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Media & Entertainment

Data Secrecy Company Accused of Sharing Information with Media and Military
Pratap Chatterjee
October 18th, 2014

Whisper – a new social network that claims to provide anonymity – has been accused of secretly tracking users. The allegations were made by the Guardian newspaper, provoking renewed scrutiny of a multitude of data privacy claims made by software companies.

Whisper app. Photo: Douglas Porter. Used under Creative Commons license.


Spies for Hire

Energy

Chevron Wins Ecuador Arbitration But Money May Go To Amazon Communities
Mayu Chang
October 13th, 2014

The Dutch Supreme Court recently upheld an arbitration tribunal judgment requiring the Ecuadorean government to pay Chevron $106 million for breach of contract. Ironically, activists say Ecuador is now free to hand this money to indigenous communities who have sued the oil giant for pollution in an unrelated case.
Cofán Dureno indigenous activist in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Photo: Rainforest Action Network. Used under Creative Commons license.

Energy

Pipeline Leaks in Caspian Sea Oil Project To Cost $4 Billion
Pratap Chatterjee
October 9th, 2014

Kashagan, Kazakhstan's flagship offshore oil project in the Caspian Sea, will need to spend some $4 billion to repair 200 kilometres of pipelines that are leaking corrosive sulphur-containing gas, according to new estimates. The reports confirm long standing fears of environmental organizations and the local community.
Photo: John C Bullas. Used under Creative Commons license.

Media & Entertainment

Facebook Changes Names Policy In Partial Victory for Privacy Activists
Richard Smallteacher
October 6th, 2014

Gay and transgendered performers have forced Facebook, the popular social network wesbite, to make changes to its “real names” policy to allow them to appear online under their stage names. The company has not, however, offered a way for people to keep their identities private
Drag performers in San Francisco. Photo: Alan, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Used under Creative Commons license.

Food and Agriculture

Indian Rose Exporter Declares Bankruptcy in the Netherlands
Pratap Chatterjee
October 2nd, 2014

A subsidiary of Karaturi Global, the Indian flower export multinational accused of land grabbing in Ethiopia and Kenya, has been declared bankrupt by a Dutch court. The company owes some $300,000 in the Netherlands, as well as upwards of $4 million in taxes in Kenya.
Photo: Ethiopian Roses. Planète à Vendre (used under Creative Commons license)

Retail & Mega-Stores

Fashion District Businesses Accused of Laundering Mexican Drug Money
Richard Smallteacher
September 30th, 2014

One thousand law enforcement officers staged an early morning raid on dozens of businesses in Los Angeles fashion district to seize $65 million allegedly derived from drug trafficking. QT Fashion, a company that imports wholesale maternity wear from China to Mexico, provided a key to the money laundering scheme.
Money seized in the Los Angeles fashion district raid. Source: U.S. Department of Justice.

Financial Services, Insurance and Banking

Federal Regulators Failed to Police Goldman Sachs, Says Whistleblower
Pratap Chatterjee
September 26th, 2014

Carmen Segarra, a former senior examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has revealed how government regulators failed to adequately police Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street investment bank. (The Federal Reserve is the central banking system of the U.S. chartered by Congress to supervise private banks)
SEIU protest outside Goldman Sachs. Photo: SEIU. Used under Creative Commons license.

Retail & Mega-Stores

Amazon Workers in Germany Strike for Better Pay
Richard Smallteacher
September 23rd, 2014

Some 2,000 German employees of Amazon, the internet retail giant, walked off their jobs this week at four sites - Bad Hersfeld, Graben, Leipzig and Rheinberg. The strike action was coordinated by Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (United Services Union), a Berlin trade union commonly known as Ver.di.
Ver.di workers on strike outside an Amazon warehouse in Germany. Photo: ver.di Facebook

Energy

Kosmos Energy Prepares to Drill for Oil in Disputed Western Sahara
Pratap Chatterjee
September 19th, 2014

Kosmos Energy, a Texas oil company, is preparing to drill for oil in Western Sahara, a disputed territory currently controlled by Morocco. The company has dispatched a state of the art oil rig to begin operations later this year, according to Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW), an activist group.
Western Sahara activists in Spain protests against Kosmos drilling. Photo courtesy Western Sahara Resource Watch