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News Articles : Displaying 2231-2530 of 4857

US: Koch Buys Georgia-Pacific
November 14th, 2005
Koch's acquisition of Georgia-Pacific makes it the largest private corporation in the United States.

WORLD: Private Military Industry Booming
November 13th, 2005
The industry brings in about $100 billion US a year in revenues and operates in over 50 nations. But, since it is largely unregulated, there are no firm numbers worldwide on how many private contractors or companies there actually are.

US: Firm Helps Pentagon Mold News Abroad
by Stephen J. HedgesThe Chicago Tribune
November 13th, 2005
The Rendon Group has garnered more than $56 million in work from the Pentagon since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. These contracts list such activities as tracking foreign reporters; "pushing" news favorable to U.S. forces; planting television news segments that promote American positions, and creating a grass-roots voting effort in Puerto Rico on behalf of the U.S. Navy.

US: Neighbors of toxic mine want ARCO to pay for fence; EPA agrees
by Scott SonnerAssociated Press
November 13th, 2005
Neighbors of a toxic mine site in Nevada want to know why an oil company responsible for its cleanup won't fence off nearly 6 square miles of mill tailings and ponds.

SOUTH AFRICA: Washington Private Military Trade Group Slams Anti-Mercenary Bill
November 12th, 2005
The International Peace Operations Association (IOPA) is lobbying the US and other European governments to put pressure on the South African government not to pass the anti-mercenary bill, saying it undermines the role played by South Africans in peace building missions worldwide.

WORLD: Soldiers of Fortune
by David
November 12th, 2005
In the lawless reality of much of the post-Cold War world, private security is a booming business. And Canada, once noted for peacekeeping, is emerging as a source of talented guns for hire. David Pugliese reports.

SOUTH AFRICA: Mining Giants Seek Their Fortune Abroad
by Linus AtarahInter Press Service
November 11th, 2005
A number of South African mining companies, long a pillar of the country's economy, are now primed for take-off to countries with lower mining standards and labour regulations.

US: Bottler to Pay $1 Million for Pollution of 2 Rivers
by Wendy ThermosLos Angeles Times
November 11th, 2005
Runoff was harmful to humans and marine life, EPA says. Fines came in civil and criminal cases.

GERMANY: Auditors Detail VW Corruption in India and Czech Republic
Deutsche Presse-Agentur
November 11th, 2005
Independent auditors confirmed Friday to Volkswagen's senior board many of the details published in news reports in recent months about corrupt dealings by managers in the car company's personnel department.

NIGERIA: Ogoni Minority Mark Saro-Wiwa's Death
Agence-France Presse
November 10th, 2005
Hundreds of members of Nigeria's Ogoni minority have marched in the oil city of Port Harcourt to mark the tenth anniversary of the execution of rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa after he protested against the energy giant Shell.

US: Bad Reception
by Art LevineAmerican Prospect
November 9th, 2005
Did cronies of Mouafac Harb, the executive who runs America's Arabic-language networks, get sweetheart contracts?

U.S.: Lawmakers Eager to Grill Oil Executives
by Richard SimonThe Los Angeles Times
November 8th, 2005
Oil industry executives summoned to Capitol Hill are expected to receive a grilling Wednesday — perhaps unlike any they have faced before — over their record profits at a time of high oil prices.

US: Company under fire won Katrina contracts
by Kevin McCoyUSA TODAY
November 8th, 2005
A defense contracting firm tangled in the Abu Ghraib prison controversy and an international bribery scheme has been awarded federal government contracts for Hurricane Katrina and other disasters.

IRAQ: Before Rearming Iraq, He Sold Shoes and Flowers
by Solomon Moore and T. Christian MillerThe Los Angeles Times
November 6th, 2005
The U.S. chose Ziad Cattan to oversee military buying because he could get things done. He did, but now he faces corruption charges.

US: Immigrants Often Unpaid for Katrina Work
by  Justin PritchardAssociated Press
November 5th, 2005
A pattern is emerging as the cleanup of Mississippi's Gulf Coast morphs into its multibillion-dollar reconstruction: Come payday, untold numbers of Hispanic immigrant laborers are being stiffed.

UN: U.S. Should Repay Millions to Iraq, a U.N. Audit Finds
by James GlanzThe New York Times
November 5th, 2005
A United Nations auditing board recommended that the United States repay as much as $208 million to the Iraqi government for contracting work assigned to Kellogg, Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary.

GLOBAL: World Bank Gets Cold Feet on Bird Flu Drug Patent
by Marwaan Macan-MarkarInter Press Service
November 4th, 2005
The World Bank has decided that it is not in keeping with its mission to get involved in the emerging global debate on the Tamilfu patent held by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche and that could be broken under the 'compulsory licencing' rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

IRAQ: Green Zone Private Security Switch Causes Anxiety
by Paul MartinThe Washington Times
November 4th, 2005
One concern is that Triple Canopy employees have been recruited mainly in Latin America and speak little English. Global Strategies relies heavily on British-trained Nepalese Gurkhas and Sri Lankans, a majority of whom speak at least some English and often speak it well.

TURKEY: Turkish Coke Bottler Under Fire
by Caroline WilbertAtlanta Journal-Constitution
November 3rd, 2005
United Students against Sweatshops held a news conference in Washington on Wednesday, alleging that within the last several months, employees of a Coke bottler in Turkey were fired for joining a union. These workers protested and were allegedly beaten by police at the behest of Coke.

IRAQ: What to Call a Private Army of 20,000?
by Ruth WalkerThe Christian Science Monitor
November 3rd, 2005
There are 20,000 "private security contractors" in Iraq: What do you call the people who fill the gaps arising when the desire of politicians to make war often exceeds citizens' desire to be sent to war?

WORLD: Social audits 'are failing to detect factory abuses'
by Alison MaitlandThe Financial Times
November 2nd, 2005
Social audits of clothing factories in developing countries are failing to detect excessive and forced overtime, abusive treatment of workers and violations of freedom of association, says a report by the Clean Clothes Campaign, a coalition of trade unions and pressure groups, to be published today.

US: Tender Mercenaries: DynCorp and Me
by Jeremy ScahillCommon Dreams
November 1st, 2005
In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, journalist Jeremy Scahill investigated the role of private security companies like Blackwater USA, infamous for their work in Iraq, that deployed on the streets of New Orleans. His reports were broadcast on the national radio and TV show Democracy Now! and on hundreds of sites across the internet. In response to Scahill's recent cover story in The Nation magazine "Blackwater Down," the President and CEO of DynCorp, one of the largest private security companies in the world, wrote a letter to the editor of The Nation. Dyncorp CEO Stephen J. Cannon's letter is reprinted below, followed by Scahill's response.

U.S.: A New Weapon for Wal-Mart: A War Room
by Michael BarbaroThe New York Times
November 1st, 2005
Wal-Mart is taking a page from the modern political playbook. Under fire from well-organized opponents who have hammered the retailer with criticisms of its wages, health insurance and treatment of workers, Wal-Mart has quietly recruited former presidential advisers, including Michael K. Deaver, who was Ronald Reagan's image-meister, and Leslie Dach, one of Bill Clinton's media consultants, to set up a rapid-response public relations team in Arkansas.

Azerbaijan: Oil billions and poverty in ex-Soviet Azerbaijan
Agence France Presse
October 31st, 2005
Azerbaijan may be experiencing an oil boom but analysts warn it could be short-lived and millions of ordinary Azerbaijanis have so far seen little of the windfall from oil revenues.

IRAQ: Veteran Peruvian Soldiers and Police Recruited for Iraq by U.S. Contractors
by Ángel PáezInter Press Service News Agency
October 31st, 2005
The complaints by the families of the new private security recruits forced the Peruvian Foreign Ministry to act. Ambassador Jorge Lázaro, in charge of Offices of Peruvian Communities Abroad, announced that he had launched an investigation to determine whether the contracts violated the rights of the new recruits.

U.K.: War’s fertile grounds for soldiers of fortune
by Peter AlmondThe Sunday Times
October 30th, 2005
Once thought of as little better than mercenaries, Britain’s private-security firms are now seen by many as valued and legitimate businesses.

US: Iraq Rebuilding Poorly Planned, Inspector General Says
by Tony CapaccioBloomberg
October 30th, 2005
The assessment marks the first time a sitting inspector general -- in this case a former White House deputy assistant to President George W. Bush -- has formally criticized the prewar planning process. Most of the authoritative criticism to date has come from retired military or diplomatic officers or academics who worked in the reconstruction effort.

AFRICA: The Dark Side of Chocolate
by Kate McMahonAlternet, Wiretap
October 28th, 2005
The truth behind the chocolate is anything but sweet. On the Ivory Coast of Africa, the origin of nearly half of the world's cocoa, hundreds of thousands of children work or are enslaved on cocoa farms. With poverty running rampant and average cocoa revenues ranging from $30-$108 per household member per year, producers have no choice but to utilize child labor for dangerous farming tasks. Some children, seeking to help their poor families, even end up as slaves on cocoa farms far from home. Slavery drags on and we are paying the slaveholder's wages.

US: Bribe Inquiry Looks at Sale of Field Gear to Military
by Leslie WayneThe New York Times
October 28th, 2005
In a widening scandal at the United States Special Operations Command, federal investigators are looking into a bribery scheme as well as accusations of improper influence involving millions of dollars in battlefield equipment used by Navy Seals and Army Green Berets and Rangers.

U.S.: Fiction Genre Fits Big Pharma
by Michael HiltzikLA Times
October 27th, 2005
According to a proposal, PhRMA was to pay Phoenix a six-figure sum for the marketing and production of a written-to-order fictional thriller. The plotline was what Hollywood would term high-concept — a group of shadowy terrorists conspires to murder thousands of Americans by poisoning the medicine they're importing from Canada to beat U.S. drug prices. PhRMA subsequently pulled the plug on the deal.

U.N.: Massive Fraud in Iraq Oil Program
by Maggie FarleyThe Los Angeles Times
October 27th, 2005
The United Nations' oil-for-food program was so badly managed and supervised that more than half of the 4,500 companies doing business with Iraq paid illegal surcharges and kickbacks to Saddam Hussein, finds an independent investigation into the program.

US: Rules Tightened for Contractors in Combat Zones
by Tony CapaccioBloomberg
October 27th, 2005
The new rules mandate background checks and permission from the military before a contractor can carry a weapon, and they spell out conditions for medical care and evacuation. At least 524 U.S. military contract workers, many of them Iraqis, have been killed in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion.

US: Pentagon Settles Some Halliburton Billing Disputes
by Tom FowlerThe Houston Chronicle
October 26th, 2005
The Army Corps of Engineers has settled payment disputes for six out of 10 task orders costing about $1.4 billion under its Restore Iraqi Oil contract with Houston-based Halliburton. Auditors concluded the military had been overcharged by about $108.4 million for fuel brought into Iraq from Kuwait under the orders.

PERU: Tangled Strands in Fight Over Peru Gold Mine
by Jane Perlez and Lowell BergmanThe New York Times
October 25th, 2005
Yanacocha is Newmont's prize possession, the most productive gold mine in the world. But if history holds one lesson, it is that where there is gold, there is conflict, and the more gold, the more conflict.

