Notes: The Summit of the Americas began on Friday to the smell of tear gas. The summit, held in Quebec, is a gathering of 34 Western Hemisphere leaders meeting to discuss -- as one put it -- trade, trade and more trade. Protestors tore down the security fence police had erected to secure the perimeter of the meeting area. However, police outfitted in riot gear fired tear gas and pushed the demonstrators back again.

The protestors, resembling those at the World Trade Conference in Seattle, are groups ranging from environmentalists to organized labor to anarchists. Amid those varying agendas is a central complaint that big corporations are benefitting from trade decisions made by national leaders in secret meetings.

The cartoon above points out the huge role that fortune plays in our lives. If you're born in North America, you're likely to be relatively comfortable. But if you're born in a Latin American country, odds of being born into poverty are great. Some protestors in Quebec think this is the fault of multi-national corporations' failure to care about people. The national leaders meeting together claim that trade is the answer to economic growth for the Wester Hemisphere. 04.22.01