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US: Murdoch: I'm proud to be green
by Geoffrey LeanThe Independent (U.K.)
May 13th, 2007
News Corp boss orders his entire empire to convert and become a worldwide enthusiast for the environment

US: Blackwater lawsuit accuses ex-employee of stealing secrets
by Bill SizemoreThe Virginian-Pilot
May 10th, 2007
Blackwater USA is accusing an ex-employee of stealing trade secrets in a case featuring allegations of false imprisonment, gun-waving commandos, cloak-and-dagger contracts and a late-night police raid.

CYPRUS: US company’s toxic waste under scrutiny in Cyprus
Today's Zaman
May 10th, 2007
US mining company Cyprus Mines Corporation dumped 10 million tons of toxic waste on the island during its 60-year-long operations on Cyprus.

CANADA: Barrick Boss Gets Served
by Amy ChungNow (Toronto)
May 10th, 2007
Protest Barrick, a network of aboriginal communities from Australia, the U.S., Latin America and Asia, converged on Barrick Gold Corporation's shareholder meeting at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre May 2 to serve the company an eviction notice from First Nation land.

IRAQ: 'Pentagon Moved to Fix Iraqi Media Before Invasion'
by Jim LobeInter Press Service
May 9th, 2007
In the run-up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon planned to create a 'Rapid Reaction Media Team' (RRMT) designed to ensure control over major Iraqi media while providing an Iraqi 'face' for its efforts, according to a ‘White Paper' obtained by the independent National Security Archive (NSA) which released it Tuesday.

US: Hurdles Loom in Deal for Reuters
by AARON O. PATRICKWall Street Journal
May 9th, 2007
Thomson Corp. and Reuters Group PLC's ambitious plan to create the world's largest supplier of financial data and news could face regulatory hurdles as it would narrow the market to two main competitors from three.

US: Another Chemical Emerges in Pet Food Case
by 
DAVID BARBOZA
The New York Times
May 9th, 2007
A second industrial chemical that regulators have found in contaminated pet food in the United States may have also been intentionally added to animal feed by producers seeking larger profits, according to interviews with chemical industry officials here.

CONGO: New row over delay of Congo funds report
by Dino MahtaniFinancial Times
May 8th, 2007
The World Bank has withheld the findings of an inquiry into alleged mismanagement of bank funds in the Democratic Republic of Congo, raising fresh questions about the anti-corruption strategy of Paul Wolfowitz, the bank's president

CONGO: New row over delay of Congo funds report
by Dino MahtaniFinancial Times
May 8th, 2007
The World Bank has withheld the findings of an inquiry into alleged mismanagement of bank funds in the Democratic Republic of Congo, raising fresh questions about the anti-corruption strategy of Paul Wolfowitz, the bank's president.

INDONESIA: Jakarta launches appeal in case against Newmont Mining Corp
Reuters
May 8th, 2007
Indonesian prosecutors have launched the first stage of an appeal after Newmont Mining Corp’s Indonesian unit was cleared in a high-profile pollution case two weeks ago, a court official said yesterday.

US: Chevron Seen Settling Case on Iraq Oil
by Claudio Gatti and Jad MouwadNew York Times
May 8th, 2007
Chevron, the second-largest American oil company, is preparing to acknowledge that it should have known kickbacks were being paid to Saddam Hussein on oil it bought from Iraq as part of a defunct United Nations program, according to investigators.

US: Firms Protest Exclusion From Iraq Security Bid
by Alec Klein and Steve FainaruWashington Post
May 5th, 2007
Two private security contractors have lodged formal protests against the Army, claiming they have been unfairly excluded from competing for one of the largest security jobs in Iraq, according to government documents and sources familiar with the matter.

BRAZIL: Brazil to break Aids drug patent
BBC
May 4th, 2007
Brazil's president has authorised the country to bypass the patent on an Aids drug manufactured by Merck, a US pharmaceutical giant.

MEXICO: Wackenhut Worries: A company with a sketchy record has quietly taken over deportation duties from the Border Patrol
by Adam BorowitzTuscon Weekly
May 3rd, 2007
Forget about asking questions relating to the transportation of illegal immigrants back to Mexico, because Wackenhut Corporation, which won a government contract to perform this function in the name of the American people, doesn't have to answer them! The daily transportation of thousands of illegal immigrants back into Mexico has been turned over to a private company that was fired last year for botching security at the headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security.

CAMBODIA: Will oil wealth keep Cambodia afloat, or drown it?
by Seth MydansInternational Herald Tribune
May 3rd, 2007
For many other poor countries, like Nigeria and Chad, oil has been a poisoned bonanza, paradoxically dragging them into deeper poverty and corruption in what some call the oil curse.

KAZAKHSTAN: U.S. Firm Pleads Guilty In Bribery Case
by Nikola KrastevRadio Free Europe
April 30th, 2007
The Texas-based oil-services company Baker Hughes pled guilty on April 26 in a U.S. federal court to violating U.S. antibribery provisions, and agreed to pay a fine of $44 million.

US: KFC to tell customers of chemical in potatoes
by Tim ReitermanThe Los Angeles Times
April 25th, 2007
To resolve a suit by the state attorney general, the maker of Kentucky Fried Chicken agreed Tuesday to tell its California customers that its fried or baked potatoes contain a suspected carcinogen.

PHILIPPINES: Island residents face lost livelihoods, damaged environment
by GLENIS BALANGUEABS-CBN News (IBON features)
April 22nd, 2007
For the nearly 50,000 residents of Rapu-Rapu, Albay and the adjoining municipality of Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon, fishing has been the primary livelihood for generations.

SOUTH AFRICA: Fresh allegations tarnish glittering year for Anglo
The Observer (UK)
April 22nd, 2007
It may have made $9bn profit, but the metals mining group stands accused of some base practices, reports Nick Mathiason

UK: Bribery and drugs exposed at private jail
by Eric Allison and Duncan CampbellThe Guardian
April 16th, 2007
Undercover reporter offered £1,500 by inmates

IRAQ: Four Hired Guns in an Armored Truck, Bullets Flying, and a Pickup and a Taxi Brought to a Halt. Who Did the Shooting and Why?
by Steve FainaruWashington Post
April 15th, 2007
A Chaotic Day On Baghdad's Airport Road

COLOMBIA: Chiquita case puts big firms on notice
by Sibylla BrodzinskyChristian Science Monitor
April 11th, 2007
The company's admission that it paid Colombian paramilitaries $1.7 million has sparked outrage in Colombia.

DRC: Vast forests with trees each worth £4,000 sold for a few bags of sugar
by John VidalGuardian Unlimited
April 11th, 2007
· Congo village chiefs not told value of concessions · World Bank blamed over deals causing 'catastrophe'

CANADA: UN Body Holds Canada Responsible for Corporations’ Actions Abroad
by Mark CherringtonCultural Survival
April 10th, 2007
In a groundbreaking decision, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has told Canada that it must rein in Canadian corporations operating on Indian land in the United States.

US: Gag order for former Wal-Mart employee
CNN Money
April 9th, 2007
Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) won a gag order to stop a fired security operative from talking to reporters and a judge ordered him to provide Wal-Mart attorneys with 'the names of all persons to whom he has transmitted, since January 15, 2007, any Wal-Mart information.'?

AUSTRALIA: Arrests made after Barrick mine protest turns ugly
by Jano GibsonSydney Morning Herald
April 9th, 2007
Eighteen anti-gold mine activists have been charged following a protest in central NSW, which concluded with a man allegedly ransacking the protesters' campsite while armed with a knife.

US: Fresno a player in debate over nuclear power
by Keay DavidsonSan Francisco Chronicle
April 8th, 2007
Fresno, a fast-growing former farming community popularly associated with raisins, is seeking a higher-tech image -- as the future home of a nuclear power plant that could supply power for 1.6 million to 2 million homes.

US: Executive Pay: A Special Report. More Pieces. Still a Puzzle.
by Eric DashNew York Times
April 8th, 2007
In response to a barrage of criticism that regulators have not kept up with the complexities of swelling pay packages, the Securities and Exchange Commission now requires corporate America to disclose details of executive compensation more fully. As this year’s proxies pour in, they are packed with fresh information aimed at making pay more transparent. Of course, it also is a lot more confusing.

US: Laid-off Circuit City workers allege age bias in suit
by Molly Selvin and Abigail GoldmanThe Los Angeles Times
April 6th, 2007
A lawsuit by three older Circuit City Stores Inc. employees, alleging that the retailer violated California age discrimination laws by laying them off because they were earning too much, is part of a surge in age bias complaints from disgruntled baby boomers.

RUSSIA: Toxic truth of secretive Siberian city
BBC News
April 5th, 2007
A BBC team has entered a remote region of Russia normally closed to foreigners that produces almost half the world's supply of palladium - a precious metal vital for making catalytic converters. But, as the BBC's Richard Galpin reports, it is accused of being the world's largest producer of acid rain.

CHINA: In Fear Of Chinese Democracy
by Harold MeyersonWashington Post
April 4th, 2007
Listen to the apostles of free trade, and you'll learn that once consumer choice comes to authoritarian regimes, democracy is sure to follow. Call it the Starbucks rule: Situate enough Starbucks around Shanghai, and the Communist Party's control will crumble like dunked biscotti.

JAPAN: Nuclear scandal may juice power prices
by Shigeru SatoBloomberg
April 4th, 2007
Japan's electricity prices may surge because safety coverups could prompt the government to order more nuclear reactors closed, Mizuho Investors Securities says.

NIGERIA: Shell to raise Nigerian oil production
by Jad MouawadInternational Herald Tribune
April 4th, 2007
A year after being forced to shut down more than half of its oil output in Nigeria because of militant violence, Royal Dutch Shell said it expected to resume full production within the next "five to six months," after agreeing with local communities that it could safely return to the Niger Delta.

NIGERIA: Shell to raise Nigerian oil production
by Jad MouawadInternational Herald Tribune
April 4th, 2007
A year after being forced to shut down more than half of its oil output in Nigeria because of militant violence, Royal Dutch Shell said it expected to resume full production within the next "five to six months," after agreeing with local communities that it could safely return to the Niger Delta.

CHINA: China union says U.S. fast food chains broke wage law
by John RuwitchReuters
April 4th, 2007
U.S. fast food chains, including McDonald's and KFC, broke minimum wage laws in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, the state-backed labor union said on Wednesday, urging tougher enforcement of employment laws.

US: Banks prone to sell minorities pricy loans
by Joanne MorrisonReuters
April 4th, 2007
The largest U.S. banks sold expensive subprime loans more frequently to minorities than whites, according to a study released Wednesday by a community activist group.

US: Fired Wal-Mart worker claims surveillance ops: report
Reuters UK
April 4th, 2007
The Wal-Mart Stores Inc. worker fired last month for intercepting a reporter's phone calls says he was part of a larger, sophisticated surveillance operation that included snooping not only on employees, but also on critics, stockholders and the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., The Wall Street Journal reported.

FRANCE: Total CEO summoned by SEC on Iran deal
Reuters
April 3rd, 2007
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice have summoned the chief executive of French energy giant Total SA to explain the group's activities in Iran, a French newspaper said on Tuesday.

