WTO COTTON RULING: A World Trade Organization dispute panel on Monday upheld an interim finding that sided with Brazil in its complaint that the U.S. failed to comply with earlier rulings that found its cotton subsidy programs breached WTO rules. A U.S. Trade Representative spokesman said, "We continue to believe that payments and export credit guarantees under our programs are now fully consistent with our WTO obligations." Roberto Azevedo, Brazil 's chief trade negotiator, said the U.S. can appeal, but if it loses, Brazil would have the right to retaliate for as much as $1 billion a year in sanctions until the U.S. brings the measures into full conformity.

TOURISM CAVEAT: The number of international tourists is projected to nearly double by 2020 to reach 1.6 billion, up from 846 million last year, the United Nations World Tourism Organization said. But the agency told an international conference on climate change and tourism in Davos, Switzerland, that climatic change will have a serious impact on certain tourist destinations and sporting goods products. The U.N. said it anticipates that rising temperatures and sea levels will adversely impact coastal destinations and small islands, as well as mountain regions that thrive on winter tourism. International experts said ski resorts in Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland are particularly vulnerable and noted that, in the last few decades, warming in the Alps has been "three times the global average."

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