By Karl Shaw

All in completely undesirable taste

Prepare to be surprised, appalled, disgusted, and highly entertained through this compendium of indelicate oddities. not anything is just too inane, too insane, too weird and wonderful, or too distasteful for this fabulous, probably most unlikely, yet completely real number of evidence from around the a while and round the world.

Did you know…

…that Pope Benedict XII was once this kind of hardened boozer that he encouraged the expression “drunk as a pope”? (From “10 old Drunks”)

…that as a distinct honeymoon deal with, Prince Charles learn Princess Diana passages from the works of Carl Jung and Laurens van der put up? (From “History’s 10 Least Romantic Honeymoons”)

…that the best-dressed gents in medieval England uncovered their genitals lower than a short-fitting tunic? (From “History’s 10 maximum type Mistakes”)

…that Alfred Hitchcock suffered from ovophobia—fear of eggs? (From “10 Phobias of the Famous”)

…that King Louis XIV basically took 3 baths in his lifetime, every one of them lower than protest?
(From “10 nice Unwashed”)

…that in 1930, Sears buyers grew to become enraged while the catalog used to be first revealed on smooth, non-absorbent paper?
(From “12 Magical Moments in rest room Paper History”)

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Two idiosyncratic events that precipitated the launch of the Round and the second wave of regionalism can be noted. These two events are simultaneous developments in regionalism in Europe and North America. In Europe, the EC was expanding and deepening: the third expansion of the EC to include Spain and Portugal, together with the laying of plans for completing the move to a Single European Market for goods, services, capital and labour. This led to two concerns among the rest of the world: first, that the EC would be less interested in pursuing multilateral negotiations within the GATT; and, second, a fear of ‘Fortress Europe’ – the idea that the EC would become less open to trade with outsiders.

It is also interesting to speculate how different the current landscape of RTAs would be if the provisions of GATT Article XXIV only applied to CUs with no related provision for the formation of FTAs. Under the WTO, the only legal provision applicable to a North–South RTA covering trade in goods is Article XXIV of the GATT 1994. This provision provides among other requirements a comprehensive trade liberalization schedule based on tariff elimination. Partial scope agreements providing for reduction and/or elimination of duties on a limited number of products are unlikely to be found compatible with such provision.

Their significance is likely to increase further in the future if we consider that approximately 70 per cent of the RTAs being negotiated contain provisions on trade in services. 3 looks at RTA proliferation on a chronological basis by differentiating between two time periods, the GATT and the WTO years. The latter is the period we associate with the current wave of RTAs, and indeed the figure indicates a large increase in RTA activity over this period. Of the total number of RTAs notified to the GATT/ WTO up to December 2007, 124 agreements were notified during the GATT years and 262 during the WTO years, corresponding to an annual average RTA notification rate of twenty for the WTO years compared to less than three during the four and half decades of the GATT.

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