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Is The U.S. Military Too Reliant On Contractors?
by Rachel MartinNational Public Radio
October 26th, 2014
In war zones, private contractors can outnumber U.S. troops, but who controls them? NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Stanford's Joseph Felter and journalist Pratap Chatterjee about current safeguards.

EUROPE: Spain Sets Up 'Bad Bank' to Buy Toxic Real Estate
by Giles TremlettThe Guardian
August 31st, 2012
Spain will inject emergency capital into the country's biggest ailing bank, Bankia, as it puts into place reforms to allow loss-making banks to receive eurozone bailout money.

U.S.: Is MF Global Getting a Free Pass?
by Joe NoceraNew York Times
March 12th, 2012
During the final, desperate days before it entered bankruptcy proceedings, MF Global executives took money from segregated customer accounts — money that belonged not to MF Global but to the farmers and commodities traders that were its clients — and used it to prop up its rapidly collapsing business. Nor was this petty cash: of the $6.9 billion in customer assets that MF Global held, a stunning $1.6 billion is missing. There is virtually no chance that the full amount will ever be recovered.

U.S.-E.U.: WTO rules Boeing got $5B in illegal US subsidies
by John HeilprinAssociated Press
March 12th, 2012
The World Trade Organization ruled that U.S. planemaker Boeing received $5.3 billion in illegal government subsidies over a quarter-century. Airbus and Boeing have both complained to the WTO that the other is receiving state aid. They are locked in a long-running trade dispute over a market believed to be worth more than $3 trillion over the next decade.

SPAIN: Euribor Under Scrutiny by People's Campaign
by Inés BenítezInter Press News Service (IPS)
March 12th, 2012
Two Spanish lawyers have launched a campaign on social networking sites to prise out information about Euribor, the reference interest rate used for calculating mortgage payments in Spain, and to draw attention to the lack of transparency surrounding the way the rate is set.

UK: GlaxoSmithKline chief's pay package more than doubles to £6.7m
by Jill TreanorThe Guardian (UK)
March 12th, 2012
GlaxoSmithKline boss Sir Andrew Witty's pay package more than doubled to £6.7m last year – but the drugs group reckons he remains underpaid and has awarded him a new deal which could generate up to £10.4m this year.

INDIA: Controller General Overrules Bayer, Allowing Generic Drug
by Vikas Bajaj and Andrew PollackNew York Times
March 12th, 2012
India’s government authorized a national drug manufacturer to make and sell a generic copy of a patented Bayer drug used to treat advanced kidney cancer and liver cancer, saying that Bayer charged a price that was unaffordable to most of the nation.

INDIA: Supreme Court to Hear Dispute on Drug Patents
by Vikas Bajaj and Andrew PollackNew York Times
March 6th, 2012
A Swiss drug company, Novartis, will go before the Indian Supreme Court this monnth to fight patent laws that protect the global supply of inexpensive medicines to treat AIDS, cancer and other diseases. The lawsuit - which involves a drug called Gleevec - is being opposed by international aid groups.

INDIA: Camera Obscura and the manufacture of happiness
by Aman Sethi & Priscilla JebarajThe Hindu
March 6th, 2012
An advertisement flooding airwaves across India would have you believe that a company called Vedanta is a creating a product called happiness. But London-based Vedanta Resources has attracted the ire of environmental activists and human rights groups like Amnesty International who have accused the company of exploiting indigenous communities — such as the Dongria Kondhs of Niyamgiri in Odisha — without due process.

WORLD: Abolitionists Target Funds Behind Nuclear Arms Industry
by Thalif DeenInter Press Service
March 5th, 2012
The world’s nuclear weapons industry is being funded – and kept alive – by more than 300 banks, pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers in 30 countries, according to a new study by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

LIBERIA: Land deals with foreign firms 'could sow seeds of conflict'
by Tamasin FordThe Guardian (UK)
March 2nd, 2012
Land deals with foreign firms in Liberia 'could sow seeds of conflict'says a new report from the Centre for International Conflict Resolution (CICR) at Columbia University in New York. The report covers Golden Veroleum, Sime Darby, ArcelorMittal and Putu Iron Ore Mining Corporation.

U.S.: MF Global Criminal Probe Said to Slow After Quick Start
by Patricia HurtadoBloomberg News
March 2nd, 2012
U.S. investigators of bankrupt MF Global Holdings Ltd. have yet to determine after four months of probing whether enough evidence exists to pursue a criminal case. The company collapsed after a $6.3 billion bet on the bonds of some of Europe's most indebted nations went sour. When the

U.S.: Will Wall Street Ever Face Justice?
by Phil AngelidesNew York Times
March 1st, 2012
Four years after the disintegration of the financial system, 24 million people jobless or underemployed. Yet claims of financial fraud against companies like Citigroup and Bank of America have been settled for pennies on the dollar, with no admission of wrongdoing. Executives who ran companies that made, packaged and sold trillions of dollars in toxic mortgages and mortgage-backed securities remain largely unscathed.

WORLD: Top Hedge Fund Managers Took Home $13 billion In 2011
by Sam ForgioneReuters
March 1st, 2012
The top 40 highest-earning hedge fund managers took home a combined $13.2 billion, according to a Forbes magazine survey. The top 10 hedge fund managers made more than $200 million each, while the lowest earning managers made $40 million each.

ARCTIC: Shell Launches Preemptive Legal Strike For Ocean Drilling
by Kim MurphyLos Angeles Times
February 29th, 2012
Royal Dutch Shell launched an extraordinary preemptive legal strike Wednesday against opponents of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, filing suit against more than a dozen environmental organizations likely to challenge its plan for drilling exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea this summer.

SERBIA: One-Dollar Steel Mill Exposes Cracks In Privatisation
by Vesna Peric ZimonjicInter Press Service
February 16th, 2012
In 2003, U.S. Steel bought up the bankrupt Sartid steel mill in the eastern Serbian town of Smederevo for $33 million, the first private enterprise to enter the country after the downfall of former leader Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. On Feb. 1, U.S. Steel sold the mill back for a dollar.

SYRIA: US technology used to censor the Internet in Syria
by Pratap ChatterjeeThe Bureau of Investigative Journalism
October 23rd, 2011
Technology from a major Silicon Valley company, Blue Coat, is being used by the Syrian government to censor the Internet and monitor dissidents, according to activists. The equipment can be used to monitor users and block access to certain websites, such as social networking applications like Facebook and internet phone sites like Skype, which were key to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia

U.S.: TransCanada Pipeline Foes See U.S. Bias in E-Mails
by Elisabeth RosenthalNew York Times
October 3rd, 2011
E-mails obtained by Friends of the Earth paint a picture of a collaborative relationship between lobbyists for TransCanada and the U.S. State department, the agency that has final say over a 1,661 mile pipeline that will transport tar sands crude from Alberta to Texas. Embassy officials in Ottawa procured invitations to Fourth of July parties for TransCanada officials and shared information with the company about Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s meetings.

GLOBAL: Revealed: Secret world of global oil and mining giants
by Nick MathiasonThe Bureau of Investigative Journalism
September 19th, 2011
Ten of the world’s most powerful oil, gas and mining companies own a staggering 6,038 subsidiaries with over a third located in ‘secrecy jurisdictions’.

U.S.: Clawbacks Without Claws
by Gretchen MorgensonNew York Times
September 10th, 2011
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 encouraged the Securities and Exchange Commission to fine corporate executives if they certified financial results that turned out to be bogus. The record suggests a bark decidedly worse than its bite. The SEC has filed cases against 31 executives at only 20 companies so far and recovered a total of $12.2 million from nine former executives to date.

CHINA: Group Says It Has New Evidence of Cisco’s Misdeeds in China
by Somini SenguptaNew York Times
September 2nd, 2011
Human Rights Law Foundation, accuses Cisco Systems of tailoring technology for the Chinese government to monitor and apprehend members of the banned Falun Gong organization.

LIBYA: The minister, the Tory donor and a contract to supply oil
by Robert Winnett, and Rowena MasonThe Telegraph (UK)
September 2nd, 2011
An oil company whose chief executive has bankrolled the Conservatives won exclusive rights to trade with Libyan rebels during the conflict, following secret talks involving the British Government.

U.K.: Bell Pottinger acted for controversial Yemen organization
by Melanie NewmanThe Bureau of Investigative Journalism
September 1st, 2011
Bell Pottinger, the London-based public relations firm, has been working for Yemen’s National Awareness Authority, which is run by the nephew of Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. The organization has been accused of spreading propaganda on behalf of the government.

U.S.: N.Y. billing dispute reveals details of secret CIA rendition flights
by Peter Finn and Julie TateWashington Post
August 31st, 2011
Details of shadowy CIA flights to rendition prisoners in the war on terror to Guantanamo have emerged in a billing dispute between contractors.

LIBYA: Censorship Inc.
by Paul Sonne and Margaret CokerThe Wall Street Journal
August 30th, 2011
Amesys of France, VASTech of South Africa and ZTE Corp. of China provided technology to Libya that was allegedly used for the repression of Libyan citizens during the four decade rule of Colonel Gadhafi.

Testimony Before the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
by Pratap ChatterjeeCenter for American Progress
July 7th, 2011
Testimony By Pratap Chatterjee, speaking for the Center for American Progress, before the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on July 7, 2011

Struggling for Power in Afghanistan
by Glenn ZorpetteNew York Times
July 6th, 2011
A New York Times op-ed cites CorpWatch's expose of the problems at the Tarakhil power plant in Afghanistan

Testimony Before the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan
by Pratap ChatterjeeCenter for American Progress
May 5th, 2011
Testimony By Pratap Chatterjee, speaking for the Center for American Progress, before the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan on May 2, 2011

MEXICO/US: Billion-dollar Boeing Fence on U.S.-Mexico Border Canceled
by Pratap ChatterjeeIPS News
January 31st, 2011
One billion dollars and just over four years after Boeing won a contract to build a "virtual fence" on the Arizona-Mexico border, the high-tech project was canceled last week by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) amid widespread recognition that it has been a failure.

NIGERIA: Halliburton To Pay $35 Million To Settle Nigeria Bribery Charges
CBS News
January 3rd, 2011
In a settlement for bribery allegations related to the construction and expansion of its Bonny Island natural-gas liquefaction facility, Halliburton Co. agreed to pay $35 million to the Nigerian government.

USA: Monsanto GMO sugarbeets to be destroyed: court
by Carey GillamReuters
December 2nd, 2010
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the destruction of plantings of genetically modified sugar beets developed by Monsanto Co after ruling previously the U.S. Agriculture Department illegally approved the biotech crop.

AFRICA: GSK to cut vaccine price after ‘profiteering’ claim
by Andrew JackFinancial Times
November 20th, 2010
GlaxoSmithKline is to discount significantly its pneumonia vaccine for private customers in Africa after claims from a medical charity it is “profiteering” by charging western prices.

USA: BP disperants 'causing sickness'
by Dahr JamailAl Jazeera
October 28th, 2010
Investigation by Al Jazeera online correspondent finds toxic illnesses linked to BP oil dispersants along Gulf coast.

IRAQ: Iraq war logs: WikiLeaks' virtual memorial
by Pratap ChatterjeeThe Guardian
October 28th, 2010
If the Pentagon had had to disclose details of all casualties in Iraq in real time, the public could have judged 'progress' for itself

CHINA: BYD Fined, Factories Confiscated By China in Land Dispute Case
by Liza LinBloomberg News
October 15th, 2010
BYD Co., the Chinese carmaker part- owned by billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., was fined and ordered to surrender seven factories in central China after the government said it used land illegally.

USA: EPA Requests Fracking Chemicals From Nine Companies
by Angela ModanyReuters
October 8th, 2010
The Environmental Protection Agency began to prepare for its upcoming study on the effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water by sending letters to hydraulic fracturing service providers that requested the list of chemicals used in the natural gas extracting process.

HUNGARY: 'Arsenic, mercury' in Hungary spill
by ReutersAl Jazeera
October 8th, 2010
Greenpeace has warned of "surprisingly high" levels of arsenic and mercury in the red sludge that burst out of a metals plant reservoir in Hungary, killing six people and devastating the surrounding area.

ITALY: Prosecutors want Parmalat's Tanzi in jail
United Press Inernational
September 30th, 2010
Prosecutors in Italy said Monday that former Parmalat Chief Executive Officer Calisto Tanzi was a flight risk and requested he be arrested. Tanzi has already been sentenced to a 10-year prison sentence on market-rigging charges and filing false reports with regulators in the wake of the collapse of Parmalat, the ANSA news agency reported

WORLD: Buyers unravel the ethics behind the label
by Paul TyrrellFinancial Times
September 23rd, 2010

USA: Indictment Accuses Firm of Exploiting Thai Workers
by Julia PrestonNew York Times
September 10th, 2010
A federal grand jury in Honolulu has indicted six labor contractors from a Los Angeles manpower company on charges that they imposed forced labor on some 400 Thai farm workers, in what justice officials called the biggest human-trafficking case ever brought by federal authorities.