INDIA: Health Minister: 'Coke Plant Will Not Be Allowed to Function'
The Hindu
October 25th, 2005
Health Minister K.K. Ramachandran on Monday said the Government "would not allow the bottling plant of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. at Plachimada to reopen against the will of the people." (Mr. Ramachandran is the first Minister to have visited Plachimada where the local people have been waging an agitation for the last three years demanding the closure of the company for allegedly exploiting the groundwater, leading to shortage of water for drinking and irrigation purposes.)

US: Secret Codes in Printers May Allow Government Tracking
by Eric SchmittThe New York Times
October 25th, 2005
Tiny dots produced by some laser printers are a secret code that can allow the government to track down counterfeiters, a new study concludes, raising the hackles of privacy advocates.

IRAQ: OPEC and the Economic Conquest of Iraq
by Greg PalastHarper's/
October 24th, 2005
According to insiders and to documents obtained from the State Department, the neocons, once in command, are now in full retreat. Iraq's system of oil production, after a year of failed free-market experimentation, is being re-created almost entirely on the lines originally laid out by Saddam Hussein.

WORLD: The Cost of Gold
October 24th, 2005
The price of gold is higher than it has been in 17 years - pushing $500 an ounce. But much of the gold left to be mined is microscopic and is being wrung from the earth at enormous environmental cost, often in some of the poorest corners of the world.

US: Technology Company Hired After 9/11 Charged Too Much for Labor, Audit Says
by Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Scott HighamThe Washington Post
October 23rd, 2005
Federal auditors say the prime contractor, Unisys Corp., overbilled taxpayers for as much as 171,000 hours' worth of labor and overtime by charging up to $131 an hour for employees who were paid less than half that amount while working on a $1 billion technology contract to improve the nation's transportation security system.

IRAQ: Making a killing
by Jon SwainThe Sunday Times
October 23rd, 2005
The American government is hiring private security firms to stabilise Iraq — and paying them a fortune to do it. But many of them are unregulated and operate outside the law.

US: Desperation Deal at GM
by Robert KuttnerThe Boston Globe
October 22nd, 2005
The United Autoworkers union has agreed to save General Motors over a billion dollars a year in health insurance costs. This is a disguised pay-cut, since workers will now pay more out of pocket for their healthcare.

CANADA: MPs Call for Tougher Rules on Overseas Mines
by Paul Weinberg Inter Press Service
October 22nd, 2005
A call by members of Canada's parliament for legally binding measures to govern the behaviour of Canadian mining companies around the world, and specifically to investigate the activities of a Calgary-based operation in the Philippines, has been turned down flat by the Canadian government's foreign affairs minister Pierre Pettigrew.

US: Suspected Illegal Workers Found at Halliburton Job Site
by Griff WitteThe Washington Post
October 22nd, 2005
Federal agents have identified 10 suspected illegal immigrants working at a naval base near New Orleans where the Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root is leading hurricane reconstruction, according to a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

US: Illegal Immigrants Working for Contractors on Military Bases Raise Concerns
by Estes ThompsonAssociated Press
October 21st, 2005
Scores of illegal immigrants working as cooks, laborers, janitors, even foreign-language instructors working for military contractors have been seized at military bases around the country in the past year, raising concerns in some quarters about security and troop safety.

ECUADOR: Amazon Indians say Texaco left damage
by Gonzalo SolanoAssociated Press
October 20th, 2005
About 50 Cofan Indians, some holding handkerchiefs over their faces to fend off an acrid chemical stench, gathered around two contaminated open pits they say were left behind and never adequately cleaned up by the former Texaco Corp.

US: U.S. Arrests Executive in Tax Case, Fearing He Will Flee
by Jonathan D. GlaterThe New York Times
October 20th, 2005
Federal prosecutors said yesterday that one of the 19 executives charged in an investigation of tax shelters sold by the accounting firm KPMG might try to flee the country and should be detained pending trial.

US: Whistle-Blower or Troublemaker, Bunny Greenhouse Isn't Backing Down
by Neely TuckerThe Washington Post
October 19th, 2005
Then the 61-year-old Greenhouse lost her $137,000-a-year post after questioning the plump contracts awarded to Halliburton in the run-up to the war in Iraq. It has made her easy to love for some, easy to loathe for others, but it has not made her easy to know.

U.S.: Pentagon's auditors absent from Iraq
by Seth BorensteinKnight Ridder/Contra Costa Times
October 18th, 2005
The chief Pentagon agency charged with investigating and reporting fraud and waste in Iraq quietly pulled out of the war zone a year ago -- leaving what experts say are gaps in the oversight of how more than $140 billion is being spent.

US: EPA probes alleged mud dumping in Alaska
by Mark ThiessenThe Associated Press
October 18th, 2005
Federal regulators are investigating the alleged dumping of thousands of gallons of tainted mud by a Texas drilling company into the Beaufort Sea on Alaska's northern coast, a spokeswoman for Alaska's environmental protection agency said Tuesday.

EU: The wrong label
by David RansomThe New Internationalist
October 17th, 2005
In a move that has astonished campaigners in the trade and global-justice movements, the giant Nestlé corporation has been awarded a ‘Fairtrade’ mark for a new brand of its coffee in Britain. David Ransom wonders why.

CANADA: Tyson plans to restart striking beef plant
by Ian Cobain and David LeighReuters
October 17th, 2005
Top U.S. meat processor Tyson Foods Inc. said it planned to reopen its massive Canadian plant in Brooks, Alberta on Monday after several tense incidents on a strike picket line last week.

KOREA: Tobacco firm has secret North Korea plant
by Ian Cobain and David LeighThe Guardian
October 17th, 2005
British American Tobacco, the world's second largest cigarette company, has secretly been operating a factory in North Korea for the past four years, the Guardian has learned. The company opened the plant in a joint venture with a state owned corporation shortly before the regime was denounced by George Bush as a member of the "axis of evil", and despite widespread concern over the country's human rights record.

IRAQ: Into a War zone, on a Deadly Road
by Cam SimpsonThe Chicago Tribune
October 13th, 2005
Thousands of workers are needed to meet the demands of the unprecedented privatization of military support operations unfolding under the watch of the U.S. Army and KBR, its prime contractor in Iraq. KBR, in turn, KBR, outsources much of the work to lowly-paid workers imported from developing nations.

IRAQ: Work Cut Short after Complaining about Abuse of Third-Country Workers
by Ryan ClarkCincinnati Enquirer
October 13th, 2005
Robert Hill became concerned about the "mistreatment" of third-country nationals working in Iraq and then chose to walk away from his one-year commitment, saying he felt that speaking out made him a target for repercussions from his superiors.

IRAQ: War Fuels Human Labor Trade
by Cam Simpson and Aamer MadhaniThe Chicago Tribune
October 13th, 2005
The United States has long condemned the practices that are now part of the privatization of the American war effort and which is central to the operations of Halliburton subsidiary KBR, the U.S. military's biggest private contractor in Iraq.

US: Questions Over Deals at Refco Dating to '98
October 12th, 2005
Questionable transactions at Refco, one of the world's biggest commodities brokerage firms, began in 1998 and continued until this year, the company said yesterday.

US: Ex-Broker Reaches Settlement With S.E.C. on Fund Trading
by  Riva D. Atlas and Andrew Ross SorkinThe New York Times
October 12th, 2005
A former broker with the Bank of America Corporation who was acquitted in June on 29 of 33 criminal charges linked to improper mutual fund trading reached a separate settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.

US: Cheney's Halliburton Options Up 3,281% Last Year
The Raw Story
October 11th, 2005

PHILIPPINES: Placer Dome Suit May Not Damp Philippine Mining, Secretary Says
by Ian C. Sayson and Chia-Peck Wong Bloomberg
October 11th, 2005
An environmental lawsuit filed by a Philippine province against Placer Dome Inc., Canada's second- largest gold producer, may not damp overseas investments in Philippines mining industry, a government official said.

IRAQ: Rescue Spares Some Workers
by Cam SimpsonThe Chicago Tribune
October 10th, 2005
Footage of 12 of their countrymen executed at the hands of insurgents in Iraq last year set off a panic among Nepalis who didn't want to risk the same fate. But a manager for First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting Co., issued an ultimatum: Agree to travel to Iraq and they would get more food and water. Refuse, and they would get nothing and be put out on the streets of Kuwait City to find their way home.

US: Lobbyists Advise Katrina Relief
by Alan C. Miller and Ken SilversteinThe Los Angeles Times
October 10th, 2005
Lobbyists representing transportation, energy and other special interests dominated panels that advised Louisiana's U.S. senators crafting legislation to rebuild the storm-damaged Gulf Coast, records and interviews show.

US: Refco Suspends Chief as Accounting Issues Emerge
by Vikas Bajaj and Floyd NorrisThe New York Times
October 10th, 2005
Refco Inc., a futures trading company that went public two months ago, ousted its chief executive today after discovering that a firm he controlled owed the company $430 million. Refco's shares fell 45 percent, reducing the company's market value by $1.65 billion.

IRAQ: Desperate for Work, Lured into Danger
by Cam SimpsonThe Chicago Tribune
October 9th, 2005
The journey of a dozen impoverished men from Nepal to Iraq reveals the exploitation underpinning the American war effort

US: Is It Too Late to Ride the Energy Bandwagon?
by Tim GrayThe New York Times
October 9th, 2005
Natural resources funds invest in everything from gold miners to timber companies. But oil-related stocks, ranging from drillers like the Apache Corporation to services providers like Halliburton, tend to predominate. Interest in the sector stems from its recent double-digit returns as well as worldwide developments - including the Iraq war, China's torrid growth and Hurricane Katrina - that have pushed oil prices higher and higher.

IRAQ: Poor Migrants Work in Netherworld to Support U.S. Contractors
by T. Christian MillerThe Los Angeles Times
October 9th, 2005
U.S.-hired contractors rely on laborers from impoverished countries, but no one looks out for the rights -- or lives -- of the foreigners.

US: Watchdog group says company manipulated study of asthma drug Serevent to lower appearance of fatal risk
by Roni RabinNew York Newsday
October 7th, 2005
A consumer watchdog group has accused the makers of a popular asthma drug of manipulating safety data submitted to the FDA two years ago to create the impression the drug Serevent is safer than it is.

JAPAN: Toyota steers into controversy over role in Japanese politics
by David IbisonThe Financial Times
October 7th, 2005
Not content with running the world's most profitable carmaker, the top executives at Toyota have made the leap from camshafts to the campaign trail and are now seeking a larger role in deciding who runs the country.

US: Smoking the fast-food industry: Fight against warning labels reminiscent of tobacco fray
by Thomas KostigenMarketWatch
October 6th, 2005
The state of California is suing nine top food manufacturers, including Burger King, Heinz and McDonald's, over their reluctance to issue warnings that some of their snacks could contain the potentially cancer-causing chemical acrylamide. Acrylamide was found to be linked to cancer in 2002. Then, the Swedish Food Administration reported high levels of it in carbohydrate-rich foods, such as french fries and potato chips, cooked at high temperatures. Studies indicated the chemical caused cancer in rats.

US: Katrina work goes to officials who led Iraq effort
by Adam EntousReuters
October 6th, 2005
Top officials who managed U.S. reconstruction projects in Iraq have been hired by some of the same big companies that received those contracts and which are now involved in a rush of deals to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

AFGHANISTAN: Blackwater Broke Rules, Report Says
by Griff WitteThe Washington Post
October 5th, 2005
A private contracting firm flying in Afghanistan for the U.S. military was in violation of numerous government regulations and contract requirements when one of its planes crashed into a mountainside in November 2004, killing all six on board, according to an Army report made public yesterday.

