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War & Disaster Profiteering

Publish, Punish, and Pardon: Nine National Security Changes Obama Should Make Before He Leaves Office
Pratap Chatterjee
December 6th, 2016

Nine recommendations for action by President Obama to reverse his deadly legacy of drone warfare, surveillance and entrapment, including revealing flawed government contracts with companies like AT&T & Yahoo.

Drone analysts. Photo: U.S. Air Force.

Money & Politics

Billionaires & Big Business Line Up To Help U.S. President Elect-Donald Trump
Pratap Chatterjee
November 14th, 2016

Billionaire businessmen and lobbyists are lining up to help Donald Trump after his victory in the U.S. presidential election. Trump appears to be welcoming them with open arms, despite his claim to bring change to Washington DC and get rid of special interests.

Photo: Gage Skidmore. Used under Creative Commons license.
Food and Agriculture

Goodhope Asia Accused Of Land Grabbing In West Papua For Palm Oil
Pratap Chatterjee
November 7th, 2016

The Yerisiam Gua indigenous community of West Papua filed a complaint six months ago against a Sri Lankan owned conglomerate for taking over their land to create a palm oil plantation. To this day, the industry body charged with oversight has yet to formally respond to their concerns.

Flooding in Nabire as a result of logging. Photo courtesy of Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency
Food and Agriculture

Robertson Winery Accused Of Slavery-Like Practices In South Africa
Richard Smallteacher
November 4th, 2016

"Bitter Grapes—Slavery in the Vineyards," a new television documentary made by Danish journalist Tom Heinemann, alleges that many South African wineries pay their workers less than the legal minimum wage; discourages them from unionizing; and exposes them to toxic pesticides. Top of the list is Robertson's Winery.

Still image from Bitter Harvest documentary.
Pharmaceuticals

Eli Lilly Raised U.S. Prices Of Diabetes Drug 700 Percent Over 20 Years
Pratap Chatterjee
November 2nd, 2016

Eli Lilly, an Indianapolis based company, that has sold insulin products to diabetes patients since 1921, has quietly raised some U.S. prices 700 percent in the last 20 years by marketing so-called improved versions to consumers. Novo Nordisk, a Danish company, has also profited handsomely from this practice.

Photo: rachellynnae©. Used under Creative Commons license.
Financial Services, Insurance and Banking

Swiss Bank UBS May Be Suspended From Doing Business In Hong Kong
Richard Smallteacher
October 31st, 2016

UBS, the Swiss bank, is being investigated by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission for failing to carry out adequate due diligence before working on share offerings for several Chinese companies. The bank says that it is at risk of being suspended from doing business in the city.

Photo: Martin Abegglen. Used under Creative Commons license.
Technology & Telecommunications

AT&T Developed Secret Program To Help U.S. Police Mine Client Phone Records
Pratap Chatterjee
October 28th, 2016

Police departments across the U.S. pay AT&T, the telecommunications giant, over one hundred thousand dollars a year for special access to telephone records of clients without first obtaining a warrant. The program is called 'Hemisphere' and the company required buyers to keep its existence secret.


Photo: Mike Mozart. Used under Creative Commons license.
Natural Resources

Native Tribes Protest Energy Transfer Partners North Dakota Oil Pipeline
Richard Smallteacher
October 3rd, 2016

Representatives of some 280 indigenous nations have joined a protest on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota to oppose the construction of an oil pipeline by Energy Transfer Partners. If completed, the Dakota Access Pipeline is expected to help move 570,000 barrels of crude daily to Illinois.

Dakota Access Pipeline protest in Minnesota. Photo: Fibonacci Blue. Used under Creative Commons license
Media & Entertainment

Coke and McDonalds Host Carnival of Junk Food Marketing At Rio Olympics
Pratap Chatterjee
August 15th, 2016

Every four years, billions tune in to watch the Olympics on television. And every four years, major corporations pay millions for prime advertising opportunities as official sponsors. The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are no different with Coca-Cola and McDonald's igniting a storm of controversy over their role.

Photo: José Roitberg. Used under Creative Commons license