|SERBIA: One-Dollar Steel Mill Exposes Cracks In Privatisation|
by Vesna Peric Zimonjic, Inter Press Service
February 16th, 2012
In 2003, U.S. Steel bought up the bankrupt Sartid steel mill in the eastern Serbian town of Smederevo for $33 million, the first private enterprise to enter the country after the downfall of former leader Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. On Feb. 1, U.S. Steel sold the mill back for a dollar.
|US/AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN: U.S. Is Still Using Private Spy Ring, Despite Doubts|
by Mark Mazzetti, New York Times
May 15th, 2010
Top military officials continue to rely on a secret network of private spies set up by Michael D. Furlong, despite concerns about the legality of the operation. A New York Times review found Mr. Furlong’s operatives still providing information, with contractors still being paid under a $22 million contract, managed by Lockheed Martin and supervised by a Pentagon office.
|AFGHANISTAN/US: Outsourcing intelligence|
by David Ignatius, Washington Post
March 17th, 2010
The headline read like something you might see in the conspiracy-minded Pakistani press: "Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants." But the story appeared in Monday's New York Times, and it highlighted some big problems that have developed in the murky area between military and intelligence activities.
|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/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.
|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.
|AFGHANISTAN: Lost in Limbo: Injured Afghan Translators Struggle to Survive|
by Pratap Chatterjee, ProPublica
December 17th, 2009
Local translators are hidden casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. military uses defense contractors to hire local residents to serve as translators for the troops. These local translators often live, sleep and eat with soldiers. And yet when they are wounded, they are often ignored by the U.S. system designed to provide them medical care and disability benefits, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times and ProPublica.
|JORDAN: For AIG’s Man in Jordan, War Becomes a Business Opportunity|
by T. Christian 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.
|AFGHANISTAN: Wackenhut aids inquiry into its Afghanistan contractor|
September 3rd, 2009
This week the Project on Government Oversight released damning allegations of deviant hazing at a camp for security guards in Afghanistan. Sparking questions from the State Department, POGO warned the problems are "posing a significant threat to the security of the embassy and its personnel."
|US: New Hire Highlights Altegrity's Growing Ambition|
by Thomas Heath, Washington Post
August 17th, 2009
For more than 12 years, Falls Church-based USIS quietly scrutinized the backgrounds of individuals who needed security clearance to work in the U.S. government or in the private sector. Now re-named Altegrity, the company has ambitions of securing government contracts for much more than investigation and data-collection.
|US: DynCorp Billed U.S. $50 Million Beyond Costs in Defense Contract|
by V. Dion Haynes, Washington Post
August 12th, 2009
A Defense Department auditor, appearing before the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, testified Tuesday that DynCorp International billed the government $50 million more than the amount specified in a contract to provide dining facilities and living quarters for military personnel in Kuwait.
|US: Sued by the forest|
by Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, The Boston Globe
July 19th, 2009
Last February, the town of Shapleigh, Maine, population 2,326, passed an unusual ordinance. Like nearby towns, Shapleigh sought to protect its aquifers from the Nestle Corporation, which draws heavily on the region for its Poland Spring bottled water. Shapleigh tried something new. At a town meeting, residents voted to endow all of the town’s natural assets with legal rights.
|US: Contractors Vie for Plum Work, Hacking for U.S. Government|
by CHRISTOPHER DREW and JOHN MARKOFF, New 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: Contracting Boom Could Fizzle Out|
by Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post
April 7th, 2009
The surge in the U.S. military contracting workforce would ebb under Defense Secretary Gates's budget proposal as the Pentagon moves to replace private workers with full-time civil servants. The move could affect companies such as CACI and SAIC. "We are right-sizing the defense acquisition workforce so we can improve our contract oversight and get a better deal for the taxpayers," said the Pentagon's director of defense procurement and acquisition policy.
|IRAQ: Ex-Blackwater Workers May Return to Iraq Jobs|
by Rod Nordland, New York Times
April 3rd, 2009
Late last month Blackwater Worldwide lost its billion-dollar contract to protect American diplomats in Iraq, but by next month many of its private security guards will be back on the job here. The same individuals will just be wearing new uniforms, working for Triple Canopy, the firm that won the State Department’s new contract.
