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Topics - Cain

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This is interesting, and worrying:

Scientists say two of the deadliest pandemics in history were caused by strains of the same plague and warn that new versions of the bacteria could spark future outbreaks.

Researchers found tiny bits of DNA in the teeth of two German victims killed by the Justinian plague about 1,500 years ago. With those fragments, they reconstructed the genome of the oldest bacteria known.

They concluded the Justinian plague was caused by a strain of Yersinia pestis, the same pathogen responsible for the Black Death that struck medieval Europe. The study was published online Tuesday in the journal, Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The two plagues packed quite a punch. The Justinian Plague is thought to have wiped out half the globe as it spread across Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and Europe. And the Black Death killed about 50 million Europeans in just four years during the 14th century.

I'll admit, I probably have a slightly irrational fear of the bubonic plague.  Well, maybe not irrational on a historical scale, given the vast amounts of death it is responsible for...but maybe.  Unfortunately, the only modern bubonic plague epidemic was the 1855 outbreak in China and India, so while I'm sure the CDC etc has models for it, the nearest approximate historical analogy is not comforting.

While it seems the normal version of the plague is more easily contained, it's that something like a "radiation event" can cause a mutation which concerns me.  Something completely uncontrollable, that creates a variant which is far more virulent and deadly.  And of course, let's not forget the biological warfare applications of an enchanced virus.  Japan experimented (and used) bubonic plague in WWII.  Even if it was never intended to be deployed, the kind of countries that would mess around with plague are the kind of country with typically poor control on weapons use (let's not forget, up until the 1960s, US military commanders could have gone rogue and initiated nuclear war on their own).

Aneristic Illusions / Have some fun with this
« on: January 27, 2014, 02:14:16 pm »
I'll consider offers on all theories not involving David Icke. 

It is, according to the estate agents, "probably the most valuable plot of land with planning permission to come to the market for sale in Hampstead Village … ever". The Regency-style house now being constructed will provide, behind its electric gates, a cinema, swimming pool and gymnasium and the future owner of this £7m property will be living, we learn, where Constable, and Keats, too, found inspiration.

What the estate agents do not mention is that on this very plot more than seven years ago a murder took place with links to the British government, Chairman Mao and George Bernard Shaw. A killing which was then followed by the first murder trial in Britain in which most of the evidence was heard in secret with the media barred from entering the court.

So it's Midsomer Murders meets State of Play, basically.

Aneristic Illusions / Does America need it's own Operation Fairbank?
« on: January 25, 2014, 11:38:54 am »

Cuz this seems a little suspect:

Ryan Loskarn, the former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander who was charged with possessing and distibuting child pornography last month, was found dead in his home in Maryland of an apparent suicide, law enforcement officials said Friday.

“At approximately 12 p.m. yesterday, Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a private residence in the 6900 block of Kenmar Lane for a report of an unconscious male, believed to be deceased,” the sheriff’s office reported Friday morning. “Family members reported finding 35-year old Jesse Ryan Loskarn unresponsive in his basement where he’d been residing with family since this past December.

“The preliminary investigation indicates that Loskarn may have taken his own life, and his body has since been transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for Autopsy.”

Shades of Craig Spence?

Spence's name came to national prominence in the aftermath of a June 28, 1989 article in the Washington Times identifying Spence as a customer of a homosexual escort service being investigated by the Secret Service, the District of Columbia Police and the United States Attorney's Office for suspected credit card fraud.


On November 10, 1989 Spence was found dead dressed in a tuxedo in Room 429 the Boston Ritz Carlton, the city's most expensive hotel with three dollars in his pocket.


 In black felt-tip marker he had written on a mirror of his room:
Chief, consider this my resignation, effective immediately. As you always said, you can't ask others to make a sacrifice if you are not ready to do the same. Life is duty. God bless America.

As a postscript, he wrote, "To the Ritz, please forgive this inconvenience."

Though the article on Wikipedia doesn't make it clear, Spence was believed to be running underage rentboys as well.  One report had him arranging a "midnight tour" of the White House for a 15 year old boy, and the Washington Post, while being typically cautious, described the escorts as "teenagers" and "young".