US: Gore needs a greener Apple
by Marc Gunther CNN Money
April 3rd, 2007
Environmental groups tell Al Gore to push the computer maker to improve its practices and limit its impact on the environment.

KOREA: Daewoo-Burma arms trade targetted
Bangkok Post
March 26th, 2007
Protests against Korea's Daewoo corporation for allegedly selling military equipment to Myanmar's army government in exchange for energy contracts took place in 15 countries Monday.

CHILE: Water clash at Chile copper mine
by Jane ChambersBBC News
March 26th, 2007
A dispute over water rights has hit one of Chile's largest copper mines, Los Pelambres.

BURMA: Shackles, torture, executions: inside Burma's jungle gulags
by Dan McDougallThe Observer
March 25th, 2007
There is no real dissent here in Rangoon. People are too scared to be members of any democratic movement. We are all just victims, people like me who are trying to get their lives back.' Ko Min, 47, his wife and two sons were swept up with hundreds of others in a military raid on their village close to the city of Bagan in 2005. The family were put to work, clearing jungle, digging latrines and an irrigation system for a military camp outside Mandalay. (mentions Zarubezhneft oil company)

BURMA: Natural Gas Project Threatens Human Rights
Human Rights Watch
March 24th, 2007
South Korean, Indian Investments May Lead to Complicity in Abuses

FRANCE: France Begins Formal Inquiry on Oil Executive
by James KanterNew York Times
March 23rd, 2007
Problems increased for the French oil company Total on Thursday when Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive, was put under formal investigation by French authorities, who are looking into allegations that the company paid kickbacks to win a gas contract in Iran during the late 1990s.

COLOMBIA: Colombia seeks extradition of 8 people in Chiquita payments to terrorists
by Javier BaenaUnion-Tribune
March 23rd, 2007
Colombia's chief prosecutor said Tuesday he will demand the extradition of eight people allegedly involved with Chiquita's payments to right-wing paramilitaries and leftist rebels in a region where it had profitable banana-growing operations.

US: In Transcripts, Bromwell Boasts of Comcast Ties
by Eric RichWashington Post
March 22nd, 2007
Thomas L. Bromwell claimed to be driven by principle when, as a Maryland state senator in 2000, he led a legislative effort that allowed Comcast and other companies to charge customers late fees at rates that courts had deemed excessive.

US: World Bank raps Exxon over Chad
by Lesley WroughtonReuters
March 22nd, 2007
The World Bank has told an Exxon Mobil-led consortium to take corrective action to fully compensate farmers in southern Chad who lost land and their livelihoods as the U.S. company expands its search for oil in the Doba basin.

GUATEMALA: Mining misery
by Maria AmuchasteguiThis Magazine
March 21st, 2007
Guatemala is one of many countries that has attracted the investment of Canadian mining companies—but at what cost to its people?

US: Doctors’ Ties to Drug Makers Are Put on Close View
by Gardiner HarrisThe New York Times
March 21st, 2007
Dr. Allan Collins may be the most influential kidney specialist in the country. He is president of the National Kidney Foundation and director of a government-financed research center on kidney disease.

PERU: Human Rights Commission May Examine Violations at La Oroya, Peru
Earthjustice Legal Fund and CIEL
March 21st, 2007
Public health and environmental organizations from throughout the Western Hemisphere today announced the filing of a petition with the human rights division of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. The petition accuses the Peruvian government of doing little to halt contamination from a metallurgical complex that is impacting the lives and health of the citizens of La Oroya, Peru.

UK: British firms face fraud allegations over 'phantom' armoured vehicles
by 
Nick Fielding and Ian Cobain
The Guardian (UK)
March 20th, 2007
Three British companies are facing accusations that they engaged in large-scale fraud in Iraq after it emerged they were paid for "phantom" armoured vehicles destined to protect Iraqi government employees. The vehicles were never delivered, but the companies were paid anyway.

ARGENTINA: Famatina Says NO to Barrick Gold
by David ModersbachMines and Communities
March 20th, 2007
In the Argentine province of La Rioja, an astonishing series of events have lead to the ouster of a corrupt pro-mining provincial governor and the apparent withdrawal of gold mining giant Barrick Gold from operations on the Famatina range. Who was responsible for these events? A small group of dedicated neighbors who are fighting tooth and nail to save their mountain range from open-pit mining exploitation.

US: Judge OKs key witness in Colombian deaths case
International Herald Tribune
March 20th, 2007
A former Colombian security official who claims he saw an official of a U.S.-based company pay for the murders of union leaders in the South American country can testify in the upcoming civil trial over the deaths, a U.S. judge ruled Tuesday.

US: Global-warming deniers feeling the heat
by Diane CarmanDenver Post
March 20th, 2007
The drumbeat of skepticism over global warming has been oddly muted in the weeks since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its summary report in February.

US: Senator calls for more aggressive investigation of war profiteering
by Elise CastelliFederal Times
March 20th, 2007
The Justice Department isn’t moving aggressively enough against contractors who have bilked the government out of billions in Iraqi reconstruction dollars, a top Senate Democrat said Tuesday.

US: BP 'is to blame for Texas blast'
BBC News
March 20th, 2007
British oil giant BP has been heavily criticised by US safety investigators over a refinery disaster that killed 15 workers in 2005.

COLOMBIA: Colombia May Extradite Chiquita Officials
by Simon RomeroNew York Times
March 19th, 2007
Colombian officials said over the weekend that they would consider seeking the extradition of senior executives of Chiquita Brands International after the company pleaded guilty in United States federal court to making payments to paramilitary death squads.

AFGHANISTAN: BearingPoint Lands Afghanistan Project
by David HublerWashington Post
March 19th, 2007
BearingPoint of McLean has won a five-year, $218.6 million contract from the Agency for International Development to help modernize and upgrade ministerial, private-sector and educational services in Afghanistan.

US: Coeur d'Alene Mines Loses Clean Water Act Court Case
Environment News Service
March 16th, 2007
The federal Clean Water Act cannot be used to destroy an Alaskan lake, a federal appeals court ruled today, in a decision that may set precedent about how the act is interpreted nationwide.

UK: Spat erupts between medical journals
by Andrew JackFinancial Times
March 16th, 2007
A rare spat has broken out in the usually decorous world of medical journals. In a highly critical editorial, the BMJ, the former British Medical Journal, accuses Reed Elsevier, the publishing group, of “warmongering” through its international arms-fairs division, and calls on authors to boycott the Lancet, its flagship academic publication, until the links are severed.

US: Chevron Faces More Scrutiny in Ecuador over Pollution
by Emad Mekay IPS News
March 15th, 2007
Leaders of indigenous communities in Ecuador are pressing their government to investigate senior executives from U.S. oil giant Chevron for an alleged environmental fraud scheme in the mid-1990s related to a long-running six-billion dollar class action suit in the South American nation.

US: Chevron gets part of suit dismissed
by Elizabeth DouglassLos Angeles Times
March 15th, 2007
A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a racketeering charge against Chevron Corp. brought by Nigerian villagers who believe the oil giant condoned human rights abuses carried out by the West African nation's militia.

INDIA: Amnesty International Public Statement: Deaths in West Bengal due to police firing during protests against new industrial project
Amnesty International
March 15th, 2007
Amnesty International is deeply concerned at reports of the use of excessive and unnecessary force by police in West Bengal (Eastern India) against farmers protesting proposed displacement by the state government for a new industrial project, which has resulted in deaths of at least 14 persons and injuries.

US: Chiquita admits paying fighters
BBC News
March 14th, 2007
US banana company Chiquita Brands International has said it will plead guilty to a count of doing business with a paramilitary group in Colombia.

US: Chevron wins partial dismissal in Nigeria case
Herald Tribune
March 14th, 2007
A federal judge in California threw out a racketeering claim against Chevron Corp. filed by Nigerians who claimed the oil company conspired with the military and police to gun down demonstrators protesting their operations in the African nation.

US: Halliburton's Dubai Move Sparks US Political Ire
Agence France Presse
March 12th, 2007
A weekend announcement by Halliburton, the US oil services giant, that it is shifting its corporate headquarters to Dubai from Texas triggered an angry response from some US lawmakers Monday.

US: Halliburton to move headquarters to Dubai
by Brett ClantonHouston Chronicle
March 11th, 2007
Halliburton Co. surprised the energy world, members of Congress and the city of Houston today by announcing it will open a new corporate headquarters in the United Arab Emirates and relocate its chief executive officer there.

PHILIPPINES: Court orders removal of oil storage facilities
by Gilbert FelongcoGulf News
March 8th, 2007
Citing threats to the inhabitants of a thickly populated area, the Supreme Court yesterday ordered the removal of three major oil storage facilities in the city.

US: DynCorp Hired for Somalia Peacekeeping
by Chris TomlinsonForbes
March 7th, 2007
The State Department has hired a major military contractor to help equip and provide logistical support to international peacekeepers in Somalia, giving the United States a significant role in the critical mission without assigning combat forces.

US: Exxon unveils 20 projects for next three years
by Sheila McNultyFinancial Times
March 7th, 2007
ExxonMobil, the world's biggest listed oil company, said on Wednesday the company will start more than 20 new global projects in the next three years that should add 1m oil equivalent barrels per day to Exxon's base volumes.

US: INTERVIEW-BP faulty in Alaska's biggest oil spill -gov't
by Robert CampbellReuters
March 6th, 2007
Oil major BP's failure to maintain pipelines properly at its giant Prudhoe Bay field was a major factor behind Alaska's worst-ever onshore crude spill last year, a senior federal official said.

US: Broadcasters Agree to Fine Over Payoffs
by Jeff LeedsThe New York Times
March 6th, 2007
Radio broadcasters have long been accused of corrupting the public airwaves by accepting bribes from corporate music giants. But in a pair of agreements disclosed yesterday, the broadcasters moved to resolve accusations that they had auctioned off the airwaves by agreeing to pay a landmark penalty and pledging to play more music from independent recording artists.

UK: CAAT secures key High Court ruling against BAE and Government
The Lawyer.com
March 5th, 2007
The High Court last week ordered BAE Systems to produce a sworn affidavit divulging how the aerospace giant obtained a confidential and legally privileged document belonging to pressure group Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT).

ISREAL: Israel supplying armored vehicles to U.S. forces in Iraq
by AP Writer The Boston Globe
March 5th, 2007
An Israeli corporation has won a contract to supply the United States Marine Corps with state-of the-art armored vehicles for use in Iraq, the latest in a long line of Israeli defense sales destined for the Iraqi theater.

CANADA: Supermarket chain grabs passports, coerces immigrant workers, suit alleges.
by Tom SandbornThe Tyee
March 5th, 2007
T&T Supermarkets, a chain of specialty food stores serving Asian communities in Canada, stands accused of abusing the rights of foreign workers brought to Canada under a federal program.

US: Committee subpoenas former Walter Reed chief
by Kelly KennedyArmy Times
March 3rd, 2007
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has subpoenaed Maj. Gen. George Weightman, who was fired as head of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, after Army officials refused to allow him to testify before the committee Monday.

US: BP/UC Deal Raises Concerns
by Richard BrennemanBerkeley Daily Planet
March 2nd, 2007
The proposed agreement between one of the world’s largest oil companies, BP (formerly British Petroleum) and UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois has ignited a firestorm that promises to burn long and hot.

