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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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