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PERU: Substandard Peruvian Gas Pipeline Blamed for Spills
Environmental News Service
March 2nd, 2006
A pipeline crossing the Peruvian Amazon has spilled natural gas liquids four times since it opened 15 months ago because it was shoddily built by unqualified welders using corroded pipes left from other jobs, according to a new technical report by the nonprofit environmental consultancy E-Tech International based in San Diego.

PERU: Bank Rejects Rapid Review of Controversial Pipeline
by Emad MekayInter Press Service News Agency
March 1st, 2006
The main public investor in a controversial gas pipeline in Peru's Amazon rainforest that has ruptured four times already appears adamant not to bow to pressure from green groups demanding a full investigation after a study asserted that the pipeline is shoddily built and likely to break again.

WORLD: Hidden World Bank Whistleblower Report Made Public
Environmental News Service
February 10th, 2006
The Government Accountability Project (GAP) today released the Vaughn Report, commissioned by the World Bank as a guide to modernize the Bank's whistleblower protection policies. In the nine months since the Vaughn report was released on April 30, 2005, the World Bank has refused to publicly release the report, consult staff on Vaughn’s recommendations, or accept any offers from experts to help implement Vaughn’s analysis.

SOUTH AFRICA: GM debate fought on cotton fields of KZN
Reuters
February 7th, 2006
Taking a break from spraying his neat, one-hectare plot of young cotton plants with herbicide, Moses Mabika surveys the land that has been supporting his family for 45 years. He may not realise it, but he is standing at the epicenter of a heated debate about growing genetically modified (GM) crops in Africa.

WORLD: Partying at Davos
by Jeff FauxCommonDreams.org
January 23rd, 2006
The world’s rich and powerful are heading this week to their annual meeting in the plush mountain resort of Davos, Switzerland. Hosted by the great global corporations (Citigroup, Siemans, Microsoft, Nestles, etc.), some 2000 CEO’s, prominent politicians, pundits and international bureaucrats will network over great food, fine wine, good skiing and cozy evenings by the fire contemplating the world’s future.

BOLIVIA: Bolivia’s Morales rejects US domination
by Hal WeitzmanThe 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.

GHANA: World Bank Says No Excuses
Ghana Web News
January 1st, 2006
The World Bank Country Director, Mr Mats Karlsson, has stated that Ghana has no reason to complain about difficulties in managing its economy because it has all the resources for accelerated development at its disposal.

NETHERLANDS: ABN to Pay $80 Million for Violations
by Barnaby J. FederThe New York Times
December 20th, 2005
ABN Amro Bank, a global banking giant based in the Netherlands, has agreed to pay a total of $80 million in fines for violating regulations to prevent money-laundering, regulators and the bank said yesterday.

NEPAL: Nepal's Garment Industry Hangs by a Thread
by Jo JohnsonFinancial Times
December 19th, 2005
The pashmina bubble that buoyed the garment industry in the late 1990s has burst. Fashion trendsetters have moved on, leaving a glut of cheap Chinese knock-offs in their wake.

Brazil: Lula and IMF Agree to Renew $14bn Loan Program
by Raymond ColittFinancial Times
November 6th, 2003
The left-leaning government of Luiz Incio Lula da Silva, Brazil's president, agreed in principle with the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday to renew its expiring loan programme by one year.

MEXICO: Conference Draws 2,000 NGOs from 83 Countries
by Diego Cevallos
September 8th, 2003
This week's World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial conference in the Mexican resort of Cancun will also serve as a showcase and podium for nearly 2,000 civil society organisations from 83 countries, whose members have been flowing in by the plane- and busload.

Ethiopia: Prime Minister Hits Out at IMF
BBC
September 1st, 2003
Ethiopia's prime minister has hit out at continuing pressure from international financial organisations to push forward the country's privatisation process. Ethiopia has sold off part of some state enterprises, including 30% of the main telecoms operator.

Latin America: Churches Call for Alternative to Free Market
by Marcela ValenteInter Press Service
May 2nd, 2003
BUENOS AIRES-- Leaders of Protestant churches of Latin America, tired of alleviating social problems that they blame on neo-liberal free market policies, have decided to advance their own alternative proposals to governments and the multilateral lending institutions.

WORLD: Internal Review Criticizes World Bank Mining, Oil and Gas Projects
by By Emad MekayInter Press Service
April 2nd, 2003
The World Bank should revamp its lending policies for mining, oil and gas projects to avoid corruption, mismanagement and poor economic performance spreading in countries that rely on such industries, says a confidential study by the Bank's internal review body.

ARGENTINA: Leap in Unsafe Abortions
by Marcela ValenteInter Press Service
March 12th, 2003
Hospital admissions arising from unsafe abortions in Argentina rose 50 percent in five years, and multiplied by a factor of 2.5 in some provinces -- a lethal consequence of the economic crisis and soaring poverty.

Mali: Doubts Grow About Debt Relief
by Emad MekayInterPress News Service
March 10th, 2003
International creditors of Mali have agreed to cancel $675 million of its debt over time under a controversial debt relief scheme, rewarding the West African nation for its pro-free market economic restructuring plan, they say.

WORLD: The Planet is Running Out of Fresh Water
by Maude BarlowThe 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
WTO Info
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.

SWITZERLAND: Police Ward Off Protesters at World Economic Forum
by Alan CowellNew York Times
January 26th, 2003
DAVOS, Switzerland -- While participants in the World Economic Forum here debated the consequences of a possible war in Iraq, police officers with tear-gas grenades and water cannons mounted a huge security operation to keep protesters away from the delegates, who included Secretary of State Colin Powell.

INDONESIA: Protesters Challenge Price Increases
BBC News
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.


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