USA: Bid to suspend California global-warming law gets $1 million from billionaire brothers' firm
by Margot RooseveltLos Angeles Times
September 4th, 2010
The donation to the Proposition 23 campaign comes from a subsidiary of Kansas-based Koch Industries, which owns refineries and controls 4,000 miles of oil pipelines.

INDONESIA: Burger King drops Indonesian palm oil supplier
by Anthony DeutschFinancial Times
September 4th, 2010
Burger King will stop using palm oil from a leading Indonesian supplier due to concerns about environmental damage.

CONGO: Congo Planning First Quantum Financial Misconduct Probe
by Alex MacDonaldDow Jones Newswires
September 4th, 2010
Congo intends to launch a probe into financial misconduct at First Quantum Minerals Ltd.'s (FM.T) operations in the country shortly after the miner suspended operations at the Frontier mine.

USA: In Mott’s Strike, More Than Pay at Stake
by Steven GreenhouseNew York Times
August 23rd, 2010
After nearly 90 days of picketing in the broiling sun outside the sprawling Mott’s apple juice plant here in upstate New York, Michelle Muoio recognizes that the lengthy strike is about far more than whether the 305 hourly workers at the plant get a fatter or slimmer paycheck

SOUTH AFRICA: Sasol Accused of Polymer Price Fixing by Regulators
by Carli LourensBusiness Week
August 16th, 2010
Sasol Ltd., the biggest producer of motor fuels made from coal and gas, was accused of price fixing in the polymer market by South Africa’s Competition Commission, which recommended a fine of 10 percent of annual sales.

WORLD: Food-Commodity Speculation by Banks Caused Hunger, Group Says
by Rudy RuitenbergBloomberg
August 5th, 2010
Speculation in agricultural commodities by banks caused hunger during the 2008 food crisis by amplifying price surges, World Development Movement said.

USA: Target boycotted for donating $150,000 to MN right-wing Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor
by Meena HartensteinNew York Daily News
August 5th, 2010
In the wake of the company's decision to donate $150,000 to a right-wing conservative's political campaign, former Target shoppers across the country are calling for a nation-wide boycott.

EUROPE: Europe Clears Import of New Biotech Corn Varieties
by ReutersNew York Times
July 29th, 2010
The European Commission on Wednesday approved six genetically modified corn varieties for import to the bloc, another sign of its desire to speed decision-making on the controversial technology.

IRAQ: GE Settles Iraq Kickback Case for $23 Million
by David M. KatzCFO Magazine
July 27th, 2010
General Electric has agreed to pay $23.4 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it violated Foreign Corrupt Practices Act accounting and internal-controls provisions.

HAITI: Haitian Farmers Leery of Monsanto's Largesse
by Peter CostantiniInter Press News Service (IPS)
July 1st, 2010

USA: Banned Trailers Return for Latest Gulf Disaster
by Ian UrbinaNew York Times
July 1st, 2010

MEXICO: Banks Financing Mexico Gangs Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal
by Michael SmithBloomberg
June 30th, 2010
Wachovia admitted it didn’t do enough to spot illicit funds in handling $378.4 billion for Mexican-currency-exchange houses from 2004 to 2007. That’s the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money-laundering law, in U.S. history -- a sum equal to one-third of Mexico’s current gross domestic product.

USA: Supreme Court says biotech alfalfa ban was too much
by Philip BrasherDes Moines Register
June 23rd, 2010
In its first case involving a biotech crop, the Supreme Court ruled 7-1 Monday that a federal judge went too far when he ordered the planting ban while requiring the Agriculture Department to conduct an environmental impact study of the crop.

USA: Louisiana demands justice, not charity
by James CarvilleCNN
June 16th, 2010

USA: The Other Victims of Battlefield Stress; Defense Contractors’ Mental Health Neglected
by T. Christian MillerProPublica
June 10th, 2010

LIBERIA: Corrupt Local Officials Complicity - 2011 Threatens Mittal Social Development Fund
by Samwar S. FallahFront Page Africa
June 10th, 2010
There are growing fears ahead of the pending 2011 general and presidential elections that funds provided by world leading steel giant Arcelor Mittal as Social Development Fund could be used to finance the campaign of politicians in three counties-Bong, Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties.

AFGHANISTAN: Lost in Limbo - Injured Afghan Translators Struggle to Survive
by Pratap ChatterjeeProPublica
June 10th, 2010

GUATEMALA: Goldcorp mining company accused over human rights
by Bill LawBBC News
June 3rd, 2010
A human rights assessment report has painted a harsh portrait of the Canadian gold mining giant Goldcorp.

LIBERIA: Hunting for Liberia’s Missing Millions
by Doreen CarvjalNew York Times
May 30th, 2010
How much money did Charles G. Taylor, the deposed president of Liberia, siphon out of his war-shattered country, and where is it? Investigators are developing a new strategy involving filing civil damage claims against companies, governments and international banks that they contend aided Mr. Taylor in illegal transactions.

NIGERIA: Nigeria's agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it
by John VidalThe Guardian (UK)
May 30th, 2010
With 606 oilfields, the Niger delta supplies 40% of all the crude the United States imports and is the world capital of oil pollution. More oil is spilled from the delta's network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the current BP/Transocean oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

US: Nature Conservancy faces potential backlash from ties with BP
by Joe StephensWashington Post
May 24th, 2010
The Nature Conservancy faces a problem: a potential backlash as its supporters learn that BP and the world's largest environmental organization long ago forged a relationship that has lent BP an Earth-friendly image and helped fund the Conservancy. The crude emanating from BP's well threatens to befoul a number of alliances between energy conglomerates and environmental nonprofits.

US: Oil Hits Home, Spreading Arc of Frustration
by Campbell Robertson, Clifford Krauss and John M. BroderNew York Times
May 24th, 2010
More than a month has passed since the Deepwater Horizon rig blew up, spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico and frustrating all efforts to contain it. The disaster underscores the enduring laxity of federal regulation of offshore operations and has shown the government to be almost wholly at the mercy of BP and of Transocean, the company leasing the rig.

WORLD: Disaster Plans Lacking at Deep Rigs
by Ben Casselman and Guy ChazenWall Street Journal
May 17th, 2010
Dealing with a deep-sea spill is a a problem that spans the industry, whose major players include Chevron Corp, Royal Dutch Shell and Petróleo Brasileiro SA. Without adequately planning for trouble, the oil business has focused on developing experimental equipment and techniques to drill in ever deeper waters, according to a Wall Street Journal examination.

US/AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN: U.S. Is Still Using Private Spy Ring, Despite Doubts
by Mark MazzettiNew York Times
May 15th, 2010
Top military officials continue to rely on a secret network of private spies set up by Michael D. Furlong, despite concerns about the legality of the operation. A New York Times review found Mr. Furlong’s operatives still providing information, with contractors still being paid under a $22 million contract, managed by Lockheed Martin and supervised by a Pentagon office.

US: U.S. Said to Allow Drilling Without Needed Permits
by Ian UrbinaNew York Times
May 13th, 2010
The federal Minerals Management Service gave permission to BP and dozens of other oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico without first getting required permits from another agency that assesses threats to endangered species — and despite strong warnings from that agency about the impact the drilling was likely to have on the gulf.

UK/CANADA: Tar sands crude is reaching British petrol stations, Greenpeace says
by Terry MacalisterThe Guardian (UK)
May 9th, 2010
While City investors have begun to question the role of companies such as BP and Shell in the tar sands business, a new report by Greenpeace claims British motorists are unwitting users of diesel and petrol derived from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada. The carbon-heavy production methods involved make tar sands extraction particularly damaging to the environment.

US: BP touts itself as 'green,' but faces PR disaster with 'BP oil spill'
by Paul FarhiWashington Post
May 6th, 2010
Ever careful of its public image, BP has been careful not to invoke its name in regard to the massive ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "We refer to it as Gulf of Mexico response," said Andrew Gowers, the company's spokesman. The name of a disaster can be critical, both as a historic matter and the more immediate matters of image, public relations and legal liability.

KYRGYZSTAN: Kyrgyzstan investigating firms that sold fuel supplied to U.S. air base
by Walter Pincus Washington Post
May 5th, 2010
Kyrgyzstan's interim government has begun a criminal investigation of local companies that were sources of fuel supplied to the U.S. Manas air base in the Central Asian country, under Department of Defense contracts. Corruption allegations involving supplies to Manas have repeatedly surfaced in Kyrgyzstan and the United States.

US: FBI Probes Explosion in West Virginia Mine
by Kris Maher and Siobhan HughesWall Street Journal
April 30th, 2010
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal probe of the deadly explosion at a Massey Energy Co. mine in West Virginia in early April that killed 29 miners, according to people familiar with the matter. In a statement on Friday Massey Energy said, "Massey has no knowledge of criminal wrongdoing."

US: BP Is Criticized Over Oil Spill, but U.S. Missed Chances to Act
by Campbell Robertson and Eric LiptonNew York Times
April 30th, 2010
The Obama administration began Friday to publicly chastise BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials initially seemed to underestimate the threat of a leak, just as BP did last year when it told the government such an event was highly unlikely.

US: Oil Spill’s Blow to BP’s Image May Eclipse Costs
by Clifford Krauss New York Times
April 29th, 2010
BP says that the offshore drilling accident that is spewing thousands of barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico could cost the company several hundred million dollars. Nobody really knows whether the oil giant is being too conservative about the cost for the April 20 accident, which some experts say could end up as the biggest oil spill in history.

BURMA: Pressure Mounts on Energy Giant Chevron to Disclose Revenue
by Marwaan Macan-Markar Inter Press Service (IPS)
April 29th, 2010
When shareholders of the multinational company Chevron gather for their annual meeting in the U.S. city of Houston in late May, they will come face to face with Naing Htoo, whose community has suffered due to the exploits of the energy giant in military-ruled Burma.

CANADA: Munk takes on mine protesters, defends capitalism
by John SpearsThe Star
April 28th, 2010
Mark Ekepa journeyed from Papua New Guinea to tell the shareholders of Barrick Gold Corp. how police had burned down his house near the Barrick’s Porgera mine. Idolia Bornones travelled from Chile to say that Barrick operations are damaging local glaciers and rivers. But Barrick chairman Peter Munk was unrepentant as he faced the company’s annual meeting.

US: Financial Debate Renews Scrutiny on Banks’ Size
by Sewall ChanNew York Times
April 20th, 2010
One question has vexed the Obama administration and Congress since the start of the financial crisis: how to prevent big bank bailouts. In the last year and a half, the largest financial institutions have only grown bigger, mainly as a result of government-brokered mergers. They now enjoy borrowing at significantly lower rates than their smaller competitors, a result of the bond markets’ implicit assumption that the giant banks are “too big to fail.”

AFRICA: E Guinea ejected from industry clean-up body
by Tom BurgisFinancial Times
April 16th, 2010
A pioneering initiative aimed at cleaning up the oil and mining industries has ejected Equatorial Guinea from its ranks. The board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, a voluntary coalition of companies, governments, donors and civil society groups, had been under pressure from activists on granting extensions to 17 states that had missed a deadline to have audits of their industries independently verified.

US: SEC charges Goldman Sachs with civil fraud in subprime deal
by Greg GordonMcClatchy Newspapers
April 16th, 2010
The Securities and Exchange Commission Friday charged Goldman Sachs & Co. and one of its executives with fraud in a risky offshore deal backed by subprime mortgages that cost investors more than $1 billion.

US: Senators Call For Changes to Troubled, Costly Afghan Police Training Program
by Ryan KnutsenProPublica
April 15th, 2010
State and Defense department officials took a tongue-lashing today, trying to explain to a Senate subcommittee how the government has poured $6 billion since 2002 into building an effective Afghan police force with disastrous results.

WORLD: Banks Making Big Profits From Tiny Loans
by NEIL MacFARQUHARNew York Times
April 13th, 2010
In recent years, the idea of giving small loans to poor people became the darling of the development world, hailed as the long elusive formula to propel even the most destitute into better lives. But drawn by the prospect of hefty profits from even the smallest of loans, a raft of banks and financial institutions now dominate the field, with some charging interest rates of 100 percent or more.

EUROPE: Open-source Advocate Enters IBM Antitrust Fray
by Paul MellerPC World - Business Center
April 12th, 2010
Software developer and political lobbyist Florian Mueller weighed in on the European Commission's investigation of monopoly abuse claims against IBM, accusing the computing giant of deserting the interests of the open-source software community.

US: Fed Reviews Find Errors in Oversight of Citigroup
by Sewall Chan and Eric DashNew York Times
April 7th, 2010
Citigroup ran into trouble under the noses of federal regulators. But even after taxpayers rescued the financial giant, regulators failed to monitor the company adequately, according to reviews by the Federal Reserve.