US: Contractor could lose $400 million N.C. company's role defended
by Jay PriceThe News and Observer
March 2nd, 2007
Military contracting giant KBR Inc. could be docked up to $400 million for improperly using private security companies in Iraq, the company disclosed this week.

INDIA: India asks Argentina to extradite bribery suspect in arms scandal
EUX.TV
March 2nd, 2007
Indian authorities have made a formal request to Argentina for the extradition of Ottavio Quattrocchi, an Italian businessman accused in an arms bribery case, media reports said Friday.

US: Iraq's Mercenary King
by Robert Baer Vanity Fair
March 1st, 2007
As a former C.I.A. agent, the author knows how mercenaries work: in the shadows. But how did a notorious former British officer, Tim Spicer, come to coordinate the second-largest army in Iraq—the tens of thousands of private security contractors?

US: Lockheed: Health care data off-limits
by Donna WrightBradenton Herald
March 1st, 2007
Spokeswoman says she misunderstood company's policy on free medical plan

US: Earthjustice, Alaska Natives protest drilling plans in Beaufort Sea
by Terry WincklerEarthjustice Legal Fund and CIEL
March 1st, 2007
Federal agency allowed drilling without adequate assessment of impacts on marine mammals

ASIA: Charities slam conditions for computer workers
by Frédéric Burnand and Adam BeaumontSwissInfo
February 27th, 2007
Two Swiss charities have sharply criticised labour conditions in Asian factories supplying parts to some of the world's leading computer brands.

IRAQ: New Oil Law Seen as Cover for Privatisation
by Emad MekayInter Press News Service (IPS)
February 27th, 2007
The U.S.-backed Iraqi cabinet approved a new oil law Monday that is set to give foreign companies the long-term contracts and safe legal framework they have been waiting for, but which has rattled labour unions and international campaigners who say oil production should remain in the hands of Iraqis.

ARGENTINA: Mapuches Return to Benetton-Held Land
by Marcela ValenteInter Press News Service (IPS)
February 27th, 2007
Mapuche Indians in the southern Argentine region of Patagonia, who in 2002 took part in a land dispute against the Italian textile group Benetton, have returned to occupy land belonging to the firm, reclaiming their ancestral rights.

GERMANY: Siemens chief says corruption scandal won't delay next strategic plan
by Mark Landler and Carter DoughertyHerald Trribune
February 27th, 2007
Even as Siemens has reported buoyant financial results — thanks in part to Kleinfeld's overhaul of its operations — it has been hit with a fast-expanding corruption scandal that threatens to sink its reputation.

HONDURAS: Protests Mount Against Mining Giant
by Stephen LeahyMines & Communities
February 24th, 2007
Dangerous levels of lead and arsenic have been found in the blood of Honduran villagers living downstream from a controversial gold and silver mine owned by Canada's Goldcorp Inc., the world's third largest gold mining firm.

US: Corporate Profits Take an Offshore Vacation
by Lucy KomisarInter Press Service
February 23rd, 2007
Last week, Merck, the pharmaceutical multinational, announced that it will pay 2.3 billion dollars in back taxes, interest and penalties in one of the largest settlements for tax evasion the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ever imposed.

BELGIUM: Climate change scepticism still exists in Brussels
by Andrew RettmanEU Observer
February 20th, 2007
The human cause of climate change is an established fact in the scientific community. But some giant corporations such as Exxon Mobil continue to fund NGOs that sow doubt on the subject, with some MEPs tempted by the sceptical line.

CHINA: Disney sweats over sweatshop charges in China
by Venkatesan VembuDaily News Analysis
February 16th, 2007
Shenzhen supplier shuts shop following campaign against labour standards

US: Translator Who Faked Identity Pleads Guilty To Having Secret Data
by Josh WhiteWashington Post
February 15th, 2007
An Arabic translator who used an assumed identity to get work as a contractor for the U.S. Army in Iraq pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges of possessing classified national defense documents, including sensitive material about the insurgency that he took from an 82nd Airborne Division intelligence group in 2004.

CHINA: China's besieged factories: Activists aim to expose unscrupulous labor practices to shame companies
by Craig SimonsAtlanta Journal-Constitution
February 14th, 2007
Lei Huang could be a poster child for China's laboring classes. For each 60-hour week he works on an assembly line for Foxconn, a manufacturer of electronics and computer parts in this south China manufacturing hub, he earns $32 and a bunk in a dormitory room with 19 other laborers.

ZAMBIA: 'Vulture' feeds on Zambia
by Ashley SeagerGuardian Unlimited
February 14th, 2007
A so-called "vulture" fund has been given permission by a British court to enforce a claim for tens of millions of dollars theoretically owed by Zambia.

US: TXU, Exxon Mobil Among 10 'Climate Watch' Companies Targeted by Investors
Ceres
February 13th, 2007
US Companies Face Record Number of Global Warming Resolutions

CONGO: All that glitters...
by Jean-Roger KasekiGuardian (UK)
February 13th, 2007
Decades of gold mining should have given Congo a ticket to prosperity. Instead, it is trapped in a cycle of violence and poverty.

UK: Rowntree dumps its Reed shares
by Katherine GriffithsTelegraph
February 13th, 2007
Two investors in Reed Elsevier have sold their shares as a protest that the publishing giant runs arms fairs which have included the sale of torture equipment.

FRANCE: Oil giant 'knew tanker was a risk before disaster'
by John LichfieldThe Independent
February 13th, 2007
The French oil company Total and 14 other defendants were accused yesterday of criminal responsibility for one of Europe's most calamitous oil spills, the wreck of the Erika.

NIGERIA: Oil Spill Displaces 10 Ijaw Communities
by Emma ArubiVanguard (Lagos)
February 13th, 2007
CHEVRON'S Abiteye flow station oil spill of over 1,500 barrels of crude has rendered over 10 Ijaw communities and 500 hundred persons homeless in Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West local government area of Delta State.

US: The battle scars of a private war
by T. Christian MillerL A Times
February 12th, 2007
Contractors wounded or killed in Iraq are the anonymous casualties. Ceremonies are secret, and benefits are scarce.

UK: BP's BTC pipeline needs extra monitoring-US agency
February 12th, 2007
Extra monitoring is needed on BP PLC's (BP) Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, particularly on cracks and leakages in its coating, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC, said in a report.

UK: Monsanto helped to create one of the most contaminated sites in Britain
by John VidalThe Guardian (UK)
February 12th, 2007
Previously unseen Environment Agency documents from 2005 show that almost 30 years after being filled, Brofiscin is one of the most contaminated places in Britain. According to engineering company WS Atkins, in a report prepared for the agency and the local authority in 2005 but never made public, the site contains at least 67 toxic chemicals. Seven PCBs have been identified, along with vinyl chlorides and naphthalene.

FRANCE: Total on trial over 1999 French oil disaster
by James MackenzieReuters
February 12th, 2007
A trial into one of France's worst environmental disasters opens on Monday with oil giant Total facing charges over toxic fuel spills that washed ashore following the sinking of the tanker Erika in 1999.

PHILIPPINES: Protesters regroup as mine due to reopen
Manila Times
February 11th, 2007
Environmentalists and church leaders in Bicol will launch yet another protest—this time for three days—against the government for allowing Lafayette Philippines Inc. to resume its operation.

JAMAICA: Dust, stench and claim of impotence: Pollution killing us, say communities near bauxite plants - Firms insist waste not toxic
by Karyl WalkerJamaica Observer
February 11th, 2007
The approximately US$400 million earned by the bauxite sector last year means nothing to Sandra McLean and other residents of districts surrounding the Alumina Partners of Jamaica (Alpart) refinery in Nain, St Elizabeth.

INDIA: Farmers irked over land acquisition for Reliance's power plant in Ghaziabad
by Shailesh KumarDown to Earth
February 9th, 2007
Farmers continue to protest against Reliance's power project in UP

CHINA: Businesses help China's government abuse rights
by Chang Ching-hsiTaipai Times
February 9th, 2007
Following the onset of reform in 1978, China has become the world's factory. By late February, its foreign exchange reserves had reached a total of US$853.7 billion, surpassing Japan's US$831.6 billion to become the largest in the world. Meanwhile, the human rights of the Chinese people remain severely restricted.

US: New York Moves Toward Suit Over a 50-Year-Old Oil Spill
by Nicholas ConfessoreThe New York Times
February 8th, 2007
New York State moved to sue Exxon Mobil and four other companies on Thursday to force them to clean up a half-century-old spill of millions of gallons of oil lying under the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn and to repair environmental damage inflicted on nearby Newtown Creek.

US: Lawsuit accuses Connecticut nursery of human trafficking
by John ChristoffersenAssociated Press
February 8th, 2007
A dozen Guatemalan workers filed a federal lawsuit Thursday accusing one of the nation's largest nurseries of engaging in human trafficking by forcing them to work nearly 80 hours per week, paying them less than minimum wage and denying them medical care for injuries on the job.

PERU: UN Mission Probes Private Security Groups
by Ángel PáezInter Press News Service (IPS)
February 7th, 2007
A priest who provides support for Peruvian farmers in their conflict with a transnational gold mining corporation complained to a United Nations mission that he was under surveillance by a private security company.

PAKISTAN: Child Labour - A crucial goal remains to be scored
by Doug CahnEthical Corporation
February 7th, 2007
Ten years after the signing of the Atlanta Partnership on child labour, what will it take to finally eliminate the practice in the manufacture of footballs? Doug Cahn examines the issues

NETHERLANDS: Gimme Tax Shelter
by Lynnley BrowningNew York Times
February 4th, 2007
When it comes to attracting celebrity wealth seeking shelter from taxes, the Cayman Islands and other classic Caribbean tax havens are receding in favor, according to tax experts here and overseas. But for earnings derived from intellectual property such as royalties, the Netherlands has become a tax shelter of choice.

ICELAND: Smokestacks in a White Wilderness Divide Iceland in a Development Debate
by Sarah LyallNew York Times
February 4th, 2007
The $3 billion Karahnjukar Hydropower Project in Iceland, a sprawling enterprise to harness the rivers for electricity that will be used for a single purpose: to fuel a new aluminum smelter owned by Alcoa, the world's largest aluminum company, has been the focus of the angriest and most divisive battle in recent Icelandic history.

CHINA: New labor movement afoot in China: Activists employing shame in effort to bring about change.
by Craig SimonsStatesman News Service
February 4th, 2007
Labor rights groups long have documented low pay and strict management in Chinese factories. But as Western firms increasingly move manufacturing to China to cut costs and raise profits, activists are adopting a strategy of publicizing conditions at globally recognized companies including Foxconn, which supplies dozens of international brands such as Apple Inc. from its Shenzhen facilities.

US: In Washington, Contractors Take On Biggest Role Ever
by Scott Shane and Ron NixonThe New York Times
February 4th, 2007

US: Device Breaks Up in Pipeline, and Search Is On for Lost Piece
by Felicity BarringerThe New York Times
February 3rd, 2007
A device designed to clean waxy buildup from the walls of the 800-mile Alaska pipeline broke apart inside the pipeline in December, raising the possibility that any remaining shards of machinery might damage sensitive valves, an executive of Alyeska, the company that runs the pipeline, confirmed Thursday.