RUSSIA: Prosecutors raid Yukos-affiliated cos.
The Associated Press
October 5th, 2005
Investigators raided a number of companies connected to the shattered Yukos oil empire, prosecutors said Wednesday, as part of a $7 billion money-laundering probe.

EUROPE: Europe's 'dirty 30' named
News 24
October 4th, 2005
Coal-fired power stations in Greece, Germany and Spain top a new table of Europe's dirtiest electricity plants, the environmental group WWF International said on Tuesday.

US: Boosted, not battered, in the hurricane's wake
by Carola Hoyos, Financial TimesThe Financial Times
October 4th, 2005

Britain: Clarke's evidence on BAT to be investigated for 'contradictions'
by Michael White and David LeighThe Guardian
October 4th, 2005
The chairman of the Commons health committee is to investigate allegations that Kenneth Clarke gave false evidence to parliament about the activities of his company British American Tobacco.

US: Minority Firms Getting Few Katrina Pacts
by Hope YenAssociated Press
October 4th, 2005
Minority-owned businesses say they're paying the price for the decision by Congress and the Bush administration to waive certain rules for Hurricane Katrina recovery contracts.

US: Watchdogs Frustrated By Sarbanes Extension
by Michael RapoportDow Jones Newswire
October 4th, 2005
The Securities and Exchange Commission's decision late last month to give the smallest public companies more time to comply with the so-called internal-controls rule of Sarbanes-Oxley has got some corporate-governance watchers crying foul.

US: Court Denies Bail for Former Tyco Execs
by Samuel MaullThe Washington Post
October 3rd, 2005
A state appeals court Monday refused to allow bail for former Tyco International executives L. Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz while they appeal their convictions on charges of stealing some $600 million from the company.

US: On Television, Brands Go From Props to Stars
by Lorne ManlyThe New York Times
October 2nd, 2005
Network, advertising and production executives say that this season, more and more brands will venture outside the confines of 30-second ads. They may have no choice: As technology and clutter blunt the effectiveness and reach of the commercial spots that have underpinned the television business for nearly 50 years, the various players are scrambling to adapt.

US: Spitzerism
by NOAM SCHEIBERThe New York Times
October 2nd, 2005
If recent history is any guide, Eliot Spitzer's chances of becoming governor of New York next year are greatly enhanced by the presence of the words "attorney general" on his résumé. Since 2002, Democrats nationwide have won 18 open seats for governor or senator. Six of the winners had served either as state attorney general or United States attorney. Two others were prosecutors before entering politics. Not even mayors or congressmen were as well represented.

US: A Quest for Oil Collides With Nature in Alaska
by Felicity BarringerThe New York Times
October 2nd, 2005
The 217,000 acres of windblown water and mottled tundra here on the North Slope of Alaska, separating Teshekpuk Lake from the Beaufort Sea, are home in summer to 50,000 to 90,000 migratory birds. This corner of Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve is also thought to be brimming with oil.

US: Magazine ad "unleashes hell" for Boeing and Bell
by Hal BerntonThe Seattle Times
October 1st, 2005
Boeing and its joint-venture partner Bell Helicopter apologized yesterday for a magazine ad published a month ago - and again this week by mistake - depicting U.S. Special Forces troops rappelling from an Osprey aircraft onto the roof of a mosque.

US: Judge OKs $97 million payout for Microsoft "permatemps"
by Brier DudleyThe Seattle Times
October 1st, 2005
After years of delays, false hopes and procedural haggling, the contract workers who sued Microsoft in 1992 for denying them benefits are finally getting paid this month.

US: U.S. Paying a Premium to Cover Storm-Damaged Roofs
by Aaron C. DavisKnight Ridder
September 30th, 2005
Across the hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast, thousands upon thousands of blue tarps are being nailed to wind-damaged roofs, a visible sign of government assistance. Construction crews working with TJC Defense, out of Alabama, install a blue tarp on a home in Kenner, Louisiana. Ian McVea, Fort Worth Star-Telegram The blue sheeting - a godsend to residents whose homes are threatened by rain - is rapidly becoming the largest roofing project in the nation's history. It isn't coming cheap.

US: Delay Is Indicted in Texas Case and Forfeits G.O.P. House Post
by Philip Shenon and Carl HulseThe New York Times
September 29th, 2005
Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader and a driving Republican power in Washington, was forced to step aside from his leadership post on Wednesday after a grand jury in Texas indicted him on a charge of conspiring to violate election laws in his home state.

ITALY: Parmalat fraud trial is suspended
September 28th, 2005
The trial of Calisto Tanzi, founder of scandal-hit Italian dairy giant Parmalat, and other company executives has been suspended on its first day.

US: Deep Pockets, Small Government and the Man in the Middle
by Dana MilbankThe Washington Post
September 27th, 2005
Ideology and party loyalty are clashing among congressional Republicans these days, and the smart money is on party loyalty. Conservatives, enraged by talk of spending $200 billion on the Hurricane Katrina recovery, are calling on the leadership to slow down popular programs and to find spending cuts to offset the expenses. But congressional leaders have rejected most of the conservatives' entreaties.

US: Many Contracts for Storm Work Raise Questions
by Eric Lipton and Ron NixonThe New York Times
September 26th, 2005
Topping the federal government's list of costs related to Hurricane Katrina is the $568 million in contracts for debris removal landed by a Florida company with ties to Mississippi's Republican governor. Near the bottom is an $89.95 bill for a pair of brown steel-toe shoes bought by an Environmental Protection Agency worker in Baton Rouge, La.

US: US Companies Lag in Responsibility, Accountability
by Abid
September 25th, 2005
U.S. companies remain less accountable than European and Asian ones despite recent years' damaging revelations of management chicanery involving finances, labor relations, environmental performance, and consumer protection, a global survey said Friday.

US: Energy Group Plans to Build Nuclear Plants in Gulf States
by Matthew L. WaldThe New York Times
September 23rd, 2005
A consortium of eight companies said on Thursday that it would spend about $100 million to prepare applications to build two nuclear reactors, in Mississippi and Alabama, a step that seems to move the industry closer to its first new reactor order since the 1970's.

US: Auditors investigate Katrina contracts
by Hope YenAssociated Press
September 22nd, 2005
Government auditors are questioning whether several multimillion-dollar Katrina contracts” including one involving a subsidiary of Houston-based Halliburton Co.” invite abuse because they are open-ended and not clearly defined.

IRAQ: Contractor Charged in Baghdad Badge Scam
by  Jerry Markon and Josh WhiteThe Washington Post
September 21st, 2005
A military contractor returning from Iraq was charged yesterday with distributing identity badges that control access to Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone to people not allowed to receive them, including an Iraqi woman he was dating.

US: Conrad Black's right-hand man pleads guilty to $32m fraud
by David TeatherThe Guardian, UK
September 21st, 2005
David Radler, the former right hand man of disgraced media tycoon Conrad Black, pleaded guilty to fraud charges yesterday in a Chicago courtroom.

US: Ex-Tyco Executives Get 8 to 25 Years in Prison
by Andrew Ross SorkinThe New York Times
September 20th, 2005
L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former chief executive of Tyco International who was convicted of looting the company of $150 million, was sentenced yesterday to 81/3 to 25 years in a New York State prison, the latest corporate figure to be handed a lengthy prison term in a corruption case.

IRAQ: Poor Planning and Corruption Hobble Reconstruction of Iraq
by Craig S. SmithThe New York Times
September 18th, 2005
In April, Najaf's main maternity hospital received rare good news: an $8 million refurbishment program financed by the United States would begin immediately. But five months and millions of dollars later, the hospital administrators say they have little but frustration to show for it.

US: Contractor Entangled in Abu Ghraib Plans to Drop Interrogation Work
by Ellen McCarthyThe Washington Post
September 16th, 2005
CACI International Inc., the Arlington-based defense contractor that attracted controversy when an employee was accused of participating in the Abu Ghraib prison abuses, is getting out of the interrogation business.

CHILE: Detective Story that Linked £1m Pinochet Cash to BAE
by David Leigh, Jonathan Franklin in Santiago and Rob EvansThe Guardian, UK
September 15th, 2005
Augusto Pinochet, the 89-year-old former strongman of Chile and alleged torturer and murderer, has frequently slipped his pursuers, pleading ill health or relying on protectors at home in the Chilean military. But now an unexpected nemesis is pursuing him, in the shape of his tax returns.

US: Halliburton Subsidiary, KBR, Clinches More Hurricane Recovery Work
Defense Industry Daily
September 15th, 2005
The task order is a cost reimbursement, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity construction capabilities contract for post-Katrina recovery efforts in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for "unwatering activities" in Plaquemines, East and West basins, New Orleans.

US: Spitzer Says 8 Former Insurance Executives Are Indicted
by Associated Press
September 15th, 2005
Eight former executives at Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. were charged with felonies in indictments unsealed Thursday in New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's investigation of bid rigging and price fixing in the insurance industry.

US: Private Security Company Creates Stir in New Orleans
by Bill SizemoreThe Virginian-Pilot
September 15th, 2005
Blackwater USA, the North Carolina-based security firm best known for supplementing U.S. troops in Iraq, is now attracting international attention patrolling the flooded streets of New Orleans.

CHILE: Probe of European Defense Firms Linked to Pinochet
by Fiona OrtizReuters
September 15th, 2005
European defense companies deposited millions of dollars into bank accounts for front companies of former dictator Augusto Pinochet, a source close to a Chilean court probe into the accounts told Reuters.

US: Wal-Mart Accused of Denying Workers' Rights
by Michael BarbaroThe Washington Post
September 14th, 2005
An American labor rights group filed a class-action lawsuit yesterday against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., alleging that suppliers in five countries violated workers' rights, including denying a minimum wage, requiring overtime and punishing union activity.

EUROPE: Private Security Companies Linked with Organized Crime
Associated Press
September 13th, 2005
While the industry was growing rapidly in the southeast Europe, there are problems with private security companies being affiliated with political parties as well as criminal, paramilitary and ethnic groups reports the Britain-based Saferworld think-tank.

WORLD: Steady Growth Expected for Private Security Industry
by Stephen FidlerThe Financial Times
September 13th, 2005
There are estimated to be more than 20,000 armed expatriates working for private security companies in Iraq, more than all the non-US troops combined and contrary their numbers do not appear to have fallen appreciably. The Baghdad bubble, as it has been dubbed, has yet to burst.

US: F.D.A. Had Report of Short Circuit in Heart Devices
by Barry MeierThe New York Times
September 12th, 2005
Months before the Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert in June about problems with Guidant Corporation heart devices, the agency received a report from the company showing that some of those units were short-circuiting, agency records obtained by The New York Times show.

HONG KONG: Yahoo, Chinese Police, and a Jailed Journalist
by Robert MarquandThe Christian Science Monitor
September 12th, 2005
The role of Yahoo in helping Chinese security officials to finger a journalist sentenced to 10 years for e-mailing "state secrets" is filtering into mainland China. The revelation reinforces a conviction among Chinese "netizens" that there is no place security forces can't find them.

US: No-Bid Contracts Win Katrina Work
by Yochi J. DreazenThe Wall Street Journal
September 12th, 2005
White House uses practices criticized in Iraq rebuilding for hurricane-related jobs.

AUSTRALIA: Security Guards Are A New Force
The Sunday Mail
September 11th, 2005
Private security guards now outnumber police officers in South Australia by almost two to one.