High Weirdness / Pagans/New Age and the far right
« on: January 10, 2014, 12:25:21 pm »
New thread for the previous discussion in the Open Bar (title chosen for lack of a better term).

For those who didn't read the posts, a quick recap:

I've spent a bracing morning reading about Le Veilleurs, Schwaller de Lubicz, Synarchy and interwar occult fascist movements.

It's more fun than filling in a job application form, anyway.

This was spurred on by reading The Stargate Conspiracy, which is despite the name actually quite interesting and fairly grounded.

Essentially, the book asks the question "what the hell is going on with this New Age Egyptology fetish all of a sudden" (this was in the late 1990s) and comes away with some pretty disturbing conclusions.

It also includes our old friends The Nine, for those who read the notes from Sinister Forces that I posted.  Essentially, the books authors trace the origins of The Nine, whatever they may be, back beyond Andrija Puharich and to Schwaller de Lubicz, an academic with a side interest in mystical fascism...and possibly Crowley (of course).

They come away with the conclusion that someone is trying to hijack New Age beliefs, mixing them with apocalyptic, fundamentalist Christianity and using these beliefs to take quite deliberate aim at Muslims and blacks.  Whether that's the intelligence community, mystical fascists or even The Nine (assuming one believes they really exist) is left up for the reader to decide.

Unfortunately, you have to go through quite a bit on the internal politics of the pyramidiots and Cydonian conspiracy types to get to the good stuff.  But it's worth it.

When you say "take quite deliberate aim", do you mean that it is anti-black and anti-muslim?

I'm going to have to read this someday, because I can't see how promoting Egyptology via New Age apocalyptic woo would do that.

Oh yes, very much so.

Well, apparently all races on earth were seeded by space alien gods...except black people, who are apparently a "control".  Race-mixing is apparently bad.  It's OK to nuke the Japanese because they are of the "4th race nervous system type" which is "defunct".  Islam is in thrall to the "dark ones" and shows signs of being philosophically influenced by the "dark ones".  A great battle between Light and Darkness is coming.  Jews denied Jesus as an Ascended Master (though the exact status of Jews tends to vary, with some saying they are also in thrall to the dark ones, and others saying they're cool, once they accept Jesus).

You basically combine Blavatsky with The Nine's own disturbing racial pronouncements and...well, a particular kind of political philosophy seems to be advocated.  It starts with a N and ends in -azism.

That's a rather... interesting... theology.  It's been a while since 1990 (which is disturbing to me, personally), do you feel this ever gained much traction?

Oh yes, absolutely.  However, since quite a few of them pinned their hopes on the year 2000, there was a subsequent hit to those beliefs...but they are very firmly entrenched within the New Age philosophy, with its love of syncretism and hatred of research or coherency.  A lot of The Stargate Conspiracy involves doing basic research on where people like Graham Hancock got things wildly wrong...not just according to the science and available knowledge, but even according to his own theories.

I had no idea there was a new age pack of bigots floating around for the past 20 years.


What do you think we were doing on MW and TCC?

I just think we didn't realise quite how widespread or deep the bigotry went.  Like most New Agers, in fact.

I may throw up a thread on this exact topic.

I thought they were just dumb.  You mean they were quite possibly pawns in some shadowy political group?

Isn't everyone?  For a given value of shadowy, of course.

The alternative/new-age fucktards in norway are making pedo accusations against people in the skeptic community. Shitstorms all the way.
I hate new-agers with the passion of a thousand mohammad alis.

I hate Causes in general.  They do that sort of thing to primates.

Oh shit. Do you remember how "Lena" reacted when I outted that she was associated with that CRAZY South African blog?

I remember it because I first posted in OM about it, and then she let slip (over at TCC) that she could view OM via Google searches. When I threw some of the meme key-words from the blog at her over @, she got all sorts of paranoid and started trying... well "passwords" on me, for lack of a better term.

I'm home now, so I'll look for the thread.