SOUTH AFRICA: MCC stalls new Aids drugs
by Belinda BeresfordMail & Guardian Online
February 3rd, 2007
South Africans have been denied the “biggest advance” in antiretroviral therapy over the last few years because of a lack of urgency in the drug registration process in South Africa, according to the Treatment Action Campaign.

MALI: Country must work to avoid the "resource curse"
Reuters
February 2nd, 2007
Sambala Macalou, mayor of Sadiola village in western Mali where the South African gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti operates, thinks the company is short-changing the community and ignoring its needs.

US: Border Policy's Success Strains Resources: Tent City in Texas Among Immigrant Holding Sites Drawing Criticism
by Spencer S. Hsu and Sylvia MorenoThe Washington Post
February 2nd, 2007
Ringed by barbed wire, a futuristic tent city rises from the Rio Grande Valley in the remote southern tip of Texas, the largest camp in a federal detention system rapidly gearing up to keep pace with Washington's increasing demand for stronger enforcement of immigration laws.

PNG: Ramu project 'needs review'
Postcourier (Papua New Guinea)
January 31st, 2007
Mr Ipatas said the agreement was done in such a way the State of Papua New Guinea and the landowners were mere observers on their own land while the developer got about 85 per cent of the takings.

NIGERIA: Corruption and Misuse Robs Nigerians of Rights
Human Rights Watch
January 31st, 2007
Human Rights Watch Report: Rivers State, Nigeria Local Governments Squander Oil Revenues Instead of Funding Health, Education

UK: Campaigners urge Shell to put profits into clean-up
by Terry MacalisterGuardian (UK)
January 31st, 2007
Record annual profits to be announced by Shell tomorrow should be used towards paying off a bill estimated at more than $20bn (£10bn) for the damage caused by its oil activities to local communities and the wider environment, according to an alliance of human rights and green groups including Friends of the Earth (FoE).

IRAQ: US money is 'squandered' in Iraq
BBC News
January 31st, 2007
Millions of dollars in US rebuilding funds have been wasted in Iraq, US auditors say in a report which warns corruption in the country is rife.

US: Green like money: Activists counter PG&E's greenwashing
by Amanda WitherellSF Bay Guardian
January 31st, 2007
During a so-called green fair at the LGBT center in San Francisco, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG & E) unveiled a $170,000 gift of solar panels for the roof of the building. But activists complain that this recent move is a greenwashing tactic, to make this corporation, which owns a mere 0 percent solar and 2 percent wind, appear green when it is in fact not.

US: PUC Not Letting Verizon off Hook
by Ann S. KimPortland Press Herald (MAINE)
January 30th, 2007
The Maine Public Utilities Commission decided Monday to begin contempt proceedings against Verizon Communications for failing to affirm the truthfulness of statements the company made about its possible role in the government's warrantless surveillance program.

US: Fidelity's Sudan problem Divestment campaign targets mutual funds, and the nation's largest mutual fund company is the first target, says Fortune's Marc Gunther.
by Marc GuntherCNN Money
January 29th, 2007
As institutional investors learned that Chinese oil companies are helping to finance genocide in Sudan, many took action.

UK: Starbucks stirred by fair trade film
by Ashley SeagerGuardian Unlimited (UK)
January 29th, 2007
A campaign by Ethiopia to get a fair price for its coffee - some of the world's finest - kicks off in London today as a spokesman for the east African country's impoverished coffee growers meets Tony Blair.

INDIA: Novartis challenges India's patent law
by Matthew AllenSwiss Info
January 29th, 2007
A court case brought by Swiss drugs giant Novartis in India could define how the industry distributes discount medicine to the developing world while maintaining profits.

CAMEROON: Oil leak shows weaknesses in World Bank pipeline, NGOs warn
IRIN News
January 26th, 2007
Fishermen in the southern coastal town of Kribi are warily casting their nets after a leak in the massive Chad-Cameroon pipeline last week.

SOUTH AFRICA: Avocados, Diamonds at Core of Anti-Israel Trade Campaign
by Moyiga NduruInter Press Service
January 26th, 2007
A call from a South African trade unionist for national supermarket chains to stop importing avocado from Israel could ultimately lead to the banning of all imports from the Jewish state, if unions and human rights activists have their way.

US: Wal-Mart Agrees to Pay $33 Million in Back Wages (Update3)
by Lauren Coleman-LochnerBloomberg
January 25th, 2007
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest U.S. private employer, will pay $33 million in back wages plus interest under an agreement with the U.S. Labor Department

US: New Scanners for Tracking City Workers
by Sewell ChanNew York Times
January 23rd, 2007
The Bloomberg administration is devoting more than $180 million toward state-of-the-art technology to keep track of when city employees come and go, with one agency requiring its workers to scan their hands each time they enter and leave the workplace.

INDONESIA: Indonesia Newmont boss says no complaints on mining
Reuters
January 23rd, 2007
The head of the Indonesian unit of Newmont Mining Corp. told a court on Tuesday that authorities had never told the firm its mining activities might be breaking environmental or mining laws.

IRAQ: Helicopter of U.S. security company shot down in Baghdad; 5 reported killed
by Kim GamelAssociated Press
January 23rd, 2007
A helicopter owned by the private security firm Blackwater USA crashed Tuesday in central Baghdad, and five civilians were killed, a U.S. military official said. A senior Iraqi defense official said the aircraft was shot down over a predominantly Sunni neighborhood.

BRAZIL: Tailings dam failure in Brazil
Water Power Magazine
January 22nd, 2007
Brazil's state government of Minas Gerais has shut down the Mineracao Rio Pomba bauxite mine after the failure of a tailings dam.

BRAZIL: Enslaved workers make charcoal used to make basic steel ingredient
by Michael Smith and David VoreacosSeattle Times
January 21st, 2007
Enslaved workers make charcoal used to make basic steel ingredient

US: US farming watchdog accuses Wal-Mart of mis-selling
by Stephen Foley in New YorkIndependent (UK)
January 21st, 2007
Wal-Mart, the controversial retailing giant, is under investigation in the US over allegations it is trying to pass off non-organic foods as organic.

Levi’s suspended by ethical group in living wage row
by Sarah ButlerTimes Online
January 20th, 2007
Levi Strauss, the denim company, has been suspended from the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) for a year in a row over the concept of a living wage.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Ok Tedi villagers sue for $5bn damages
The Australian
January 19th, 2007
MINING giant BHP Billiton and the operators of the Ok Tedi copper mine in Papua New Guinea are being sued for civil damages exceeding $US4 billion ($5.08 billion) by villagers on the Ok Tedi River.

US: Nicotine boost was deliberate, study says
by Stephen SmithBoston Globe
January 18th, 2007
Data supplied by tobacco companies strongly suggest that in recent years manufacturers deliberately boosted nicotine levels in cigarettes to more effectively hook smokers, Harvard researchers conclude in a study being released today.

US: ARCO Ordered to Investigate Radioactivity at Anaconda Mine
Environmental News Service
January 17th, 2007
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday ordered to the Atlantic Richfield Company, ARCO, to begin an investigation to determine the nature and extent of contamination at the Anaconda Copper Mine in Yerington, Nevada.

CANADA: Mine could impact everything from fish to grizzlies
by HEIDI DESCHHungry Horse News
January 17th, 2007
Environmental experts continue to warn against the creation of a huge coal mine just north of the border.

US: Ex-Refco owner charged in fraud
Associated Press
January 16th, 2007
A former owner of Refco Inc. was charged Tuesday in a fraud that cost investors more than $1 billion in losses, prosecutors said as they also added charges against the former chief executive and chief financial officers of the commodities brokerage giant.

US: Lockheed Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
by Richard CummingsPlayboy.com
January 16th, 2007
If you think the Iraq war hasn't worked out very well for anyone, think again. Defense contractors such as Lockheed are thriving. And no wonder: Here's the story how Lockheed's interests- as opposed to those of the American citizenry- set the course of U.S. policy after 9/11.

US: US charges oil-for-food chief
by Brooke Masters and Mark TurnerFinancial Times
January 16th, 2007
Benon Sevan, the administrator who was in charge of overseeing the United Nation's oil-for-food programme for Iraq, was indicted on Tuesday on federal charges of bribery and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, as part of a growing attempt by prosecutors to hold UN employees accountable to US laws.

UK: Chief's Departure Ignites Criticism of BP's Structure and Environmental Policies
by Heather TimmonsNew York Times
January 16th, 2007
Poor management and cost-cutting created a dangerous work environment at oil giant BP, according to a report released today based on hundreds of interviews with employees.

US: SEIU wins case: G4S subsidiary Wackenhut Violated Rights of IMF Workers Seeking to Form a Union according to latest ruling
UNI Global Union
January 15th, 2007
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled against Wackenhut in a case involving security workers who sought to organize a union at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC. Wackenhut, the U.S. government's largest supplier of private guards, is the U.S. subsidiary of London-based global security conglomerate Group 4 Securicor.

US: Gates Foundation faces multibillion-dollar dilemma
by Kristi HeimSeattle Times
January 14th, 2007
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation owns shares of BP — a company accused of fouling the air with its oil refinery and paper mill in South Africa. Since the foundation spends billions of dollars to improve the health of Africans, that investment strategy would seem to conflict with its mission.

USA: Big Banks are finding it is not easy being green.
by Joseph A. Giannone and Lisa LeeReuters
January 11th, 2007
Financial giants such as Merrill Lynch and Citigroup among others are under fire from environmental groups and some investors who complain they still fund power plants and other polluting projects despite adopting the Earth-friendly Equator Principles with much fanfare in 2003.

WORLD: GM crops slow to win over the world
by Stephen LeahyMail & Guardian Online
January 10th, 2007
Widespread use of GM crops remains limited worldwide, even as growing weed and pest issues are forcing farmers to use ever greater amounts of pesticides.

US: Money clashes with mission
by Charles PillerLA Times
January 8th, 2007
The Gates Foundation invests heavily in sub-prime lenders and other businesses that undercut its good works.

UK: UK class action starts over toxic waste dumped in Africa
by John VidalGuardian (UK)
January 8th, 2007
Lawyers will today begin preparing the ground for one of the largest class actions heard in the UK over 400 tonnes of allegedly highly toxic waste dumped in the Ivory Coast from a cargo ship chartered by a London-based company.

US: Dark cloud over good works of Gates Foundation
by Charles Piller, Edmund Sanders and Robyn DixonL A Times
January 7th, 2007
An ink spot certified that he had been immunized against polio and measles, thanks to a vaccination drive supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. But polio is not the only threat Justice faces. Almost since birth, he has had respiratory trouble. His neighbors call it "the cough." People blame fumes and soot spewing from flames that tower 300 feet into the air over a nearby oil plant. It is owned by the Italian petroleum giant Eni, whose investors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

UK: Iraq poised to end drought for thirsting oil giants
by Danny FortsonThe Independent (UK)
January 7th, 2007
For more than three decades, foreign oil companies wanting into Iraq have been like children pressed against the sweet shop window - desperately seeking to feast on the goodies but having no way of getting through the door. That could soon change.

