|WORLD: Banks Making Big Profits From Tiny Loans|
by NEIL MacFARQUHAR, New York Times
April 13th, 2010
In recent years, the idea of giving small loans to poor people became the darling of the development world, hailed as the long elusive formula to propel even the most destitute into better lives. But drawn by the prospect of hefty profits from even the smallest of loans, a raft of banks and financial institutions now dominate the field, with some charging interest rates of 100 percent or more.
|EUROPE: Open-source Advocate Enters IBM Antitrust Fray|
by Paul Meller, PC World - Business Center
April 12th, 2010
Software developer and political lobbyist Florian Mueller weighed in on the European Commission's investigation of monopoly abuse claims against IBM, accusing the computing giant of deserting the interests of the open-source software community.
|US: Deaths at West Virginia Mine Raise Issues About Safety|
by Ian Urbina and Michael Cooper, New York Times
April 6th, 2010
Rescue workers began the precarious task Tuesday of removing explosive methane gas from the coal mine where at least 25 miners died the day before. The mine owner’s -- Massey Energy Company -- dismal safety record, along with several recent evacuations of the mine, left federal officials and miners suggesting that Monday’s explosion might have been preventable.
|US: U.S. Court Curbs F.C.C. Authority on Web Traffic|
by Edward Wyatt, New York Times
April 6th, 2010
A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that regulators had limited power over Web traffic under current law. The decision will allow Internet service companies to block or slow specific sites and charge video sites like YouTube to deliver their content faster to users.
|US: Lawsuit makes chocolate firms unhappy bunnies|
by Stephen Foley, The Independent (UK)
April 1st, 2010
Cadbury, Mars, Hershey and Nestlé have been served with a lawsuit alleging that they conspired to push up the prices of their chocolate bars over most of the last decade, drawing on claims that senior executives shared secret price information in brown envelopes and via distributors.
|US: Courts Take On Campaign Finance Decision|
by Adam Liptak, New York Times
March 26th, 2010
Two federal courts here issued decisions on Friday addressing the impact of Citizens United, January’s big Supreme Court campaign finance ruling, on a new issue — whether the government may constitutionally restrict the size of contributions to groups that spend money to support political candidates.
|AFGHANISTAN: Policing Afghanistan: How Afghan Police Training Became a Train Wreck|
by Pratap Chatterjee, Tom Dispatch
March 21st, 2010
The Pentagon faces a tough choice: Should it award a billion-dollar contract for training the Afghan National Police to Xe (formerly Blackwater), a company made infamous when its employees killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007, or to DynCorp, a company made infamous in Bosnia in 1999 when some of its employees were caught trafficking young girls for sex?
|CHINA/US: Google Partners Call For Clarity on China Plans|
by Reuters, New York Times
March 17th, 2010
Chinese firms selling advertising space on Google's search pages have demanded clarity about the search giant's plans in China, as speculation increases over Google's future there. The demand comes amid signs that Google Inc may soon move to close Google.cn.
|AFGHANISTAN/US: Outsourcing intelligence|
by David Ignatius, Washington Post
March 17th, 2010
The headline read like something you might see in the conspiracy-minded Pakistani press: "Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants." But the story appeared in Monday's New York Times, and it highlighted some big problems that have developed in the murky area between military and intelligence activities.
|AFGHANISTAN/US: Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants|
by DEXTER FILKINS and MARK MAZZETTI, New York Times
March 15th, 2010
Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering program, a Defense Department official set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants, according to military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States. The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives.
|LATIN AMERICA: Canada Moves to Oversee Mining Firms|
by Emilio Godoy, Inter Press News Service (IPS)
March 5th, 2010
Amidst allegations that Canadian mining companies operating in Latin America have been complicit in the murders and harassment of activists, several positive developments in Canada are seen as a source of hope that firms may begin to be held accountable on human rights and environmental questions.
|US: 3 Companies Quit Group Over Moves on Climate|
by John Lorinc, New York Times
March 1st, 2010
In separate statements, BP America, ConocoPhillips and Caterpillar are quitting the Climate Action Partnership, a group in Washington that has sought to find common ground among corporations and environmental groups in battling global warming.