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FRANCE: French nuclear plant reveals plutonium level discrepancies
by AFP/ReutersDeutsche Welle
October 15th, 2009
The French government has demanded answers from a nuclear research facility after nearly triple the registered amount of plutonium was discovered there during its dismantling this summer.

US: E. Coli Path Shows Flaws in Beef Inspection
by Michael MossNew York Times
October 3rd, 2009
Tracing the chain of production of an E. Coli-contaminated hamburger made by Cargill, through interviews and government and corporate records obtained by The New York Times, shows why eating ground beef is still a gamble. Neither the system meant to make the meat safe, nor the meat itself, is what consumers have been led to believe.

US: The Rights of Corporations (Op-Ed)
New York Times
September 22nd, 2009
The question at the heart of one of the biggest Supreme Court cases this year is simple: What constitutional rights should corporations have? The legal doctrine underlying this debate is known as “corporate personhood.”

US: Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering
by Charles DuhiggNew York Times
September 12th, 2009
Violations of the Clean Water Act have risen steadily across the nation, an extensive review of water pollution records by The New York Times found. Polluters include small companies, like gas stations, dry cleaners, and shopping malls. They also include large operations, like chemical factories, power plants, sewage treatment centers and one of the biggest zinc smelters, the Horsehead Corporation of Pennsylvania.

AFGHANISTAN: Wackenhut aids inquiry into its Afghanistan contractor
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/09/03/afghanistan.contractors/
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."

AFGHANISTAN: Wackenhut aids inquiry into its Afghanistan contractor
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/09/03/afghanistan.contractors/
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."

AFGHANISTAN: Wackenhut aids inquiry into its Afghanistan contractor
CNN.com
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: So You Squandered Billions --- Take Another Whack At It
by Steven PerlsteinWashington Post
September 2nd, 2009
During the heyday of the credit bubble, they were the financiers who earned huge bonuses for creating, trading and investing other people's money in those complex securities that resulted in trillions of dollars in losses and brought global financial markets to their knees. Now they're out there again hustling for investors and hoping to make another score buying and trading the same securities.

US: DynCorp Billed U.S. $50 Million Beyond Costs in Defense Contract
by V. Dion HaynesWashington 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: House votes to rein in ‘excessive pay’ for company execs
by Gail Russell ChaddockChristian Science Monitor
July 31st, 2009
On Friday the U.S. House of Representativs passed a high-visibility bill to give shareholders and federal regulators a stronger hand in curbing excessive or risky executive compensation. Industry groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers opposed the bill as an overreach into private business decisions.

US: Big Banks Paid Billions in Bonuses Amid Wall St. Crisis
by Louise Story and Eric DashNew York Times
July 30th, 2009
Nine of the financial firms that were recipients of federal bailout money paid about 5,000 of their traders and bankers bonuses of more than $1 million apiece for 2008, according to a report released Thursday by the New York attorney general. The report is certain to intensify the growing debate over how, and how much, Wall Street bankers should be paid.

US: Cuomo Says Schwab Faces Fraud Suit
by Liz RappaportWall Street Journal
July 20th, 2009
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has warned Charles Schwab & Co. that his office plans to sue the firm for civil fraud over its marketing and sales of auction-rate securities to clients. Emails and testimony cited in the letter show Schwab's brokers had little idea of what they were selling and later failed to tell clients that the market was collapsing.

US: Industry Takes Aim at Plan to Create Financial Protection Agency
by Brady DennisWashington Post
July 7th, 2009
Business and trade-group lobbyists are beating a path for the first major battle over the Obama administration's efforts to overhaul the financial regulatory system. Recent discussions have involved the American Bankers Association, National Auto Dealers Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mortgage Bankers Association and other lobbyists.

US: DOJ Opens Review of Telecom Industry
by Amol SharmaWall Street Journal
July 6th, 2009
The Department of Justice has begun an initial review to determine whether large U.S. telecom companies such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. have abused the market power they've amassed in recent years. The DOJ's antitrust chief has said she wants to reassert the government's role in policing monopolistic and anti-competitive practices by powerful companies.

US: Madoff Is Sentenced to 150 Years for Ponzi Scheme
by Diana B. HenriquesNew York Times
June 29th, 2009
A criminal saga that began in December with a string of superlatives — the largest, longest and most widespread Ponzi scheme in history — ended the same way on Monday as Bernard L. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum for his crimes.

US: IRS Steps Up Scrutiny of Offshore Funds
by Jenny Strasburg and Jesse DruckerWall Street Journal
June 26th, 2009
The Internal Revenue Service is demanding that hedge-fund and private-equity investors disclose hundreds of billions of dollars they have invested offshore, boosting scrutiny of accounts popular for tax advantages.

AFRICA: Blood diamond scheme 'is failing'
BBC News
June 24th, 2009
Officials are meeting to review the Kimberley Process, amid criticism that the scheme, set up to certify the origin of diamonds to assure consumers that by purchasing diamonds they are not financing war and human rights abuses, is failing. The Kimberley Process emerged from global outrage over conflicts in countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone, largely funded by the plundering of diamond resources.

US: Madoff Suits Add Details About Fraud
by Diana B. HenriquesNew York Times
June 22nd, 2009
Three lawsuits filed on Monday provided new details about what regulators say went on inside Bernard L. Madoff’s long-running Ponzi scheme, including information about who might have helped perpetuate the fraud for so long.

US: Hedge Funds Boost Profile in Lobbying
by Susan Pulliam and Tom McGintyWall Street Journal
June 22nd, 2009
Many hedge funds were relieved when the Obama administration's financial-overhaul plan included no big surprises to the lucrative, secretive industry. In 2008, major hedge funds and their trade groups spent $6.1 million lobbying Washington, up from $4.2 million in 2007 and nearly seven times the $897,000 average from 2003 to 2006.

US: NRC Cites Utility Shortfalls
by Rebecca SmithWall Street Journal
June 20th, 2009
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission told six utility companies they have until year-end to explain plans to remedy shortfalls in nuclear decommissioning funds. The license holders receiving notice -- Exelon Corp., Entergy Corp., Constellation Energy Group Inc., FPL Group, First Energy and Tennessee Valley Authority -- include some of the industry's biggest names.

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