FRANCE: French Anti-Takeover Decree Draws Interest
by Laurence FrostThe Washington Post
September 11th, 2005
French plans to vet foreign takeovers in newly defined "strategic" sectors are coming under fire from a growing number of critics _ including companies the government had vowed to protect.

US: Cover-up: toxic waters 'will make New Orleans unsafe for a decade'
by Geoffrey LeanThe Observer (UK)
September 11th, 2005
Toxic chemicals in the New Orleans flood waters will make the city unsafe for full human habitation for a decade, a US government official has told The Independent on Sunday. And, he added, the Bush administration is covering up the danger.

US: Disaster Hacks
by EditorialThe Los Angeles Times
September 11th, 2005
As with the hurricane, there were warnings that FEMA was turning into a disaster. The union representing its career employees wrote to members of Congress last year that politically connected contractors and novices without disaster-relief experience had taken over and trashed FEMA's professionalism.

US: Top War Profiteer Doug Feith Retires Wealthy
by Evelyn PringleDissident Voice
September 11th, 2005
Douglas Feith, who recently resigned as undersecretary of defense planned ahead for his retirement and will not be seen in the unemployment line.

IRAQ: Security Contractors in Iraq Under Scrutiny After Shootings
by Jonathan FinerThe Washington Post
September 10th, 2005
Recent shootings of Iraqi civilians, allegedly involving the legion of U.S., British and other foreign security contractors operating in the country, are drawing increasing concern from Iraqi officials and U.S. commanders who say they undermine relations between foreign military forces and Iraqi civilians.

US: Boeing May Avoid Criminal Prosecution
by Jame Gunsalus and Cary O'Reilly Bloomberg
September 10th, 2005
Boeing is in talks with the Justice Department to pay a fine and avoid criminal charges related to the scandals through a "deferred prosecution." The fine may be as high as $500 million.

US: Private Sector Poised to Reap Windfall from Katrina
by John BroderThe New York Times
September 10th, 2005
Private contractors, guided by two former directors of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other well-connected lobbyists and consultants, are rushing to cash in on the unprecedented sums to be spent on Hurricane Katrina relief and reconstruction.

US: Katrina-Hit States Turn to Private Security Firms
by Marguerite HigginsThe Washington Times
September 10th, 2005
Private security companies say they have seen an upswing in demand for services in the ravaged Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina blew through the region 12 days ago.

US: Feared Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleans
by Jeremy Scahill and Daniela CrespoDemocracy Now!
September 10th, 2005
Blackwater is one of the leading private "security" firms servicing the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

IRAQ: Private Security Dispute Shuts Baghdad Airport
by Ellen Knickmeyer and Naseer NouriThe Washington Post
September 10th, 2005
Foreign contractor, Iraqis are at odds

IRAQ: Security Contractors Under Scrutiny After Shootings
by Jonathan FinerThe Washington Post
September 10th, 2005
Recent shootings of Iraqi civilians, allegedly involving the legion of U.S., British and other foreign security contractors operating in the country, are drawing increasing concern from Iraqi officials and U.S. commanders who say they undermine relations between foreign military forces and Iraqi civilians.

UK: War Opponent Holds Stake in Iraq Security Firm
by Isabel OakeshottThe Evening Standard
September 9th, 2005
Sir Malcolm has been a fierce critic of the war, but an investigation into his financial interests shows his share options in a private security firm are rocketing in value as the company wins new contracts while the insurgency in Iraq continues.

US: Caremark to Settle Whistle-Blower Suit
by Milt FreudenheimThe New York Times
September 9th, 2005
Caremark Rx, the prescription drug plan manager, agreed yesterday to pay $137.5 million to settle federal lawsuits filed by whistle-blowers that accused a company it acquired in 2003 of improper dealings with pharmaceutical manufacturers.

US: Fluor's Slowed Iraq Work Frees it for Gulf Coast
September 9th, 2005
A slowing of reconstruction work in Iraq has freed up people for Fluor Corp. to begin rebuilding in the U.S. Gulf Coast region after Hurricane Katrina.

IRAQ: The Interior Ministry Imposes Rules for Security Companies
by Oliver PooleThe Telegraph
September 9th, 2005
Private security companies have long been a concern and those operating on US department of defence contracts are free from risk of legal penalty under the Iraqi judicial system if anyone is killed in a firefight.

IRAQ: Private Security Company Strikes Over Unpaid Bills
by Mariam Karouny and Omar al-IbadiReuters
September 9th, 2005
Iraq's government ordered its forces to reopen Baghdad airport on Friday after the private British company that polices it closed the passenger terminal in a dispute over unpaid bills.

US: Bush Insider Pushes Clients for Hurricane Rebuilding
by Thomas B. EdsallThe Washington Post
September 8th, 2005
After leaving FEMA in March 2003, Joe M. Allbaugh, who managed the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign, founded Allbaugh Co., a lobbying-consulting firm with many clients in the disaster-relief business. The firm's Web site quotes Allbaugh: "I'm dedicated to helping private industry meet the homeland security challenge."

IRAQ: Reconstruction Falters and Running Out of Money
by T. Christian MillerThe Los Angeles Times
September 8th, 2005
The U.S. will halt construction work on some water and power plants in Iraq because it is running out of money for projects, officials said Wednesday.

CHINA: Yahoo 'helped jail China writer'
September 7th, 2005
Internet giant Yahoo has been accused of supplying information to China which led to the jailing of a journalist for "divulging state secrets".

AFRICA: Amnesty accuses oil firms of overriding human rights
by Ewen MacAskillThe Guardian
September 7th, 2005
A consortium of western oil companies, led by ExxonMobil, has drawn up legal agreements with African governments that potentially override the human rights of the local populations, according to a report published today by Amnesty International.

IRAQ: Extra Funds Needed for Iraq Reconstruction
by Andrea Shalal-EsaReuters
September 7th, 2005
Stuart Bowen, U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, said it is unclear where the new funds would come from, but it is not the right time to discuss more money to given the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. Gulf region.

US: Union Reports Problems at Army Bases
by Pete YostThe Washington Post
September 6th, 2005
A labor union is reporting significant security problems at seven Army bases where federal contractors are guarding the gates, freeing up soldiers to serve in Iraq.

US: KPMG Partners Lucked Out -- Thanks to Enron and Arthur Andersen
by Allan SloanWashington Post
September 6th, 2005
There's one group of people who should be giving thanks daily for the Enron scandal: the partners of KPMG, one of the Final Four accounting firms. That's because the fallout from Enron is what allowed KPMG to extract a favorable settlement from the Justice Department last week. The firm agreed to fork over less than a year's profit in return for not being indicted on a zillion counts of cheating the government by peddling sleazy, dishonest tax shelters for six years.

US: Halliburton for Help on Hurricane Damaged Bases
by Jon H. Cushman Jr.The New York Times
September 4th, 2005
It is a familiar role for KBR, which under longstanding contracts has delivered the engineering equivalent of first aid to the Navy and other military and government agencies after natural disasters for more than 15 years. This time, the Halliburton unit's performance is likely to be watched especially closely, as its work under separate contracts in Iraq has come under extensive criticism in the past two years.

US: Wal-Mart Workers Are Finding a Voice Without a Union
by Steven GreenhouseThe New York Times
September 3rd, 2005
Having failed to unionize any Wal-Marts, American labor unions have helped form a new and unusual type of workers' association to press Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to improve its wages and working conditions.

US: Pentagon Acquisition Needs Cultural Change
by Andrea Shalal-EsaReuters
September 3rd, 2005
Some lower-level U.S. Air Force and Pentagon officials do not yet fully recognize the need to overhaul defense procurement to make it more transparent and avoid problems of the past, the U.S. military's top internal watchdog said on Thursday.

US: Pentagon's Top Watchdog Resigned Amid Claims of Stonewalling Inquiries
by T. Christian MillerThe Los Angeles Times
September 3rd, 2005
The resignation comes after Sen. Charles E. Grassley sent Defense Department Inspector General Joseph E. Schmitz several letters informing him that he was the focus of a congressional inquiry.

US: The Prophet of Prison
by Sep 1st 2005, The EconomistThe Economist
September 1st, 2005
Is John Ferguson the saviour of America's prison system or its destroyer?

US: Pentagon Still Investigating Iraq Prison Abuses
September 1st, 2005
The Pentagon's chief internal watchdog said on Thursday his agency continues to investigate the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, although he declined to give details.

WORLD: India Becomes Top Weapons Buyer Among Developing Nations
September 1st, 2005
With $15.7 billion in orders, India edged out China, with $15.3 billion, to become the developing world's biggest weapons buyer for the eight-year period up to 2004 reviewed by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

WORLD: U.S., Russia Top Arms Exporters, Congressional Report Says
by Lyubov ProninaDefense News
September 1st, 2005
The report found that the total value of military weapon sales worldwide in 2004 rose to the highest level since 2000, reaching nearly $37 billion.

US: Pentagon's Chief Watchdog Joins Company that Owns Blackwater
September 1st, 2005
Joseph Schmitz, the Pentagon's chief internal watchdog since March 2002, has quit to join a defense contractor involved in private security services, the Pentagon announced on Wednesday.

US: A View into Political Pork Process
by Marcus Stern and Jerry KammerCOPLEY NEWS SERVICE/The San Diego Union-Tribune
August 31st, 2005
Cunningham's possible abuse of his clout has opened a window on the congressional appropriations process, giving the public a rare glimpse at the growing premium that contractors place on obtaining influence on Capitol Hill.

US: Defense contractor CEO pay outstrips other CEOs
August 30th, 2005
Chief executives at top U.S. defense contractors have received a 200 percent pay hike since 2001 compared to a 7 percent raise for other CEOs at large companies, a study showed on Tuesday.

US: CEOs with Defense Firms Double Salaries Since 9/11
by Bryan BenderThe Boston Globe
August 30th, 2005
The chief executives of the defense industry's largest companies have doubled their paychecks since 9/11 and the War on Terrorism began -- far greater than the average 7 percent growth for all corporate CEOs.

US: Army Contract Official Critical of Halliburton Pact Is Demoted
by Erik EckholmThe New York Times
August 29th, 2005
A top Army contracting official who criticized a large, noncompetitive contract with the Halliburton Company for work in Iraq was demoted Saturday for what the Army called poor job performance.

US: Defense firms feast on Bush’s 'War on Terror'
Taipai Times
August 29th, 2005
According to reports, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Honeywell and United Technologies posted all-time best-ever profits in the first half of this year and they still have a huge list of orders.

IRAQ: The Costs of War On Terrorism Chart
by David R. Francis The Christian Science Monitor
August 29th, 2005
Chart comparing costs of US wars

IRAQ: More Costly Than 'War to End all Wars'
by David R. FrancisThe Christian Science Moniotr
August 29th, 2005
Despite the relatively small number of American armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war effort is rapidly shaping up to be the third-most expensive war in United States history.

US: Army Contracting Executive Critical of Halliburton Loses Her Job
by Griff WitteThe Washington Post
August 29th, 2005
Commander of the Army Corps, told Bunnatine H. Greenhouse last month that she was being removed from the senior executive service, the top rank of civilian government employees, because of poor performance reviews.

US: How an Accounting Firm Went From Resistance to Resignation
by Lynnley BrowningThe New York Times
August 28th, 2005
The US authorities are expected to unveil a setlement with KMPG over its past sales of allegedly abusive tax avoidance schemes in order to avoid trial.

