‘Fast-Track’ Trade Authority Derailed?

According to Reuters, The House of Representatives (the lower chamber of the U.S. Congress) blocked legislation on Friday to “fast-track” trade deals such as the TPP through Congress. Lawmakers defeated a related measure on aid to workers who lose their jobs because of trade pacts, dealing a big blow to the strange coalition of President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans.

One gnawing question: If the TPP trade pact was so good for the U.S., then why would we need a bill to aid workers hurt by trade pacts?

The measures had been joined together and the defeat of the measure providing aid for U.S. workers, at least for now, is a defeat for the drive in the House to pass the fast-track bill.

The president claims he needs a “fast-tracked” bill, which requires only an up-or-down vote, to finish negotiating a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal.

However, House Republican leaders might still hold another vote on fast track to give members an opportunity to share their views. Even if it passes, the legislation is still dead in the House for now, writes Reuters.

(Updated spelling error)



Building Collapse In Bangladesh


Police said at least five people were killed and about 100 feared trapped after a cement factory collapsed in Bangladesh on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Soldiers and sailors in the port town of Mongla helped emergency services search through the rubble and pull out more than 40 survivors, according to Reuters

Euronews claims at least six people have died and 30 more have been injured in the collapse.

Another 50 are still feared trapped, according to euronews.  Authorities said that up to 100 people were inside five-story cement factory at the time of the accident.

“Most of the people inside the building were the construction workers including the people who recovered alive … The recovery efforts are going on very carefully to avoid further risk” said Khulna district police chief Nizamul Haque Mollah, Reuters reported.