I do, that was fun.  For those who don't, start here.

I'm going to gather some notes together on this particular topic.  Stand by for updates...

Aneristic Illusions / Mark Duggan
« on: January 09, 2014, 10:40:32 am »
So, the police have been cleared of unlawfully killing the guy whose death helped to spark off the riots in 2011.

In particular (and this, trust me, is AMAZING), the ruling found that while Mark Duggan was not holding a firearm at the time of his death, the police officer in question was justified in believing he needed to use deadly force to defend himself, and so Duggan was lawfully killed.

Oh, and there was no gunpowder traces found on Duggan, several eyewitnesses said they saw the police plant the gun, said gun and the sock it was wrapped in had no fingerprints on it and was of a different make to the gun supposedly given to Duggan reported by "Operation Trident" police intelligence which sparked the confrontation with Duggan in the first place.

But the above bit is really the icing on the cake.  He was lawfully killed because the police officer really really believed he was dangerous, even though all the evidence shows he was entirely unarmed.  Sure, that's a great legal precedent.  Can I now legally cap coppers, since they seem to spend all their time shooting people for no good reason and I feel really threatened by that? No?

Aneristic Illusions / Oh ho ho!
« on: January 04, 2014, 04:15:17 pm »
Lebanese authorities catch Majed Al-Majed, leader of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a group with an especially shady past, after a sustained campaign of bombing Shiites in Lebanon.

Majed Al-Majed then somehow dies while in the custody of the Lebanese Army.

Did I mention that the Lebanese Army just got a cool $3 billion from Saudi Arabia?  And that Majed Al-Majed is a Saudi national? I'm pretty sure I mentioned the "exclusively Shiite targets" thing.  And you probably already know about Lebanon practically being the next front in the Syrian Civil War.

Well, I guess this means Majed Al-Majed can't make any inconvenient death-bed testimonies about suspicious Saudi Princes and bank accounts in Dubai or anything.

Most. Profitable. Assassination. EVER!

Aneristic Illusions / Suicide bombings in Russia
« on: December 30, 2013, 11:23:46 am »
Looks like the Caucasus Emirate has been busy.  Two suicide bombings in two days in Volgograd, and a car bombing in Pyatigorsk besides.

While I have no doubt that Umarov's merry band of insurgents are behind the attack, it is worth remembering Prince Bandar's threat uttered this summer:

"There are many common values ​​and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. ... As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”

Putin thanked King Abdullah for his greetings and Bandar for his exposition, but then he said to Bandar, “We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism that you mentioned. We are interested in developing friendly relations according to clear and strong principles.”

Aneristic Illusions / Bwahahaha
« on: December 24, 2013, 09:37:30 am »
Hey everyone, remember this guy?

Trey Radel made his name as a Tea Party candidate who demanded that welfare recipients get drug tests as a condition of receiving welfare.

Is anyone surprised then, to discover that Congressthing Radel was arrested for cocaine use?

Projection, I'm telling you.  It's always projection.

Aneristic Illusions / I can't summon the energy to care about Ukraine..
« on: December 18, 2013, 01:46:46 pm »
..but I just want to note that watching John McCain blather on about freedom while standing next to Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of the Nazi-esque Svoboda Party is too hilarious not to comment on.

Robots trained to deny they are robots.  This is the first step, mark my words.  It's medicare one day, and then BOOM, Skynet.

Aneristic Illusions / No war with Iran? LETS FIGHT CHINA
« on: November 27, 2013, 09:38:57 am »
I'm only guessing, but I strongly suspect that was the guiding conviction which led to the USAF flying two B-52s through the new Chinese air defence zone over Senkaku airspace.

What the US media doesn't seem keen to tell anyone is that the new ADIZ would, if followed properly, probably help avert a conflict.  It's not a claim of sovereignty, or of this now being exclusively Chinese airspace.  What it means is that the Chinese government would like to know what planes are flying in the area, because that way, it wont scramble all fighters and cause an international incident over a sensitive region because of, say, a military training exercise.