WORLD: Friends of the Earth fire back at corportate 'greenwashing'
by ROMINA MCGUINNESS METRO WORLD NEWS
April 6th, 2010

US: Deaths at West Virginia Mine Raise Issues About Safety
by Ian Urbina and Michael CooperNew York Times
April 6th, 2010
Rescue workers began the precarious task Tuesday of removing explosive methane gas from the coal mine where at least 25 miners died the day before. The mine owner’s -- Massey Energy Company -- dismal safety record, along with several recent evacuations of the mine, left federal officials and miners suggesting that Monday’s explosion might have been preventable.

US: U.S. Court Curbs F.C.C. Authority on Web Traffic
by Edward WyattNew York Times
April 6th, 2010
A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that regulators had limited power over Web traffic under current law. The decision will allow Internet service companies to block or slow specific sites and charge video sites like YouTube to deliver their content faster to users.

US: Lawsuit makes chocolate firms unhappy bunnies
by Stephen FoleyThe Independent (UK)
April 1st, 2010
Cadbury, Mars, Hershey and Nestlé have been served with a lawsuit alleging that they conspired to push up the prices of their chocolate bars over most of the last decade, drawing on claims that senior executives shared secret price information in brown envelopes and via distributors.

IRAQ/US: Panel says firms need U.S. guidance to reduce contractors in Iraq
by Dana HedgpethWashington Post
April 1st, 2010
The U.S. government is probably paying contractors millions of dollars for unnecessary work in Iraq because the military is not giving companies clear enough guidance about reducing their employees, officials on the Commission on Wartime Contracting said Monday.

US: Courts Take On Campaign Finance Decision
by Adam LiptakNew York Times
March 26th, 2010
Two federal courts here issued decisions on Friday addressing the impact of Citizens United, January’s big Supreme Court campaign finance ruling, on a new issue — whether the government may constitutionally restrict the size of contributions to groups that spend money to support political candidates.

AFGHANISTAN: Policing Afghanistan: How Afghan Police Training Became a Train Wreck
by Pratap ChatterjeeTom Dispatch
March 21st, 2010
The Pentagon faces a tough choice: Should it award a billion-dollar contract for training the Afghan National Police to Xe (formerly Blackwater), a company made infamous when its employees killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007, or to DynCorp, a company made infamous in Bosnia in 1999 when some of its employees were caught trafficking young girls for sex?

CHINA/US: Google Partners Call For Clarity on China Plans
by ReutersNew York Times
March 17th, 2010
Chinese firms selling advertising space on Google's search pages have demanded clarity about the search giant's plans in China, as speculation increases over Google's future there. The demand comes amid signs that Google Inc may soon move to close Google.cn.

AFGHANISTAN/US: Outsourcing intelligence
by David IgnatiusWashington Post
March 17th, 2010
The headline read like something you might see in the conspiracy-minded Pakistani press: "Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants." But the story appeared in Monday's New York Times, and it highlighted some big problems that have developed in the murky area between military and intelligence activities.

CHINA/US: China Issues Warning to Major Partners of Google
by SHARON LaFRANIERENew York Times
March 15th, 2010
The Chinese authorities have warned major partners of Google’s China-based search engine that they must comply with censorship laws even if Google does not, said an industry expert with knowledge of the notice.

AFGHANISTAN/US: Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants
by DEXTER FILKINS and MARK MAZZETTINew York Times
March 15th, 2010
Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering program, a Defense Department official set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants, according to military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States. The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives.

EUROPE: European Activists Sue Over Biofuels Studies
by James KanterNY Times
March 10th, 2010
Environmental lawyers and activists on Monday sued the European Commission for failing to release studies investigating the impact of biofuels on the environment.

LATIN AMERICA: Canada Moves to Oversee Mining Firms
by Emilio GodoyInter Press News Service (IPS)
March 5th, 2010
Amidst allegations that Canadian mining companies operating in Latin America have been complicit in the murders and harassment of activists, several positive developments in Canada are seen as a source of hope that firms may begin to be held accountable on human rights and environmental questions.

UGANDA: Pressure Mounts to Make Public Oil Agreements
by Joshua KyalimpaInter Press News Service (IPS)
March 4th, 2010
Uganda’s members of parliament (MPs) are pressurising government to make public details of oil production-sharing agreements it signed with various international oil companies.

US and ASIA: Apple details labor violations at its suppliers
by Jordan RobertsonAssociated Press
March 1st, 2010
Apple Inc. said it found more than a dozen serious violations of labor laws or Apple's own rules at its suppliers that needed immediate correction. The findings were outlined in a company report on audits of 102 supplier facilities conducted in 2009.

US: 3 Companies Quit Group Over Moves on Climate
by John LorincNew York Times
March 1st, 2010
In separate statements, BP America, ConocoPhillips and Caterpillar are quitting the Climate Action Partnership, a group in Washington that has sought to find common ground among corporations and environmental groups in battling global warming.

U.S.: Blackwater's Migraines Multiply
by William FisherInter Press News Service (IPS)
February 28th, 2010
Legal headaches are growing exponentially for the security firm formerly known as Blackwater – once the darling of the military-industrial community.

Global: World's top firms cause $2.2tn of environmental damage, report estimates
The Guardian (UK)
February 25th, 2010
Report for the UN into the activities of the world's 3,000 biggest companies estimates one-third of profits would be lost if firms were forced to pay for use, loss and damage of environment

US: FTC moves may signal start of 'greenwashing' crackdown
by Gabriel NelsonGreenwire
February 25th, 2010

US: Of Dr. Seuss and Coal Gasification
by Colin MinerNY Times
February 25th, 2010

INDIA: Indigenous Groups Step Up Protests Over Mining Project
by Manipadma Jena Inter Press News Service (IPS)
February 23rd, 2010
The latest act of defiance against the backdrop of unrest since 1997 among communities, environmental and rights activists over the 2.13 billon U.S. dollar mining project by Vedanta Aluminium Ltd, the Indian arm of London-based Vedanta Resources Plc.

HAITI: Private Contractors 'Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot'
by Anthony FentonInter Press News Service (IPS)
February 19th, 2010
Critics are concerned that private military contractors are positioning themselves at the centre of an emerging "shock doctrine" for earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

US: Former military contractor pleads guilty in kickback scheme
by CNNCNN
February 18th, 2010
A former U.S. military contractor has pleaded guilty to federal charges in a kickback scheme involving Army contracting officials

US: Poultry Companies Turned Watershed Into Mess
by Associated PressNew York Times
February 17th, 2010
Motivated by greed, several Arkansas poultry companies cut corners when getting rid of thousands of tons of waste and allowed it to pollute a sensitive watershed.

GUATEMALA: Anti-Mine Activists Encouraged by Canadian Ruling
by Danilo ValladaresInter Press News Service (IPS)
February 16th, 2010
Ecologists in Guatemala see a recent ruling by Canada's Supreme Court, which ordered Canadian mining companies to carry out rigorous environmental assessments, as a positive precedent that could help improve environmental controls over the mining industry in this Central American country.

INDIA: Top Defense Firms Vie to Feed Indian Arms Appetite
by Muneeza NaqviNYTimes.com - Associated Press
February 16th, 2010
Top weapons makers, vying to feed India's voracious appetite for arms, brought their helicopters, night vision goggles and mine-proof vehicles to New Delhi this week in hopes of winning a share of one of the world's largest defense budgets.

INDIA: A hungry India balks at genetically modified crops
by Erika KinetzAssociated Press
February 16th, 2010
To many in India, embracing Bt brinjal — which has a gene owned by Monsanto Co — also means embracing corporate farming and surrendering some control of the nation's food supply to a powerful foreign company. They worry this could have disastrous consequences for the nation's 100 million small farming families.

US: Regulators Step Up Toyota Probe
by Josh MitchellWall Street Journal
February 16th, 2010
U.S. regulators stepped up their investigation of Toyota Motor Corp. on Tuesday, demanding documents from the Japanese auto maker to determine if it conducted recent recalls "in a timely manner."

US: Tax Evasion Case Draws in Another Bank
by Linnley BrowningNew York Times
February 16th, 2010
A wealthy investor in Virginia pleaded guilty on Tuesday to criminal tax evasion through an international bank, said by a person briefed on the case to be HSBC, one of the world’s largest private banks. The case is significant because it shows the authorities are expanding their scrutiny of banks suspected of enabling tax evasion by wealthy Americans beyond UBS, the giant Swiss financial company

CANADA/CHINA: Canada looks to China to exploit oil sands rejected by US
by Suzanne GoldenbergThe Guardian (UK)
February 14th, 2010
Canada, faced with growing political pressure over the extraction of oil from its highly polluting tar sands, has begun courting China and other Asian countries to exploit the resource. The move comes as US firms are turning away from tar sands because of its heavy carbon footprint and damage to the landscape.

US: Blackwater accused of defrauding US government
by Evan MacAskillThe Guardian (UK)
February 11th, 2010
The troubled American private security company Blackwater faced fresh controversy today when two former employees accused it of defrauding the US government for years, including billing for a Filipina prostitute on its payroll in Afghanistan.

IRAQ: Government orders ex-Blackwater contractors out
by CNNCNN
February 10th, 2010
Contractors who once worked for Blackwater, now known as Xe, have seven days to leave Iraq, Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani told the state television network al-Iraqiya. The move follows a January declaration by Iraq's government that former Blackwater employees were no longer welcome in the country.

UK: BAE broke bribery pledge, faked US arms-export applications
by Lewis PageThe Register
February 8th, 2010
Further details have emerged regarding the US Department of Justice case against UK-headquartered arms globocorp BAE Systems. The feds - without argument from BAE - say that the company engaged in a "conspiracy" to violate several US laws in recent years.

US: Google to enlist NSA to help it ward off cyberattacks
by Ellen NakashimaWashingtom Post
February 4th, 2010
The world's largest Internet search company and the world's most powerful electronic surveillance organization are teaming up in the name of cybersecurity.

AFGHANISTAN: Iraq Lessons Ignored at Kabul Power Plant
by Pratap ChatterjeeInter Press News Service
February 4th, 2010
A diesel-fueled power plant, nearing completion just outside Kabul, demonstrates that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its contractors have failed to learn lessons from identical mistakes in Iraq, despite clearly signposted advice from oversight agencies.

US: Obama's Budget Calls for Billions in New Spending for Drones
by Jason LeopoldTruthout
February 2nd, 2010
Shares of major US defense contractors including Boeing, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman rose upon the unveiling of President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2011 spending plan for the Pentagon, part of the president's overall $3.8 trillion budget proposal. More than $2 billion will be used to purchase unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, blamed for a significant rise in civilian casualties in the "war on terror."

US: Idea of company-as-person originated in late 19th century
by Martha C. WhiteWashington Post
January 31st, 2010
The Supreme Court's 5 to 4 decision in Citizens United v FEC rolled back long-standing restrictions on corporate campaign finance donations. At the crux of the decision was a determination that corporations have a right to free speech. The court ruled that limiting the amount that companies can spend promoting their favored candidates is tantamount to denying First Amendment rights.

US/KUWAIT: Settlement possible in military contractor fraud case
by Bill RankinAtlanta Journal-Constitution
January 29th, 2010
Kuwaiti firm Agility (formerly Public Warehousing) indicted here for overcharging the Army on an $8.5 billion contract is negotiating a possible settlement with the Justice Department. On Nov. 9, a federal grand jury in Atlanta indicted the firm on charges it gouged the U.S. government by overcharging on its contract to supply food to American troops in Iraq.

CHINA: China Ratchets Up Web Privacy Fight
by SKY CANAVESWall Street Journal
January 28th, 2010
Chinese state-run media trumpeted comments by Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates that played down China's Internet restrictions, as the government continued to ratchet up its rebuttal of recent U.S. criticisms of its Web policies.

UK: U.K. to Crack Down on Tax Evasion in Developing Countries
by Laurence NormanWall Street Journal
January 26th, 2010
The U.K. government will on Wednesday set out proposals to broaden the crackdown on tax evasion to benefit developing countries, setting a year-end deadline for a U.K.-led multilateral tax-information-sharing accord with emerging nations. That could eventually open the way for multination tax-information accords, which would include former tax havens, developed and developing nations.

US: Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit
by Adam LiptakNew York Times
January 21st, 2010
Overruling two important precedents about the First Amendment rights of corporations, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.

US: F.B.I. Charges Arms Sellers With Foreign Bribes
by Diana B. HenriquesNew York Times
January 20th, 2010
On Tuesday, 22 top-level arms industry executives, including a senior sales executive at Smith & Wesson, were arrested in what Justice Department officials called the first undercover sting ever aimed at violations of the federal ban on corporate bribes paid to get foreign business. The individuals are being prosecuted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

US: Banks Set for Record Pay
by STEPHEN GROCERWall Street Journal
January 14th, 2010
Major U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their people about $145 billion for 2009, a record sum that indicates how compensation is climbing despite fury over Wall Street's pay culture.

US/IRAQ: U.S. Companies Join Race on Iraqi Oil Bonanza
by TIMOTHY WILLIAMSNew York Times
January 13th, 2010
American companies have been arriving in Iraq to pursue an expected multibillion-dollar bonanza of projects to revive the country’s petroleum industry. But there are questions about the Iraqi government’s capacity to police the companies. “These are for-profit concerns and they are trying to make as much money as they can,” said Pratap Chatterjee of CorpWatch.

