|US: U.S. Said to Allow Drilling Without Needed Permits|
by Ian Urbina, New York Times
May 13th, 2010
The federal Minerals Management Service gave permission to BP and dozens of other oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico without first getting required permits from another agency that assesses threats to endangered species — and despite strong warnings from that agency about the impact the drilling was likely to have on the gulf.
|US: BP Is Criticized Over Oil Spill, but U.S. Missed Chances to Act|
by Campbell Robertson and Eric Lipton, New York Times
April 30th, 2010
The Obama administration began Friday to publicly chastise BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials initially seemed to underestimate the threat of a leak, just as BP did last year when it told the government such an event was highly unlikely.
|US: Oil Spill’s Blow to BP’s Image May Eclipse Costs|
by Clifford Krauss , New York Times
April 29th, 2010
BP says that the offshore drilling accident that is spewing thousands of barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico could cost the company several hundred million dollars. Nobody really knows whether the oil giant is being too conservative about the cost for the April 20 accident, which some experts say could end up as the biggest oil spill in history.
|US: Financial Debate Renews Scrutiny on Banks’ Size|
by Sewall Chan, New York Times
April 20th, 2010
One question has vexed the Obama administration and Congress since the start of the financial crisis: how to prevent big bank bailouts. In the last year and a half, the largest financial institutions have only grown bigger, mainly as a result of government-brokered mergers. They now enjoy borrowing at significantly lower rates than their smaller competitors, a result of the bond markets’ implicit assumption that the giant banks are “too big to fail.”
|US: Courts Take On Campaign Finance Decision|
by Adam Liptak, New York Times
March 26th, 2010
Two federal courts here issued decisions on Friday addressing the impact of Citizens United, January’s big Supreme Court campaign finance ruling, on a new issue — whether the government may constitutionally restrict the size of contributions to groups that spend money to support political candidates.
|AFGHANISTAN/US: Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants|
by DEXTER FILKINS and MARK MAZZETTI, New York Times
March 15th, 2010
Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering program, a Defense Department official set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants, according to military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States. The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives.
|US: Obama's Budget Calls for Billions in New Spending for Drones|
by Jason Leopold, Truthout
February 2nd, 2010
Shares of major US defense contractors including Boeing, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman rose upon the unveiling of President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2011 spending plan for the Pentagon, part of the president's overall $3.8 trillion budget proposal. More than $2 billion will be used to purchase unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, blamed for a significant rise in civilian casualties in the "war on terror."
|US: Idea of company-as-person originated in late 19th century|
by Martha C. White, Washington Post
January 31st, 2010
The Supreme Court's 5 to 4 decision in Citizens United v FEC rolled back long-standing restrictions on corporate campaign finance donations. At the crux of the decision was a determination that corporations have a right to free speech. The court ruled that limiting the amount that companies can spend promoting their favored candidates is tantamount to denying First Amendment rights.
|US/KUWAIT: Settlement possible in military contractor fraud case|
by Bill Rankin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 29th, 2010
Kuwaiti firm Agility (formerly Public Warehousing) indicted here for overcharging the Army on an $8.5 billion contract is negotiating a possible settlement with the Justice Department. On Nov. 9, a federal grand jury in Atlanta indicted the firm on charges it gouged the U.S. government by overcharging on its contract to supply food to American troops in Iraq.
|UK: U.K. to Crack Down on Tax Evasion in Developing Countries|
by Laurence Norman, Wall Street Journal
January 26th, 2010
The U.K. government will on Wednesday set out proposals to broaden the crackdown on tax evasion to benefit developing countries, setting a year-end deadline for a U.K.-led multilateral tax-information-sharing accord with emerging nations. That could eventually open the way for multination tax-information accords, which would include former tax havens, developed and developing nations.
|US: Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit|
by Adam Liptak, New York Times
January 21st, 2010
Overruling two important precedents about the First Amendment rights of corporations, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.
|US: Banks Set for Record Pay|
by STEPHEN GROCER, Wall Street Journal
January 14th, 2010
Major U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their people about $145 billion for 2009, a record sum that indicates how compensation is climbing despite fury over Wall Street's pay culture.
|US/IRAQ: U.S. Companies Join Race on Iraqi Oil Bonanza|
by TIMOTHY WILLIAMS, New York Times
January 13th, 2010
American companies have been arriving in Iraq to pursue an expected multibillion-dollar bonanza of projects to revive the country’s petroleum industry. But there are questions about the Iraqi government’s capacity to police the companies. “These are for-profit concerns and they are trying to make as much money as they can,” said Pratap Chatterjee of CorpWatch.
|NIGERIA: Ex-militant leader heads SPDC’s patrol team|
by Chris Ejim, Nigerian Compass
January 8th, 2010
Authorities of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) have unveiled a new security strategy for securing oil pipelines and platforms within the Niger Delta region. Shell has appointed former MEND militant commander, Eris Paul, and his company, Eristex Pipeline Patrol, to secure oil facilities in the Southern Ijaw area of the Delta.
|EUROPE: Europe’s Vast Farm Subsidies Face Challenges|
by STEPHEN CASTLE and DOREEN CARVAJAL, New York Times
December 29th, 2009
The last time the European Union decided the future of its 50 billion euro agricultural aid program, in 2005, the deal was cut behind closed doors in a luxury suite at the five-star Conrad Brussels hotel. Now, 2013 is closer at hand and a new round of maneuvering has begun to reshape the richest system of agricultural handouts in the world.
|JORDAN: For AIG’s Man in Jordan, War Becomes a Business Opportunity|
by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica
December 17th, 2009
For Emad Hatabah, the war in Iraq became a business opportunity. As AIG's chief representative in Jordan, he was responsible for coordinating the care for hundreds of Iraqis who had been injured while working under contract for U.S. troops. He fulfilled his functions by sending business to himself, his friends and business associates, according to interviews and records.
|US: DynCorp Fires Executive Counsel|
by August Cole, Wall Street Journal
November 28th, 2009
DynCorp International Inc. said it has terminated one of its top lawyers, a move that comes on the heels of the government contractor's disclosure that some of its subcontractors may have broken U.S. law in trying to speed up getting licenses and visas overseas.
|AFGHANISTAN: Paying Off the Warlords,
Anatomy of an Afghan Culture of Corruption|
by Pratap Chatterjee, TomDispatch.com
November 17th, 2009
Among the dozens of businesses with lucrative Afghan and U.S. taxpayer-financed reconstruction deals are two extremely well connected companies -- Ghazanfar and Zahid Walid -- that helped to swell the election coffers of President Hamid Karzai as well as the family business of his running mate, the country's new vice president, warlord Mohammed Qasim Fahim.
|US/ECUADOR: New nonprofit uses Web to pressure Chevron|
by David A. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle
November 16th, 2009
Retired retail executive Richard Goldman was astonished when he heard about the $27 billion pollution lawsuit against Chevron Corp. in Ecuador. SO he has created a nonprofit group, Ethos Alliance, that will use social-networking tools to spread word of the case and put pressure on Chevron.