms
. Casinos and private firms felt the pinch as the feds started 2007 off with a
campaign of arrests
that threatened to completely destroy the online gambling industry as it exists in the U.S. Most recently, the US government scored a
jackpot settlement of millions of dollars from Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft
, who admitted to aiding and abetting online gambling in the past.
Now the U.S.'s gambling-critical government has
, as it escaped any serious international sanctions from the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO, which polices trade worldwide, investigated Antigua's accusations that the U.S. was holding domestic online gambling providers to a different and unfair standard from foreign gambling providers since casinos are legally owned and operated in parts of North America.
The small island nation of Antigua invested heavily in online gambling and was rocked by the U.S.-lead WTO decision last year to curb and eventually ban it. Antigua sought $3.4B USD in WTO sanctions against the U.S.
In the end, the U.S. got off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The WTO announced a ruling of a paltry $21 million USD in sanctions against the United States. The U.S.'s Trade Representative stated publicly that Antigua deserved more than $500,000, but also stated, "We're pleased that the figure arrived at is over 100 times lower" than Antigua had sought.
Banning online gambling outright is illegal under the current WTO-enforced international treaty. In the coming months the WTO will hear committees to rework the WTO main agreement to allow such bans.
Sources close to the case speculate Antigua may try to fight back by allowing copyright-lax server farms; a move similar to the
recent Chinese ban on U.S. movie imports
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12/28/2007 4:17:43 PM
We've got hundreds of years worth of fossil fuels. Fact, and nobody debates this fact. Also a fact, these fossil fuels were converted to gasoline equivalents by Nazi Germany when real oil supplies were limited, and Carter in his infinite ignorance started to do it as well.
Beyond that, engineers/inventors are damn close to having bacteria that can, in a reactor, convert biological materials directly in to high-octane automotive gasoline. Direct. Fact. Google it.
And if that's not enough, there's enough material useable by nuclear reactors to last till hell freezes over. Not exactly new technology, either.
As for trees, there's more area under forest today than in the past; tree farms! Small amounts of regulation go a long way.
And as for trash -- I don't know about you or where you live, but the vast majority of American's live in an area where they don't see nor smell dumps. The world is fantastically large, and we can dig really flippin' deep holes. Get real.
Raw materials are also still seemingly in abundance, and the amount that does get recycled is fairly impressive; scrap metal is a big business. There are vast areas of untapped resources of many kinds, we just may have to kill a few deer or frogs to get at them. If we run out of resources as a society because we desire to protect the frogs, well, we get what we ask for.
Perhaps if we're stuck on Earth a few thousand years from now, our uber-grandchildren may have problems. However, if we're stuck on Earth even by 2100, then frankly we deserve a giant rock to fall out of the sky to make way for a superior species. Once we're out of the nest, even slightly more advanced technology than we have now would allow us to bring asteroids and whatnot near Earth for the purpose of extracting resources, and we could strip mine the back side of the Moon without anybody ever seeing it. Assuming ores exist there in abundance..
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