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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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