US: Settlement Seen on Tax Shelters by Audit Firm
by Jonathan D. GlaterThe New York Times
August 27th, 2005
KPMG, the accounting firm under investigation for selling questionable tax shelters, will pay $456 million and accept an outside monitor of its operations under terms of an agreement with prosecutors that heads off an indictment of the firm, people briefed on the deal said yesterday.

IRAQ: Re-engineering Iraqi agriculture
by Jeremy SmithGlobal Research
August 27th, 2005
Under the guise of helping get Iraq back on its feet, the US is setting out to totally re-engineer the country's traditional farming systems into a US-style corporate agribusiness. They’ve even created a new law – Order 81 – to make sure it happens.

US: Many Contracts for Storm Work Raise Questions
by Eric Lipton and Ron NixonThe New York Times
August 26th, 2005
Topping the federal government's list of costs related to Hurricane Katrina is the $568 million in contracts for debris removal landed by a Florida company with ties to Mississippi's Republican governor. Near the bottom is an $89.95 bill for a pair of brown steel-toe shoes bought by an Environmental Protection Agency worker in Baton Rouge, La.

US: California Accuses Drug Companies of Fraud
by John M. BroderThe New York Times
August 26th, 2005
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25 - The attorney general of California sued 39 drug companies on Thursday, accusing them of bilking the state of hundreds of millions of dollars by overcharging for medicines.

MEXICO: Wal-Mart's Plans for Indigenous Areas Under Fire
by Diego Cevallos
August 25th, 2005
Wal-Mart, which last year opened a store near the ancient Teotihuacan pyramids of Mexico despite loud protests from local activists and small businesses, is now seeking a repeat of its earlier victory, this time in two heavily indigenous areas: in Pátzcuaro in the state of Michoacán and Juchitán, in the southern state of Oaxaca. But local opponents are set for a pitched battle.

KAZAKHSTAN: Mobil, CIA secrets may come out
August 25th, 2005
In the mid-1990s, long before oil prices topped $60 a barrel, U.S. companies sought access to Kazakhstan, a Central Asian nation that the U.S. State Department says will be among the world's top 10 producers of crude by 2015.

US: Mobil, CIA Secrets May Come Out un Bribery Trial of Oil Adviser
by David GlovinBloomberg
August 24th, 2005
Federal prosecutors say Giffen, a New York investment banker who became an official in Kazakhstan's government, cemented his power by bribing Kazakh leaders with $84 million that Amoco Corp., Mobil Oil Co., Phillips Petroleum Co. and Texaco Inc. paid to win access to Kazakh fields. In January, Giffen goes on trial in federal district court in New York in one of the largest overseas criminal bribery cases ever.

US: AS US Falter in Iraq, China Gains
by Tom Plate The Seattle Times
August 23rd, 2005
It looks as if history will judge Mahathir to have been the wiser of the two owls. The U.S. military is enmeshed in a vicious insurgency and there may be no way out — except, in fact, to get out, outright.

Britain: British Upset by Scale of Iraqi Ministry Corruption
The Guardian
August 23rd, 2005
British officials are seriously concerned about the level of corruption in the Iraqi defense ministry, after the embezzlement of vast amounts of money earmarked for the country's security forces. Officials from the British Ministry of Defense had already warned US and Iraqi authorities against the squandering of money -- and have been proved right, on a catastrophic scale.

US: Lockheed Martin Is Hired to Bolster Transit Security in N.Y.
by Sewell Chan and Shadi RahimiThe New York Times
August 23rd, 2005
A new world of transit security in New York City began to take form this morning, as officials disclosed plans to saturate the transit system with 1,000 video cameras, 3,000 motion detectors and a wide array of sophisticated gadgets, all intended to buffer the city's subways, bridges and tunnels from a terror attack.

IRAQ: Mercenaries Mount Offensive
by John HanchetteNiagra Falls Reporter
August 23rd, 2005
Retention of key combat personnel is being eroded by far better money offers from federally hired "private security companies" -- as their executives insist they be called. Once on board and back in the private sector of dangerous military operations in Iraq, these highly trained fighters and specialists can make up to a quarter of a million dollars or more (most of it tax-free) in a year's worth of salary -- certainly better than Army pay.

US: Vioxx Verdict Raises Profile of Texas Lawyer
by Alex BerensonThe New York Times
August 22nd, 2005
Merck is found liable for the death of Robert C. Ernst, who died in 2001 after taking Merck's painkiller Vioxx for eight months. The jury awarded $253.5 million to Carol Ernst, Mr. Ernst's widow and Mr. Lanier's client, in one of the largest damage awards ever to a single plaintiff.

Ghana: Comparing "Hotel Kufuor" to other Presidential Scandals
by Katie Bell Home Page Ghana
August 21st, 2005
COUNTS of massive corruption within governments weave their way through almost every nation. Yet, the accusations surrounding President Kufuor’s involvement in the ‘Hotel Scandal’ seems negligible and overhand when compared to past and ongoing corruption scandals hitting the headlines elsewhere. It seems a bit of underhand dealing comes with the job. The question arises however, of where does one draw the line?

INDIA:Everything Gets Worse With Coca-Cola
by D. RajeevInter Press Service
August 21st, 2005
Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) ordered a Coca-Cola plant shut down to the jubilation of tribal leaders and green activists who had focused more on the 'water mining' activities of the plant rather than its production of toxic cadmium sludge.

US: Business booming for U.S. defense contractors
by Peter BauerMenafn
August 20th, 2005
U.S. defence contractors are riding high these days, buoyed by rising Pentagon spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the high cost of homeland security in the U.S.-declared war on terror. The fiscal 2006 defence budget is set to climb to 441 billion dollars, an increase of 21 billion dollars over 2005. It envisions an additional 50 billion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

IRAQ: The Trillion Dollar War Chart
The New York Times
August 20th, 2005

US: Ex-KBR Manager Pleads Guilty to Taking Kickback in Iraq
by John C. RoperThe Houston Chronicle
August 20th, 2005
Neither Houston-based Halliburton nor its KBR subsidiary was named in the indictment.

IRAQ: The Trillion-Dollar War
by Linda BilmesThe New York Times
August 19th, 2005
The cost goes well beyond -- ongoing current costs, foreign aid to reward cooperation in Iraq, inducements for recruits and for military personnel serving second and third deployments, replacing military hardware and long-term costs for disability and health payments of returning troops bring the price tag to over $1 trillion.

CHILE: Pulp Mill Reopens Despite Charges of Killing Swans
by Gustavo GonzálezInter Press Service
August 18th, 2005
The imminent reopening of a pulp mill that polluted a nature sanctuary in Chile has further fueled environmentalists' criticisms of the Ricardo Lagos administration -- and is setting the scene for future conflicts with indigenous and fishing communities.

ECUADOR: Ecuadorians Enlisting for Iraq as Mercenaries
Prensa Latina
August 18th, 2005
About 30 Ecuadorians have been enlisted to travel to Iraq as mercenaries by US recruiting firms at the US-occupied Manta air base, a Parliamentary source denounced Thursday.

IRAQ: Future of Private Security after a Troop Drawdown
by August ColeMarketWatch
August 18th, 2005
Moves by the U.S. military to relinquish responsibility to Iraq's security forces raise big questions over who will safeguard the shattered country's reconstruction in what is the biggest effort since the Marshall Plan.

ROMANIA: An oil fortune bound in red tape
by Terence O'HaraWashington Post
August 16th, 2005
G. Philip Stephenson does not cut the figure of an Eastern European oil baron, clashing with formerly communist security officials over the legality of his budding empire.

CHINA: Southern exec arrested in brokerage fallout
The Standard, Hong Kong
August 16th, 2005
A top executive with China's biggest airline has been arrested for economic crime, an executive with the carrier's parent said Monday, as the fallout from a major brokerage's failure widened.

US: Federal Judge Sends Blackwater Suit to State Court
by Emery P. DalesioAssociated Press
August 15th, 2005
A lawsuit accusing North Carolina-based Blackwater Security Consulting of wrongful death and fraud in the deaths of four guards killed and mutilated in Iraq should be heard in a North Carolina courts, a federal judge has ruled.

ECUADOR: American Entrepreneur Scrutinized for Offering Mercenaries Work in Iraq
by Edison LopezAssociated Press
August 15th, 2005
A former employee of the U.S. security contracting firm DynCorp International was quoted last month by the Los Angeles Times saying that he saw a booming global demand for his "private army," and a lucrative business opportunity in recruiting Colombians.

US: Savvy, Clout Fill Pockets of Investment Firm
by Stephen J. Hedges and Andrew ZajacThe Chicago Tribune
August 14th, 2005
U.S. looking into Carlyle Group links to teacher funds.

IRAQ: The Other Army
by Daniel BergnerThe New York Times
August 14th, 2005
One of the largest private security companies in Iraq, Triple Canopy, was born immediately after the invasion. Plenty of other companies have done the same, some that were more established before the American invasion, some less.

IRAQ: Bush's Economic Invasion
by Antonia JuhaszThe Los Angeles Times
August 14th, 2005

IRAQ: Abandoned by U.S., Chalibi's Star Shines Again
by Hannah AllamKnight Ridder Tribune News/The Houston Chronicle
August 13th, 2005
No. 1 in dealing with Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi: Never underestimate him. A year after observers pronounced him finished — spurned by one-time American sponsors and with no apparent political base in Iraq — Chalabi has emerged more powerful than ever.

IRAQ: Pentagon Report Finds 'Coordination,' Not 'Control' of Security Contractors
by Nathan HodgeDefense Daily
August 12th, 2005
Earlier this summer, Marines detained a group of private contractors in Iraq for allegedly firing on their positions in Fallujah; the contractors, who worked for North Carolina-based Zapata Engineering, were expelled from Iraq after their release. That highly publicized incident followed questions from lawmakers about oversight of contractors operating in Iraq and Afghanistan.

IRAQ: Lucrative Fraud
The Baltimore Sun
August 12th, 2005
Since 2003, the disbursement of aid and reconstruction funds in Iraq has not been in the hands of the United Nations, and if anything the record is even more dismal.

IRAQ: CPA Order 81 Is Even Worse Than Originally Reported
by Rosemarie JackowskiMedia Monitors Network
August 12th, 2005
What a break for U.S. corporations, such as Monsanto. The important information about Iraqi Order 81 is that it was designed to have a major impact on the way farming is done in Iraq. This order prohibits Iraqi farmers from using saving seeds from one year to the next.

IRAQ: Fraud in Weapons Deals Drained $1 billion
by Hannah AllamKnight Ridder/San Jose Mercury News
August 11th, 2005
Iraqi investigators have uncovered widespread fraud and waste in more than $1 billion worth of weapons deals arranged by middlemen who reneged or took huge kickbacks on contracts to arm Iraq's fledgling military, according to a confidential report and interviews with U.S. and Iraqi officials.

Australia: How corporae Australia plunders Iraq
by Andrew Lowenthal Green Left Weekly
August 10th, 2005
The Worley Group, a major engineering and infrastructure company, now find their everyday business disrupted by activists with placards reading “Occupy the occupiers”. Australian corporations have been well rewarded for their government’s participation in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. A host of companies have received contracts related to oil infrastructures, communications technology, transport, food distribution and much more.

US: WorldCom Figure Is Sentenced
by Reuters
August 10th, 2005
The former director of accounting at WorldCom, Buford Yates Jr., was sentenced to a year and a day in prison on August 9, 2005 for his role in the large fraud at the company.

