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US: Cash-rich SAIC hits the acquisition trail
by Sami LaisWashington Technology
August 6th, 2009
Making a big splash in recent weeks, Science Applications International Corp. bought two companies, adding new capabilities in cybersecurity, energy and disaster recovery — areas in which government spending is expected to grow.

IRAQ: Big Oil Ready for Big Gamble in Iraq
by Gina ChonWall Street Journal
June 24th, 2009
Next week, Iraqi officials will auction off oil contracts to foreign companies for the first time since Iraq nationalized its oil industry three decades ago. Some 120 companies expressed interest in bidding for the contracts, and thirty-five companies qualified. They include Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Italy's Eni SpA, Russia's Lukoil and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec.

IRAN: Iran's Web Spying Aided By Western Technology
by Christopher Rhoads and Loretta ChaoWall Street Journal
June 22nd, 2009
The Iranian regime has developed one of the world's most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet. The Iranian government appears to be engaging in a practice often called deep packet inspection. The monitoring capability was provided, at least in part, by a joint venture of Siemens AG, the German conglomerate, and Nokia Corp., the Finnish cellphone company.

US: Contractors Vie for Plum Work, Hacking for U.S. Government
by CHRISTOPHER DREW and JOHN MARKOFFNew York Times
May 30th, 2009
The Obama administration’s push into cyberwarfare has set off a rush among the biggest military companies for billions of dollars in new defense contracts. Nearly all of the largest military companies — including Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon — have major cyber contracts with the military and intelligence agencies.

US: Chevron annual meeting heats up over Ecuador suit
by Jordan RobertsonWashington Post
May 27th, 2009
In a combative and sometimes colorful annual meeting, Chevron's CEO and chairman exchanged barbs with activists over pollution in the Amazon rain forest and the company's human rights record. The nation's second-largest oil company is awaiting a verdict from a judge in Ecuador that could come with a $27 billion price tag.

US: U.S. Cracks Down on Corporate Bribes
by DIONNE SEARCEYWall Street Journal
May 26th, 2009
The Justice Department is increasing its prosecutions of alleged acts of foreign bribery by U.S. corporations, forcing them to take costly steps to defend against scrutiny. The crackdown under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA -- a post-Watergate law largely dormant for decades -- now extends across five continents and penetrates entire industries.

FRANCE/UAE: Gulf base shows shift in France’s focus
by Ben Hall and Andrew EnglandFinancial Times
May 25th, 2009
France's new naval base in Abu Dhabi, its first overseas military base in 50 years, has sparked a round of lobbying on behalf of lucrative business for French companies including Dassault, the military aircraft maker, and a consortium of Total, GdF-Suez and Areva, which is bidding to build two nuclear power stations in the UAE. Dassault is hoping to sell as many as 60 of its Rafale fighters to the UAE.

WORLD: When Chevron Hires Ex-Reporter to Investigate Pollution, Chevron Looks Good
by Brian StelterNew York Times
May 10th, 2009
When Chevron learned that “60 Minutes” was preparing a potentially damaging report about oil company contamination of the Amazon rain forest in Ecuador, it hired a former journalist to produce a mirror image of the report, from the corporation’s point of view. An Ecuadorean judge is expected to rule soon on whether Chevron owes up to $27 billion in damages.

IRAN/CHINA: Iranians and Others Outwit Net Censors
by John MarkoffNew York Times
April 30th, 2009
The Internet is no longer just an essential channel for commerce, entertainment and information. It has also become a stage for state control — and rebellion against it. Computers are becoming more crucial in global conflicts, not only in spying and military action, but also in determining what information reaches people around the globe.

US: Prison company to pay $42.5 million in beating death
by John MacCormackSan Antonio Express News
April 8th, 2009
In a searing opinion, the 13th Court of Appeals has upheld $42.5 million in punitive damages against private prison operator Wackenhut Corrections Corp., now the Geo Group,for the “horrific and gruesome death” of inmate Gregorio De La Rosa Jr. in 2001.

US: Contracting Boom Could Fizzle Out
by Dana HedgpethWashington Post
April 7th, 2009
The surge in the U.S. military contracting workforce would ebb under Defense Secretary Gates's budget proposal as the Pentagon moves to replace private workers with full-time civil servants. The move could affect companies such as CACI and SAIC. "We are right-sizing the defense acquisition workforce so we can improve our contract oversight and get a better deal for the taxpayers," said the Pentagon's director of defense procurement and acquisition policy.

US: Gates Proposes Major Changes to Military Programs, Weapons Buys
by August ColeWall Street Journal
April 6th, 2009
Defense Secretary Robert Gates unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the Pentagon's top weapons priorities. The shake-up, a combination of defense contract cutbacks and policy changes, will stoke a smoldering debate in Congress, with cuts proposed for Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-22 Raptor and replacement of the president's fleet of Marine One helicopters.

IRAQ: Ex-Blackwater Workers May Return to Iraq Jobs
by Rod NordlandNew York Times
April 3rd, 2009
Late last month Blackwater Worldwide lost its billion-dollar contract to protect American diplomats in Iraq, but by next month many of its private security guards will be back on the job here. The same individuals will just be wearing new uniforms, working for Triple Canopy, the firm that won the State Department’s new contract.

US: Pentagon Weighs Cuts and Revisions of Weapons
by Christopher DrewNew York Times
April 3rd, 2009
U.S. defense executives and consultants are worried about the sweeping changes in military programs that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to announce on Monday. Weapons systems like missile defense are likely to endure deep cuts.

US/AFGHANISTAN: Unknown Afghanistan
by Pratap ChatterjeeTomDispatch.com
March 17th, 2009
Want a billion dollars in development aid? If you happen to live in Afghanistan, the two quickest ways to attract attention and so aid from the U.S. authorities are: Taliban attacks or a flourishing opium trade. For those with neither, the future could be bleak. This piece take a look at the lack of reconstruction aid in areas like Bamiyan, Afghanistan.

US: Is the Next Defense Budget a Stimulus Package? Why the Pentagon Can't Put America Back to Work
by Frida BerriganTomDispatch.com
March 12th, 2009
At the end of February, the defense industry received its own special stimulus package -- news of the dollars available for the Pentagon budget in 2010; and at nearly $700 billion (when all the bits and pieces are added in), it's almost as big as the Obama economic package and sure to be a lot less effective.

UGANDA/IRAQ: Why 10,000 Ugandans are eagerly serving in Iraq
by Max DelanyChristian Science Monitor
March 6th, 2009
Hired out to multibillion-dollar companies for hundreds of dollars a month, 10,000 Ugandans risk their lives seeking fortunes protecting US Army bases, airports, and oil firms in Iraq for as little as $600 per month. Many are looking to go to Afghanistan as the Obama administration increases contracts there.

US: 70 Youths Sue Former Judges in Detention Kickback Case
by Ian UrbinaNew York Times
February 26th, 2009
More than 70 juveniles and their families filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against two former judges who pleaded guilty this month in a scheme that involved their taking kickbacks to put young offenders in privately run detention centers. The two privately operated centers are run by PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care.

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.

US: Company Gets Pentagon Contract Despite Death Inquiries
by Associated PressNew York Times
February 7th, 2009
Private military contractor KBR has been awarded a $35 million Pentagon contract involving major electrical work even though it is under criminal investigation in the electrocution deaths of at least two American soldiers in Iraq.

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