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IRAQ: New Oil Law Seen as Cover for Privatisation
by Emad MekayInter 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: In Washington, Contractors Take On Biggest Role Ever
by Scott Shane and Ron NixonThe New York Times
February 4th, 2007

US: Border Policy's Success Strains Resources: Tent City in Texas Among Immigrant Holding Sites Drawing Criticism
by Spencer S. Hsu and Sylvia MorenoThe Washington Post
February 2nd, 2007
Ringed by barbed wire, a futuristic tent city rises from the Rio Grande Valley in the remote southern tip of Texas, the largest camp in a federal detention system rapidly gearing up to keep pace with Washington's increasing demand for stronger enforcement of immigration laws.

US: PUC Not Letting Verizon off Hook
by Ann S. KimPortland 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.

UK: Iraq poised to end drought for thirsting oil giants
by Danny FortsonThe Independent (UK)
January 7th, 2007
For more than three decades, foreign oil companies wanting into Iraq have been like children pressed against the sweet shop window - desperately seeking to feast on the goodies but having no way of getting through the door. That could soon change.

EL SALVADOR: Multinational Capital on the Offensive
by Raúl GutiérrezInter Press Service (IPS)
January 5th, 2007
International financial consortia have already squeezed local shareholders out of banks in El Salvador, and now they are expected to sideline the state, all of which will contribute to widening the gap between rich and poor.

AFGHANISTAN: The Reach of War; U.S. Report Finds Dismal Training of Afghan Police
by James Glantz and David Rohde; Carlotta GallThe 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 JOSÉ DE CÓRDOBAWall 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.

IRAQ: Bechtel Departure Removes More Illusions
by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-FadhilyInter Press Service
November 9th, 2006
The decision of the giant engineering company Bechtel to withdraw from Iraq has left many Iraqis feeling betrayed. In its departure they see the end of remaining hopes for the reconstruction of Iraq.

WORLD: Controlling the Corporate Mercenaries
by Nick Dearden, War on WantZmag
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 £320 million in 2003 to more than £1.8 billion in 2004. In the same year income for the industry worldwide reached $100 billion.

IRAQ: Contractor Bechtel leaves disintegrating Iraq short of goal
by David StreitfeldBaltimore Sun
November 4th, 2006
Bechtel Corp. helped build the Bay Area subway system, Hoover Dam and a city for 200,000 in the desert of Saudi Arabia. It likes to boast that it can go anywhere, under any conditions and build anything.

IRAQ: Bechtel ends Iraq rebuilding after a rough 3 years
by David R. BakerSan Francisco Chronicle
November 1st, 2006
Bechtel Corp. went to Iraq three years ago to help rebuild a nation torn by war. Since then, 52 of its people have been killed and much of its work sabotaged as Iraq dissolved into insurgency and sectarian violence.

UK: Blair accused of trying to 'privatise' war in Iraq
by Kim SenguptaThe Independent (UK)
October 30th, 2006
The Government has been accused of reneging on pledges to control private security companies operating in Iraq because it wants to "privatise the war" as part of its exit strategy.

IRAQ: Idle Contractors Add Millions to Iraq Rebuilding
by James GlantzThe 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 MayerThe 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: Mailed Diebold Disks Raise Voting Machine Fears
Associated Press
October 20th, 2006
Disks containing what appears to be software code used in Maryland's touchscreen voting machines in 2004 were delivered anonymously to a former state legislator, raising fresh concerns about the reliability of the voting system.

IRAQ: As U.S. effort winds down, can Iraq fill 'reconstruction gap'?
by Charles J. HanleyAssociated Press
October 16th, 2006
America's big builders invaded Iraq three years ago, hard on the heels of U.S. troops and tanks. Now the reconstruction billions are drying up so they're pulling out, leaving both completed and unfinished projects in the hands of an Iraqi government unprepared to manage either.

LIBERIA: Mittal accused of creating a state within a state in Liberia
by David PallisterThe Guardian (UK)
October 2nd, 2006
A damning report on Mittal Steel's acquisition of an impoverished African country's iron ore reserves is published today, accusing the world's largest steelmaker of offering an inequitable "raw deal" that has created an unaccountable "state within a state".

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.

WORLD: Private Sector 'Not the Answer to Poverty'
by Philip ThorntonIndependent (UK)
September 1st, 2006
Rich countries must deliver more money directly to poor nations to avert a growing health and sanitation crisis spreading across the southern hemisphere, Oxfam will say today.

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