US: FCC to review payola settlement
by Brooks BoliekThe Hollywood Reporter
August 9th, 2005
The FCC's chairman on Monday ordered the commission's enforcement bureau to review the settlement New York reached with Sony BMG to end the state's investigation into payola allegations.

IRAQ: No contractors facing Abu Ghraib abuse charges
by Peter SpiegelFinancial Times
August 9th, 2005
No private contractors have so far faced prosecution despite their implication in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq, according to a new Pentagon report.

Britain: Army fears loss of top troops to private firms
by Richard Norton-Taylor The Guardian
August 8th, 2005
Top army commanders have drawn up a series of extraordinary "countermeasures" to try to stop highly trained soldiers being lured to private military companies.

US: The Hidden Contractor Casualties in Iraq
by Kevin WhitelawUS News and World Report
August 8th, 2005
In a report the Pentagon submitted to Congress earlier this year, some partial figures have been released. From May 2003 through October 2004, U.S. authorities recorded at least 1,171 contractor casualties, including 166 contractors who were killed.

JAPAN: Koizumi's Postal Bomb
by Ian Rowley Business Week
August 8th, 2005
The Prime Minister's rejected reform legislation by Japan's Upper House is grave news for him and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

INDONESIA: American Mining Company Denies Polluting Indonesian Bay
by Jane PerlezThe New York Times
August 5th, 2005
In a muggy auditorium secured by several hundred police officers, the government on Friday brought criminal charges of polluting against the American mining giant Newmont and its head of operations here.

US: Politicians' private-jet uses raises questions
by Dean Calbreath San Diego Union-Tribune
August 5th, 2005
Although the flights may be legal, critics say they serve as prime examples of how federal contractors and lobbyists use travel and other perks to make friends on Capitol Hill.

US: Newmont on Trial in Indonesia for Pollution
by Jane PerlezNew York Times
August 5th, 2005
The Indonesian government today brought criminal charges of polluting the environment against the American mining company Newmont, and its head of operations here.

NIGERIA: Chevron Paid Troops After Alleged Killing
by David R. Baker
August 4th, 2005
Nigerian soldiers guarding Chevron oil rigs billed the company for $109.25 a day after they allegedly attacked two villages in the volatile country, killing four people and setting fire to homes.

INDIA: Japanese Investors Learn Indian Labour Laws the Hard Way
by Ranjit DevrajInter Press Service
August 3rd, 2005
Japanese investors in India took a few hard lessons in India's tough labour laws when the automobile giant Honda Motors tamely resumed production at its plant outside the national capital this week, ending three months of labour disputes, including pitched battles between police and agitated workers.

US: Drug Industry Creates Voluntary Ad Guidelines
by Jennifer Corbett DoorenDow Jones
August 3rd, 2005
Responding to increased criticism from Congress, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, announced a set of voluntary guidelines aimed at governing the way drugs are advertised to consumers.

US: Ex-Cendant Executive Gets 10 Years in Prison
Associated Press
August 3rd, 2005
Former Cendant Corp. Vice Chairman E. Kirk Shelton was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for his role in an accounting scandal that cost investors more than $3 billion.

VIETNAM: Golf helps drive economic modernisation
by Amy KazminFinancial Times
August 1st, 2005
When Hanoi opened its door to global capitalism in 1988, the Communist party frowned on golf as an irrelevant bourgeois indulgence. Today, the Communist elite has bestowed its full blessing on the game as both symbol, and tool, of Vietnam's economic modernisation.

ITALY: Steroids Headed for Troops in Iraq Seized
by Victor L. SimpsonAssociated Press
August 1st, 2005
The popularity of steroid abuse has long been discussed as American troops and contractors in Iraq work out in gyms set up in bases and even in the mirrored halls of one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces.

US: A Company's Troubled Answer for Prisoners With H.I.V.
by Paul von ZielbauerNew York Times
August 1st, 2005
Even within the troubled Alabama penal system, this state compound near Huntsville was notorious for cruel punishment and medical neglect. In one drafty, rat-infested warehouse once reserved for chain gangs, the state quarantined its male prisoners with H.I.V. and AIDS, until the extraordinary death toll - 36 inmates from 1999 to 2002 - moved inmates to sue and the government to promise change.

IRAQ: New reports Show Limited Progress in Iraq Rebuilding
by Sue PlemingReuters
July 31st, 2005
Rebuilding Iraq is seen by the Bush administration as a major foreign policy priority but three U.S. government reports released this week -- the latest on Sunday -- indicate ambitious reconstruction goals are falling short.

IRAQ: Deaths of Iraqi Workers for U.S. Companies Rise
by Tony CapaccioBloomberg
July 31st, 2005
Deaths of Iraqis and foreigners working for U.S. companies in Iraq are increasing more rapidly than American contractor deaths as insurgents target reconstruction projects, according to a Pentagon inspector.

IRAQ: Private Security Spending Escalates in Iraq
by Barbara Slavin,USA Today
July 31st, 2005
The United States risks having "little to show for billions" of dollars spent on Iraqi reconstruction because of rising security costs and mismanagement, a new report said.

IRAQ: Contractors and Military in 'Bidding War'
by Matt KelleyUSA Today
July 31st, 2005
The U.S. military has hired private companies at a cost approaching $1 billion to help dispose of Saddam Hussein's arsenal in Iraq. That spending has created fierce competition for specialized workers that's draining the military's ranks of explosives experts. Experienced military explosives specialists can earn $250,000 a year or more,

IRAQ: Sierra Leone Workers Head for Iraq
July 30th, 2005
The Labour Ministry's overseas employment officer Ismael Kargbo declined to reveal the name of the company, but said the government had contracted a wage of roughly $100 per month for each of the workers, plus perks such as free international telephone calls.

US: Military Commandos Leaving in Record Numbers
by James W. CrawleyWinston Salem Journal
July 30th, 2005
Why are commandos leaving the military? Many officials say the cause is the hiring of skilled operators by private security firms that are protecting contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

IRAQ: Worry Grows as Foreigners Flock to Risky Jobs
by Sonni EfronThe Los Angeles Times
July 30th, 2005
If hired, the Colombians would join a swelling population of heavily armed private military forces working in Iraq who are seeking higher wages in dangerous jobs and what some critics say is a troubling result of efforts by the U.S. to "outsource" its operations in Iraq and other countries.

IRAQ: Pentagon Plans New Regulations for Private Security Companies
by Barbara BarrettThe News & Observer
July 29th, 2005
The U.S. Department of Defense is developing regulations to deal with the more than 60 private security companies -- totaling about 25,000 employees -- working throughout Iraq as the country struggles to rebuild itself during a time of war.

IRAQ: Security Costs Slow Iraq Reconstruction
by Renae Merle and Griff WitteThe Washington Post
July 29th, 2005
Efforts to rebuild water, electricity and health networks in Iraq are being shortchanged by higher-than-expected costs to provide security and by generous financial awards to contractors, according to a series of reports by government investigators.

U.S.: Subcontractor's Story Details Post-9/11 Chaos
by Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Scott HighamThe Washington Post
July 28th, 2005
With little experience, a tiny company owned by Sunnye Sims was asked to help set up and run screener assessment centers in a hurry at more than 150 hotels and other facilities. Her company eventually billed $24 million.

GERMANY: Germany ponders extent of corruption as heads roll
by Patrick Jenkins and Hugh WilliamsonFinancial Times
July 28th, 2005
Four big scandals have come to light in as many months at big blue chip companies - Volkswagen, DaimlerChrysler, Infineon and Commerzbank. In each case, allegations of bribe taking, money-laundering and related crimes have led to the resignation of senior executives.

US: Former Bush Aide Turns Tough Critic as Iraq Inspector
by Yochi J. DreazenThe Wall Street Journal
July 26th, 2005
Stuart Bowen finds poor controls and waste in reconstruction.

GERMANY: Commerzbank is at center of probe
by Glenn R. Simpson, David Crawford and Gregory L. WhiteWall Street Journal
July 25th, 2005
One of Germany's biggest banks is at the center of an intensifying money-laundering investigation into whether Russian telecommunications assets now worth hundreds of millions of dollars were diverted through a company set up by a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

US: Sony Agrees to Halt Gifts for Airtime
by Jennifer BayotThe New York Times
July 25th, 2005
Sony BMG Music Entertainment, one of the world's largest record companies, agreed today to stop providing lavish gifts, free trips and other giveaways in exchange for airtime for its artists on radio stations, under the terms of a settlement with the New York attorney general's office.

US: The Best Army We Can Buy
by David M. KennedyThe New York Times
July 25th, 2005
Our soldiers are hired from within the citizenry, unlike the hated Hessians whom George III recruited to fight against the American Revolutionaries. But like those Hessians, today's volunteers sign up for some mighty dangerous work largely for wages and benefits - a compensation package that may not always be commensurate with the dangers in store, as current recruiting problems testify.

IRAQ: Contract Workers Say 'Wild West' Conditions Put Lives in Danger
by David Washburn and Bruce V. BigelowThe San Diego Union-Tribune
July 24th, 2005
A growing number of civilian employees of U.S. companies contracting with the military have come home wounded – both physically and psychologically – by their on-the-job experiences in Iraq.

IRAQ: Friendly-fire victim Fights for Compensation with Claims that Titan Abandoned Him
by David Washburn and Bruce V. BigelowThe San Diego Union-Tribune
July 24th, 2005
Mazin al Nashi's worries escalated when he learned that the fledgling Iraqi insurgency had put a $250,000 bounty on the heads of interpreters. He had never received any body armor from Titan.

INDONESIA: Indonesia hit by petrol shortages
by Rachel HarveyBBC News
July 18th, 2005
The oil crisis is hitting Indonesia - one the world's biggest oil producers - as it struggles to end subsidised prices for petrol.

US: Accounting firms complain to watchdog
by Andrew ParkerFinancial Times
July 17th, 2005
The big four accounting firms are trying to water down plans by the US regulator to hold their staff responsible for violations of securities laws.

CANADA: Indigenous Youth Challenge Corporate Mining
by Angela SterrittWeekly Indigenous News
July 15th, 2005

US: Recruiting Database Inspires Outrage
by Sue BushellCIO
July 15th, 2005
Privacy advocates and anti-war campaigners in the US are outraged at revelations that the Defense Department and a private contractor have been building an extensive database of 30 million 16-to-25-year-olds to assist military recruiters.

RUSSIA: Shell gas project hit by eight-month delay
by Thomas CatanFinancial Times
July 14th, 2005
Royal Dutch/Shell, the Anglo-Dutch energy giant, said on Thursday its flagship Russian gas project would be delayed by at least eight months and cost $20bn (£11.4bn) twice the original estimate.

INDIA: Bechtel Sells Its Stake In Dabhol Power Plant
by JOHN LARKINWall Street Journal
July 14th, 2005
Bechtel Group Inc. agreed to sell its equity in the troubled Dabhol power project for $160 million, according to people involved in the transaction, edging India closer to ending a four-year dispute that has plagued its efforts to boost foreign investment.

WORLD: The Rich Boys
by Marcia VickersBusinessWeek
July 14th, 2005
An ultra-secretive network rules independent oil trading. Its mentor: Marc Rich

IRAQ: A.P. Moeller Seeks Dismissal of Lawsuit Amid Security Threat
by Andy Critchlow Bloomberg
July 14th, 2005
The lawsuit, the first to be brought against a foreign company since Saddam Hussein was removed from power in 2003, threatens to discourage other investors from spending money in Iraq, further slowing reconstruction efforts since the war.