|US: Pentagon Weighs Cuts and Revisions of Weapons|
by Christopher Drew, New York Times
April 3rd, 2009
U.S. defense executives and consultants are worried about the sweeping changes in military programs that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to announce on Monday. Weapons systems like missile defense are likely to endure deep cuts.
|CHINA: Banks Face Big Losses From Bets on Chinese Realty|
by David Barboza , New York Times
April 3rd, 2009
Evergrande Real Estate Group, now mired in debt, has become a symbol of China’s go-go era of investing, when international bankers, private equity deal makers and hedge fund managers from Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and others rushed here hoping to cash in on the world’s biggest building boom.
|US/AFGHANISTAN: Unknown Afghanistan|
by Pratap Chatterjee, TomDispatch.com
March 17th, 2009
Want a billion dollars in development aid? If you happen to live in Afghanistan, the two quickest ways to attract attention and so aid from the U.S. authorities are: Taliban attacks or a flourishing opium trade. For those with neither, the future could be bleak. This piece take a look at the lack of reconstruction aid in areas like Bamiyan, Afghanistan.
|CHILE: Chilean Town Withers in Free Market for Water|
by Alexei Barrionuevo, New York Times
March 15th, 2009
Nowhere is the system for buying and selling water more permissive than in Chile, where water rights are private property, not a public resource, and can be traded like commodities with little government oversight or safeguards for the environment. The small town of Quillaga is being swallowed up in the country’s intensifying water wars.
|UGANDA/IRAQ: Why 10,000 Ugandans are eagerly serving in Iraq|
by Max Delany, Christian Science Monitor
March 6th, 2009
Hired out to multibillion-dollar companies for hundreds of dollars a month, 10,000 Ugandans risk their lives seeking fortunes protecting US Army bases, airports, and oil firms in Iraq for as little as $600 per month. Many are looking to go to Afghanistan as the Obama administration increases contracts there.
|US: Food Problems Elude Private Inspectors|
by Michael Moss and Andrew Martin, New York Times
March 5th, 2009
When food industry giants like Kellogg want to ensure that American consumers are being protected from contaminated products, they rely on private inspectors. With government inspectors overwhelmed by the task of guarding the nation’s food supply, the job of monitoring food plants has in large part fallen to an army of private auditors, and problems are rife.
|US: 70 Youths Sue Former Judges in Detention Kickback Case|
by Ian Urbina, New York Times
February 26th, 2009
More than 70 juveniles and their families filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against two former judges who pleaded guilty this month in a scheme that involved their taking kickbacks to put young offenders in privately run detention centers. The two privately operated centers are run by PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care.
|US/AFGHANISTAN: Short-staffed USAID tries to keep pace |
by Ken Dilanian, USA Today
February 1st, 2009
Like other government functions, U.S. foreign aid and reconstruction largely has been privatized. USAID now turns to contractors to fulfill its basic mission of fighting poverty and promoting democracy. CorpWatch's 2006 "Afghanistan, Inc" documented problems with Chemonics and other contractors operating in Afghanistan.
|US: Plea by Blackwater Guard Helps Indict Others|
by GINGER THOMPSON and JAMES RISEN, New York Times
December 9th, 2008
On Monday, the Justice Department unsealed its case against five Blackwater private security guards, built largely around testimony from a sixth guard about the 2007 shootings that left 17 unsuspecting Iraqi civilians dead at a busy Baghdad traffic circle.
|US/IRAQ: Indiana guardsmen sue defense contractor KBR|
by Farah Stockman, Boston Globe
December 4th, 2008
Sixteen Indiana national guardsmen filed a lawsuit yesterday against military contractor KBR. The complaint alleges that several reservists contracted respiratory system tumors and skin rashes after guarding reconstruction work at the Qarmat Ali treatment plant, strewn with the toxin chromium dichromate.
|CANADA/IRAQ: Drill, Garner, Drill|
by Anthony Fenton, Mother Jones
November 24th, 2008
In the history of the Iraq War, one name is perhaps synonymous with the collapse of the Bush administration's hopes for a post-Saddam world: Retired Lt. General Jay M. Garner, who served as the first post-war administrator. This year, he and a small group of former US military leaders, officials, and lobbyists have quietly used their Kurdistan connections to help Canadian companies access some of the region's richest oil fields.