US/CHINA: U.S. Holds Fire in Google-China Feud
by JAY SOLOMON, IAN JOHNSONAnd JASON DEANWall Street Journal
January 12th, 2010
U.S. government officials and business leaders were supportive but wary of taking sides in Google Inc.'s battle with China, a sign of the delicate tensions between the growing superpower and the West. Google has threatened to bolt from China over censorship and alleged cyber spying.

NIGERIA: Ex-militant leader heads SPDC’s patrol team
by Chris EjimNigerian Compass
January 8th, 2010
Authorities of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) have unveiled a new security strategy for securing oil pipelines and platforms within the Niger Delta region. Shell has appointed former MEND militant commander, Eris Paul, and his company, Eristex Pipeline Patrol, to secure oil facilities in the Southern Ijaw area of the Delta.

GHANA: Corruption probe into sale of Ghana oil block
by William Wallis, Martin Arnold and Brooke MastersFinancial Times
January 7th, 2010
US and Ghanaian authorities are investigating corruption allegations involving a Texas oil company and the local partner that helped it secure control of the Ghanaian oil block that yielded one of Africa’s biggest recent discoveries. The case risks complicating efforts by Texas company Kosmos to sell its stake in the Jubilee oil field to ExxonMobil in a deal valued at $4bn.

US: Judge dismisses all charges in Blackwater shooting
by Associated PressLos Angeles Times
December 31st, 2009
A federal judge has dismissed all charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards charged in a deadly Baghdad shooting.

EUROPE: Europe’s Vast Farm Subsidies Face Challenges
by STEPHEN CASTLE and DOREEN CARVAJALNew York Times
December 29th, 2009
The last time the European Union decided the future of its 50 billion euro agricultural aid program, in 2005, the deal was cut behind closed doors in a luxury suite at the five-star Conrad Brussels hotel. Now, 2013 is closer at hand and a new round of maneuvering has begun to reshape the richest system of agricultural handouts in the world.

CHINA: Earth-Friendly Elements, Mined Destructively
by Keith BradsherNew York Times
December 26th, 2009
Some of the greenest technologies of the age, from electric cars to efficient light bulbs to very large wind turbines, are made possible by an unusual group of elements called rare earths. Most of these come from China. “In many places, the mining is abused,” said Wang Caifeng, the top rare-earths industry regulator at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China.

AFGHANISTAN: Lost in Limbo: Injured Afghan Translators Struggle to Survive
by Pratap ChatterjeeProPublica
December 17th, 2009
Local translators are hidden casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. military uses defense contractors to hire local residents to serve as translators for the troops. These local translators often live, sleep and eat with soldiers. And yet when they are wounded, they are often ignored by the U.S. system designed to provide them medical care and disability benefits, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times and ProPublica.

JORDAN: For AIG’s Man in Jordan, War Becomes a Business Opportunity
by T. Christian MillerProPublica
December 17th, 2009
For Emad Hatabah, the war in Iraq became a business opportunity. As AIG's chief representative in Jordan, he was responsible for coordinating the care for hundreds of Iraqis who had been injured while working under contract for U.S. troops. He fulfilled his functions by sending business to himself, his friends and business associates, according to interviews and records.

US: Up to 56,000 more contractors likely for Afghanistan
by Walter Pincus Washington Post
December 16th, 2009
The surge of 30,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan could be accompanied by a surge of up to 56,000 contractors, vastly expanding the presence of personnel from the U.S. private sector in a war zone, according to a study by the Congressional Research Service.

AP report: Monsanto seed business role revealed
by CHRISTOPHER LEONARD (AP)Associated Press
December 14th, 2009
Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co.'s business practices reveal how the world's biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops, an Associated Press investigation has found.

US: Blackwater Guards Tied to Secret C.I.A. Raids
by JAMES RISEN and MARK MAZZETTINew York Times
December 10th, 2009
Private security guards from Blackwater Worldwide participated in some of the C.I.A.’s most sensitive activities — clandestine raids with agency officers against people suspected of being insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan and the transporting of detainees, according to former company employees and intelligence officials.

IRAQ: Oil Companies Look to the Future
by Timothy WilliamsNew York Times
December 2nd, 2009
More than six and a half years after the United States-led invasion here that many believed was about oil, the major oil companies are finally gaining access to Iraq’s petroleum reserves. But they are doing so at far less advantageous terms than they once envisioned. The companies seem to have calculated that it is worth their while to accept deals with limited profit opportunities now, in order to cash in on more lucrative development deals in the future.

US: Monsanto's dominance draws antitrust inquiry
by Peter WhoriskeyWashington Post
November 29th, 2009
For plants designed in a lab a little more than a decade ago, they've come a long way: Today, the vast majority of the nation's two primary crops grow from seeds genetically altered according to Monsanto company patents. Now Monsanto -- like IBM and Google -- has drawn scrutiny from U.S. antitrust investigators.

US: DynCorp Fires Executive Counsel
by August ColeWall Street Journal
November 28th, 2009
DynCorp International Inc. said it has terminated one of its top lawyers, a move that comes on the heels of the government contractor's disclosure that some of its subcontractors may have broken U.S. law in trying to speed up getting licenses and visas overseas.

CANADA: Canadian Rail Engineers Begin a Strike
by Ian AustenNew York Times
November 28th, 2009
About 1,700 locomotive engineers with the Canadian National Railway went on strike early Saturday. The walkout followed a decision by Canadian National to impose a new contract on its workers, including a 500-mile increase in the distance engineers are required to cover each month. The union said that the increased distance would sometimes make engineers work seven-day weeks without overtime.

KAZAKHSTAN: Kazakh Bank Lost Billions in Western Investments
by Landon Thomas Jr.New York Times
November 27th, 2009
In the last few years, big banks have found many surprising ways to lose billions of dollars by making loans that turned sour. But few can match the odd tale involving Kazakhstan and a little-known bank. From 2003 to 2008, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland, ING and others funneled more than $10 billion in loans into Bank Turalem, during the Central Asian country's boom spurred by its rich deposits of oil and natural gas. Many of these loans are now bust.

US: Ex-UBS Banker Seeks Billions for Blowing Whistle
by Lynnley BrowningNew York Times
November 26th, 2009
Bradley C. Birkenfeld was sentenced to 40 months in prison for helping rich Americans dodge their taxes, his sentence reduced in turn for informing on Swiss banking giant UBS. Now, with the help of the National Whistleblower Center, he and his lawyers hope to use a new federal whistle-blower law to claim a multibillion-dollar reward from the American government.

IRAQ: The Pentagon Garrisons the Gulf: As Washington Talks Iraq Withdrawal, the Pentagon Builds Up Bases in the Region
by Nick TurseTomDispatch.com
November 22nd, 2009
Despite recent large-scale insurgent suicide bombings that have killed scores of civilians and the fact that well over 100,000 U.S. troops are still deployed in that country, coverage of the U.S. war in Iraq has been largely replaced in the mainstream press by the (previously) "forgotten war" in Afghanistan. Getting out of Iraq, however, doesn't mean getting out of the Middle East.

AFGHANISTAN: Paying Off the Warlords, Anatomy of an Afghan Culture of Corruption
by Pratap ChatterjeeTomDispatch.com
November 17th, 2009
Among the dozens of businesses with lucrative Afghan and U.S. taxpayer-financed reconstruction deals are two extremely well connected companies -- Ghazanfar and Zahid Walid -- that helped to swell the election coffers of President Hamid Karzai as well as the family business of his running mate, the country's new vice president, warlord Mohammed Qasim Fahim.

US/ECUADOR: New nonprofit uses Web to pressure Chevron
by David A. BakerSan Francisco Chronicle
November 16th, 2009
Retired retail executive Richard Goldman was astonished when he heard about the $27 billion pollution lawsuit against Chevron Corp. in Ecuador. SO he has created a nonprofit group, Ethos Alliance, that will use social-networking tools to spread word of the case and put pressure on Chevron.

UK: Friends of the Earth attacks carbon trading
by Ashley SeagerThe Guardian (UK)
November 5th, 2009
The world's carbon trading markets growing complexity threatens another "sub-prime" style financial crisis that could again destabilise the global economy, campaigners warn. In a new report, Friends of the Earth says that to date "cap and trade" carbon markets have done little to reduce emissions but have been plagued by inefficiency and corruption.

SOUTHEAST ASIA: Sizing up palm oil
by David GrantChristian Science Monitor
November 2nd, 2009
While it doesn’t sound (and need not be) nefarious, activist groups worldwide like the Rainforest Action Network argue that the production of palm oil is currently harming rain forests in Southeast Asia, orangutans, and the environment.

FRANCE: France jails 'Angolagate' power players
by Pascale JuilliardThe Times Online (South Africa)
October 27th, 2009
A French court slapped jail terms Tuesday on the main players in a network that smuggled arms to war-torn Angola and included an ex-minister and the son of the late president Francois Mitterrand.

IVORY COAST: Trafigura offers deal to 31,000 Africans over dumped waste
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article6837795.ece
October 17th, 2009
British oil trader Trafigura has offered to settle a court case brought by 31,000 Africans who say that they were injured in the largest personal injuries class action mounted in an English court. The action resulted from the dumping of 400 tonnes of waste in the Ivory Coast by an oil tanker, the Probo Koala, in 2006 — one of the worst pollution disasters in recent history.

IVORY COAST: Trafigura offers deal to 31,000 Africans over dumped waste
by Frances GibbThe Times (London)
October 17th, 2009
British oil trader Trafigura has offered to settle a court case brought by 31,000 Africans who say that they were injured in the largest personal injuries class action mounted in an English court. The action resulted from the dumping of 400 tonnes of waste in the Ivory Coast by an oil tanker, the Probo Koala, in 2006 — one of the worst pollution disasters in recent history.

FRANCE: French nuclear plant reveals plutonium level discrepancies
by AFP/ReutersDeutsche Welle
October 15th, 2009
The French government has demanded answers from a nuclear research facility after nearly triple the registered amount of plutonium was discovered there during its dismantling this summer.

BRAZIL: Giants in Cattle Industry Agree to Help Fight Deforestation
by Alexei BarrionuevoNew York Times
October 7th, 2009
Environmental groups hailed a decision this week by four of the world’s largest meat producers to ban the purchase of cattle from newly deforested areas of Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. Brazil has the world’s largest cattle herd and is the world’s largest beef exporter. It is also the fourth largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions.

UK: Kingsnorth power station plans shelved by E.ON
by Mark TranThe Guardian (UK)
October 7th, 2009
E.ON, the German energy group, has effectively thrown in the towel on its plans to build a new coal-power station at Kingsnorth, UK, blaming the recession. Kingsnorth has been shrouded in controversy ever since inception, with protests over several years including a high-profile Climate Camp protest.

US: E. Coli Path Shows Flaws in Beef Inspection
by Michael MossNew York Times
October 3rd, 2009
Tracing the chain of production of an E. Coli-contaminated hamburger made by Cargill, through interviews and government and corporate records obtained by The New York Times, shows why eating ground beef is still a gamble. Neither the system meant to make the meat safe, nor the meat itself, is what consumers have been led to believe.

SOUTH AFRICA: Arcelor Mittal South Africa dismisses pollution claims
by Sapa-APSunday Independent (South Africa)
September 25th, 2009
On Friday, ArcelorMittal SA, the world's largest steel marker, dismissed allegations of severe environmental damage and unethical business practices at its Steel Valley mill. In 2002, the company took over the 67-year-old plant that residents and environmental groups say has polluted their lives. Company officials acknowledge there is air and water pollution but say that emissions comply with legislation and that clean-up operations are under way.

US: The Rights of Corporations (Op-Ed)
New York Times
September 22nd, 2009
The question at the heart of one of the biggest Supreme Court cases this year is simple: What constitutional rights should corporations have? The legal doctrine underlying this debate is known as “corporate personhood.”

ANGOLA: The dark side of doing business
by Rob RoseTimes South Africa
September 17th, 2009
As Angolan leader Jose Eduardo Dos Santos wooed President Jacob Zuma this week, some South African companies are furious at having been fleeced out of cash by doing business with the oil-rich country

EU: Court adviser wants De Beers ruling upheld
by REUTERSTimes Live
September 17th, 2009
An adviser to Europe’s highest court has recommended upholding a decision by EU antitrust regulators which forced diamond producer De Beers to stop buying rough diamonds from Russia’s Alrosa this year.

IVORY COAST: Toxic waste: company to pay
by AFPTimes Live
September 17th, 2009
Victims will receive compensation after seeking legal action in Britain against Trafigura oil company. Waste from a ship the company chartered was illegally dumped in Abidjan, killing 17 people and causing more than 100,000 to seek medical help in 2006.

