Leif Pagrotsky on His Tenure as Trade Minister
Question: What were you accomplishments as Trade Minister?
Pagrotsky: Well, I think the most important accomplishment we achieved was that we could push European Union’s trade policies somewhat in direction of increased openness. I was personally able to push through an abolishment of all tariffs and all quotas on imports into the European Union from the 49 poorest countries in the world, the least developed countries according to the United Nations’ definition. And during Sweden’s presidency of the European Union, when I chaired the group of trade ministers, we were able to push through this. I think that was my single most important contribution to global trade. Otherwise, it was the participation in starting the [IB] and pursuing our negotiations, but today, I consider that to be one of my failures, not one of my successes
Canceling tariffs on goods entering the EU from the global South was one of Leif Pagrotsky’s major accomplishments.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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