|US: Bank of New York Mellon Will Oversee Bailout Fund|
by Eric Dash, New York Times
October 15th, 2008
The Bank of New York Mellon was named the master custodian firm overseeing the Treasury Department’s $700 billion bailout fund. It will hold and track the distressed assets that the government will buy as well as run and report on the auctions used to buy the assets. Government officials called it the “prime contractor of the purchase program.”
|IRAQ: Iraq Case Sheds Light On Secret Contractors|
by Siobhan Gorman and August Cole, Wall Street Journal
July 17th, 2008
Court documents and interviews with whistleblowers shed light on persistent problems in the operations of private military and security company MVM, Inc., a top provider of secret security to U.S. intelligence agencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
|US: Army Overseer Tells of Ouster Over KBR Stir|
by James Risen, New York Times
June 17th, 2008
Charles M. Smith, the senior civilian overseeing the multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the war, says he was ousted for refusing to approve payment for more than $1 billion in questionable charges to KBR. The Pentagon has recently awarded KBR part of a 10-year, $150 billion contract in Iraq.
|UGANDA: Privatization of Seeds Moving Apace|
by Aileen Kwa, IPS
February 21st, 2008
The Ugandan parliament will soon have a hearing on the draft Plant Variety Protection Bill, approved by the cabinet early last year. According to an inside government source, seeds companies including Monsanto have been lobbying for such intellectual property protection.
|AFGHANISTAN: Copper project tests Afghanistan’s resources|
by Jon Boone, Financial Times
January 8th, 2008
The debris left over from previous attempts to extract some of Afghanistan’s colossal mineral wealth can be found just 35km south-east of Kabul. But in five years, the landscape in the Aynak exploration area may be changed into one of the world’s largest opencast mines, thanks to a $3bn (£1.5bn) investment by the China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC).
|US: Life Was Lost in Maelstrom of Suspicion|
by Ginger Thompson and Eric Schmitt, New York Times
December 4th, 2007
The suicide of a top Air Force procurement officer casts a cloud of suspicion, threatening to plunge a service still struggling to emerge from one of its worst scandals into another quagmire.
|US: Intel official: Say goodbye to privacy|
by Pamela Hess , Associated Press
November 11th, 2007
Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguards people's private communications and financial information.
|US: Billions over Baghdad; The Spoils of War|
by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, Vanity Fair
October 1st, 2007
Between April 2003 and June 2004, $12 billion in U.S. currency--much of it belonging to the Iraqi people--was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad, where it was dispensed by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Incredibly, at least $9 billion has gone missing, unaccounted for, in a frenzy of mismanagement and greed.
|US: U.S. Contractor Banned by Iraq Over Shootings|
by Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times
September 18th, 2007
Blackwater USA, an American contractor that provides security to some of the top American officials in Iraq, has been banned from working in the country by the Iraqi government after a shooting that left eight Iraqis dead and involved an American diplomatic convoy.
|IRAQ: Will Iraq Kick Out Blackwater?|
by Adam Zagorin and Brian Bennett, TIME Magazine
September 17th, 2007
TIME has obtained an incident report prepared by the U.S. government describing a fire fight Sunday in Baghdad in which at least eight Iraqis were reported killed and 13 wounded. The loss of life has provoked anger in Baghdad, where the Interior Ministry has suspended Blackwater's license to operate around the country.
|CHINA: An Opportunity for Wall St. in China’s Surveillance Boom|
by Keith Bradsher, New York Times
September 11th, 2007
China Security and Surveillance Technology, a fast-growing company that installs and sometimes operates surveillance systems for Chinese police agencies, jails and banks, has just been approved for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s listing is just a sign of ever-closer ties among Wall Street, surveillance companies and the Chinese government’s security apparatus.
|US: Iraq convoy was sent out despite threat|
by T. Christian Miller, LA Times
September 3rd, 2007
Senior managers for defense contractor KBR overruled calls to halt supply operations in Iraq in the spring of 2004, ordering unarmored trucks into an active combat zone where six civilian drivers died in an ambush, according to newly available documents.
|US: Army to examine Iraq contracts|
by Richard Lardner, Associated Press
August 29th, 2007
The Army will examine as many as 18,000 contracts awarded over the past four years to support U.S. forces in Iraq to determine how many are tainted by waste, fraud and abuse.
|CHINA: China Enacting a High-Tech Plan to Track People|
by Keith Bradsher, The New York Times
August 12th, 2007
At least 20,000 police surveillance cameras are being installed along streets here in southern China and will soon be guided by sophisticated computer software from an American-financed company to recognize automatically the faces of police suspects and detect unusual activity.