CHAD: World Bank OK With Blood For Oil
by Daphne WyshamTomPaine
January 5th, 2007

BELIZE: I-A Commission says GOB must protect indigenous people of Toledo
The Reporter (BELIZE)
January 5th, 2007
By permitting oil exploration on indigenous lands in the Toledo District the Government of Belize is violating treaty obligations and also a 2004 ruling by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

CHINA: Hundreds of workers protest company beatings
Asia News
January 5th, 2007
Hundreds of workers yesterday held a protest in Pingshan (Shenzhen) outside DeCoro, an Italian sofa company, accusing supervisors of severely beating three employees who dared to ask for respect of the minimum wage. In November 2005 disputes had already taken place between the employees and the company with mutual accusations of violence made.

EL SALVADOR: Multinational Capital on the Offensive
by Raúl GutiérrezInter Press Service (IPS)
January 5th, 2007
International financial consortia have already squeezed local shareholders out of banks in El Salvador, and now they are expected to sideline the state, all of which will contribute to widening the gap between rich and poor.

EU: Ryanair hits back in 'green' row
BBC
January 5th, 2007
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has hit back at criticism from the climate change minister, saying his airline was "the greenest in Europe".

UK: Probe after workers burned in toxic leak
The Northern Echo
January 5th, 2007
Dozens of workers at a Teesside chemical plant received hospital treatment after suffering burns and breathing difficulties following a leak of 4.5 tonnes of toxic chemicals.

US: Exxon Mobil's biggest oil spill is in Brooklyn, not Alaska
by Matthew LeisingBloomberg
January 4th, 2007
The biggest oil spill Exxon Mobil has to answer for is not the cargo that gushed from the Exxon Valdez tanker into Alaska's Prince William Sound. It is the fuel that soaked into the ground beneath a working class section of Brooklyn, New York.

TRINIDAD: Trinidad's Smelter Switcheroo
by Peter RichardsInter Press Service
January 4th, 2007
After years of community protests, including a semi-permanent tent camp, the Trinidad and Tobago government abruptly announced that it was backing away from plans to construct aluminium smelter plants in the southwest peninsula villages of Cedros and Chatham.

US: ExxonMobil Accused of Disinformation on Warming
by Jim LobeInter Press Service
January 3rd, 2007
Like the tobacco industry that for decades denied a link between smoking and lung cancer, ExxonMobil has waged a "sophisticated and successful disinformation campaign" to mislead the public about global warming, according to a major new report by the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

ROMANIA: Fighting Over Gold in the Land of Dracula
Wilmington Star
January 3rd, 2007
A small-time Romanian farmer counts powerful names among his backers in a land battle with a Canadian gold mining company.

CHILE: Chile's divisive mountain of gold
by Luisa BaldiniBBC News
January 2nd, 2007
Tons of gold-bearing ore need to be excavated to produce a single ounce of bullion. Once the rock has been pulverised, cyanide is used in a leaching process to extract gold and silver.

US: Toxic Teflon: Compounds from Household Products Found in Human Blood
by Stan CoxAlternet
January 2nd, 2007
DuPont and other companies use those synthetic compounds to make an extraordinarily wide range of products, including nonstick cookware (e.g, Teflon), grease-resistant food packaging (e.g., microwave popcorn and pizza boxes), stain-resistant fabrics and carpets (e.g., Stainmaster), shampoos, conditioners, cleaning products, electronic components, paints, firefighting foams, and a host of other artifacts of modern life.

LIBERIA: Firestone's Liberian base called a 'gulag': A group has filed suit contending employees are overworked, underpaid, and exposed to pesticides.
by Shashank BengaliThe Philadelphia Inquirer
December 31st, 2006
In Liberia, a war-ravaged country with 80 percent unemployment, almost any job is a good one. But Firestone is increasingly under fire from human-rights advocates here and in the United States who say conditions on the 80-year-old plantation in Harbel - Firestone's single-biggest source of raw material for its U.S. manufacturing operations - are scandalous.

INDIA: Oil Industry Blamed for Polluting India's Assam
Reuters
December 29th, 2006
Oil companies in India's northeastern state of Assam are responsible for polluting rivers and destroying rainforests and have been told to clean up their act or face closure, authorities said on Thursday.

INDIA: Farmland to factory in industrializing India
by Somini SenguptaInternational Herald Tribune
December 29th, 2006
Just beyond the city limits, a patch of land where an auto factory is planned amid a sprawl of potato fields and rice paddies has become a battleground for the world's longest-running democratically elected Communist government.

SWEDEN: Low Prices, High Social Costs: The Secrets in Ikea's Closet
by Olivier Bailly, Jean-Marc Caudron and Denis LambertLe Monde Diplomatic
December 29th, 2006
Despite Ikea's current claims, low prices always incur a high social cost. Between 1994 and 1997 three documentaries screened by German and Swedish television accused the firm of using child labor under degrading conditions in Pakistan, India, Vietnam and the Philippines

US: OSHA Cites Tool Maker
Hartford Courant
December 27th, 2006
A West Hartford tool manufacturing plant has been cited for widespread safety and health hazards for the third time in six years by the Hartford office of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency said Tuesday.

CHINA: Group reports harsh working conditions at Bratz factory
Associated Press
December 22nd, 2006
The pouty Bratz dolls so popular as Christmas presents are made at a factory in southern China where workers are obliged to toil up to 94 hours a week, among other violations, a labor rights group said in a report released Friday.

US: Court halves Exxon spill damages
BBC News Online
December 22nd, 2006
A US court has almost halved the damages oil giant Exxon Mobil must pay for a 1989 oil spill off Alaska.

CHINA: Net giants 'still failing China'
by Thembi MutchBBC News
December 18th, 2006
Earlier this year net giants Google and Yahoo came under fire from Human Rights Watch and Reporters Sans Frontieres, for their activities in China. But is the criticism warranted?

ASIA: Asian Govts Push Generic Drugs
by Marwaan Macan-MarkarInter Press Service
December 18th, 2006
In moves that are winning them praise, two South-east Asian governments -- in Thailand and the Philippines -- appear determined to push ahead with plans to provide cheaper generic drugs even if they incur the wrath of pharmaceutical giants.

CHINA: Net giants 'still failing China'
by Thembi MutchBBC News Online
December 18th, 2006
Earlier this year net giants Google and Yahoo came under fire from Human Rights Watch and Reporters Sans Frontieres, for their activities in China. But is the criticism warranted?

SAUDI ARABIA: Arms deal probe stopped over Saudi threat to cease terror help
Agence France Presse
December 18th, 2006
A British investigation into a controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia was stopped because Riyadh threatened to withdraw all co-operation on security and intelligence, a newspaper has reported.

US: Noose incident sparks bias suit
by Collin NashNewsday
December 16th, 2006
A group of African-Americans employed as installers for a Cablevision subcontractor filed a discrimination complaint Friday against their employer and the media giant, alleging intimidation by white managers who the workers say dangled a noose from the rafters.

SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi 'slush fund' investigation discontinued
by Elsa McLaren and Andrew EllsonTimes Online U.K.
December 14th, 2006
A two-year corruption investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into a £60 million "slush fund" that was allegedly set up for members of Saudi Arabia's royal family was discontinued today.

PERU: Company Offers Bandaid Solutions to a Polluted Town
by Milagros SalazarInter Press News Service (IPS)
December 14th, 2006
In this mining town in Peru's Andean highlands, there is a shelter, but not for the victims of a war. The only bombardment escaped by the young children taken there every day comes from toxic emissions that have already done plenty of damage.

US: Shareholders to Dow: Deal with Mass Poisoning Fallout
by Aaron GlantzOne World US
December 9th, 2006
Owners of more than $278 million in shares of Dow Chemical field a shareholder resolution this week demanding the company address outstanding issues from a 1984 explosion at a pesticide plant in India.

IRAQ: Top Democrat: Halliburton Violated Multibillion Dollar Iraq Contract
by Jason Leopoldt r u t h o u t Report
December 9th, 2006
Halliburton Corp., the oil field services company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, breached the terms of its multibillion dollar contract to provide US soldiers logistical support in Iraq when one of its subcontractors outsourced security work to Blackwater USA, according to new documents released Friday by Congressman Henry Waxman.

UK: Renowned cancer scientist was paid by chemical firm for 20 years
by Sarah BoseleyThe Guardian (UK)
December 8th, 2006
A world-famous British scientist failed to disclose that he held a paid consultancy with a chemical company for more than 20 years while investigating cancer risks in the industry, the Guardian can reveal.

US: Md. coal mining's toxic legacy
by Tom PeltonBaltimore Sun
December 8th, 2006
In the woods at the fringe of this Western Maryland town, a mountain of waste 50 feet high is slouching into a creek that's tinted an eerie orange. The "gob pile" is refuse from a long-abandoned coal mine. And the stream into which it's eroding, Winebrenner Run, is devoid of life - one of the state's worst cases of sulfuric acid pollution from mines.

EU: Exxon spends millions to cast doubt on warming
by Andrew Buncombe and Stephen CastleThe Independent (UK)
December 7th, 2006
The world's largest energy company is still spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund European organisations that seek to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on global warming and undermine support for legislation to curb emission of greenhouse gases.

US: Corporation wants to drill on Mt. Taylor
by Zsombor PeterThe Gallup Independent
December 7th, 2006
After drilling six exploratory holes by Mt. Taylor earlier this year in search of uranium, the Western Energy Development Corporation is asking for state and federal permission to drill 47 more.

CHILE: Stepped-Up Battle Against Andean Gold Mine
by Daniela EstradaInter Press Service (IPS)
December 6th, 2006
Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold Corp. is facing a stepped-up international campaign against its Pascua Lama gold mine project on the border between Chile and Argentina, high up in the Andes Mountains.

US: Apple gets low score in Greenpeace e-waste report
by Jim DalrympleMacworld
December 6th, 2006
Environmental group Greenpeace on Wednesday issued the first quarterly update on the technology industry’s performance on environmental issues. While the group recognized many companies are improving Apple does not appear to be among them — Apple remains in last place.

GHANA: Ghana's gold inflicts heavy price
by James HaselipPeople and the Planet
December 6th, 2006
Gold mining is Ghana�s most valuable export industry: in 2005, US$1.4 billion worth of gold was shipped from the country, dwarfing the value of its other major foreign currency earners - timber and cocoa. However, very little of the gold revenues stay in the country while damage to the physical environment by both large and small-scale mining is inflicting an incalculable cost to the economy with vast tracts of farming land permanently ruined, forests destroyed and water resources diverted and polluted.

US: Polluting Ohio HazWaste Incinerator Fined $750,000
Environment News Service
December 5th, 2006
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Justice have reached an agreement with Von Roll America Inc. on alleged clean air and hazardous waste violations at the company's commercial hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio.

INDONESIA: UPDATE 1-NYC comptroller wants review of miner Freeport
Reuters
December 5th, 2006
New York City Comptroller William Thompson, who oversees the city's pension funds, on Tuesday called for a review of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.'s environmental policies and practices in Indonesia.

AFGHANISTAN: The Reach of War; U.S. Report Finds Dismal Training of Afghan Police
by James Glantz and David Rohde; Carlotta GallThe New York Times
December 4th, 2006
Five years after the fall of the Taliban, a joint report by the Pentagon and the State Department has found that the American-trained police force in Afghanistan is largely incapable of carrying out routine law enforcement work, and that managers of the $1.1 billion training program cannot say how many officers are actually on duty or where thousands of trucks and other equipment issued to police units have gone.