Like the one which allegedly occured yesterday.

Yes, of course it's also designed to tweak the nose of the Japanese, somewhat.  Hell, the Chinese ADIZ directly mirrors the Japanese ADIZ in that area.  And the Chinese "restrictions" in that zone are far less onerous than for the America ADIZ, for example - though of course the USA has the advantage of no contested territory on its borders.

Japan is also refusing to recognize the ADIZ, thus negating the possibility that the above was a genuine mistake.  Abe's a firebrand, but he knows when to talk with the US.  And that John Kerry lined right up to declare how "deeply concerned" he was at this means there is coordination and signalling between the two.

Here's the thing - when the US decides to initiate AirSeaBattle against China, it wont tell them.  So seeing unknown warplanes with no transponders on, not responding to Chinese air traffic controllers (military or otherwise), looks like the opening strike of a war.  That's how serious this is.

Techmology and Scientism / Entire internet suffers man-in-middle attack
« on: November 22, 2013, 10:36:48 am »
This is very worrying:

Imagine one day you’re using the Internet the same way you do every day. Reading the news, shopping, sending email, checking your bank and credit card balances. Maybe even doing some work for your employer.

Typically, but not always, the bits being sent from your computer, tablet or phone will flow from where you are to where they need to be via the most direct route available.

But what if they didn’t? What if someone slipped in between you and the various servers you’re connecting with and diverted your traffic elsewhere, funneling it through a choke point of their choosing, so they could capture, copy and analyze it? Your data takes some extra — and imperceptible — milliseconds to get where it’s going and ultimately everything you’re doing online works just fine. But your traffic has been hijacked by parties unknown and you’re none the wiser that it has happened.

In network security circles, this is what’s known as a Man-In-The-Middle attack. And for years it has been understood to be possible in theory, but never seen in practice. That changed earlier this year when someone — it’s unclear who — diverted Internet traffic from some 150 cities around the world through networks in Belarus and Iceland.

Now obviously, there are two important questions here.  How was this done?  The article goes into some detail about this and while I'm no expert on the technical side, it seems that small ISPs which were front companies for...whoever did this, were able to get away with it because the larger ISPs weren't monitoring traffic to keep an eye on where it was going.

But the other question is who was behind this?  Two ISPs are mentioned in regards to this, one in Belarus, and one in Iceland.

Belarus is not an easy country to operate in.  It's a one-party dictatorship, with strict media control.  In regards to the internet, the state telecom corporation, Beltelecom, "holds the exclusive interconnection with Internet providers outside of Belarus. Beltelecom owns all the backbone channels that linked to the Lattelecom, TEO LT, Tata Communications (former Teleglobe), Synterra, Rostelecom, Transtelekom and MTS ISP's. Beltelecom is the only operator licensed to provide commercial VoIP services in Belarus."

GlobalOneBel appears to be owned by a Mr Vladimir Koresko, who also registered a firm, GlobalOne Security, in the UK (which was dissolved in 2005).  According to the records from that registration, he is of Russian origin, and born in 1945.  His given address in Belarus is the same as that of GlobalOneBel's HQ.

Apart from that, it's pretty much impossible to get information on him.  I did find however, that Research Programmes Ltd was registered as an officer with GlobalOne Security, and this company was associated with a number of Russian internet and software firms in the UK, including Power Engineering Universal, where they first served as a director.  Power Engineering Universal has dissolved, but in the same address there is now iTranstion Group Ltd, where they were listed as the Director between 2006 and 2007.  The current director is Iryna Hvardzeitsava, who is also of Belarussian origin.

This may be linked, it may not be.  Depends on what exactly Research Programmes Ltd is.

As for the Icelandic firm...Nyherji "is the Icelandic representative of a number of foreign technology firms, most of whom are at the forefront of their field, including IBM, Lenovo, Canon, Lexmark, Sony, Heidelberg, SAP, Avaya, Cisco Systems and APC" according to their corporate website.  From my limited look, it does seem to be fairly legit.  As does Opin Kerfi.