|US: Blackwater supports inquiry into fatal shooting|
by Bill Sizemore, Virginian-Pilot
July 25th, 2007
After one of his personal bodyguards was shot to death by a Blackwater USA security contractor last Christmas Eve, Iraqi Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi assured the U.S. ambassador that he was trying to keep the incident out of the public eye.
|US: 'America's private army' under fire for Illinois facility|
by E.A. Torriero, Chicago Tribune
July 23rd, 2007
Blackwater North, as the North Carolina-based firm calls its new site, is designed primarily as a tactical training ground for domestic law enforcement and contractors. Using civilians schooled in military warfare, the site offers training in weaponry, hostage dealings and terror reaction. Still, the sudden appearance of Blackwater is attracting criticism and questions from miles around. Anti-war activists and locals are wary about the new training site.
|UN: Global Compact with Business 'Lacks Teeth' - NGOs|
by Gustavo Capdevila, Inter Press News Service (IPS)
July 6th, 2007
The U.N.'s Global Compact with international big business "at the moment is so voluntary that it really is a happy-go-lucky club," says Ramesh Singh, chief executive of ActionAid, a non-governmental organisation. The controversy has come to a boiling point because of the Global Compact Leaders' Summit being held in Geneva on Thursday and Friday, at which over 1,000 representatives of multinational companies are taking part, in addition to well-known civil society figures like Irene Khan, the secretary general of AI; Mary Robinson, president of the Ethical Globalisation Initiative; Guy Ryder, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation; and Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam International.
|IRAQ: A Private Realm Of Intelligence-Gathering; Firm Extends U.S. Government's Reach|
by Steve Fainaru and Alec Klein, Washington Post Foreign Service
July 1st, 2007
On the first floor of a tan building inside Baghdad's Green Zone, the full scope of Iraq's daily carnage is condensed into a 30-minute PowerPoint presentation. The intelligence was compiled not by the U.S. military, but by a British security firm, Aegis Defence Services Ltd. The Reconstruction Operations Center is the most visible example of how intelligence collection is now among the responsibilities handled by a network of private security companies that work in the shadows of the U.S. military.
|AFRICA: What Does Africa Need Most: Technology or Aid?|
by Jason Pontin, The New York Times
June 17th, 2007
TED Global 2007 is one small skirmish in a larger ideological conflict between those who believe that Africa needs more and better international aid, and those who think entrepreneurialism and technology will lift the continent out of poverty and thus reduce its miseries.
|US: CIA Plans Cutbacks, Limits on Contractor Staffing|
by Walter Pincus and Stephen Barr, Washington Post
June 11th, 2007
Acting under pressure from Congress, the CIA has decided to trim its contractor staffing by 10 percent. It is the agency's first effort since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to curb what critics have decried as the growing privatization of U.S. intelligence work, a circumstance that has sharply boosted some personnel costs.
|IRAQ: Death Toll for Contractors Reaches New High in Iraq|
by John M. Broder and James Risen, New York Times
May 19th, 2007
Casualties among private contractors in Iraq have soared to record levels this year, setting a pace that seems certain to turn 2007 into the bloodiest year yet for the civilians who work alongside the American military in the war zone, according to new government numbers.
|US: Committee subpoenas former Walter Reed chief|
by Kelly Kennedy, Army Times
March 3rd, 2007
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has subpoenaed Maj. Gen. George Weightman, who was fired as head of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, after Army officials refused to allow him to testify before the committee Monday.
|IRAQ: New Oil Law Seen as Cover for Privatisation|
by Emad Mekay, Inter Press News Service (IPS)
February 27th, 2007
The U.S.-backed Iraqi cabinet approved a new oil law Monday that is set to give foreign companies the long-term contracts and safe legal framework they have been waiting for, but which has rattled labour unions and international campaigners who say oil production should remain in the hands of Iraqis.
|US: PUC Not Letting Verizon off Hook|
by Ann S. Kim, Portland Press Herald (MAINE)
January 30th, 2007
The Maine Public Utilities Commission decided Monday to begin contempt proceedings against Verizon Communications for failing to affirm the truthfulness of statements the company made about its possible role in the government's warrantless surveillance program.
