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Business Words in the News

The decision by the world's big drugs' companies to abandon their legal challenge to the South African government is being hailed as a victory in the battle to widen access to AIDS treatments for the poor. As Paul Harper reports, it's also likely to encourage campaigners against economic globalisation in the wider conflict of what they see as people versus profits.
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Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang 20th April 2001

Big business versus public opinion

NEWS 1  
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Few international meetings dealing with trade or economics take place these days without protestors holding their own get together on the sidelines to denounce what they see as the evils of global capitalism. Canada, for instance, is mounting the biggest security operation in its history this weekend to stop activists disrupting the Summit of the Americas in Quebec, which will discuss plans to create a free trade area from the Arctic to the Antarctic by the year 2005. The protestors will take heart from the decision by leading pharmaceutical companies to abandon their opposition to South Africa's plans to obtain cheaper drugs to tackle its huge AIDS problem.


protestors - people who publicly show their disagreement with a policy or action

to denounce - to criticize something strongly in public

mounting - organising

activists - people who actively protest

disrupting - using protests to interfere with meetings, to make them hard to continue

take heart - be encouraged

to tackle - to deal with, to handle

NEWS 2  
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For in this instance, the business world seems to have accepted that it lost the battle for public opinion that paints it as greedy and cynical, putting profits before the needs -- and even the lives -- of the poor. The argument that the profits of big companies pay for the research and development that allow AIDS to be treated successfully, seems to have had little impact. Defenders of free trade argue that it offers the only way out of poverty for developing countries, and that international agreements on issues such as labour rights and the environment are the best way to make progress. But it's clear there's a receptive audience for the counter view -- that there needs to be a fundamental shift in the balance of power between big, multinational companies and the poorer countries of the world.


that paints it as... - which gives the impression that it is...

impact - effect, result

a receptive audience - people who will share the same opinion

counter view - opposite opinion

a fundamental shift - a complete change

the balance of power - the relationship between


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