The Russians Are Coming: Georgia’s Creeping Occupation – Vice News Published on Nov 4, 2015


In July 2015, Russia-backed forces moved the boundary fence between Russian-occupied South Ossetia and Georgia — placing more Georgian territory under Russian control. Georgians refer to this as the creeping occupation, and several people who unfortunately live in the area now have a different citizenship.

VICE News travels to Georgia to see how the country is handling Russia’s quiet invasion, and meet those getting caught in the crossfire.

Watch “The Russians Are Coming: NATO’s Frontier” – http://bit.ly/1O5ruzt

The Russians Are Coming: Georgia’s Creeping Occupation – Published on Oct 27, 2015


In July 2015, Russia-backed forces moved the boundary fence between Russian-occupied South Ossetia and Georgia — placing more Georgian territory under Russian control. Georgians refer to this as the creeping occupation, and several people who unfortunately live in the area now have a different citizenship.

VICE News travels to Georgia to see how the country is handling the Russia’s quiet invasion, and meet those getting caught in the crossfire.

Watch “The Russians Are Coming: NATO’s Frontier” – http://bit.ly/1O5ruzt

Right Sector Blockade: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 111) – Vice News Published on Oct 1, 2015


In September, Crimea’s ethnic Muslim minority, the Crimean Tatars, and the radical right-wing organization known as Right Sector set up a blockade on several highways leading into Crimea to stop food and other supplies from entering the Russia-occupied peninsula of Ukraine.

VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky traveled to the roadblocks near Crimea and spoke with the organizers to find out why they had taken these controversial measures, which could potentially have humanitarian consequences for residents of Crimea, including the Crimean Tatars themselves.

Watch: The War May Be Over: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 110) – http://bit.ly/1OEn7uV

Why Do Flags Matter? – The People Speak – Published on Aug 31, 2015


VICE News traveled around the world speaking to people about what they think about the flags, and why these symbols are so important.

Find out what people from Antigua, Guatemala to Bangkok, Thailand had to say about about flags.

Watch the People Speak on the Police and Law Enforcement – http://bit.ly/1KnyLcA

 

Why Elizabeth Warren is declaring war on an obscure trade policy – Updated by Danielle Kurtzleben on February 28, 2015, 12:30 p.m. ET


Populist crusader Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has picked her next big fight, and this one could create real problems for the Obama Administration.

The latest Elizabeth Warren cause: ISDS — the trade policy you had no idea was so important.

Her beef is with a piece of the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that the Obama Administration is promoting. It’s called investor-state dispute settlement, and it gives a foreign corporation the power to fight a government outside of the normal judicial system.

“The name may sound mild, but don’t be fooled,” Warren wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “Agreeing to ISDS in this enormous new treaty would tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations. Worse, it would undermine U.S. sovereignty.”

This is a big deal, not least because TPP is huge; its members account for 40 percent of the world’s economy. Add in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership being negotiated with European countries — which also has investor-state dispute settlement provisions — and you have a majority of the global economy. That means the ISDS provisions in these trade agreements could affect a sizable share of the world’s corporations.

So even though this might sound like a political fight over a complicated bit of trade policy, the implications — particularly for corporations — are big.

What is ISDS?

Investor-state dispute settlement is a provision included in many trade deals, and it allows a company to fight a foreign government through a route other than that country’s court system.

As one example, let’s say Company X is invested in a foreign country. If the laws in that country change in a way that Company X thinks violates its rights as part of a treaty — say, by banning a product Company X makes — Company X can go into an arbitration proceeding to seek damages. That proceeding is not run by the host country; rather, the case faces three arbitrators — one picked by each side and one they either agree upon or that an independent third party chooses.

ISDS was first used in 1959, in a trade agreement between Germany and Pakistan, according to the Economist. The broad idea is to protect the investor from unfair treatment by foreign countries’ court systems. Since then, it has become an incredibly common feature of trade agreements — ISDS is a feature of more than 3,000 trade agreements worldwide, and the US is party to around 50 of them, according to a White House blog post posted on Thursday.

Article continues:

http://www.vox.com/2015/2/28/8124057/investor-state-dispute-settlement-elizabeth-warren

The End of the Umbrella Revolution: Hong Kong Silenced (Trailer) – Published on Jan 20, 2015


In September 2014, VICE News documented the birth of the so-called Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong. When students organized a weeklong strike to protest China’s handling of the local election process, the government responded with tear gas. Thousands of Hong Kong residents took to the city’s streets in solidarity with the students and the protesters occupied several major roads for weeks on end.

Nearly two months into the occupation, the demands and resolve of the protesters remained unchanged. They started to become fatigued and divided against each other, however, and public support for their cause began to decline. The movement was under immense pressure to either escalate their action, or to retreat and give back the streets.

When VICE News returned to Hong Kong near the end of 2014 to check in on the protesters, we witnessed the final days of the Umbrella Movement’s pro-democracy demonstrations.

Ukraine Could Explode in the Next 48 Hours – Anna Nemtsova 11/10/14


The arrival of relentless freezing weather, and the appearance of more Russian tanks and missiles, has raised tensions to new highs.

AFP/Getty

Winter is coming in Ukraine. For people living in basements and in half-ruined buildings in the east of the country, and for the soldiers on both sides, the slow-motion war of the spring and summer has given way to a constant freezing ordeal night and day. Donetsk, the city at the center of the conflict between pro-Russian rebels and the pro-European government in Kiev, is said to be on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe.

But the fighting continues, and grows worse, despite a nominal ceasefire. And the onslaught of the elements has helped raise tensions to the point where a new explosion is expected any day. With the coming of winter, the Russians have come as well, as Moscow appears to be intent on shoring up the positions of its allies, while deterring any effort by Kiev to retake lost ground.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as well as Ukrainian officials expressed concerns about heavy military equipment supplied by the Russian Federation to the rebels, including tanks and ground-to-air missile systems.

On Monday, Ukraine Defense Ministry Spokesman Andry Lysenko reported that rebels now had the Russian-produced Pantsir anti-aircraft missile system (called the Greyhound SA-22 by NATO) positioned just 500 meters from a rebel checkpoint outside of Novoazovsk. “We stress that such a system, even in theory, is not part of armament of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” said Lysenko.

The context is one that everyone in Kiev and Moscow understands: last summer a Russian-made missile blasted a civilian airliner, Malaysia Airlines MH17, out of the sky over the Ukraine war zone. Everyone aboard was killed. Although most evidence points to the tragedy as an accident by a rebel missile unit, Moscow continues trying to pin the blame on Kiev.

Meanwhile, the local Chas Pik Internet news site posted video footage of what are believed to be Russian tanks arriving to support the rebels in Donetsk. Local reports said that dozens of military vehicles and mobile howitzer artillery arrived in Donetsk on Monday, and there seems to be little inclination to disguise the fact in Moscow.

Article continues:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/10/in-ukraine-winter-is-coming-and-so-are-the-russians.html