|AFGHANISTAN: The Reach of War; U.S. Report Finds Dismal Training of Afghan Police|
by James Glantz and David Rohde; Carlotta Gall, The New York Times
December 4th, 2006
Five years after the fall of the Taliban, a joint report by the Pentagon and the State Department has found that the American-trained police force in Afghanistan is largely incapable of carrying out routine law enforcement work, and that managers of the $1.1 billion training program cannot say how many officers are actually on duty or where thousands of trucks and other equipment issued to police units have gone.
|CUBA: Cuba's Military Puts Business On Front Lines|
by JOSÃ‰ DE CÃ“RDOBA, Wall Street Journal
November 15th, 2006
At the height of the Cold War, Cuba's soldiers became a legend on the island when they punched through enemy lines, defeating South Africa's army in Angola. Today Cuban generals are applying capitalist tactics to try to improve bottom lines in businesses that range from growing beans to running hotels and airlines.
|WORLD: Controlling the Corporate Mercenaries|
by Nick Dearden, War on Want, Zmag
November 7th, 2006
While Iraq represents bloodshed and death on a massive scale to most people, to Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) it has brought a boom time, boosting the revenues of British-based PMSCs alone from Â£320 million in 2003 to more than Â£1.8 billion in 2004. In the same year income for the industry worldwide reached $100 billion.
|IRAQ: Idle Contractors Add Millions to Iraq Rebuilding|
by James Glantz, The New York Times
October 25th, 2006
Overhead costs have consumed more than half the budget of some reconstruction projects in Iraq, according to a government estimate released yesterday, leaving far less money than expected to provide the oil, water and electricity needed to improve the lives of Iraqis.
|US: THE C.I.A.’S TRAVEL AGENT|
by Jane Mayer, The New Yorker
October 23rd, 2006
On the official Web site of Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, there is a section devoted to a subsidiary called Jeppesen International Trip Planning, based in San Jose, California. The write-up mentions that the division “offers everything needed for efficient, hassle-free, international flight operations,” spanning the globe “from Aachen to Zhengzhou.” The paragraph concludes, “Jeppesen has done it all.”
|US: New Jersey Ratepayers Stop Big Utility Merger|
Environment News Service
September 18th, 2006
After two years of public hearings, litigation, testimony and negotiations and more than 11,500 letters, phone calls and emails to state decision makers, New Jersey consumers avoided higher electricity rates when Exelon walked away from its takeover bid to buy-out Public Service Enterprise Group, PSEG, a publicly traded energy and energy services company headquartered in New Jersey.
|US: IRS to Privatize Debt Collection|
by David Cay Johnston, The New York Times
August 21st, 2006
Privatizing government services is often promoted as a way to cut costs. But the government would probably net $1.1 billion from private debt collectors over 10 years, compared with the $87 billion that could be reaped if the agency hired more revenue officers.
|UK: Watchdog inquiry threat over rolling stock |
by David Teather, The Guardian (UK)
June 28th, 2006
The companies supplying the trains and carriages that run on Britain's railways are facing the threat of a competition inquiry today amid allegations they are ripping off passengers by charging the rail-operating firms too much.
|CHILE: Hydropower Plans Paddle On Against the Current
by Daniela Estrada , Inter Press News Service
June 27th, 2006
The Chilean government has granted Endesa, a Spanish corporation, permission to carry out exploratory studies in the south of the country for the purpose of building four hydroelectric plants, in a move opposed by environmentalists, who are planning several demonstrations.
|ARGENTINA: Another War Over Water|
by Marcela Valente, Inter Press Service News Agency
June 7th, 2006
Fed up with poor water quality, rate hikes and a lack of investment in expanding infrastructure, residents, union members and environmentalists in the Argentine province of Córdoba have forced a multinational corporation to withdraw from the business, and are now demanding that the state play a part in a new public water company.
|US: Critics Wary of Development Plans for Utah Land|
by Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
June 6th, 2006
The proposed Washington County Growth and Conservation Act would sell up to 40 square miles of federal land and use the proceeds to finance a multimillion-dollar water pipeline and other local projects. Utah Republican Sen.