US: Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering
by Charles DuhiggNew York Times
September 12th, 2009
Violations of the Clean Water Act have risen steadily across the nation, an extensive review of water pollution records by The New York Times found. Polluters include small companies, like gas stations, dry cleaners, and shopping malls. They also include large operations, like chemical factories, power plants, sewage treatment centers and one of the biggest zinc smelters, the Horsehead Corporation of Pennsylvania.

US: Tar-sands oil standoff brews in Minnesota
by Leslie Brooks Suzukamo TwinCities.com - Pioneer Press
September 9th, 2009
The fight over global warming and Canadian oil is heating up. A group of oil companies and big industries launched a campaign to try to snuff out rules that might raise the cost of piping Canadian tar-sands oil through the Dakotas to refineries in the Twin Cities. Meanwhile, environmentalists are trying to stop tar-sands oil, claiming it is some of the dirtiest petroleum on Earth.

ECUADOR: Chevron Offers Evidence in Ecuador Bribery Case
by ReutersNew York Times
September 7th, 2009
On Monday Chevron said it gave Ecuadorean authorities evidence of a bribery scheme linked to a $27 billion environmental damages lawsuit against the oil company. Last week, the judge hearing the case, Juan Núñez, recused himself. The Amazon Defense Coalition said the recusal did not “change the overwhelming evidence against Chevron.”

US: Despite Slump, U.S. Role as Top Arms Supplier Grows
by Thom ShankerNew York Times
September 6th, 2009
Despite a recession that knocked down global arms sales last year, the United States expanded its role as the world’s leading weapons supplier, increasing its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, according to a new Congressional study.

AFGHANISTAN: Wackenhut aids inquiry into its Afghanistan contractor
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/09/03/afghanistan.contractors/
September 3rd, 2009
This week the Project on Government Oversight released damning allegations of deviant hazing at a camp for security guards in Afghanistan. Sparking questions from the State Department, POGO warned the problems are "posing a significant threat to the security of the embassy and its personnel."

AFGHANISTAN: Wackenhut aids inquiry into its Afghanistan contractor
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/09/03/afghanistan.contractors/
September 3rd, 2009
This week the Project on Government Oversight released damning allegations of deviant hazing at a camp for security guards in Afghanistan. Sparking questions from the State Department, POGO warned the problems are "posing a significant threat to the security of the embassy and its personnel."

AFGHANISTAN: Wackenhut aids inquiry into its Afghanistan contractor
CNN.com
September 3rd, 2009
This week the Project on Government Oversight released damning allegations of deviant hazing at a camp for security guards in Afghanistan. Sparking questions from the State Department, POGO warned the problems are "posing a significant threat to the security of the embassy and its personnel."

US: So You Squandered Billions --- Take Another Whack At It
by Steven PerlsteinWashington Post
September 2nd, 2009
During the heyday of the credit bubble, they were the financiers who earned huge bonuses for creating, trading and investing other people's money in those complex securities that resulted in trillions of dollars in losses and brought global financial markets to their knees. Now they're out there again hustling for investors and hoping to make another score buying and trading the same securities.

US: A Dispute Over Unionizing at Montana Hair Salons
by Steven GreenhouseNew York Times
August 29th, 2009
The Regis Corporation, parent of Cost Cutters and the largest hair salon company in the U.S., is asking stylists in Montana to sign a document foregoing any future pro-union signature. Regis claims the document is meant to protect against union-card legislation now in Congress.

US: New Hire Highlights Altegrity's Growing Ambition
by Thomas HeathWashington Post
August 17th, 2009
For more than 12 years, Falls Church-based USIS quietly scrutinized the backgrounds of individuals who needed security clearance to work in the U.S. government or in the private sector. Now re-named Altegrity, the company has ambitions of securing government contracts for much more than investigation and data-collection.

FIJI: Fiji Water: Spin the Bottle
by Anna LenzerMother Jones
August 17th, 2009
Obama sips it. Paris Hilton loves it. Mary J. Blige won't sing without it. How did a plastic water bottle, imported from a military dictatorship thousands of miles away, become the epitome of cool?

SOUTH AMERICA: Plundering the Amazon
by Michael Smith and Adriana BrasileiroBloomberg.com
August 16th, 2009
Alcoa and Cargill have bypassed laws designed to prevent destruction of the world’s largest rain forest, Brazilian prosecutors say. The damage wrought by scores of companies is robbing the earth of its best shield against global warming.

US: DynCorp Billed U.S. $50 Million Beyond Costs in Defense Contract
by V. Dion HaynesWashington Post
August 12th, 2009
A Defense Department auditor, appearing before the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, testified Tuesday that DynCorp International billed the government $50 million more than the amount specified in a contract to provide dining facilities and living quarters for military personnel in Kuwait.

US: Cash-rich SAIC hits the acquisition trail
by Sami LaisWashington Technology
August 6th, 2009
Making a big splash in recent weeks, Science Applications International Corp. bought two companies, adding new capabilities in cybersecurity, energy and disaster recovery — areas in which government spending is expected to grow.

FRANCE: In French Inquiry, a Glimpse at Corporate Spying
by DAVID JOLLYNew York Times
August 1st, 2009
A corporate espionage case unfolding in France involves some of the biggest French companies, including Électricité de France, the world’s largest operator of nuclear power plants, and Vivendi, the media and telecommunications conglomerate. The story has the elements of a corporate thriller: a cast of characters that includes former French spies and military men, an American cycling champion, Greenpeace activists and a dogged judge.

US: House votes to rein in ‘excessive pay’ for company execs
by Gail Russell ChaddockChristian Science Monitor
July 31st, 2009
On Friday the U.S. House of Representativs passed a high-visibility bill to give shareholders and federal regulators a stronger hand in curbing excessive or risky executive compensation. Industry groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers opposed the bill as an overreach into private business decisions.

US: Big Banks Paid Billions in Bonuses Amid Wall St. Crisis
by Louise Story and Eric DashNew York Times
July 30th, 2009
Nine of the financial firms that were recipients of federal bailout money paid about 5,000 of their traders and bankers bonuses of more than $1 million apiece for 2008, according to a report released Thursday by the New York attorney general. The report is certain to intensify the growing debate over how, and how much, Wall Street bankers should be paid.

US: Cuomo Says Schwab Faces Fraud Suit
by Liz RappaportWall Street Journal
July 20th, 2009
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has warned Charles Schwab & Co. that his office plans to sue the firm for civil fraud over its marketing and sales of auction-rate securities to clients. Emails and testimony cited in the letter show Schwab's brokers had little idea of what they were selling and later failed to tell clients that the market was collapsing.

UK: Two men and a website mount vendetta against an oil giant
by  Danny FortsonSunday Times (UK)
July 19th, 2009
In Colchester, Essex, John and Alfred Donovan are compiling perhaps the world's largest dossier on Royal Dutch Shell, at royaldutchshellplc.com. It's an awkward position for Shell, this month crowned by Fortune magazine as the world’s largest company, as trying to shut the website down would draw even more attention to it.

UK: Two men and a website mount vendetta against an oil giant
by Danny FortsonThe Sunday Times (UK)
July 19th, 2009
In Colchester, Essex, John and Alfred Donovan are compiling perhaps the world's largest dossier on Royal Dutch Shell, at royaldutchshellplc.com. It's an awkward position for Shell, this month crowned by Fortune magazine as the world’s largest company, as trying to shut the website down would draw even more attention to it.

US: Sued by the forest
by Rebecca Tuhus-DubrowThe Boston Globe
July 19th, 2009
Last February, the town of Shapleigh, Maine, population 2,326, passed an unusual ordinance. Like nearby towns, Shapleigh sought to protect its aquifers from the Nestle Corporation, which draws heavily on the region for its Poland Spring bottled water. Shapleigh tried something new. At a town meeting, residents voted to endow all of the town’s natural assets with legal rights.

US: Industry Takes Aim at Plan to Create Financial Protection Agency
by Brady DennisWashington Post
July 7th, 2009
Business and trade-group lobbyists are beating a path for the first major battle over the Obama administration's efforts to overhaul the financial regulatory system. Recent discussions have involved the American Bankers Association, National Auto Dealers Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mortgage Bankers Association and other lobbyists.

US: DOJ Opens Review of Telecom Industry
by Amol SharmaWall Street Journal
July 6th, 2009
The Department of Justice has begun an initial review to determine whether large U.S. telecom companies such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. have abused the market power they've amassed in recent years. The DOJ's antitrust chief has said she wants to reassert the government's role in policing monopolistic and anti-competitive practices by powerful companies.

PAKISTAN: Attack in Pakistani Garrison City Raises Anxiety About Safety of Nuclear Labs and Staff
by Salman MasoodNew York Times
July 4th, 2009
A suicide attack Thursday in Rawalpindi was the first that singled out workers of Pakistan’s prized nuclear labs. Military analysts said they were from the Kahuta Research Laboratories, where weapons-grade uranium is produced. The lab was once run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program and one of the most successful nuclear proliferators in history.

TANZANIA: The human cost of gold: And a deadly price to pay
This Day Tanzania
June 30th, 2009
Villagers living near a gold mine owned and run by Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp. in Tarime District, Mara Region are demanding the immediate closure of the project, saying they are paying a deadly price for the mining activities in the area.

US: Madoff Is Sentenced to 150 Years for Ponzi Scheme
by Diana B. HenriquesNew York Times
June 29th, 2009
A criminal saga that began in December with a string of superlatives — the largest, longest and most widespread Ponzi scheme in history — ended the same way on Monday as Bernard L. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum for his crimes.

US: IRS Steps Up Scrutiny of Offshore Funds
by Jenny Strasburg and Jesse DruckerWall Street Journal
June 26th, 2009
The Internal Revenue Service is demanding that hedge-fund and private-equity investors disclose hundreds of billions of dollars they have invested offshore, boosting scrutiny of accounts popular for tax advantages.

UK: Fears for safety as nuclear watchdog hires staff from firms pitching to build reactors
by Tim WebbThe Guardian
June 26th, 2009
In another example of the revolving door between industry and government, the UK Nuclear Installations Inspectorate is recruiting more than a dozen project managers to speed up its review of new nuclear reactor designs – even though those managers work for the companies hoping to build the reactors.

ECUADOR: Chevron's Amazon 'fake cleanup' trial
United Press International
June 25th, 2009
A report submitted this week to a court in Ecuador finding dangerous levels of contamination at oil wells Chevron says it cleaned up in the 1990s is expected to reinforce a fraud indictment against two Chevron lawyers in a $27.3 billion environmental lawsuit against the oil company.

AFRICA: Blood diamond scheme 'is failing'
BBC News
June 24th, 2009
Officials are meeting to review the Kimberley Process, amid criticism that the scheme, set up to certify the origin of diamonds to assure consumers that by purchasing diamonds they are not financing war and human rights abuses, is failing. The Kimberley Process emerged from global outrage over conflicts in countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone, largely funded by the plundering of diamond resources.

IRAQ: Big Oil Ready for Big Gamble in Iraq
by Gina ChonWall Street Journal
June 24th, 2009
Next week, Iraqi officials will auction off oil contracts to foreign companies for the first time since Iraq nationalized its oil industry three decades ago. Some 120 companies expressed interest in bidding for the contracts, and thirty-five companies qualified. They include Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Italy's Eni SpA, Russia's Lukoil and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec.

Iran's Web Spying Aided By Western Technology
by Christopher Rhoads in New York and Loretta Chao in BeijingWall Street Journal
June 22nd, 2009
European telecommunications companies including Siemens AG and Nokia Corp provided deep packet inspection capability installed with the Iranian governments telecom hub allowing the Iranian government to monitor dissent. Nokia spokesperson Mr. Roome said the company "does have a choice about whether to do business in any country. We believe providing people, wherever they are, with the ability to communicate is preferable to leaving them without the choice to be heard."

US: Madoff Suits Add Details About Fraud
by Diana B. HenriquesNew York Times
June 22nd, 2009
Three lawsuits filed on Monday provided new details about what regulators say went on inside Bernard L. Madoff’s long-running Ponzi scheme, including information about who might have helped perpetuate the fraud for so long.

US: Hedge Funds Boost Profile in Lobbying
by Susan Pulliam and Tom McGintyWall Street Journal
June 22nd, 2009
Many hedge funds were relieved when the Obama administration's financial-overhaul plan included no big surprises to the lucrative, secretive industry. In 2008, major hedge funds and their trade groups spent $6.1 million lobbying Washington, up from $4.2 million in 2007 and nearly seven times the $897,000 average from 2003 to 2006.

IRAN: Iran's Web Spying Aided By Western Technology
by Christopher Rhoads and Loretta ChaoWall Street Journal
June 22nd, 2009
The Iranian regime has developed one of the world's most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet. The Iranian government appears to be engaging in a practice often called deep packet inspection. The monitoring capability was provided, at least in part, by a joint venture of Siemens AG, the German conglomerate, and Nokia Corp., the Finnish cellphone company.

US: NRC Cites Utility Shortfalls
by Rebecca SmithWall Street Journal
June 20th, 2009
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission told six utility companies they have until year-end to explain plans to remedy shortfalls in nuclear decommissioning funds. The license holders receiving notice -- Exelon Corp., Entergy Corp., Constellation Energy Group Inc., FPL Group, First Energy and Tennessee Valley Authority -- include some of the industry's biggest names.

