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IRELAND: U2 rattled by claims of tax dodging
by Michael SeaverChristian Science Monitor
March 3rd, 2009
The band that loves to rail against global corporate malfeasance is being criticized at home over allegations of tax dodging. The controversy stems from 2006, when the band moved its publishing company to the Netherlands to avoid a potential multi-million-euro tax bill after the Irish government capped artists' tax-free earnings at €250,000 ($315,000).

ECUADOR/CANADA: Canadian Mining Firm Financed Violence in Ecuador: Lawsuit
by Jennifer MooreTyee Online
March 3rd, 2009
Three villagers from the valley of Intag in northwestern Ecuador are suing Copper Mesa Mining Corporation and the Toronto Stock Exchange. They allege not enough has been done to reduce the risk of harm being faced by farmers and community leaders who have faced violent threats and attacks for opposition to a large open-pit copper mine in their pristine cloud forests.

US: Ex-Leaders at Countrywide Start Firm to Buy Bad Loans
by Eric LiptonNew York Times
March 3rd, 2009
Countrywide Financial made risky loans to tens of thousands of Americans, helping set off a chain of events that has the economy staggering. So it may come as a surprise that a dozen former top Countrywide executives now stand to make millions from the home mortgage mess, buying up delinquent home mortgages that the government took over, sometimes for pennies on the dollar, at newly-formed PennyMac.

EUROPE: Europe to Allow Two Bans on Genetically Altered Crops
by James KanterNew York Times
March 2nd, 2009
European Union governments delivered a blow Monday to the biotechnology industry, allowing Austria and Hungary to maintain national bans on growing genetically modified crops from Monsanto. The market for genetically engineered crops is worth several billion dollars worldwide.

CHINA: Morgan Stanley’s Chinese Land Scandal
by David Barboza New York Times
March 1st, 2009
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Morgan Stanley said it had fired an executive in its China real estate division after uncovering evidence that he might have violated the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars American business people from bribing foreign officials.

SWITZERLAND: UBS Names Grübel as New CEO
by Carrick MollenkampWall Street Journal
February 26th, 2009
UBS AG, the Swiss bank battered by massive write-downs and its role in a U.S. tax-evasion scheme, announced the surprise departure of chief executive Marcel Rohner. Mr. Rohner's sudden departure comes after UBS agreed earlier this month to a $780 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department of a criminal inquiry into the bank's role in the tax evasion.

MEXICO: U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels
by James C. McKinley, Jr.New York Times
February 25th, 2009
Phoenix-based gun dealer George Iknadosian of X-Calibur Guns will go on trial on charges he sold hundreds of weapons, mostly AK-47 rifles, to smugglers, knowing they would go to a drug cartel in the western state of Sinaloa. The guns helped fuel the gang warfare in which more than 6,000 Mexicans died last year.

UK: Politicians pile pressure on bailed-out RBS to abandon plans for a £1bn bonus for staff
by Allegra StrattonThe Guardian (UK)
February 9th, 2009
Politicians from all sides rounded on the state-supported Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday as the row intensified over the failed bank's apparent determination to share £1bn of bonuses among staff.

US/WORLD: Smokeless Tobacco to Get Push by Venture Overseas
by Kevin HellikerWall Street Journal
February 4th, 2009
Swedish Match AB and Philip Morris International Inc. announced a joint venture Tuesday to market smokeless tobacco world-wide. The venture combines a world-wide giant in smokeless, Swedish Match, with the world's second-largest purveyor of cigarettes, PMI, an Altria Inc. spinoff.

US: Tobacco Trial Opens in Florida, First of Many Suits
by Associated PressWall Street Journal
February 3rd, 2009
The first of about 8,000 lawsuits blaming the health problems and deaths of Florida smokers on tobacco companies went to trial Tuesday. The key to the case is proving whether now-deceased Stuart Hess was addicted to cigarettes made by Richmond, Va.-based Philip Morris, a unit of Altria Group.

US: Bank of America Board Under Gun From Critics
by Louise Story and Julie CreswellNew York Times
January 27th, 2009
As Bank of America's board meets next week, shareholders have turned up the pressure on CEO Kenneth D. Lewis. Their scrutiny has also turned an unusual spotlight on the oversight role played by the bank's board members.

US: Troubled Times Bring Mini-Madoffs to Light
by Leslie WayneNew York Times
January 27th, 2009
In the wake of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal, the SEC has brought cases involving losses of over $200 million since the beginning of October last year, including one against the disgraced Democratic donor Norman Hsu and North Carolina-based Biltmore Financial.

US: New Rules on Doctors and Medical Firms Amid Ethics Concerns
by Barry MeierNew York Times
January 24th, 2009
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, reintroduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, would require device and drug makers to report all financial links with doctors on a federal Web site. The medical field has been troubled by federal investigations over the issue of frequently undisclosed financial ties between companies and physicians.

US: Rubin Leaving Citigroup; Smith Barney for Sale
by Eric Dash and Louise StoryNew York Times
January 9th, 2009
Robert Rubin will resign from the beleaguered Citigroup. As Treasury secretary during the Clinton administration, Mr. Rubin helped loosen Depression-era banking regulations that made Citigroup's creation possible. He also helped beat back tighter oversight of exotic financial products during that time.

US: Madoff Case Faces Crucial Disclosure Deadline
by Diana B. HenriquesNew York Times
December 30th, 2008
Judge Louis L. Stanton of United States District Court has established Wednesday as the deadline for Bernard L. Madoff, who is accused of operating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, to provide federal securities regulators with a full accounting of his and his New York firm’s assets — from real estate to art works to bank accounts.

US: Early-voting problems in Putnam: Touch-screen votes switched, then corrected
by Paul J. NydenThe Charleston Gazette
October 21st, 2008
Two more Putnam County voters - Martha Louise Harrington and Michael K. Koon - have come forward about problems they experienced on early-voting electronic machines at the Winfield courthouse.

US: Bank of New York Mellon Will Oversee Bailout Fund
by Eric DashNew York Times
October 15th, 2008
The Bank of New York Mellon was named the master custodian firm overseeing the Treasury Department’s $700 billion bailout fund. It will hold and track the distressed assets that the government will buy as well as run and report on the auctions used to buy the assets. Government officials called it the “prime contractor of the purchase program.”

US: U.S. May Take Ownership Stake in Banks
by Edmund L. Andrews and Mark LandlerNew York Times
October 8th, 2008
In fresh efforts to stem persisting turmoil in the credit markets, the US Treasury Department is considering partial nationalization of numerous U.S. banks. Insurance giant A.I.G. will also receive a further injection of $37.8 billion.

US: Mosaic threatens $618 million lawsuit
by Frank GluckHerald Tribune
September 30th, 2008
Florida mining giant Mosaic Fertilizer said Monday it will file a $618 million lawsuit against Manatee County unless commissioners reverse a Sept. 16 vote that denied permission for Mosaic to mine phosphate on a property in Duette.

US: EPA sues Bradley Mining Co. for cleanup costs
Associated Press
September 30th, 2008
The federal government has filed a $7 million lawsuit against Bradley Mining Company, in an attempt to recover costs it says the Forest Service and Environmental Protection Agency incurred cleaning up arsenic-laden mining waste.

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