So...I don't know.  Attribution is a bitch on the internet.

OK then.

So, as I've previously mentioned, I'd been considering doing a Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2 playthrough, with the twist of user feedback driving the main in-game decisions.

For those of you who don't know, DAO is a game published in 2009 by Bioware.  It was billed as a "spritual successor" to the extremely popular and critically acclaimed Baldur's Gate series, which made Bioware's name as the creator of stories with multiple, branching endings and convincing, engaging characters.

Bioware chafed a little under the IP restrictions which the owners of Dungeons&Dragons put them under for that series, and so sought to develop their own intellectual property which they could then take in the direction they wanted.  After 5 years(!) in development, Dragon Age: Origins was the result. 

I won't give too much of the story away, but suffice to say, whicever Origin is chosen, the main character gets drafted into the Grey Wardens, a Templar-esque transnational order of warriors, whose main purpose is to defend against the Blight - periodic invasions by creatures called darkspawn - by any means necessary.  And then things get all complicated.  There's more than a hint of influence from certain modern fantasy stories too, such as George RR Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time and (more in the second game) Steven Erikson's Malazan setting.

Just so you are aware, the choice of Origin does have an in-game impact, and can change the possible choices of how the game ends.  The event which causes your drafting will have repurcussions later on in the game, though even if you chose another origin, some of those events will still have happened (the elves in Denerim riot regardless, a power struggle breaks out in Orzammar, Arl Howe kills the Couslands).  It can, however, make certain confrontations and story lines have a bit more resonance.

And if you ask me personally, I like either the Human Noble or City Elf (Female) storylines the best, for that resonance.

Gender primarily influences who you can romance in the game. There are always two hetrosexual and one homosexual romance option for each gender.  It can also have an influence on the ending, depending on in-game choices and origin story.

There are three classes in the game: Warrior, Rogue and Mage.  As per usual, warriors are the heavy hitters and the tanks, who can wear the heaviest armour and use the heaviest weapons, deal out and take the most damage.  Rogues are the agile burst DPS specialists - if you really need that one character dead, right now, they're your best friend.  Mages are the distance based, crowd control specialists.  Blowing things up, setting things on fire, boiling people's blood while its still inside know the drill.  They can also heal, however, in a slight departure from standard RPG fare.  Don't go crying to a priest if you cut yourself, unless you just want a sermon.

Each class has 4 specializations, which give certain stat bonuses and open up a new talent tree.  Rogues get Assassins, Duellists, Rangers and Bards, Warriors get Templars, Champions, Reavers and Beserkers and Mages get Arcane Warrior, Spirit Healer, Shapechanger and Blood Mage.  Since they fall under character build and, in some cases, require specialised builds to properly utilise, they will be down to my discretion, though again popular demand may influence me in certain ways.

I've showcased each different type of fighting style in each playthrough.  As I intend to keep control of the build for whatever character you select, that doesn't really matter much, but I may take into consideration preferences on the subject.  So for warriors, there is sword and shield style, which primarily helps defend the character, there is two-handed weapons which is primarily offensive in nature, there is two-weapons style and archery as well. 

Two-weapons and archery are mostly intended for rogues, though they can work on the warrior as well.  Two weapons is, of course, up close dual-wielding, and archery involves hanging back and using precision strikes to take down the enemy.  And mages are entirely different.

You may also be wondering why my characters are starting off with some high level, powerful gear.  These are the result of completing certain achievements for DLC in the game.  For instance, the Battledress of the Provocateur involves finding the six scraps of leather in Leliana's Song, and the Dragonbone Cleaver is obtained by defeating the Varterral on Hard difficulty in Witch Hunt.  They are extremely powerful...but they come with restrictions like all the game items, and since they are high-tier, some of those restrictions mean it can take quite a bit of levelling up before those items are available for the classes they are intended.