PERU: Half the Peruvian Amazon Leased for Petroleum Development
Envinroment News Service
December 4th, 2006
Conservation groups based in Washington warned today that the Peruvian government is signing so many contracts with multinational oil companies that half the rainforest of the Peruvian Amazon is now covered with oil leases.

US: Anti-, pro-Pebble forces square off
by ELIZABETH BLUEMINKAnchorage Daily News
December 3rd, 2006
The state Board of Fisheries now is squarely in the middle of the noisy battle being waged over Southwest Alaska's large and controversial Pebble copper and gold prospect.

PHILIPPINES: Banana firm bars DoH team from proving chemical poisoning
by  Jeffrey M. TupasInquirer (PHIL)
December 1st, 2006
Experts from the Department of Health (DoH) were denied entry Thursday by the management of the Tagum Agricultural Development Corporation, Inc. (Tadeco) to the company-owned hospital in Panabo City where victims of toxic chemical inhalation from the nearby town of Braulio Dujali in Davao del Norte were confined.

PHILIPPINES: Lafayette's Rapu Rapu project damaged
The Age (AUST)
December 1st, 2006
Lafayette Mining Ltd's troubled Rapu Rapu polymetallic project in the Philippines has suffered a further setback with a second typhoon causing damage to the operation.

CAMEROON: NGOs to the Defence of Local Farmers
by Sylvestre TetchiadaInter Press Service
December 1st, 2006
Cameroonian civil society groups are expressing concern at the effects of trade liberalisation on the Central African country's food security.

WORLD: Safety of Nanotechnology Needs More Attention
Environment News Service
November 28th, 2006
The number of consumer products made with nanotechnology is exploding, with a 70 percent increase in the past eight months. While recognizing the value of these molecular-level advances, critics say the Bush administration is doing too little to ensure the safety of nanotechnology for workers and the public.

US: Muslim Says He Was Abducted By U.S.
by Armen Keteyian and Phil Hirschkorn.CBS News
November 28th, 2006
Khaled El-Masri says he is not after money but answers about why he spent five months in harsh captivity as a prisoner in the war on terrorism.

US: BLIGHTED HOMELAND: Mining firms again eyeing Navajo land
by Judy PasternakThe Los Angeles Times
November 22nd, 2006
Decades after the Cold War uranium boom ended, leaving a trail of poisonous waste across the Navajo Nation, the mining industry is back, seeking to tap the region's vast uranium deposits once again.

GERMANY: Arrest made in VW corruption scandal
by Benjamin DierksThe Guardian (UK)
November 21st, 2006
The investigation into the corruption scandal at Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, tightened today with the arrest of Klaus Volkert, the firm's former head of the works council.

MALAWI: Bingu misled on uranium mining—civil society
by Juliet ChimwagaThe Nation (Malawi)
November 21st, 2006
Civil society organisations accused government Monday of misleading President Bingu wa Mutharika and the nation in its dealings with Paladin Africa Limited, saying the latter are not coming out clearly on the negative impact the multi-billion kwacha uranium mining project at Kayelekera in Karonga will have on people’s lives.

US: Houston janitors reach deal to end strike
by Monica RhorAssociated Press
November 20th, 2006
Houston janitors ended a monthlong strike today against the city's five major cleaning companies after reaching a tentative agreement that will guarantee higher wages, more work hours and medical benefits.

US: Inuit sue US government over BP land usage
by David LitterickThe Daily Telegraph (UK)
November 20th, 2006
Fresh from settling a lawsuit over last year's fatal explosion at its Texas City oil refinery, BP looks set to become embroiled in a legal battle in Alaska over royalties paid on oil production in Prudhoe Bay.

GERMANY: Siemens Executives Held Over Bribery Allegations
Der Spiegel
November 17th, 2006
Five Siemens executives have been arrested in raids at Siemens offices across Germany this week. Prosecutors are investigating charges of embezzlement and bribery at the company.

US: Uranium mining could contaminate Goliad aquifer
by Joe CongerKENS 5 Eyewitness News
November 17th, 2006
Just a pound of uranium brings top dollar on the market and could help to wean the United States off its foreign oil dependence. However, opponents say it could threaten the environment around San Antonio.

US: Dueling polls oppose, support Pebble Mine project
by Hal SpenceMorris News Service
November 15th, 2006
Two public opinion polls commissioned by an environmental group opposed to the Pebble Mine project are being touted as proof that Bristol Bay Region residents and voters statewide believe, by and large, that open-pit mining is not worth the risk.

CUBA: Cuba's Military Puts Business On Front Lines
by JOSÉ DE CÓRDOBAWall Street Journal
November 15th, 2006
At the height of the Cold War, Cuba's soldiers became a legend on the island when they punched through enemy lines, defeating South Africa's army in Angola. Today Cuban generals are applying capitalist tactics to try to improve bottom lines in businesses that range from growing beans to running hotels and airlines.

US: Wal-Mart Charged with Selling Nonorganic Food as Organic
by Mark A. KastelThe Free Press
November 14th, 2006
The Cornucopia Institute, the nation's most aggressive organic farming watchdog, has filed a formal legal complaint with the USDA asking them to investigate allegations of illegal “organic” food distribution by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Cornucopia has documented cases of nonorganic food products being sold as organic in Wal-Mart’s grocery departments.

IRAQ: Bechtel Departure Removes More Illusions
by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-FadhilyInter Press Service
November 9th, 2006
The decision of the giant engineering company Bechtel to withdraw from Iraq has left many Iraqis feeling betrayed. In its departure they see the end of remaining hopes for the reconstruction of Iraq.

WORLD: Controlling the Corporate Mercenaries
by Nick Dearden, War on WantZmag
November 7th, 2006
While Iraq represents bloodshed and death on a massive scale to most people, to Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) it has brought a boom time, boosting the revenues of British-based PMSCs alone from £320 million in 2003 to more than £1.8 billion in 2004. In the same year income for the industry worldwide reached $100 billion.

PERU: Achuar win oil victory in Peru
by Lisa Garrigues Indian Country Today
November 6th, 2006
On Oct. 24, after a 14-day occupation, representatives of the Federation of Native Communities of the Corrientes Rio (FECONACO), which includes the Quichua and Urarinas people, reached an agreement with PlusPetrol and the Peruvian government. The agreement gave them 98 percent of their demands.

US: The Package May Say Healthy, but This Grocer Begs to Differ
by Andrew MartinThe New York Times
November 6th, 2006
The chain, Hannaford Brothers, developed a system called Guiding Stars that rated the nutritional value of nearly all the food and drinks at its stores from zero to three stars. Of the 27,000 products that were plugged into Hannaford’s formula, 77 percent received no stars, including many, if not most, of the processed foods that advertise themselves as good for you.

KAZAKHSTAN: Oil, Cash and Corruption
by Ron StodghillThe New York Times
November 5th, 2006
In February, the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan is scheduled to go to trial in the largest foreign bribery case brought against an American citizen. It involves a labyrinthine trail of international financial transfers, suspected money laundering and a dizzying array of domestic and overseas shell corporations. The criminal case names Mr. Nazarbayev as an unindicted co-conspirator.

IRAQ: Contractor Bechtel leaves disintegrating Iraq short of goal
by David StreitfeldBaltimore Sun
November 4th, 2006
Bechtel Corp. helped build the Bay Area subway system, Hoover Dam and a city for 200,000 in the desert of Saudi Arabia. It likes to boast that it can go anywhere, under any conditions and build anything.

US: Congressman's Favors for Friend Include Help in Secret Budget
by John R. WilkeWall Street Journal
November 1st, 2006
With Rep. Gibbons's Backing, An Ex-Trader for Milken Wins Millions in Contracts A Lawsuit's Sensitive Subject

IRAQ: Bechtel ends Iraq rebuilding after a rough 3 years
by David R. BakerSan Francisco Chronicle
November 1st, 2006
Bechtel Corp. went to Iraq three years ago to help rebuild a nation torn by war. Since then, 52 of its people have been killed and much of its work sabotaged as Iraq dissolved into insurgency and sectarian violence.

US: Pfizer Drug Dealt Blow in Testing
by Alex BerensonThe New York Times
November 1st, 2006
Pfizer said yesterday that clinical trials of torcetrapib — a heart medication that is the most important drug in the company’s pipeline — confirmed that it raises blood pressure, a potentially serious side effect.

US: Ponzi Scheme or Variety Show? Scams Use Leased Radio Time To Target Immigrant Listeners
by Jennifer LevitzWall Street Journal
October 31st, 2006
Rick Santos, manager of WLQY-AM in Miami, says he thought the popular Creole program that aired six days a week on his radio station was a "musical variety show." It was actually part of a fraud, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Scam artists used the radio for two years to promote an investment scheme that ensnared 631 Haitian immigrants and cost them nearly $6 million, a federal court ruled after an SEC complaint.

US: Air America on Ad Blacklist?
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
October 31st, 2006
An internal memo from ABC Radio Networks to its affiliates reveals scores of powerful sponsors have a standing order that their commercials never be placed on syndicated Air America programming that airs on ABC affiliates.

US: BP Knew of Refinery Lapses Before Blast, U.S. Says (Update3)
by 
Stephen Voss and Amy Strahan
Bloomberg
October 30th, 2006
BP Plc's global management team knew of safety concerns at the company's Texas City, Texas, oil refinery before a deadly explosion last year, U.S. safety investigators said.

UK: Blair accused of trying to 'privatise' war in Iraq
by Kim SenguptaThe Independent (UK)
October 30th, 2006
The Government has been accused of reneging on pledges to control private security companies operating in Iraq because it wants to "privatise the war" as part of its exit strategy.

ETHIOPIA: US coffee chain Starbucks is denying Ethiopia earnings of up to USD 88 million a year
The Ethiopian Reporter
October 28th, 2006
According to reports, Oxfam said that Starbucks asked the National Coffee Association (NCA) to block Ethiopia's bid to trademark two types of coffee bean in the US. The move would have given farmers a greater share of profits, it claims.

EU: Chemicals: A tale of fear and lobbying
by Matthew SaltmarshInternational Herald Tribune
October 27th, 2006
Three years ago, Margot Wallstrom, who was then the European Union's environment commissioner, revealed to a startled Brussels press corps that a blood test had found the presence of 28 artificial chemicals in her body, including DDT, a pesticide banned from European farms since 1983, when it was found to harm wildlife and attack the nervous system.

EU: Lobbying, European style
by Matthew SaltmarshInternational Herald Tribune
October 27th, 2006
If the European Union's eight-year effort to tighten laws governing chemicals testing has spawned one of the biggest and most costly industry lobbying campaigns that Brussels has ever seen, it has also given new impetus to efforts to regulate how lobbying is done at the European Commission.

NIGERIA: Niger Delta bears brunt after 50 years of oil spills
by Jonathan BrownThe Independent (UK)
October 26th, 2006
Up to 1.5 million tons of oil, 50 times the pollution unleashed in the Exxon Valdez tanker disaster, has been spilt in the ecologically precious Niger Delta over the past 50 years, it was revealed yesterday.

