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AFGHANISTAN: Copper project tests Afghanistan’s resources
by Jon BooneFinancial 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 SchmittNew 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. SteeleVanity 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: State Dept. Tallies 56 Shootings Involving Blackwater on Diplomatic Guard Duty
by James RisenNY Times
September 28th, 2007
The State Department said Thursday that Blackwater USA security personnel had been involved in 56 shootings while guarding American diplomats in Iraq so far this year.

US: Head of firm paid to track Iraq spending investigated
by Matt KelleyUSA Today
September 21st, 2007
The head of a firm hired to audit Iraqi reconstruction spending is under investigation for violation of conflict of interest laws.

US: U.S. Contractor Banned by Iraq Over Shootings
by Sabrina TaverniseNew 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 BennettTIME 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 BradsherNew 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.

CHILE: Pascua Lama payoff disputed by Chile locals
by Trey PollardSantiago Times/El Mercurio
September 11th, 2007
Huasco Valley property owners who live below the Pascua Lama gold mine and administer US$3 million yearly in “hush” money given them by mine owner Barrick Gold charged this weekend that their predecessors used Barrick’s money for personal gain.

US: Iraq convoy was sent out despite threat
by T. Christian MillerLA 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 LardnerAssociated 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 BradsherThe 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 SizemoreVirginian-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. TorrieroChicago 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.

US: Cited firm gets big security contract; Violations won't sour $323 million deal
by Allen Powell IIWest Bank Bureau
July 15th, 2007
A Hammond security company, Inner Parish Security Corp., which admitted to several "serious" state violations, including hiring an underage officer, has been awarded a large federal contract to provide private security officers at FEMA trailer parks in metro New Orleans.

UN: Global Compact with Business 'Lacks Teeth' - NGOs
by Gustavo CapdevilaInter 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 KleinWashington 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 PontinThe 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 BarrWashington 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.

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