US/ANTIGUA: Texas Financier and Antiguan Official Charged With Fraud
by Clifford Krauss New York Times
June 19th, 2009
A U.S. Justice Department indictment unsealed Friday accused R. Allen Stanford of Stanford International Bank, based in the Caribbean money haven of Antigua, of operating a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme with the help of Antigua’s top banking regulator, Leroy King.

CHINA: China Disables Some Google Functions
by Edward WongNew York Times
June 19th, 2009
After meeting with managers of the Chinese operations of Google on Thursday to warn them, the Chinese government disabled some search functions on the Chinese-language Web site of Google on Friday. Officials alleged the site was linking too often to pornographic and vulgar content.

Companies lobby (quietly) on Armenia genocide bill
by Stephen SingerAssociated Press
June 13th, 2009
In an effort to keep business ties with Turkey, five military contractors and one energy company (Chevron) lobby against a U.S. bill that would label Turkey's slaugther of a million Aremnians during WWI genocide.

CANADA/US: A Delicate Undertaking: Virgin Forests Going Down the Toilet
by Bryan WalshTime in partnership with CNN
June 10th, 2009
Major toilet paper brands like Kleenex, Scott and Cottonelle are using paper from North American virgin forests to produce toilet paper.

A Delicate Undertaking: Virgin Forests Going Down the Toilet
by Bryan WalshTime in partnership with CNN
June 10th, 2009
Major toilet paper brands like Kleenex, Scott and Cottonelle are using paper from North American virgin forests to produce toilet paper.

AFRICA: Battle to Halt Graft Scourge in Africa Ebbs
by Celia W. DuggerNew York Times
June 9th, 2009
The fight against corruption in Africa is faltering as public agencies investigating wrongdoing by powerful politicians have been undermined and officials leading the charge have been dismissed, subjected to death threats and driven into exile. The search is on for more effective ways to tackle corruption, including intensified legal efforts to prosecute multinational corporations that pay the bribes and reclaim loot that African political elites have stashed abroad.

NIGERIA: Shell to Pay $15.5 Million to Settle Nigerian Case
by Jad MouawadNew York Times
June 8th, 2009
Royal Dutch Shell agreed to pay $15.5 million to settle a case accusing it of taking part in human rights abuses in the Niger Delta, a striking sum given it has denied any wrongdoing. Ken Saro-Wiwa, Shell’s most prominent critic at the time in Nigeria, was hanged in 1995 by that country’s military regime after protesting Shell's environmental practices in the oil-rich delta, especially in his native Ogoni region.

INDONESIA: Scramble for coal assets in Indonesia
by Sundeep Tucker and John AglionbyFinancial Times
June 7th, 2009
Some of the world’s largest energy groups are scrambling to acquire coal mining assets in Indonesia as family-run conglomerates consider divestments to raise cash. Peabody Energy, the US coal miner, and Xstrata, the Anglo-Swiss miner, are believed to be among those interested. Industry analysts said Chinese, South Korean, Indian and Middle Eastern companies were also scouring Indonesia for assets.

GHANA: Energy groups lured by Ghana’s Kosmos
by Carola HoyosFinancial Times
June 4th, 2009
Big international energy groups and state-owned oil companies from China and India are circling Kosmos Energy for its Ghanaian oilfield assets, which have been valued at $3bn-$6bn by analysts. The sale could open an oil corridor off the west African coast, stretching as far north-west as Sierra Leone.

'We need a World Court of Human Rights' – UN expert tells Commonwealth
The Commonwealth
June 3rd, 2009
Multinational corporations suspected of abusing human rights should face the full force of international law through trial by a new global court, according to the United Nations’ authority on human rights and counter-terrorism.

US: Contractors Vie for Plum Work, Hacking for U.S. Government
by CHRISTOPHER DREW and JOHN MARKOFFNew York Times
May 30th, 2009
The Obama administration’s push into cyberwarfare has set off a rush among the biggest military companies for billions of dollars in new defense contracts. Nearly all of the largest military companies — including Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon — have major cyber contracts with the military and intelligence agencies.

US: 'Roadless' Forest Areas Now Under Vilsack
by David A. FahrentholdWashington Post
May 29th, 2009
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a temporary order yesterday governing development in "roadless" areas of national forests, requiring all new projects to be approved by him personally. A USDA official said it is unclear whether projects with a strictly commercial aim, such as logging or mining, will be allowed.

FINLAND: In Finland, Nuclear Renaissance Runs Into Trouble
by James KanterNew York Times
May 28th, 2009
As the Obama administration tries to steer America toward cleaner sources of energy, it would do well to consider the cautionary tale of this new-generation nuclear reactor site. The massive power plant under construction on muddy terrain on this Finnish island was supposed to be the showpiece of a nuclear renaissance. But things have not gone as planned.

US: Chevron annual meeting heats up over Ecuador suit
by Jordan RobertsonWashington Post
May 27th, 2009
In a combative and sometimes colorful annual meeting, Chevron's CEO and chairman exchanged barbs with activists over pollution in the Amazon rain forest and the company's human rights record. The nation's second-largest oil company is awaiting a verdict from a judge in Ecuador that could come with a $27 billion price tag.

US: The Greatest Swindle Ever Sold: How the Financial Bailout Scams Taxpayers, Subsidizes Wall Street, and Props Up Our Broken Financial System
by Andy KrollTomDispatch.com
May 26th, 2009
As toppling financial behemoths like American International Group (AIG) and Bank of America plunged global markets into freefall, the U.S. government responded with the largest bailout in American history, The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Seven months in, the bailout's impact is unclear. What cannot be disputed, however, is the financial bailout's biggest loser: the American taxpayer.

US: U.S. Cracks Down on Corporate Bribes
by DIONNE SEARCEYWall Street Journal
May 26th, 2009
The Justice Department is increasing its prosecutions of alleged acts of foreign bribery by U.S. corporations, forcing them to take costly steps to defend against scrutiny. The crackdown under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA -- a post-Watergate law largely dormant for decades -- now extends across five continents and penetrates entire industries.

US: Protesters await Chevron meeting
by David R. BakerHouston Chronicle
May 26th, 2009
When Chevron Corp. shareholders gather Wednesday morning in the company’s suburban San Ramon headquarters for their annual meeting, the protesters will be waiting. A coalition of environmental and human rights groups offered a preview Tuesday when they released their own alternate annual report for Chevron. Dubbed “The True Cost of Chevron,” it accuses the company of polluting the Amazon, Canada, Kazakhstan and Richmond, as well as collaborating with repressive regimes in Burma and Nigeria.

FRANCE/UAE: Gulf base shows shift in France’s focus
by Ben Hall and Andrew EnglandFinancial Times
May 25th, 2009
France's new naval base in Abu Dhabi, its first overseas military base in 50 years, has sparked a round of lobbying on behalf of lucrative business for French companies including Dassault, the military aircraft maker, and a consortium of Total, GdF-Suez and Areva, which is bidding to build two nuclear power stations in the UAE. Dassault is hoping to sell as many as 60 of its Rafale fighters to the UAE.

US: Activist Financier 'Terrorizes' Bankers in Foreclosure Fight
by James R. HagertyWall Street Journal
May 20th, 2009
A nonprofit organization, Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America, or NACA, has emerged as one of the loudest scourges of the banking industry in the post-bubble economy. Though some bankers privately deplore his tactics, NACA's Bruce Marks is a growing influence in the lending industry and the effort to curb foreclosures.

EUROPE: Greenpeace warns on Shell oil sands projects
by Carola HoyosFinancial Times
May 18th, 2009
A study by Greenpeace and several other environmental groups has concluded that Royal Dutch Shell's carbon intensity will rise 85 per cent as it develops its oil and gas fields in the coming years. Campaigners warn Shell’s investors that this disadvantages the company vis a vis its peers as US and European policymakers move towards a broad cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions. Shell’s growing carbon intensity stems from its resource base, which is heavily made up of Canadian oil and Nigerian gas.

UK: Shell faces investor fury over pay, pollution and human rights
by Terry MacalisterThe Guardian
May 17th, 2009

ECUADOR: In Ecuador, Resentment of an Oil Company Oozes
by SIMON ROMERO and CLIFFORD KRAUSSNew York Times
May 14th, 2009
Texaco, the American oil company that Chevron acquired in 2001, once poured oil waste into pits used decades ago for drilling wells in Ecuador's northeastern jungle. Texaco’s roughnecks are long gone, but black gunk from the pits seeps to the topsoil here and in dozens of other spots. These days the only Chevron employees who visit the former oil fields do so escorted by bodyguards toting guns. They represent one side in a bitter fight that is developing into the world’s largest environmental lawsuit, with $27 billion in potential damages.

WORLD: When Chevron Hires Ex-Reporter to Investigate Pollution, Chevron Looks Good
by Brian StelterNew York Times
May 10th, 2009
When Chevron learned that “60 Minutes” was preparing a potentially damaging report about oil company contamination of the Amazon rain forest in Ecuador, it hired a former journalist to produce a mirror image of the report, from the corporation’s point of view. An Ecuadorean judge is expected to rule soon on whether Chevron owes up to $27 billion in damages.

US: Trustee Sues Madoff Hedge Fund Investor
by Diana B. HenriquesNew York Times
May 7th, 2009
The trustee gathering assets for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s fraud has sued a prominent New York City hedge fund investor, J. Ezra Merkin, to recover almost $500 million withdrawn from Madoff accounts in the last six years.

UK: Shell at risk of investor pay revolt
by Kate Burgess and Ed CrooksFinancial Times
May 5th, 2009
Royal Dutch Shell is facing the risk of a shareholder rebellion over pay for the second successive year after two influential investor advisory groups raised concerns about discretionary pay awards made to board-level executives.

NIGERIA: A Writer’s Violent End, and His Activist Legacy
by Patricia CohenNew York Times
May 4th, 2009
A new novel, "Eclipse," by Richard North Patterson, is based on the case of the Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, executed in November 1995 by the government of General Sani Abacha. The circumstances, along with related incidents of brutal attacks, are getting another hearing. This month the Wiwa family’s lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell over its role in those events goes to trial in federal court in Manhattan.

IRAN/CHINA: Iranians and Others Outwit Net Censors
by John MarkoffNew York Times
April 30th, 2009
The Internet is no longer just an essential channel for commerce, entertainment and information. It has also become a stage for state control — and rebellion against it. Computers are becoming more crucial in global conflicts, not only in spying and military action, but also in determining what information reaches people around the globe.

US: Debt Settlers Offer Promises but Little Help
by David StreitfeldNew York Times
April 19th, 2009
With the economy on the ropes, hundreds of thousands of consumers are turning to “debt settlement” companies like Credit Solutions to escape a crushing pile of bills. State attorneys general are being flooded with complaints about settlement companies and other forms of debt relief.

CHINA: Slump Tilts Priorities of Industry in China
by Jonathan AnsfieldNew York Times
April 18th, 2009
Less than a year ago, officials pressed mines and factories in northern China to shut down or move away to clear the air for the Beijing Olympics. Now, amid the global economic downturn, priorities have shifted. Cumbersome environmental reviews have been accelerated, and China’s powerful state oil companies are pushing hard to postpone nationwide rollout of clean air standards due to the billions of dollars required to invest in their refineries to produce clean diesel.

US: Credit Card Processor Asked for Offshore Data
by Lynnley BrowningNew York Times
April 15th, 2009
The U.S. government is widening its investigation of offshore tax evasion to include services sold by the First Data Corporation, a large processor of credit card transactions. The I.R.S. alleged that First Data actively marketed and sold offshore services to American merchants, who in turn used the service to help their clients hide taxable income.

UK: Use of Web Tracking Tool Raises Privacy Issue in Britain
by Kevin J. O'BrienNew York Times
April 14th, 2009
The European Commission threatened Britain with sanctions on Tuesday for allowing use of a new advertising technology, created by Phorm, to track the Web movements of customers. The country’s largest service provider, BT, acknowledged last April that it used the tool without customers’ consent in 2006 and 2007.

US: N.Y. Pension Deals Seen as Focus of Wide Inquiry
by Danny HakimNew York Times
April 13th, 2009
New York State prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether the Carlyle Group, one of the nation’s largest and most politically connected private equity firms, made millions of dollars in improper payments to intermediaries in exchange for investments from New York’s state pension fund.

US: Prison company to pay $42.5 million in beating death
by John MacCormackSan Antonio Express News
April 8th, 2009
In a searing opinion, the 13th Court of Appeals has upheld $42.5 million in punitive damages against private prison operator Wackenhut Corrections Corp., now the Geo Group,for the “horrific and gruesome death” of inmate Gregorio De La Rosa Jr. in 2001.

US/NIGERIA: Shell: corporate impunity goes on trial
by George MonbiotThe Guardian
April 7th, 2009
Multinationals accused of human rights abuses can no longer feel safe now that the oil giant is facing allegations of complicity in the execution of Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa.