Robert F. Bennett and Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson are expected to introduce the bill in coming weeks. Waiting in the wings are nearly a dozen similar bills for counties in Utah, Idaho, Nevada and New Mexico where population pressure is fueling the demand for more developable land.
|US: The Next Niche: School Bus Ads
by Caroline E. Mayer, The Washington Post
June 4th, 2006
BusRadio, a start-up company in Massachusetts, wants to pipe into school buses around the country a private radio network that plays music, public-service announcements, contests and, of course, ads, aimed at kids as they travel to and from school.
|US: New Hampshire Town Bans Corporate Water Withdrawals|
by Kat Bundy, Susquehanna
June 1st, 2006
Across the country, corporations are privatizing the commons -- water -- so they can sell it. Now one town is fighting back in a powerful new way: Barnstead, New Hampshire, has become the first municipality in the U.S. to adopt a binding local law that bans certain corporations from withdrawing water within the town. To protect their local law, Barnstead residents have also voted to strip corporations of their claims to constitutional rights and powers. This is not your father's old "regulatory" approach.
|US: Harlem, a Test Lab, Splits Over Charter Schools|
by Susan Saulny, The New York Times
June 1st, 2006
By the end of next year, Harlem will be home to 17 charter schools, publicly financed but privately run — more than in Staten Island, Queens and Lower Manhattan combined. The Bronx has a high concentration, too, but only Brooklyn is expected to have more charter schools by the end of next year.
|WORLD: Foreign Corporations Backing Off|
by Diego Cevallos, Inter Press Service News Agency
March 16th, 2006
Water rights groups say transnational corporations are increasingly sinking their teeth into Latin America's water services, but studies by the United Nations and other experts point to the contrary: these companies are backing off, and may not come back any time soon.
|BOLIVIA: Bolivia’s Morales rejects US domination|
by Hal Weitzman, The Financial Times
January 22nd, 2006
Evo Morales was sworn in on Sunday as Bolivia’s first indigenous president in a historic and emotional ceremony that set the tone for his new government, promising to move much the profits of Bolivia's natural resources to the people of Bolivia.
|RUSSIA: In Russia, Pollution Is Good for Business|
by Andrew E. Kramer, The New York Times
December 28th, 2005
One of the paradoxes of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change is that companies in Russia and other Eastern European countries, which are among the world's largest producers of greenhouse gases, are poised to earn hundreds of millions of dollars through trading their rights to release carbon dioxide into the air.
|US: U.S. Arranges 'Pre-Deployment' Training for Haiti-Bound Private Police|
by Stephen Peacock, NarcoNews
December 13th, 2005
The U.S. State Dept. is reaching out to independent contractors to train other private contractors who will be deployed as “civilian police” -- hired guns for so-called peacekeeping missions taking place in Haiti and other geopolitical hotspots. The senior adviser selected for the task “must oversee pre-deployment training currently being conducted” by Dyncorp International, Civilian Police International and Pacific Architects and Engineers/Homeland Security Corporation, according a recently released procurement document.
|US: The Prophet of Prison|
by Sep 1st 2005, The Economist, The Economist
September 1st, 2005
Is John Ferguson the saviour of America's prison system or its destroyer?
|ROMANIA: An oil fortune bound in red tape
by Terence O'Hara, Washington 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.
|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.
|US: A Company's Troubled Answer for Prisoners With H.I.V.|
by Paul von Zielbauer, New 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: Contractors and Military in 'Bidding War'|
by Matt Kelley, USA 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,
|WORLD: A Responsible Balancing Act |
June 1st, 2005
Public expectations of companies are rising everywhere - but consumers' top concerns vary substantially between countries and regions, according to a new study by GlobeScan, an international opinion research company.
|US: Memphis '68, Revisited|
by Si Kahn, AlterNet
May 6th, 2005
With help from some unlikely places, Corrections Corporation of America is hoping to build the largest for-profit private prison in the United States.
|MALAYSIA: Workers to March Against Privatization|
by Anil Netto, IPS
April 29th, 2005
Malaysia's workers will mark International Labor Day on May 1 with a strong protest against globalisation, which they feel is gradually eroding away their rights and making poor Malaysians poorer.
|CANADA: Water - Bottles Versus Faucets|
by Stephen Leahy, IPS
March 12th, 2005
Four large corporations control much of the world's booming bottled water industry and pose a threat to public water utilities, according to a report by the Canadian non-governmental Polaris Institute.
|US: Beyond the God Pod|
by Silja J.A. Talvi, The Santa Fe Reporter
March 9th, 2005
The nation's biggest private prison corporation is forging strong ties with a fundamentalist Christian ministry, blurring the line between church and state and harkening a new turn in corrections toward Christian-based programming.
