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U.S.: Will Wall Street Ever Face Justice?
by Phil AngelidesNew York Times
March 1st, 2012
Four years after the disintegration of the financial system, 24 million people jobless or underemployed. Yet claims of financial fraud against companies like Citigroup and Bank of America have been settled for pennies on the dollar, with no admission of wrongdoing. Executives who ran companies that made, packaged and sold trillions of dollars in toxic mortgages and mortgage-backed securities remain largely unscathed.

NIGERIA: Nigeria's agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it
by John VidalThe Guardian (UK)
May 30th, 2010
With 606 oilfields, the Niger delta supplies 40% of all the crude the United States imports and is the world capital of oil pollution. More oil is spilled from the delta's network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the current BP/Transocean oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

US: Oil Hits Home, Spreading Arc of Frustration
by Campbell Robertson, Clifford Krauss and John M. BroderNew York Times
May 24th, 2010
More than a month has passed since the Deepwater Horizon rig blew up, spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico and frustrating all efforts to contain it. The disaster underscores the enduring laxity of federal regulation of offshore operations and has shown the government to be almost wholly at the mercy of BP and of Transocean, the company leasing the rig.

WORLD: Disaster Plans Lacking at Deep Rigs
by Ben Casselman and Guy ChazenWall Street Journal
May 17th, 2010
Dealing with a deep-sea spill is a a problem that spans the industry, whose major players include Chevron Corp, Royal Dutch Shell and Petróleo Brasileiro SA. Without adequately planning for trouble, the oil business has focused on developing experimental equipment and techniques to drill in ever deeper waters, according to a Wall Street Journal examination.

US: U.S. Said to Allow Drilling Without Needed Permits
by Ian UrbinaNew York Times
May 13th, 2010
The federal Minerals Management Service gave permission to BP and dozens of other oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico without first getting required permits from another agency that assesses threats to endangered species — and despite strong warnings from that agency about the impact the drilling was likely to have on the gulf.

UK/CANADA: Tar sands crude is reaching British petrol stations, Greenpeace says
by Terry MacalisterThe Guardian (UK)
May 9th, 2010
While City investors have begun to question the role of companies such as BP and Shell in the tar sands business, a new report by Greenpeace claims British motorists are unwitting users of diesel and petrol derived from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada. The carbon-heavy production methods involved make tar sands extraction particularly damaging to the environment.

US: FBI Probes Explosion in West Virginia Mine
by Kris Maher and Siobhan HughesWall Street Journal
April 30th, 2010
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal probe of the deadly explosion at a Massey Energy Co. mine in West Virginia in early April that killed 29 miners, according to people familiar with the matter. In a statement on Friday Massey Energy said, "Massey has no knowledge of criminal wrongdoing."

US: BP Is Criticized Over Oil Spill, but U.S. Missed Chances to Act
by Campbell Robertson and Eric LiptonNew York Times
April 30th, 2010
The Obama administration began Friday to publicly chastise BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials initially seemed to underestimate the threat of a leak, just as BP did last year when it told the government such an event was highly unlikely.

US: Oil Spill’s Blow to BP’s Image May Eclipse Costs
by Clifford Krauss New York Times
April 29th, 2010
BP says that the offshore drilling accident that is spewing thousands of barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico could cost the company several hundred million dollars. Nobody really knows whether the oil giant is being too conservative about the cost for the April 20 accident, which some experts say could end up as the biggest oil spill in history.

CANADA: Munk takes on mine protesters, defends capitalism
by John SpearsThe Star
April 28th, 2010
Mark Ekepa journeyed from Papua New Guinea to tell the shareholders of Barrick Gold Corp. how police had burned down his house near the Barrick’s Porgera mine. Idolia Bornones travelled from Chile to say that Barrick operations are damaging local glaciers and rivers. But Barrick chairman Peter Munk was unrepentant as he faced the company’s annual meeting.

US: Financial Debate Renews Scrutiny on Banks’ Size
by Sewall ChanNew York Times
April 20th, 2010
One question has vexed the Obama administration and Congress since the start of the financial crisis: how to prevent big bank bailouts. In the last year and a half, the largest financial institutions have only grown bigger, mainly as a result of government-brokered mergers. They now enjoy borrowing at significantly lower rates than their smaller competitors, a result of the bond markets’ implicit assumption that the giant banks are “too big to fail.”

US: SEC charges Goldman Sachs with civil fraud in subprime deal
by Greg GordonMcClatchy Newspapers
April 16th, 2010
The Securities and Exchange Commission Friday charged Goldman Sachs & Co. and one of its executives with fraud in a risky offshore deal backed by subprime mortgages that cost investors more than $1 billion.

US: Fed Reviews Find Errors in Oversight of Citigroup
by Sewall Chan and Eric DashNew York Times
April 7th, 2010
Citigroup ran into trouble under the noses of federal regulators. But even after taxpayers rescued the financial giant, regulators failed to monitor the company adequately, according to reviews by the Federal Reserve.

US: Deaths at West Virginia Mine Raise Issues About Safety
by Ian Urbina and Michael CooperNew York Times
April 6th, 2010
Rescue workers began the precarious task Tuesday of removing explosive methane gas from the coal mine where at least 25 miners died the day before. The mine owner’s -- Massey Energy Company -- dismal safety record, along with several recent evacuations of the mine, left federal officials and miners suggesting that Monday’s explosion might have been preventable.

AFGHANISTAN/US: Outsourcing intelligence
by David IgnatiusWashington 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 MAZZETTINew 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.

CANADA/CHINA: Canada looks to China to exploit oil sands rejected by US
by Suzanne GoldenbergThe Guardian (UK)
February 14th, 2010
Canada, faced with growing political pressure over the extraction of oil from its highly polluting tar sands, has begun courting China and other Asian countries to exploit the resource. The move comes as US firms are turning away from tar sands because of its heavy carbon footprint and damage to the landscape.

US: Idea of company-as-person originated in late 19th century
by Martha C. WhiteWashington Post
January 31st, 2010
The Supreme Court's 5 to 4 decision in Citizens United v FEC rolled back long-standing restrictions on corporate campaign finance donations. At the crux of the decision was a determination that corporations have a right to free speech. The court ruled that limiting the amount that companies can spend promoting their favored candidates is tantamount to denying First Amendment rights.

US: Banks Set for Record Pay
by STEPHEN GROCERWall Street Journal
January 14th, 2010
Major U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their people about $145 billion for 2009, a record sum that indicates how compensation is climbing despite fury over Wall Street's pay culture.

EUROPE: Europe’s Vast Farm Subsidies Face Challenges
by STEPHEN CASTLE and DOREEN CARVAJALNew York Times
December 29th, 2009
The last time the European Union decided the future of its 50 billion euro agricultural aid program, in 2005, the deal was cut behind closed doors in a luxury suite at the five-star Conrad Brussels hotel. Now, 2013 is closer at hand and a new round of maneuvering has begun to reshape the richest system of agricultural handouts in the world.

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