NIGERIA: Attack on Nigeria oil facilities
BBC News
October 25th, 2006
A group of protesters have invaded three Shell oil stations in the Niger Delta, forcing the facilities to be shut down, the company said.

US: Ads Test Payola Case Settlement
by Jeff LeedsThe New York Times
October 25th, 2006
Hardly more than a year has passed since the nation’s biggest record labels started agreeing to a series of measures that were intended to end the industry’s long history of employing bribes and other shady practices to influence which songs are heard on the radio.

IRAQ: Idle Contractors Add Millions to Iraq Rebuilding
by James GlantzThe New York Times
October 25th, 2006
Overhead costs have consumed more than half the budget of some reconstruction projects in Iraq, according to a government estimate released yesterday, leaving far less money than expected to provide the oil, water and electricity needed to improve the lives of Iraqis.

US: Tobacco Deal Haunts Contender for WHO Chief
by John Lyons and Betsy McKayWall Street Journal
October 24th, 2006
Julio Frenk was a finalist for the top job at the World Health Organization three years ago. The post is available again, but the Mexican health minister's latest campaign for the job may go up in smoke.

JAMAICA: Bauxite Mine Fight Looms in Jamaica's Cockpit Country
Environment News Service
October 24th, 2006
Drilling for bauxite samples in Jamaica's Cockpit Country is threatening the plants and animals that live in the region's moist tropical limestone forest, said conservationists today. Bauxite is the raw material for aluminum.

INDIA: "Bribery scandal could harm defense ties with India"
by Ran DagoniGlobes (Israel)
October 24th, 2006
Allegations made by the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation that Israeli defense firms bribed Indian officials so that they would prefer Israeli products could chill defense ties between the two countries, warns US magazine “Defense Week.”

IVORY COAST: Ivorians to sue 'toxic ship' firm
BBC News
October 24th, 2006
A Dutch lawyer representing some 1,000 victims of toxic waste dumped in Ivory Coast says he is suing the company that shipped the waste there.

US: Bias written in black and white: study
by Nicholas HirshonNew York Daily News
October 24th, 2006
A lack of racially diverse newsrooms often leads to biased media coverage of major events such as Hurricane Katrina, according to a St. John's University School of Law study.

VENEZUELA: Venezuela lawmaker says workers seize, stop Coca-Cola plants
Market Watch
October 23rd, 2006
Former Coca-Cola workers blocked access to all Coca-Cola Co. (KO) bottling plants in Venezuela and picketed administrative offices Monday, demanding a solution to a long-running dispute over unpaid severance.

US: THE C.I.A.’S TRAVEL AGENT
by Jane MayerThe New Yorker
October 23rd, 2006
On the official Web site of Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, there is a section devoted to a subsidiary called Jeppesen International Trip Planning, based in San Jose, California. The write-up mentions that the division “offers everything needed for efficient, hassle-free, international flight operations,” spanning the globe “from Aachen to Zhengzhou.” The paragraph concludes, “Jeppesen has done it all.”

US: SKILLING GETS 24 YEARS IN PRISON FOR ENRON FRAUD
by Tom FowlerHouston Chronicle
October 23rd, 2006
Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling was sentenced today to 24 years in prison for his role in the energy company's 2001 collapse in what has become one of the nation's biggest corporate scandals.

US: Mailed Diebold Disks Raise Voting Machine Fears
Associated Press
October 20th, 2006
Disks containing what appears to be software code used in Maryland's touchscreen voting machines in 2004 were delivered anonymously to a former state legislator, raising fresh concerns about the reliability of the voting system.

IRAQ: Pentagon Audit Clears Propaganda Effort
by Mark MazzettiNew York Times
October 20th, 2006
An American military propaganda campaign that planted favorable news articles in the Iraqi news media did not violate laws or Pentagon regulations, but it was not properly supervised by military officials in Baghdad, an audit by the Pentagon Inspector General has concluded.

BRAZIL: Brazilian Indians leave iron mine
BBC News
October 20th, 2006
A group of about 200 Xikrin Indians in Brazil have agreed to leave an iron mine they occupied on Tuesday.

PHILIPPINES: Once-idyllic island center of debate on mining
by Cyrain CabuenasInquirer (PHIL)
October 19th, 2006
For many years, Manicani has served as a haven for people who wanted to commune with nature or check out World War II artifacts. These days, Siman has no glowing account of Manicani. "The island's balding mountains and depleted marine resources no longer hold any promise," he said.

US: Critics attack Myanmar’s ‘blood gem’ auctions
by Charlotte McDonald-GibsonAgence France Presse
October 18th, 2006
With up to 90 percent of the world’s rubies and many other precious gems mined in Myanmar, chances are that a vast proportion of the stones glinting in the windows of high-end jewelers worldwide originate in the military-ruled nation.

JAMAICA: Trafigura figures in South Africa bribery scandal
by Olivia CampbellThe Jamaica Observer
October 18th, 2006
Trafigura president Claude Dauphin, who in August paid a visit to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller at Jamaica House before his company controversially transferred over $31 million to the People's National Party, is a man steeped in the art of expensive gift giving.

US: Contractor pleads guilty in train station corruption
Associated Press
October 16th, 2006
A fourth defendant pleaded guilty Monday to participating in corruption involving the renovation of state offices at a train station, authorities said.

IRAQ: As U.S. effort winds down, can Iraq fill 'reconstruction gap'?
by Charles J. HanleyAssociated Press
October 16th, 2006
America's big builders invaded Iraq three years ago, hard on the heels of U.S. troops and tanks. Now the reconstruction billions are drying up so they're pulling out, leaving both completed and unfinished projects in the hands of an Iraqi government unprepared to manage either.

GHANA: Dispute Over Newmont's Proposed Gold Mine At Akyem
by Mike AnanePublic Agenda (Accra)
October 16th, 2006
Plans by Denver-based multinational, Newmont mining Corporation to construct an open pit gold mine in the Ajenjua Bepo Forest Reserve located at New Abirem in the Birim North District of Ghana's Eastern Region are mired in controversy.

US: Unwanted Imports: Goods deemed toxic elsewhere shipped to U.S.
Associated Press
October 15th, 2006
Destined for American kitchens, planks of birch and poplar plywood are stacked to the ceiling of a cavernous port warehouse. The wood, which arrived in California via a cargo ship, carries two labels: One proclaims "Made in China," while the other warns that it contains formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical.

US: U.S. coal plant boom poses big environmental, economic questions
Associated Press
October 15th, 2006
A building boom that would add scores of new coal-fired power plants to the nation's power grid is creating a new dilemma for politicians, environmentalists and utility companies across the United States.

US: Wal-Mart must pay workers $78m
BBC
October 13th, 2006
The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, has been ordered to pay at least $78m in compensation to workers who were forced to work during breaks.

US: Watchdog Group Blasts Ford for Ethanol Loophole
Environment News Service
October 13th, 2006
The Ford Motor Company is misleading the public and the government about several of its vehicles that claim to operate on ethanol, according to letters sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by the watchdog group Public Citizen.

US: New York Sues Coal-Fired Power Plant
Environment News Service
October 13th, 2006

US: Honeywell Agrees to $451 Million Lake Cleanup
Environment News Service
October 13th, 2006
Aerospace giant Honeywell Inc. has agreed to spend $451 million to clean up contaminated sediments in Onondaga Lake, one of the most polluted lakes in the United States. The lake, a sacred site to Native America tribes, is heavily contaminated with an array of toxic metals and chemicals and is one of only three lakes listed as a federal Superfund site.

US: Democrats On FCC Criticize Justice Dept.'s OK Of Merger
by David Hatch National Journal
October 12th, 2006
The FCC's two Democratic members harshly criticized the Justice Department for approving the $78 billion AT&T- BellSouth merger without conditions.

US: Copper Plant Illegally Burned Hazardous Waste, E.P.A. Says
by Ralph BlumenthalThe New York Times
October 11th, 2006
A bankrupt copper giant facing billions of dollars in pollution claims across the nation pretended for years to recycle metals while illegally burning hazardous waste in a notorious El Paso smelter, according to a newly released Environmental Protection Agency document.

IRAQ: Corporate Torture in Iraq
by 
Ali Eteraz
Counter Punch
October 11th, 2006
What remains under-reported and under-appreciated is the fact that this war has afforded a vast collection of corporations to reap the benefits of lucrative government contracts. A number of such companies are involved in supervising, maintaining, and providing support for the numerous prisons in Iraq in the areas of interrogation, interpretation, and translation.

IRAQ: In Iraq, contractor deaths near 650, legal fog thickens
by Bernd DebusmannReuters
October 10th, 2006
The war in Iraq has killed at least 647 civilian contractors to date, according to official figures that provide a stark reminder of the huge role of civilians in supporting the U.S. military.

INDIA: 80,000 coal belt families face evacuation
Statesman News Service
October 10th, 2006
As many as 80,000 families living near the Jharia mine in Dhanbad coal belt face relocation. Officials say the coalfield area is, in effect, sitting on a “giant fireball deep inside the earth,” after they discovered at least six underground leaks of toxic fumes. Experts fear massive underground explosions followed by subsidence occuring at any moment.

US: Somalis allege discrimination at Cold Spring poultry plant
Associated Press
October 9th, 2006
Nine Somali immigrant employees at poultry processor Gold'n Plump Poultry Inc. alleged in a federal lawsuit that they were discriminated against because of their race and their religion at the company's Cold Spring plant.

THAILAND: Lingerie workers rally at US embassy
Bangkok Post
October 8th, 2006
Around 800 Thai lingerie workers waved bras and placards to defy martial law and demonstrate in front of the US embassy on Sunday, demanding the Americans investigate the closure of an underwear factory.

US: Harvard Researcher Forced Bayer to Disclose Drug Toxicity Study
by Justin Blum and Eva von SchaperBloomberg
October 6th, 2006
Bayer AG's disclosure last week of a study showing that a promising medicine has deadly side effects came only after a Harvard drug safety expert told U.S. regulators that the research existed.

US: Oil Companies Settle Fuel Violations for $1.5 Million
Environment News Service
October 6th, 2006
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a $1.5 million settlement with BP and Shell for alleged violations of the motor vehicle fuels provisions of the federal Clean Air Act.

INDONESIA: New Indonesia Calamity, a Mud Bath, Is Man-Made
by Raymond Bonner and Muktita SuhartonoThe New York Times
October 6th, 2006
It started as a natural gas well. It has become geysers of mud and water, and in a country plagued by earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis another calamity in the making, though this one is largely man-made.

EU: EU firms getting round China arms embargo
by Andrew RettmanEU Observer
October 3rd, 2006
European firms such as AugustaWestland and Eurocopter are supplying components for Chinese combat helicopters via networks of global subsidiaries and re-exporters despite the EU's 17-year old China arms embargo, NGOs have warned.

US: Doe Run ordered to clean up tailings site
by Cheryl WittenauerAssociated Press
October 2nd, 2006
The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Doe Run Co. to clean up a mine tailings site in Leadwood, saying negotiations failed to produce a settlement.

LIBERIA: Mittal accused of creating a state within a state in Liberia
by David PallisterThe Guardian (UK)
October 2nd, 2006
A damning report on Mittal Steel's acquisition of an impoverished African country's iron ore reserves is published today, accusing the world's largest steelmaker of offering an inequitable "raw deal" that has created an unaccountable "state within a state".