In terms of DLC I intend to play...I only think Awakening, Witch Hunt and Leliana's Song have any story impact or are of enough quality to do, besides those which are integrated into the game itself.  Golems of Amgarrak is a slogfest, and after the last time, I refuse to do it on Nightmare again, which I know you sadists would otherwise make me do.  Though it is delightfully creepy, I wont deny.  But no-one wants to sit through 500 reloads of "Cain trying to defeat the Reaper and getting frustrated at everything."

Each playthrough was done on Hard difficulty, which the developers consider the "baseline" difficulty for the intended DAO experience (why is this not the Normal setting?  People whining, most likely).

I have modded the game...slightly.  All my mods fall into three basic categories: bugfixes, graphics and lore. 

Bugfixes are simple.  When the game shipped, a lot of things didn't work properly.  Spells didn't draw threat, archery and two-handed weapon talents didn't work as described or intended, DoT damage for certain talents didn't work...all a mess.  A lot of this was patched, but Bioware have limited resources and cannot do everything.  Some rewards were also not given.

Graphics are also simple.  The game came out 4 years ago.  I think the graphics are fairly decent, but they weren't top-notch even back then, and so have suffered in the interim.  Some HD textures, tint changes and minor facelifts bring a new clarity to the game. 

Lore may be a bit more debateable.  One mod replaces the Cousland armory, to give weapons and armor a bit more suited to one of the most ancient noble houses of Ferelden.  Steel tier armor, to be exact, with a Silverite blade.  The blade has the normal strength restrictions, meaning it wont be used until mid-game at least, but it does come with a minor enchantment and two rune slots.  The armor is normal steel armor, but restricted to the main character alone.  It also adds a little bit more gold and some jewels to the Cousland treasury.

Another improves Warden's Oath, the necklace you are given when joining the Wardens.  It makes it a bit more competitive for end-of-game play, and with an enchantment that makes sense.

A third installs stamina potions, which are included in the expansion pack, but were apparently an oversight for the main game.

Finally, a mod is installed which means skill and talent points are not automatically assigned to the character on creation, allowing a bit more freedom when starting out.

So no godlike weapons, invincibility or nudity mods.  Sorry to disappoint.

To start with, we'll have three polls.  One poll for origin, race and gender, and one for class.  Please note, dwarves do not get to be mages, so don't vote for the dwarf origins, then that.  The mage origin is the same regardless of race. 

I missed the first half of the Human Noble origin because fraps crashed, but the story is essentially: you are the second child of the noble Cousland family.  Your father and brother intend to ride south and join the King at Ostagar, where Ferelden forces are planning to confront the darkspawn.  Arl Howe, an old friend of your father, intends to ride south with your father and brother, but his forces have been delayed.  And Duncan, a Grey Warden, is at your castle to see Ser Gilmore, in regards to recruiting him to the Wardens.  During the night, Arl Howe's men launch a surprise attack on the keep, which is where the action starts.

You may also like to know that Arl Howe is voiced by Tim Curry, who is a great choice.  In fact, great voice acting abounds in this game, with some very well known people voicing certain parts.

Human Noble (Warrior, Sword and Shield) playthrough
City Elf (Rogue, Dual-wield) playthrough
Dalish Elf (Rogue, Archery) playthrough
Circle of Magi (Human Male) playthrough
Dwarf Commoner (Rogue, Dual-wield) playthrough
Dwarf Noble (Warrior, 2-handed) playthrough

The final part of the Dwarf playthrough is uploaded, it just isn't yet processed.  It should be within the next 24 hours, however, so maybe watch that one last.

And as for the polls

Race, Gender and Origin
Class poll
Difficulty poll

And just one more question...when commentating, do you want me to read out the character's answer before selecting it?  No voice actor voices the main character in this game, as you'll notice.  And while on the topic, do you want the Codex entries reading out?  Some of the lore is quite interesting, and certain adds to the feeling of the game, but there is a fair bit of it as well.  It's up to you guys.

Once an origin is decided, I'll put up another poll with choices relating to that origin.

Read it here:

Today, 13 November 2013, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents. Significantly, the released text includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all 12 prospective member states.

The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), for which President Obama initiated US-EU negotiations in January 2013. Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP.

So it's kinda important.

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