US: National Guard Chief Says Private Military Contractors Stymie Recruitment
by Nathan HodgeDefense Daily
July 13th, 2005
Guard recruiters find themselves in a "bidding war" for highly skilled service veterans, who are being offered lucrative contracts to work as private security contractors in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

IRAQ: Oil workers Defend Public Ownership
by Marcus GrevilleGreen Left
July 13th, 2005
Iraqi workers, particularly the oil workers, are overwhelmingly opposed to any plans to privatise their country's oil industry.

US: Ebbers Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for $11 Billion Fraud
by Jennifer BayotNew York Times
July 13th, 2005
Bernard J. Ebbers, the founder and former chief executive of WorldCom, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for his role in the record $11 billion accounting fraud that brought down the telecommunications company in 2002.

US: Pentagon to Amend Controversial Commercial Structure of Lockheed C-130 Contract
July 11th, 2005
The Pentagon expects to complete the conversion of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s $4.1 billion C-130J cargo aircraft contract into a more highly regulated defense contract.

IRAQ: L-3 Snaps Up $426-million Army Intel Work
Red Herring
July 11th, 2005
L-3 Communications has landed a contract with the U.S. Army to provide “intelligence support services in Iraq” worth up to $426 million, another sign that the eight-year-old defense contractor could be on the road to one day rivaling industry heavyweights like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

US: Judge rules in Iraq Whistle-Blower Case
by Sue PlemingReuters
July 11th, 2005
A U.S. judge ruled on Monday that a whistle-blower case alleging fraud against Custer Battles, a U.S. security contractor employed in Iraq could go ahead, but excluded any work paid for with Iraqi oil money.

US: Whistleblower suit against Custer Battles can proceed
by Matthew BarakatAssociated Press State & Local Wire
July 11th, 2005
Two whistleblowers who allege that a Fairfax-based contractor cheated taxpayers out of tens of millions of dollars on reconstruction projects in Iraq can proceed with their lawsuit, a judge has ruled. But parts of the ruling could have negative consequences for those who file similar claims against other contractors, according to a lawyer for the whistleblowers.

US: Is Nevada a Toxic Neighbor?
by Jeff DeLongReno Gazette-Journal
July 10th, 2005
With concern mounting that Nevada gold mines are belching clouds of toxic mercury downwind to neighboring states, officials are being urged to tighten regulations regarding the dangerous pollutant.

IRAQ: Tension and Confusion Between Troops, and Contractors on the Battlefield
by Josh White and Griff WitteThe Washington Post
July 10th, 2005
Private security contractors operate outside the military chain of command and are not subject to military law, which can lead to resentment and confusion in the field. Contractors, many of them veterans of years in combat, complain that young U.S. troops lack their experience and judgment under pressure. Yet each group cannot carry out its mission in a hostile Iraq without the other.

IRAQ: Halliburton's Higher Bill for $5 Billion More
by Griff WitteThe Washington Post
July 6th, 2005
The new order, which comes despite lingering questions about the company's past billing, replaces an earlier agreement that expired last June but had been extended through this spring to ensure a continuous supply of food, sanitation, laundry and other logistical services for the troops.

Hallliburton Wins New $4.9Billion Iraq Contract
by David PhinneySpecial to CorpWatch
July 6th, 2005
With little fanfare and no public announcement, the U.S. Army quietly awarded $4.972 billion in new work to Halliburton on May 1 to support the United States military occupation of Iraq.

US: The Big Tug of War Over Unocal
by Steve LohrNew York Times
July 6th, 2005
As the lobbying heats up in Washington over Unocal, a midsize American oil company, the battle lines in the takeover contest are now drawn clearly, if oddly, by its suitors.

US: A.I.G. Role for Ex-Chief of S.E.C.
by  Jenny AndersonNew York Times
July 6th, 2005
The American International Group has hired Arthur Levitt, a former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, as a consultant to the board in an effort to quell dissent from institutional investors.

US: HealthSouth probe continues despite Scrushy acquittal
by Jay ReevesAssociated Press
July 2nd, 2005
Federal prosecutors aren't done with HealthSouth Corp., despite the acquittal of ousted CEO Richard Scrushy in a $2.7 billion earnings overstatement.

US: Ebbers Set to Shed His Assets
by Gretchen MorgensonNew York Times
July 1st, 2005
Bernard J. Ebbers, the founder and former chief executive of World Com who was found guilty of fraud by a New York jury in March, agreed yesterday to surrender nearly all of his personal fortune - about $40 million - to investors who lost billions when the company spiraled into bankruptcy almost three years ago.

Belgium: Belgian court stops human rights probe of Total oil
by ReutersReuters
July 1st, 2005
A Belgian court has stopped an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed by the French oil giant Total in military-ruled Myanmar, dashing the hopes of four refugees who brought the case.

ITALY: Italy judge sentences 11 to jail in Parmalat case
by Clara Ferreira-Marques and Emilio ParodiReuters
June 28th, 2005
A Milan judge sentenced 10 former Parmalat executives and a lawyer to jail on Tuesday in the first guilty ruling over the 14-billion-euro (9.3-billion-pound) collapse of Italy's biggest listed food group.

US: File-sharing Suffers Major Defeat
by BBCBBC News
June 27th, 2005
The US Supreme Court has ruled that file-sharing companies are to blame for what users do with their software.

CHINA: At Nike Plant, no Sweatshop, Plenty of Sweat
by Richard ReadThe Oregonian
June 27th, 2005
After Nike's recent disclosure of the names and locations of 705 independent contract factories in its network, a plant visit reveals significant improvements since the 1990s.

CHINA: Nation Amends Law to Ban Sexual Harassment
China View
June 26th, 2005
China has started to try banning sexual harassment through legislation, after surveys found that Chinese professional women were widely suffering sexual harassment.

US: A Tale of Delays and Glitches in Delivering Safer Vehicles for Soldiers
by Michael MossThe New York Times
June 26th, 2005
In January, when military officials tried to speed production by buying the legal rights to the armor design so they could enlist other venders to help, the prime contractor demurred, calling the move a threat to its "current and future competitive position," according to e-mail records obtained from the Army.

IRAQ: Civilian Traffic at Baghdad Airport Set to Resume
by Steve NegusFinancial Times
June 26th, 2005
A two-day stoppage by security firm Global Strategies Group contracted to scure Iraq's major airport is expected to end despite an ongoing payment dispute with the ministry of transportion.

IRAQ: Tim Spicer's Aegis Clinches Security Deal
by Dominic O’ConnellThe Sunday Times
June 26th, 2005
The former army officer at the centre of a political scandal in the late 1990s, has clinched an extension to a Pentagon contract to oversee the safety of civilian contractors in Iraq.

EU: EU votes to continue ban on GM crops
by Paul BrownThe Guardian
June 25th, 2005

IRAQ: Workers Pay with Their Lives in War Zone
by Brendan NicholsonThe Age
June 25th, 2005
In just two years, 244 civilian contractors have died violently in Iraq. Money attracted most of them to the most dangerous place in the world - and there they died, in sniper attacks, missile and rocket attacks, helicopter crashes, suicide bombings and decapitations that followed kidnappings.

IRAQ: Security Contractor on Strike at Baghdad Airport
by Beth Potter Agence France-Presse
June 25th, 2005
Travelers were stranded yesterday when the London-based company that ensures security at Baghdad International Airport staged a strike to demand payment of money owed.

IRAQ: Iraqi Labor Leaders Call for Solidarity and End to U.S. Occupation
by Paul BurtonInternational Labor Communications Association
June 24th, 2005
"We started to witness the corporations invading the public sector, bringing in 1200 foreign workers even though unemployment was at a high level. We are resisting the privatization of nationalized industries. We don’t see any place where privatization was implemented and the people benefitted."

US: As Defense Contractor's Business Grew Along with Secrecy
by Bruce V. BigelowThe San Diego Union-Tribune
June 24th, 2005
The defense contractor embroiled in controversy over the purchase of Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's Del Mar home has maintained an aura of secrecy as its business boomed during the past three years.

IRAQ: Security Contractors' Strike Shuts Baghdad Airport to Civilian Traffic
by Luke BakerReuters
June 24th, 2005
Security contractors at Baghdad airport went on strike on Friday as part of a contract dispute between their British employer and the Iraqi government, shutting down most of the country's civil aviation.

US: The True Price of Oil
by Ashley ShelbyAlterNet
June 24th, 2005
Sixteen years after the Exxon Valdez spill, the Alaskans most affected by the spill haven't seen one cent of a $5 billion settlement.

US: $18bn Bid by Chinese for Unocal Has US Policymakers Worried
by Jonathan Watts and David TeatherThe Guardian
June 24th, 2005
Congressmen tell Bush deal could have disastrous effect on security

US: Torture by Taser
by Peter GormanFort Worth Weekly
June 24th, 2005
More than 5,000 police agencies across the country have purchased Tasers since 2000. Amnesty International documented hundreds of cases in the last three years in which Taser-happy police used the weapon on everyone from disturbed children to old men and women to a Florida man — strapped down on a hospital bed — who wouldn’t provide a urine sample.

US: Clean Energy Has Investors Seeing Green
by Gregory Zuckerman The Wall Street Journal
June 24th, 2005
With oil prices near $60 a barrel, some savvy investors are betting that there must be a few attractive alternatives out there.

US: Justices Uphold Taking Property for Development
by Linda GreenhouseNew York Times
June 24th, 2005
The Supreme Court ruled, in one of its most closely watched property rights cases in years, that fostering economic development is an appropriate use of the government's power of eminent domain.

IRAQ: The Carve-Up on Oil Begins
by Tom BurgisThe London Line
June 23rd, 2005
As the costs of the Iraq occupation spiral, British and American oil companies meet in secret to carve up the country's oil reserves for themselves

US: Wal-Mart to be More Like Target
by Emily KaiserReuters
June 23rd, 2005
Wal-Mart, the No. 1 retailer, is widening its array of stylish-but-cheap goods in hopes of winning over middle-income customers, putting it head-to-head with a rival that has proved it can compete and thrive against a company six times its size.

US: Wal-Mart Is Focal Point Of Democrats' Health Bill
by By Amy JoyceWashington Post
June 23rd, 2005
Several congressional Democrats introduced a bill that would force states to report the names of companies that have 50 or more employees who receive government-funded health care, an effort to pressure Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in particular to improve employee health coverage.

US: Pentagon's Use of Private Firm to Spot Potential High School and College Recruits Raises Concerns
by Jonathan KrimThe Washington Post
June 23rd, 2005
Privacy advocates concerned that the Defense Department works with contractor to create a database of high school students and all college students to help identify potential military recruits in a time of dwindling enlistment in some branches.

US: Reality Show Writers Want to Unionize
by Richard VerrierOrlando Sentinel
June 22nd, 2005
The guild representing Hollywood writers has disclosed that more than 75 percent of the scribes on TV reality shows have signed cards asking to be represented by the union.

US: Health Care for People Too Busy for Doctor Visits
by Barbara PintoABC News
June 22nd, 2005
Speed and convenience aren't the only reasons these clinics are popping up at Target stores, CVS pharmacies and supermarkets. It's also good for business.