US: Wal-Mart to Add More Part-Timers and Wage Caps
by Steven Greenhouse and Michael BarbaroThe New York Times
October 2nd, 2006
Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer, is pushing to create a cheaper, more flexible work force by capping wages, using more part-time workers and scheduling more workers on nights and weekends.

KAZAKHSTAN: Thousands of Arcelor Mittal workers in Kazakhstan protest, demand pay raises
Associated Press
September 30th, 2006
Thousands of steelworkers on Saturday joined striking miners of an Arcelor Mittal-owned metal and mining complex in Kazakhstan, in an escalating standoff with the international steel giant over wages.

CANADA: Mining Rights Trampling Human Rights, activists charge
by Stephen LeahyInter Press News Service (IPS)
September 29th, 2006
Activists want the Canadian government to impose mandatory human rights and environmental standards on Canadian mining and oil companies operating in Latin America and other developing regions.

CANADA: Activists Push for Sustainable Mining
by Stephen LeahyInter Press News Service (IPS)
September 29th, 2006
Civil society activists want the Canadian government to impose mandatory human rights and environmental standards on Canadian mining and oil companies operating in Latin America and other developing regions.

IRAQ: Heralded Iraq Police Academy a 'Disaster'
by Amit R. PaleyWashington Post
September 28th, 2006
A $75 million project to build the largest police academy in Iraq has been so grossly mismanaged that the campus now poses health risks to recruits and might need to be partially demolished, U.S. investigators have found.

US: Congress Is Told of Failures of Rebuilding Work in Iraq
by James GlanzThe New York Times
September 28th, 2006
In a sweeping new assessment of reconstruction failures in Iraq, a federal inspector told Congress on Thursday that 13 of 14 major projects built by the American contractor Parsons that were examined by his agency were substandard, with construction deficiencies and other serious problems.

IRAQ: Contractor's Work in Iraq Is Under Scrutiny
by Griffe WitteThe Washington Post
September 28th, 2006
The contractor that botched construction of a $75 million police academy in Baghdad so badly that it was deemed a health risk has produced shoddy work on 13 out of 14 projects reviewed by federal auditors, the top official monitoring Iraq's reconstruction told Congress today.

IRAQ: Another Contract for Company That Planted News in Iraq
Associated Press
September 27th, 2006
A public relations company that participated in a United States military program that paid Iraqi newspapers for articles favorable to allied forces has been awarded another multimillion-dollar media contract with American forces in Iraq.

US: Wal-Mart to Shrink Options For New Hires' Health Care
by Ylan Q. Mui and Amy JoyceThe Washington Post
September 27th, 2006
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is scaling back the health-care plans available to new employees, sparking fresh criticism over whether the giant retailer is providing adequate coverage to its workers.

US: Dump site back on Superfund list
by Laura IncalcaterraThe Journal News
September 27th, 2006
Pollutants dumped by Ford Motor Co. and others have led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to restore the Ringwood mines and landfill to the Superfund National Priorities List of the country's most-contaminated sites.

IRAQ: Firm That Paid Iraq Papers Gets New Deal
by Rebecca SantanaAssociated Press
September 27th, 2006
A public relations company that participated in a controversial U.S. military program that paid Iraqi newspapers for stories favorable to coalition forces has been awarded another multimillion-dollar media contract with American forces in Iraq.

US: Tobacco firms to face US class action over 'light' cigarettes
by Simon BowersThe Guardian (UK)
September 26th, 2006
Leading tobacco firms in the US, including British American Tobacco, are to face a class action lawsuit seeking punitive damages of up to $200bn (£105bn) relating to the alleged fraudulent promotions suggesting "light" branded cigarettes are safer, or less addictive, than regular ones.

US: Tobacco Makers Lose Key Ruling on Latest Suits
by David Cay Johnston and Melanie Warner The New York Times
September 26th, 2006
In a legal blow to the tobacco industry, a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled yesterday that people who smoked light cigarettes that were often promoted as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes can press their fraud claim as a class-action suit.

IVORY COAST: Ivory Coast waste 'was not toxic'
by Martin Plaut BBC News
September 26th, 2006
The company that discharged 500 tonnes of waste in Ivory Coast has denied that the product was toxic.

IVORY COAST: Toxic dumpers face jail term
Reuters
September 24th, 2006
SUSPECTS charged in connection with the dumping of toxic waste in Ivory Coast, which killed seven people and made thousands ill, could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted, a Justice Ministry official said.

US: Army Corps Faked Budget Entries
by T. Christian MillerThe Los Angeles Times
September 23rd, 2006
The Army Corps of Engineers improperly created fake entries in government ledgers to maintain control over hundreds of millions of dollars in spending for the reconstruction of Iraq, according to a federal audit released Friday.

US: Border Security Contract Goes To Boeing
Reuters
September 22nd, 2006
Boeing Co. has been chosen to build a "virtual fence" using sensors and cameras along the U.S. border with Mexico and Canada to help control illegal immigration in a contract projected to be worth up to $2 billion.

IVORY COAST: Waste Headed for a Third World Bin
by Julio GodoyInter Press Service
September 21st, 2006
The Panamanian flagged ship Probo Koala unloaded more than 550 tonnes of toxic waste at Abidjan port in C- te d'Ivoire a month back. Emissions from that toxic waste have killed seven people and poisoned thousands.

PERU: Leaching Out the Water with the Gold
by Milagros SalazarInter Press Service (IPS)
September 20th, 2006
The conflict that brought operations at Yanacocha, Latin America's largest gold mine, to a halt just a month after President Alan García took office in Peru was merely the latest illustration of the tensions between mining companies and local communities in the northern province of Cajamarca.

US: Nevada panel OKs rules for mercury emissions
by Brendan RileyAssociated Press
September 18th, 2006
New rules for mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants were approved Monday by a legislative panel after Nevada's environmental agency chief warned that the alternative would be direct federal oversight.

IVORY COAST: Ivory Coast Nabs 2 Execs in Dump Scandal
Associated Press
September 18th, 2006
Authorities arrested and charged two executives of a Dutch commodities company whose dumped toxic waste has caused seven deaths and widespread sickness in the Ivory Coast's largest city, a government official said Monday.

US: New Jersey Ratepayers Stop Big Utility Merger
Environment News Service
September 18th, 2006
After two years of public hearings, litigation, testimony and negotiations and more than 11,500 letters, phone calls and emails to state decision makers, New Jersey consumers avoided higher electricity rates when Exelon walked away from its takeover bid to buy-out Public Service Enterprise Group, PSEG, a publicly traded energy and energy services company headquartered in New Jersey.

US: PR joins fight for hearts and minds
by David RobertsonThe Times (London)
September 18th, 2006
A NEW business in military public relations that is worth millions of dollars is emerging as consultants are being drafted into the battle for the world's 'hearts and minds'.

US: Farmers Fear Coal Mining Will Sink Land
by Bob SecterChicago Tribune
September 17th, 2006
Two mining companies want to dig for coal under nearly half of Montgomery County. They plan to use a nontraditional but highly efficient process called "longwall" mining that will cause flat-as-a-dime land to sag like a burst souffle.

US: Spy Agencies Outsourcing to Fill Key Jobs
by Greg MillerThe Los Angeles Times
September 17th, 2006
At the National Counterterrorism Center — the agency created two years ago to prevent another attack like Sept. 11 — more than half of the employees are not U.S. government analysts or terrorism experts. Instead, they are outside contractors.

US: Rep. Ney Admits Selling Influence
by James V. Grimaldi and Susan SchmidtWashington Post
September 16th, 2006
Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) agreed yesterday to plead guilty to corruption charges after admitting to performing a variety of official acts for lobbyists in exchange for campaign contributions, expensive meals, luxury travel, sports tickets and thousands of dollars in gambling chips. He is the first elected official to face prison time in the ongoing influence-peddling investigation of former GOP lobbying powerhouse Jack Abramoff.

SWITZERLAND: Gun for hire: mercenaries operate in a legal no-man's land
by Ian HamelSwiss Info
September 15th, 2006
Geneva is set to host an international conference in November tackling the thorny issue of private security companies operating in a legal no-man's-land.

US: Halliburton Unit Risked Civilian Lives, Lawsuits Say (Update3)
by Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Margaret Cronin FiskBloomberg
September 15th, 2006
Halliburton Co. sent civilian drivers into combat zones to protect its military supply contract, according to lawsuits filed by families of employees killed or injured while driving trucks in Iraq.

COLOMBIA: 'No' to Storm Sewer Runoff, Says Fishing Village
by Constanza VieiraInter Press News Service
September 14th, 2006
The residents of a picturesque fishing village in northern Colombia are up in arms against a storm drain system being built by a majority Spanish-owned water and sewage company that will serve shantytowns in the nearby port city of Santa Marta, discharging the runoff into the cove where their village is nestled.

US: Regulator Says Civil Suit Likely For Raines
by Terence O'HaraWashingtom Post
September 14th, 2006
Fannie Mae's top regulator yesterday said it is "more than likely" the federal government will sue former chief executive Franklin D. Raines and other former company officers, seeking to recover bonuses and salary and perhaps impose fines for the mortgage finance company's accounting debacle.

US: Pentagon Spends Billions to Outsource Torture
by Joshua HollandAlternet
September 14th, 2006
The thousands of mercenary security contractors employed in the Bush administration's "War on Terror" are billed to American taxpayers, but they've handed Osama Bin Laden his greatest victories -- public relations coups that have transformed him from just another face in a crowd of radical clerics to a hero of millions in the global South (posters of Bin Laden have been spotted in largely Catholic Latin America during protests against George W. Bush).

AFRICA: War, Murder, Rape... All for Your Cell
by Stan CoxAlternet
September 14th, 2006
Cassiterite, or tin oxide, is the most important source of the metallic element tin, and the DRC is home to fully one-third of the world's reserves. Some cassiterite miners work on sites operated directly by the country's military or other armed groups. Working in the same area are "artisanal" miners who are theoretically independent, like prospectors in America's Old West. But the cassiterite they extract is heavily taxed by the soldiers -- when it's not just stolen outright.

US: Chicago's Council Fails to Override Daley's Veto (Update3)
by Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Kevin OrlandBloomberg
September 13th, 2006
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other large retailers claimed victory in Chicago after the City Council failed to override Mayor Richard Daley's veto of an ordinance requiring them to increase their minimum wage.

US: Panel of Executives and Academics to Consider Regulation and Competitiveness
by Floyd NorrisThe New York Times
September 13th, 2006
A committee filled with business leaders and academics was created yesterday to consider changes in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other laws and regulations governing securities markets and companies, with the intention of improving competitiveness for American markets.

US: FBI, congressional panel open their own HP probes
by 
Benjamin Pimentel
San Francisco Chronicle
September 12th, 2006
The scandal surrounding Hewlett-Packard Co. escalated Monday when members of Congress and federal law enforcement officials announced they would launch inquiries into the tech giant's practices during a controversial probe of media leaks that began last year.

Ivory Coast: More die from Ivory Coast waste
BBC News
September 12th, 2006
Six people have now died from the toxic waste dumped in the biggest Ivory Coast city, Abidjan, while 9,000 have sought treatment, the government says.

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