|US: Education Department Favoring Privatization|
by Michael Dobbs, San Francisco Chronicle
January 3rd, 2004
People for the American Way, a liberal advocacy group, recently released a report depicting "a network of right-wing foundations" that have received more than $77 million in U.S. Department of Education funds to promote their "school privatization" agenda.
|US: Profiting from Incarceration|
by Jenni Gainsborough, AlterNet
December 15th, 2003
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation's largest operator of prisons for profit, is celebrating its 20th anniversary throughout this year "at both the company's corporate Nashville office and at all of the more than 60 prisons, jails and detention centers under CCA ownership and/or management."
|CHINA: Provinces Press on with Privatisation|
by James Kynge, Financial Times
November 6th, 2003
The provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan are planning to put up roughly 1,000 local state-owned enterprises as candidates for acquisition or merger with foreign or private Chinese companies starting next year, senior provincial officials told the Financial Times.
|US: The Dangers of Privatization|
by Julian Borger, The Guardian
August 20th, 2003
The electrical forensics are still under way, but the big picture emerging from last week's unprecedented blackout is already clear: it was nature's warning against Washington's worship at the altar of privatisation.
|US: FCC Rule Fight Continues in Congress|
by Frank Ahrens, Washington Post Staff Writer
June 4th, 2003
Several lawmakers and advocacy groups vowed yesterday to fight in the courts and on Capitol Hill to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's new media ownership rules, saying they give big newspapers and broadcasters too much influence over public opinion and hurt smaller media companies.
|US: FCC Chairman Refuses to Delay Vote|
May 16th, 2003
Michael K. Powell, the Federal Communications Commission chairman, rejected today a request from two commissioners to delay a decision on overhauling rules governing ownership of newspapers and TV and radio stations.
|US: FCC Close to Easing Media Caps|
by Dan Fost, San Francisco Chronicle
May 12th, 2003
The Federal Communications Commission is moving closer to easing its media ownership caps, including regulations that now limit how many television stations a network may own, or whether a company can own a newspaper and a television station in the same city.
|IRAQ: Privatization in Disguise|
by Naomi Klein, The Nation
April 18th, 2003
On April 6, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz spelled it out: There will be no role for the United Nations in setting up an interim government in Iraq. The US-run regime will last at least six months, "probably...longer than that."
|WORLD: Water Privatization Under Fire|
Inter Press News Service
March 10th, 2003
Privatization of water services has had negative consequences in many countries, says the environmental network Friends of the Earth International, which urges global resistance to the commercialization of this essential resource.
|JAPAN: 10,000 at Water Forum to Seek Action, Not Talk|
by Sanjay Suri, Inter Press News Service
March 10th, 2003
More than 10,000 delegates who will attend the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto next week will be under pressure to step up water flows, rather than just talk about it.
|WORLD: The Planet is Running Out of Fresh Water|
by Maude Barlow, The Guardian
February 26th, 2003
The private sector was the first to notice: the planet is running out of fresh water at such a rate that soon it will be the most valuable commodity on earth.
|BOLIVIA: Citizens, Media Excluded from Bechtel Trial by World Bank Tribunal|
February 25th, 2003
Citizens excluded from $25 million suit against Bolivia for company's failed water privatization scheme Washington, DC- The Bechtel Corporation was handed a powerful victory last week, when a secretive trade court announced that it would not allow the public or media to participate in or even witness proceedings in which Bechtel is suing the people of Bolivia for $25 million.
|BRAZIL: Vivendi Moves to Keep Water Company|
by Raymond Colitt, Financial Times
February 18th, 2003
Vivendi Environnement will today launch last-ditch negotiations to recover control of a Brazilian water company after a state government said it would take over management from the French utility.
|US: Privatized Water Deal Collapses in Atlanta|
by Douglas Jehl, New York Times
February 10th, 2003
Privatization has hit the water sector, which has remained mostly the bastion of public utilities. Over the last five years, hundreds of American communities, including Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Gary, Ind., have hired private companies to manage their waterworks, serving about one in 20 Americans.
|INDONESIA: Protesters Challenge Price Increases|
January 15th, 2003
Hundreds of protesters in Palu, Central Sulawesi, threw rocks at the provincial headquarters of President Megawati Sukarnoputri's political party. Police fired off at least two rounds of warning shots.