Rules On Corporate Ethics Could Help, Not Hinder, Multinationals
by Kenneth RothFinancial Times
June 22nd, 2005
Some western companies have begun to recognize it might be in their interest to operate under enforceable standards that apply to all their competitors, rather than under voluntary ones that, for all practical purposes, apply only to prominent companies.

EU: Sugar Sector 'Must Reform or Die'
June 22nd, 2005
Subsidies to European sugar farmers are to be cut by 40%, under plans unveiled by the European Commission.

US: Green Tinge Is Attracting Seed Money to Ventures
by Gary RivlinNew York Times
June 22nd, 2005
In recent months Mr. Ehrenpreis, a venture capitalist at Technology Partners in Palo Alto, Calif., has been asked any number of times to speak to audiences about "clean tech," a term that encompasses such things as solar energy, water purification systems and alternative automotive fuels.

COLOMBIA: Terrified Farmers Sue BP
by Robert VerkaikThe Independent Online
June 21st, 2005
BP is facing a £15m compensation claim from a group of Colombian farmers who say that the British oil company took advantage of a regime of terror by government paramilitaries to profit from the construction of a 450-mile pipeline.

US: Coke to Examine Overseas Labor Practices
Associated Press
June 20th, 2005
The Coca-Cola Co. says it is willing to examine its labor and business practices in India and Colombia to keep $1.3 million worth of contracts with the University of Michigan.

US: Social Activists Campaign Against TIAA-CREF
June 20th, 2005
A group of TIAA-CREF shareholders has resumed a protest campaign after a yearlong hiatus, saying the manager of the largest U.S. retirement fund reneged on promises to support a wider array of "socially conscious" investments.

UK: Aviation Industry Plans to Reduce Emissions
BBC news
June 20th, 2005
New targets to reduce the environmental impact of air travel - set to triple over the next 30 years - are being launched by the UK's aviation industry.

JORDAN: Land of Tycoons
by Stephen GlainNewsweek International
June 19th, 2005
Driven from their own country by a deadly insurgency, Iraq's most prominent business families have exiled themselves to neighboring Jordan, where they manage their empires by telephone, e-mail and courier. At the core of this group are leaders of Iraq's dozen or so powerful merchant families who for the past century have controlled Iraq's private sector.

US: Former Pentagon Officials Find Wealth with Contractors
by Leslie WayneThe New York Times
June 19th, 2005
Unlike old soldiers who once just faded away, today's old soldiers are increasingly finding new wealth and celebrity as executives and on the boards of companies that do business with the Pentagon and other parts of the government.

US: Close Ties Between Congressman and Defense Contractor Scrutinized
by William Finn BennettNorth County Times
June 19th, 2005
The web of connections between Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham and a defense contractor continued to grow Friday, as did questions about the relationship between the contractor and the congressman.

US: Military Desperate for New Recruits
by Max BootThe Washington Times
June 19th, 2005
"Offer citizenship to anyone, anywhere on the planet, willing to serve a set term in the U.S. military. We could model a Freedom Legion after the French Foreign."

US: Off-budget Accounting for Iraq
by EditorialThe Roanoke Times
June 18th, 2005
The 2006 budget submitted to Congress in February didn't contain one penny for combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. Bush insisted it would be impossible to know how much would be needed, so instead of including anything in the regular budget, he plans to continue the tradition of coming to Congress for emergency supplemental appropriations when war funds get low.

US: Pizza Parlor Aided Mercenary in Afghanistan
by Matt O'BrienThe Oakland Tribune
June 18th, 2005
A California pizza parlor illegally transferred $1 million out of the country, some of which reached Jonathan "Jack" Idema, a jailed American mercenary accused of running his own private interrogation camp in Afghanistan.

UK: Land Rovers Deployed Against Civilians
by Richard Norton-TaylorThe Guardian
June 18th, 2005
Evidence that military Land Rovers are being used against civilians - despite assurances from the British government that they are not - is revealed in photographs taken in Gaza, Uzbekistan, and Aceh province in Indonesia.

IRAQ: Filipino Workers Flood Baghdad Despite Dangers
by Veronica
June 18th, 2005
BAGHDAD has become more dangerous but Filipinos keep pouring in to find jobs there, charge d’affaires Eric Endaya of the Philippine embassy in Iraq said Friday.

US: SAIC Rejoins Pentagon's Media Blitz
by Dean CalbreathThe San Diego Union-Tribune
June 18th, 2005
The Pentagon's Special Operations Command last week launched a five-year, $300 million media campaign to promote its message overseas – notably in "higher-threat areas such as Iraq and Lebanon" – to be coordinated by the Joint Psychological Operations Support Element. SAIC was one of the companies picked to lead the campaign

US: Subpoenas Issued in Case Involving Lawmaker and Defense Contractor
by Kelly ThorntonThe San Diego Union-Tirbune
June 18th, 2005
A federal grand jury is investigating the relationship between Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham and a defense contractor, focusing particular attention on the sale of the congressman's Del Mar home to the company's owner, sources said.

US: Democrats Say White House again Cozy with Big Oil
June 17th, 2005
Democrats say that the resignation of a former official on the White House Council on Environmental Quality to join ExxonMobil was an example of coziness between the Bush administration and the oil industry.

US: The Duke Stir and the Defense Contractor
by EditorialThe Washington Post
June 17th, 2005
When Mr. Cunningham wanted to sell his house in 2003, he didn't bother to put it on the market. Instead, according to reporting by Marcus Stern of Copley News Service, Mr. Cunningham -- who sits on the defense appropriations subcommittee -- turned to a defense contractor. The contractor, Mitchell Wade of MZM Inc., bought the house for $1,675,000. He then put the house back on the market, where it languished for 261 days before selling for $700,000 less than the original purchase price.

US: FBI Investigate Business Ties Between Defense Cntractor and Congressman
by Marcus SternThe San Diego Union-Tribune
June 17th, 2005
The FBI has opened an inquiry into Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's 2003 sale of his Del Mar house to a defense contractor, who later sold it at a $700,000 loss, a Justice Department official said.

US: Halliburton to Build $30 million Prison at Guantanamo Bay
by David IvanovichThe Houston Chronicle
June 17th, 2005
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command has assigned Halliburton subsidiary KBR to construct a two-story facility capable of handling 220 prisoners, along with a security fence.

US: Pensions from Leading Defense Contractors Impede Confirmation of Pentagon Official
by Megan
June 17th, 2005
Senate Armed Services Chairman John Warner and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld met behind closed doors this week to work out questions of pension plans for Gordon England, who is up for the Pentagon's No. 2 civilian official. England is a former executive at two of the largest U.S. defense contractors. His pensions are valued at $280,000 a year.

IRAQ: Tensions Rise Between Military and Private Security
by James
June 17th, 2005
A controversy surrounding the detention of private contractors by US marines has exposed the sharp tensions being produced by the activities of thousands of mercenaries employed by the Bush administration to help enforce the occupation of Iraq.

US: State Department Awards Private Security Firm $1 Billion Contract
by Renae MerleThe Washington Post
June 17th, 2005
Triple Canopy, founded just two years ago, got its first contract providing security for the Coalition Provisional Authority. At its peak, the company had 1,300 security personnel in Iraq. "We were a start-up and now we're in the leagues of companies who have been doing this for years," said the initial announcement.

CHINA: Video Gives Rare Glimpse of Bitter War Between Developers and China's Poor
by David McNeillThe Independent
June 17th, 2005
The world got a rare glimpse of the deadly, mostly unseen war between Chinese developers and the poor who stand in their way with the release of a harrowing video showing a murderous attack on villagers protesting against the construction of a power plant.

US: Electricity from Cow Waste
June 17th, 2005
Environmental Power Corporation , in collaboration with Dairyland Power Cooperative, is formally commissioning the first of its electricity generating anaerobic digester systems.

CHINA: Microsoft Censoring Bloggers
by Mark Magnier and Joseph MennL.A. Times
June 17th, 2005
Chinese bloggers using a new Microsoft service to post messages titled "democracy," "capitalism," "liberty" or "human rights" are greeted with a bright yellow warning.

WORLD: Globalization: It's Not Just Wages
by Louis UchitelleNew York Times
June 17th, 2005
Globalization is often viewed as a rootless process of constantly moving jobs to low-wage countries. But the issue is more complex, as illustrated by Whirlpool's worldwide operations. What attracts Mr. Fettig and other chief executives is a relatively new form of globalization that emphasizes first-rate centers of production and design in various countries - including the United States.

US: Second Security Contractor Alleges Marine Abuse in Iraq
by Scott SonnerAssociated Press
June 16th, 2005
the ex-Marine never imagined his captors would be U.S. troops. And he never dreamed they would hand him a Koran and a prayer rug, and treat him like the enemy for the next 72 hours. "It's just unreal," said Ginter, 30, Colorado Springs, Colo., the latest to speak out among 16 American and three Iraqi security contractors who were detained for three days in a facility with insurgents after being accused of firing shots at U.S. troops near Fallujah.

US: House Sale Opens Door to Congressman's Undoing
by Logan JenkinsThe Sandiego Union-Tribune
June 16th, 2005
Duke's done. One way or another, an under-the-table real-estate deal will end his long run in Congress. Three exit strategies are available to Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the saltiest congressman in North County's history.

US: Cleanup Costs for Toxic Gas Additive Could be Billions
by Michael GardnerCopley New Service
June 15th, 2005
Staring at potential payouts in the billions of dollars, the U.S. oil industry is maneuvering to escape responsibility for cleaning up after MTBE, the now-banned toxic gasoline additive that has seeped into drinking water across the country.

CHINA: 'Green Olympics' eyed for 2008 Beijing Games
by Liu Weifeng China Daily
June 15th, 2005
More than 30 enterprises, half from abroad, met to discuss clean technology, renewable and recyclable materials and the huge market sparked by the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Companies present included BASF, NatureWorks, Unitika, Mitsubishi Chemical and Mitsui Chemical.

FIJI: Workers Warn of Contractors in Kuwait Supporting Iraq War
Fiji Times
June 15th, 2005
Fijians returning home after a stint from security jobs in Kuwait say their government must thoroughly scrutinise all contracts. "I wouldn't want our local men to face the kind of life we experienced in Kuwait as it only brings tears when we think of our family back home," Mikaele Jiuta told a press conference last night

US: Pharmaceutical Giant Will Curb Ads Aimed at Patients
Associated Press
June 15th, 2005
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. won't push new drugs in that way for at least a year. The change comes amid criticism of the industrywide practice.

BRAZIL: Homegrown Fuel Supply Helps Drivers Breathe Easy
by Marla Dickerson L.A. Times
June 15th, 2005
Today about 40% of all the fuel that Brazilians pump into their vehicles is ethanol, known here as alcohol, compared with about 3% in the United States. No other nation is using ethanol on such a vast scale. The change wasn't easy or cheap. But 30 years later, Brazil is reaping the return on its investment in energy security while the U.S. writes checks for $50-a-barrel foreign oil.

WORLD: Cities Look to the Sky for Broadband Revolution
by  Paul TaylorFinancial Times
June 15th, 2005
Hundreds of local communities, municipalities and city councils are deploying broadband radio networks based on the 802.11 or ‘Wi-Fi’ radio standard using ‘mesh’ technology to link together multiple Wi-Fi cell sites or ‘hot-spots’.

CANADA: Where Oil Is Mined, Not Pumped
by  Justin BlumWashington Post
June 15th, 2005
High Demand for Petroleum Makes a Boomtown in Northern Alberta

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