US: Oil Giants Loath to Follow Obama’s Green Lead
by Jad MouawadNew York Times
April 7th, 2009
The Obama administration seeks the most ambitious transformation of energy policy in a generation. But Big Oil is not on board. Royal Dutch Shell said last month that it would freeze research and investments in wind, solar and hydrogen power, and focus its alternative energy efforts on biofuels. BP, a company that has spent nine years saying it was moving “beyond petroleum,” has been getting back to petroleum since 2007, paring back its renewable program. The list goes on.

US: Contracting Boom Could Fizzle Out
by Dana HedgpethWashington Post
April 7th, 2009
The surge in the U.S. military contracting workforce would ebb under Defense Secretary Gates's budget proposal as the Pentagon moves to replace private workers with full-time civil servants. The move could affect companies such as CACI and SAIC. "We are right-sizing the defense acquisition workforce so we can improve our contract oversight and get a better deal for the taxpayers," said the Pentagon's director of defense procurement and acquisition policy.

US: Gates Proposes Major Changes to Military Programs, Weapons Buys
by August ColeWall Street Journal
April 6th, 2009
Defense Secretary Robert Gates unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the Pentagon's top weapons priorities. The shake-up, a combination of defense contract cutbacks and policy changes, will stoke a smoldering debate in Congress, with cuts proposed for Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-22 Raptor and replacement of the president's fleet of Marine One helicopters.

US/NIGERIA: Shell in court over alleged role in Nigeria executions
by Nick MathiasonThe Guardian (UK)
April 5th, 2009
Family of environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, hanged by his country's rulers in 1995, take oil giant to court in New York.

WORLD: Skype’s iPhone application raises protests
by David GellesFinancial Times
April 3rd, 2009
Skype’s application for the Apple iPhone is igniting network neutrality disputes around the globe after less than a week on the market. Free Press, asked the US Federal Communications Commission to investigate whether AT&T was violating US guidelines by preventing the app from running on its 3G network. An alliance of internet groups on Friday responded to Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile’s threat to block the Skype for iPhone application on its network.

IRAQ: Ex-Blackwater Workers May Return to Iraq Jobs
by Rod NordlandNew York Times
April 3rd, 2009
Late last month Blackwater Worldwide lost its billion-dollar contract to protect American diplomats in Iraq, but by next month many of its private security guards will be back on the job here. The same individuals will just be wearing new uniforms, working for Triple Canopy, the firm that won the State Department’s new contract.

US: Pentagon Weighs Cuts and Revisions of Weapons
by Christopher DrewNew York Times
April 3rd, 2009
U.S. defense executives and consultants are worried about the sweeping changes in military programs that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to announce on Monday. Weapons systems like missile defense are likely to endure deep cuts.

CHINA: Banks Face Big Losses From Bets on Chinese Realty
by David Barboza New York Times
April 3rd, 2009
Evergrande Real Estate Group, now mired in debt, has become a symbol of China’s go-go era of investing, when international bankers, private equity deal makers and hedge fund managers from Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and others rushed here hoping to cash in on the world’s biggest building boom.

UK: Shareholders vote against RBS pay
BBC Online
April 3rd, 2009
More than 90% of Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders voted against the bank's pay and pensions policy at its annual general meeting in Edinburgh. RBS does not have to make any changes as a result, saying it was a "substantive" protest at Sir Fred Goodwin's £703,000 a year pension. Sir Philip blamed RBS's difficulties on its acquisition of the Dutch bank ABN Amro in 2007.

UK: Residents challenge Google camera
BBC News Online
April 3rd, 2009
Google's Street View mapping project ran into local opposition in England, with angry residents in the village of Milton Keynes blocking a Google driver when he started taking photographs of their homes. Villagers accused the company of going too far, violating their privacy and possibly facilitating crime.

US: Banks Get New Leeway in Valuing Their Assets
by Floyd NorrisNew York Times
April 2nd, 2009
A once-obscure accounting rule was changed Thursday to give banks more discretion in reporting the value of mortgage securities. Apparently under political pressure, the five-member Financial Accounting Standards Board approved a controversial change that makes it possible for banks to keep some declines in asset values off their income statements.

WORLD: The Jewel Trade's Fading Luster
by V. Dion Haynes and Rama LakshmiWashington Post
March 28th, 2009
The drop in U.S. demand for high-end jewelry in a slumping economy is having ripple effects around the globe as stores close, workers are laid off in mass in the diamond-polishing factories of Gujarat, and countries like Botswana experience a dramatic drop in diamond revenue.

US: Online Age Quiz Is a Window for Drug Makers
by STEPHANIE CLIFFORDNew York Times
March 25th, 2009
RealAge, promising to help shave years off your age, has become one of the most popular quizzes on the Internet. The test asks 150 questions about lifestyle and family history to assign a “biological age." But then pharmaceutical companies pay RealAge to compile test results of RealAge members and send them marketing messages by e-mail.

AFRICA/CHINA: As Chinese Investment in Africa Drops, Hope Sinks
by Lydia PolgreenNew York Times
March 25th, 2009
As global commodity prices have plummeted and several of China’s partners in Africa have stumbled deeper into chaos, China has backed away from some of its riskiest and most aggressive plans. China has sought to secure minerals in Africa through agreements to build huge projects in exchange for minerals. African governments are now realizing that these deals are loans against future revenue, and falling prices could leave them saddled with debt.

US/CANADA: Alaskan lake’s fate could echo across continent
by Todd WilkinsonChristian Science Monitor
March 24th, 2009
A landmark legal case now before the US Supreme Court holds huge implications for lakes across the continent. Nearly four decades the Clean Water Act was passed to protect waterways from industrial pollution, a proposal by Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. to dispose of tons of effluent in Alaska's Lower Slate Lake has sparked an international debate.

US/AFGHANISTAN: Unknown Afghanistan
by Pratap ChatterjeeTomDispatch.com
March 17th, 2009
Want a billion dollars in development aid? If you happen to live in Afghanistan, the two quickest ways to attract attention and so aid from the U.S. authorities are: Taliban attacks or a flourishing opium trade. For those with neither, the future could be bleak. This piece take a look at the lack of reconstruction aid in areas like Bamiyan, Afghanistan.

CHILE: Chilean Town Withers in Free Market for Water
by Alexei BarrionuevoNew York Times
March 15th, 2009
Nowhere is the system for buying and selling water more permissive than in Chile, where water rights are private property, not a public resource, and can be traded like commodities with little government oversight or safeguards for the environment. The small town of Quillaga is being swallowed up in the country’s intensifying water wars.

US: Bonus Money at Troubled A.I.G. Draws Heavy Criticism
by EDMUND L. ANDREWS and PETER BAKERNew York Times
March 15th, 2009
American International Group, which has received more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money, is to pay executives in the business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year $165 million in bonuses. The bonuses will go forward because lawyers say the firm is contractually obligated to pay them.

US: Is the Next Defense Budget a Stimulus Package? Why the Pentagon Can't Put America Back to Work
by Frida BerriganTomDispatch.com
March 12th, 2009
At the end of February, the defense industry received its own special stimulus package -- news of the dollars available for the Pentagon budget in 2010; and at nearly $700 billion (when all the bits and pieces are added in), it's almost as big as the Obama economic package and sure to be a lot less effective.

US: They Tried to Outsmart Wall Street
by Dennis OverbyeNew York Times
March 9th, 2009
Physicists and other scientists have flooded Wall Street in recent years, known as “quants” because they do quantitative finance. They arrived on Wall Street in the midst of a financial revolution. Galloping inflation had made finances more complicated and risky, and it required sophisticated mathematical expertise to parse even simple investments like bonds.

US: Undisclosed Losses at Merrill Lynch Lead to a Trading Inquiry
by Louise Story and Eric DashNew York Times
March 6th, 2009
Bank of America chief executive, Kenneth D. Lewis, is trying to bridle Merrill Lynch traders, whose rush into risky investments nearly brought down the brokerage firm. But questions over the Merrill losses — in particular, who knew about them, and when — keep swirling.

UGANDA/IRAQ: Why 10,000 Ugandans are eagerly serving in Iraq
by Max DelanyChristian Science Monitor
March 6th, 2009
Hired out to multibillion-dollar companies for hundreds of dollars a month, 10,000 Ugandans risk their lives seeking fortunes protecting US Army bases, airports, and oil firms in Iraq for as little as $600 per month. Many are looking to go to Afghanistan as the Obama administration increases contracts there.

US: Food Problems Elude Private Inspectors
by Michael Moss and Andrew MartinNew York Times
March 5th, 2009
When food industry giants like Kellogg want to ensure that American consumers are being protected from contaminated products, they rely on private inspectors. With government inspectors overwhelmed by the task of guarding the nation’s food supply, the job of monitoring food plants has in large part fallen to an army of private auditors, and problems are rife.

INDIA: Pricewaterhouse Revamps Indian Unit
by Heather TimmonsNew York Times
March 5th, 2009
The auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers is overhauling its operations in India two months after starting an investigation into fraud at Satyam Computer Services, a software and outsourcing firm whose chairman said in January that he had falsely claimed assets of $1 billion in cash and overstated operating margins.

US, GLOBAL: Layoffs Without Notice Sting Workers
by Steve LohrNew York Times
March 5th, 2009
With the economy weakening, chief executives want Wall Street to see them as tough cost-cutters who are not afraid to lay off workers. Big companies also routinely carry out scattered layoffs that are small enough to stay under the radar, contributing to an unemployment rate that keeps climbing. I.B.M. is one such company.

US: High Court Eases Way to Liability Lawsuits
by Jess BravinWall Street Journal
March 5th, 2009
The Supreme Court said drug makers can be sued in state court over alleged defects, even if the Food and Drug Administration has approved a medication's use. The 6-3 ruling undercuts years of business efforts to block state suits over the safety of products from motorcycle brakes to railway cars.

IRELAND: U2 rattled by claims of tax dodging
by Michael SeaverChristian Science Monitor
March 3rd, 2009
The band that loves to rail against global corporate malfeasance is being criticized at home over allegations of tax dodging. The controversy stems from 2006, when the band moved its publishing company to the Netherlands to avoid a potential multi-million-euro tax bill after the Irish government capped artists' tax-free earnings at €250,000 ($315,000).

ECUADOR/CANADA: Canadian Mining Firm Financed Violence in Ecuador: Lawsuit
by Jennifer MooreTyee Online
March 3rd, 2009
Three villagers from the valley of Intag in northwestern Ecuador are suing Copper Mesa Mining Corporation and the Toronto Stock Exchange. They allege not enough has been done to reduce the risk of harm being faced by farmers and community leaders who have faced violent threats and attacks for opposition to a large open-pit copper mine in their pristine cloud forests.

US: Ex-Leaders at Countrywide Start Firm to Buy Bad Loans
by Eric LiptonNew York Times
March 3rd, 2009
Countrywide Financial made risky loans to tens of thousands of Americans, helping set off a chain of events that has the economy staggering. So it may come as a surprise that a dozen former top Countrywide executives now stand to make millions from the home mortgage mess, buying up delinquent home mortgages that the government took over, sometimes for pennies on the dollar, at newly-formed PennyMac.

EUROPE: Europe to Allow Two Bans on Genetically Altered Crops
by James KanterNew York Times
March 2nd, 2009
European Union governments delivered a blow Monday to the biotechnology industry, allowing Austria and Hungary to maintain national bans on growing genetically modified crops from Monsanto. The market for genetically engineered crops is worth several billion dollars worldwide.

US: Instant tax 'refunds' come under fire
by Brendan ConwayChristian Science Monitor
March 2nd, 2009
For years, consumer advocacy groups have warned against so-called "instant" or "same-day" refunds. The reason: these refunds are actually bank loans, and they often bring exorbitant fees. In some cases, that means a mind-boggling 1,300 percent when calculated like a credit-card annual percentage rate.

CANADA: The Canadian Oil Boom: Scraping Bottom
by Robert KunzigNational Geographic
March 1st, 2009
Once considered too expensive, as well as too damaging to the land, exploitation of Alberta's oil sands is now a gamble worth billions. Syncrude and Suncor are two of the largest producers of bitumen; Canada is now the largest importer of oil to the United States, with tar sands exploitation slated to increase rapidly over the next five years.

CHINA: Morgan Stanley’s Chinese Land Scandal
by David Barboza New York Times
March 1st, 2009
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Morgan Stanley said it had fired an executive in its China real estate division after uncovering evidence that he might have violated the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars American business people from bribing foreign officials.

US: 70 Youths Sue Former Judges in Detention Kickback Case
by Ian UrbinaNew York Times
February 26th, 2009
More than 70 juveniles and their families filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against two former judges who pleaded guilty this month in a scheme that involved their taking kickbacks to put young offenders in privately run detention centers. The two privately operated centers are run by PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care.