There have been daily protests since the government increased fuel prices by 22% a fortnight ago as part of a package of economic reforms approved by the International Monetary Fund.
|BOLIVIA: Time to Open Up Secret Trade Courts|
by Jim Shultz, Pacific News Service
November 8th, 2002
Two years ago, rioters protesting increased water rates forced a Bechtel, U.S. company, in Bolivia to pack its bags and leave. Now, in a harbinger of the loss of local control through globalization, the corporation is striking back in secret proceedings.
|Burkina Faso: Thousands March Against Privatisation and for Higher Wages|
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
July 18th, 2002
Thousands of workers went on strike on Thursday and marched through the main streets of Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, to protest against privatisations and to press demands for salary increases. The procession and strike were organised by the country's trade unions.
|USA: Trouble for School Inc.|
by Rebecca Winters, Time.com
May 27th, 2002
Wendy Walsh's seventh-graders at Gillespie Middle School in North Philadelphia have something in common with investors in the for-profit education company Edison Schools. Both fear that Edison, the nation's largest private operator of public schools, may be failing them. ''The children ask me what's going on,'' Walsh says, ''and I don't know what to tell them. We're all facing the great unknown.''
|US: Prisoners Go to Work for Dell|
by Drew Cullen, The Register (UK)
May 19th, 2002
Dell rose to the top by cutting more corners than its rivals. The PC giant is cutting another corner by employing prisoners to handle its new consumer recycling scheme in the US.
|Mexico: Legislation Strikes Blow Against Privatization, Secrecy|
by Dan Jaffee, CommonDreams.org
April 28th, 2002
In less than 24 hours this past Wednesday, big advances for three major pieces of legislation indicated that Mexico -- for 20 years the ''model student'' of so-called free market policy reforms, and long noted for high levels of government secrecy and corruption -- may be charting a new, more independent course. At a moment when the Bush administration is chilling domestic dissent, restricting the free flow of information and promoting corporate deregulation, Mexico appears poised to do virtually the opposite.
|USA: Crumbling Public Sector Makes Country Vulnerable to Bio-Terrorism|
by Naomi Klein, Toronto Globe & Mail
October 24th, 2001
Only hours after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Republican Representative Curt Weldon went on CNN and announced that he didn't want to hear anyone talking about funding for schools or hospitals. From here on, it was all about spies, bombs and other manly things.
|USA: Prison Building Spree Creates Glut of Lockups|
by Bryan Gruley, Wall Street Journal
September 6th, 2001
Two hundred miles north, at a Wackenhut-run prison in Holly Springs, Miss., 130 steel bunks stood bare and unused in two cavernous cell blocks. Wackenhut had closed the units because it no longer had inmates to fill them. Every day, the empty space was costing the company money it had expected to be paid by the state.
|Mexico: Prisons Opening Maquiladoras|
July 30th, 2001
State officials in Tamaulipas say they want U.S. companies to open workshops inside Mexican prisons to help train prisoners for factory jobs.
|SOUTH AFRICA: Financial Institutions Eye Public Services|
by Gumisai Mutume, Inter Press Service
March 6th, 2001
Anti-privatisation protestors are expected to descend on the streets of Johannesburg this month as they demand a reversal of the sale of their municipal water supply to French multinational Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux.
|USA: Prisoners Who Speak Out Receive Punishment, Suit Says|
by Peter Blumberg, San Francisco Daily Journal
August 23rd, 1999
Two inmates allege in a lawsuit to be filed today that state corrections officials violated their civil rights by punishing them for helping the media expose a prison labor program as an illegal sweatshop, according to their lawyers.
|Death, Neglect and the Bottom Line|
by William Allen and Kim Bell, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 27th, 1998
St. Louis-based Correctional Medical Services leads the expanding field of private companies providing medical care behind bars. The industry tries to keep a low profile, but a five-month investigation by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch found a disturbing pattern of deaths and untreated illnesses behind bars.
|US: Company Ties Not Always Noted in Security Push|
When the storm erupted several months ago over plans by a United Arab Emirates-based company to take over management of a half-dozen American port terminals, one voice resonated in Washington. Stephen E. Flynn has advocated a port security system that can check every container bound for the United States for radioactive threats.
|JAPAN: Koizumi's Postal Bomb|
The Prime Minister's rejected reform legislation by Japan's Upper House is grave news for him and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party.