SWITZERLAND: UBS Names Grübel as New CEO
by Carrick MollenkampWall Street Journal
February 26th, 2009
UBS AG, the Swiss bank battered by massive write-downs and its role in a U.S. tax-evasion scheme, announced the surprise departure of chief executive Marcel Rohner. Mr. Rohner's sudden departure comes after UBS agreed earlier this month to a $780 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department of a criminal inquiry into the bank's role in the tax evasion.

US: Mr. Whipple Left It Out: Soft Is Rough on Forests
by Leslie KaufmanNew York Times
February 25th, 2009
The U.S. obsession with soft toilet paper has driven the growth of brands like Cottonelle Ultra, Quilted Northern Ultra and Charmin Ultra. But fluffiness comes at a price: millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries, including some percentage of trees from rare old-growth forests in Canada.

MEXICO: U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels
by James C. McKinley, Jr.New York Times
February 25th, 2009
Phoenix-based gun dealer George Iknadosian of X-Calibur Guns will go on trial on charges he sold hundreds of weapons, mostly AK-47 rifles, to smugglers, knowing they would go to a drug cartel in the western state of Sinaloa. The guns helped fuel the gang warfare in which more than 6,000 Mexicans died last year.

US: Board cancels hearing under Bayer pressure
by Ken Ward, Jr.The Charleston Gazette
February 25th, 2009
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has canceled a public meeting to brief local residents on its investigation of an August 2008 explosion that killed two Bayer Institute plant workers. Chemical plant security activists expressed shock; the meeting was also to discuss concerns about a methyl isocyanate tank located near the site of the deadly blast.

US: 'Card check' ballots to determine union representation
by Erin RosaColorado Independent
February 24th, 2009
Glenn Spencer, executive director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was in Denver on Monday to decry H.R. 800, federal legislation that would give workers greater rights to unionize. Spencer spoke at the offices of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry and warned of the “most radical rewrite of labor law in 70 years.”

UK, ITALY: Italian business body hits at Brown
by Jean EagleshamFinancial Times
February 9th, 2009
In the context of global debate around the unfettered free-market system, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown comes under fire from an Italian business association for not reining in wildcat labor strikes at the Lindsey oil refinery in Lincolnshire.

UK: Politicians pile pressure on bailed-out RBS to abandon plans for a £1bn bonus for staff
by Allegra StrattonThe Guardian (UK)
February 9th, 2009
Politicians from all sides rounded on the state-supported Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday as the row intensified over the failed bank's apparent determination to share £1bn of bonuses among staff.

JAPAN: Nissan to Slash Payroll, Pare Japanese Output
by John MurphyWall Street Journal
February 9th, 2009
Nissan Motor Co. Monday announced plans to slash more than 20,000 jobs world-wide, shift production out of Japan and seek government assistance from Japan, the U.S. and elsewhere, part of a broad new effort by the Japanese car maker to weather the economic downturn.

US, CANADA: Business aircraft makers face severe test
by Kevin DoneFinancial Times
February 8th, 2009
Business jet makers reeling from the US political attack on some of their highest profile corporate high fliers are being forced to make drastic cuts in production and jobs in the face of the deepening global recession.

US: Company Gets Pentagon Contract Despite Death Inquiries
by Associated PressNew York Times
February 7th, 2009
Private military contractor KBR has been awarded a $35 million Pentagon contract involving major electrical work even though it is under criminal investigation in the electrocution deaths of at least two American soldiers in Iraq.

US/WORLD: Smokeless Tobacco to Get Push by Venture Overseas
by Kevin HellikerWall Street Journal
February 4th, 2009
Swedish Match AB and Philip Morris International Inc. announced a joint venture Tuesday to market smokeless tobacco world-wide. The venture combines a world-wide giant in smokeless, Swedish Match, with the world's second-largest purveyor of cigarettes, PMI, an Altria Inc. spinoff.

US: Tobacco Trial Opens in Florida, First of Many Suits
by Associated PressWall Street Journal
February 3rd, 2009
The first of about 8,000 lawsuits blaming the health problems and deaths of Florida smokers on tobacco companies went to trial Tuesday. The key to the case is proving whether now-deceased Stuart Hess was addicted to cigarettes made by Richmond, Va.-based Philip Morris, a unit of Altria Group.

US: The Looming Crisis at the Pentagon
by Chalmers JohnsonTomDispatch.com
February 2nd, 2009
Like much of the rest of the world, Americans know that the U.S. automotive industry is in the grips of what may be a fatal decline. A similar crisis exists when it comes to the military-industrial complex. That crisis has its roots in the corrupt and deceitful practices that have long characterized the high command of the Armed Forces, civilian executives of the armaments industries, and Congressional opportunists and pay-to-play criminals.

US/AFGHANISTAN: Short-staffed USAID tries to keep pace
by Ken DilanianUSA Today
February 1st, 2009
Like other government functions, U.S. foreign aid and reconstruction largely has been privatized. USAID now turns to contractors to fulfill its basic mission of fighting poverty and promoting democracy. CorpWatch's 2006 "Afghanistan, Inc" documented problems with Chemonics and other contractors operating in Afghanistan.

INDIA: Bail Opposed for Raju
by Eric Bellman and Jackie RangeWall Street Journal
January 28th, 2009
Prosecutors pursuing the fraud at Satyam Computer Services Ltd. said Tuesday the Indian technology outsourcer's founder, B. Ramalinga Raju, should be denied bail because he could slow the investigation if released.

US: Deputy SecDef could earn $500K lobbying Pentagon
by Lara JakesWashington Post
January 27th, 2009
William J. Lynn, the man nominated to be the Pentagon's second-in-command could make a half-million dollars next month with vested stock he earned as a lobbyist for military contractor Raytheon. This is despite an Obama administration order against "revolving door" lobbyists who become public officials.

US: Plant Shipped Tainted Products, F.D.A. Says
by ReutersNew York Times
January 27th, 2009
Peanut Corp. of America plant in Blakely, Georgia, identified as the source of an outbreak of salmonella, shipped out products that managers knew might have been tainted, U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials said on Tuesday.

US: Bank of America Board Under Gun From Critics
by Louise Story and Julie CreswellNew York Times
January 27th, 2009
As Bank of America's board meets next week, shareholders have turned up the pressure on CEO Kenneth D. Lewis. Their scrutiny has also turned an unusual spotlight on the oversight role played by the bank's board members.

US: Troubled Times Bring Mini-Madoffs to Light
by Leslie WayneNew York Times
January 27th, 2009
In the wake of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal, the SEC has brought cases involving losses of over $200 million since the beginning of October last year, including one against the disgraced Democratic donor Norman Hsu and North Carolina-based Biltmore Financial.

SWITZERLAND: Davos Scales Back Glitz
by Associated PressNew York Times
January 25th, 2009
The economic crisis that emerged out the collapse of securities based on shaky U.S. mortgages poses challenges for the Davos World Economic Forum, an arena that has championed market-driven approaches.

US: New Rules on Doctors and Medical Firms Amid Ethics Concerns
by Barry MeierNew York Times
January 24th, 2009
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, reintroduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, would require device and drug makers to report all financial links with doctors on a federal Web site. The medical field has been troubled by federal investigations over the issue of frequently undisclosed financial ties between companies and physicians.

US: Rubin Leaving Citigroup; Smith Barney for Sale
by Eric Dash and Louise StoryNew York Times
January 9th, 2009
Robert Rubin will resign from the beleaguered Citigroup. As Treasury secretary during the Clinton administration, Mr. Rubin helped loosen Depression-era banking regulations that made Citigroup's creation possible. He also helped beat back tighter oversight of exotic financial products during that time.

US: Plant That Spilled Coal Ash Had Earlier Leak Problems
by John M. BroderNew York Times
January 8th, 2009
The chief executive of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates the coal-burning power plant responsible for an enormous flood of coal ash in East Tennessee late last month, acknowledged Thursday that the plant’s containment ponds had leaked two other times in the last five years but had not been adequately repaired.

INDIA: Indian Outsourcing Giant Admits Fraud
by Rama LakshmiWashington Post
January 7th, 2009
The leader of one of India's largest technology outsourcing companies, Satyam Computer Services, on Wednesday admitted cooking its books and committing other grave financial wrongdoing to inflate profits over several years. The revelation shook India's stock market and sent shockwaves across the country's booming software industry.

US: Madoff Case Faces Crucial Disclosure Deadline
by Diana B. HenriquesNew York Times
December 30th, 2008
Judge Louis L. Stanton of United States District Court has established Wednesday as the deadline for Bernard L. Madoff, who is accused of operating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, to provide federal securities regulators with a full accounting of his and his New York firm’s assets — from real estate to art works to bank accounts.

CHINA: Chinese Dairies Agree to Pay $160 Million to Tainted-Milk Victims
by David Barboza New York Times
December 30th, 2008
The China Dairy Industry Association, blamed for selling contaminated milk that killed six children and sickened nearly 300,000 others earlier this year, has agreed to pay $160 million in compensation to the victims and their families.

US: Altria Ruling Ignites Legal Moves
by BRENT KENDALLThe Wall Street Journal
December 21st, 2008
The Supreme Court's ruling last week allowing smokers in Maine to sue Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris unit for allegedly deceptive advertising of "light" cigarettes already is prompting new legal activity, including an effort to revive a multibillion-dollar case against the tobacco company that had been thrown out.

GERMANY: At Siemens, Bribery Was Just a Line Item
by SIRI SCHUBERT and T. CHRISTIAN MILLERThe New York Times
December 21st, 2008
Mr. Siekaczek (pronounced SEE-kah-chek) says that from 2002 to 2006 he oversaw an annual bribery budget of about $40 million to $50 million at Siemens. Company managers and sales staff used the slush fund to cozy up to corrupt government officials worldwide.

US: On Wall Street, Bonuses, Not Profits, Were Real
by LOUISE STORYThe New York Times
December 17th, 2008
As regulators and shareholders sift through the rubble of the financial crisis, questions are being asked about what role lavish bonuses played in the debacle. Scrutiny over pay is intensifying as banks like Merrill prepare to dole out bonuses even after they have had to be propped up with billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.

US: 3 Convicted in KPMG Tax Shelter Case
by LYNNLEY BROWNINGThe New York Times
December 17th, 2008
The verdicts, on multiple counts of tax evasion, are a victory for the government, which has spent more than three years prosecuting its case against an original group of 19 defendants, 17 of them from KPMG, over the creation and sale of aggressive tax shelters to wealthy Americans from the late 1990s to early 2000 that allowed them to evade hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.

TANZANIA: Intruders attempt to seize North Mara mine
Guardian (Tanzania)
December 13th, 2008
A person was shot dead when thousands of gold seekers invaded Barrick`s North Mara Gold Mine in Tarime District and destroyed equipment worth 15 million US dollars.

TANZANIA: Villagers storm Barrick gold mine: Inflict much damage, FFU police deployed to disperse them
This Day (Tanzania)
December 13th, 2008
Thousands of villagers raided the North Mara gold mine owned by Barrick Gold Corp on Thursday night and caused damage to various mining equipments worth more than $16 million (approx. 21bn/-).

IRAQ: Official History Spotlights Iraq Rebuilding Blunders
by JAMES GLANZ and T. CHRISTIAN MILLERThe New York Times
December 13th, 2008
An unpublished 513-page federal history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq depicts an effort crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners who were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country, and then molded into a $100 billion failure by bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure.

US: Plea by Blackwater Guard Helps Indict Others
by GINGER THOMPSON and JAMES RISENNew York Times
December 9th, 2008
On Monday, the Justice Department unsealed its case against five Blackwater private security guards, built largely around testimony from a sixth guard about the 2007 shootings that left 17 unsuspecting Iraqi civilians dead at a busy Baghdad traffic circle.

US: In Factory Sit-In, an Anger Spread Wide
by MONICA DAVEYNew York Times
December 7th, 2008
In a glimpse at how the nation’s loss of more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs this year is boiling over, workers laid off from Republic Windows and Doors, said they would not leave, after company officials announced that the factory was closing. The workers were owed vacation and severance pay and were not given the 60 days of notice generally required by federal law in lay-offs.

US/IRAQ: Indiana guardsmen sue defense contractor KBR
by Farah StockmanBoston Globe
December 4th, 2008
Sixteen Indiana national guardsmen filed a lawsuit yesterday against military contractor KBR. The complaint alleges that several reservists contracted respiratory system tumors and skin rashes after guarding reconstruction work at the Qarmat Ali treatment plant, strewn with the toxin chromium dichromate.

WORLD: Workforce deaths at Shell higher than for other western oil groups
by Ed CrooksFinancial Times
December 1st, 2008
Royal Dutch Shell last year suffered more workforce deaths than any other large western oil company. Two employees and 28 contractors were killed working for Shell in 2007. Nine of last year's deaths were in Nigeria, with two people killed in attacks on Shell facilities, and 10 in Russia.

US: One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex
by DAVID BARSTOWThe New York Times
November 29th, 2008
The company, Defense Solutions, sought the services of a retired general with national stature, someone who could open doors at the highest levels of government and help it win a huge prize: the right to supply Iraq with thousands of armored vehicles.

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