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Financial Services, Insurance and Banking

Details Of Tax Avoidance Schemes For Wealthy HSBC Clients Revealed
Mayu Chang
February 27th, 2015

A cache of secret documents has thrust HSBC, the world’s second largest bank, into the limelight for helping international clients dodge taxes. A series of articles published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is finally pushing reluctant governments to act almost eight years after the original leaks.

HSBC in Switzerland. Photo: Beat Strasser. Used under Creative Commons License.


Austrian Catering Company Accused of Discriminating Against Hungarian Employees
Nicolas Krotz
February 25th, 2015

Do & Co. AG, an Austrian catering company, has been accused of paying its Hungarian staff one third of what it pays Austrian citizens for the same jobs. The employees work on trains operated by the Austrian state railway company making trips between countries in central Europe.
ÖBB train in Vienna. Photo: ÖBB/Bönsch.

Technology & Telecommunications

Apple Agrees To Chinese Government Security Audits, Worrying Activists
Mayu Chang
February 11th, 2015

Apple has agreed to allow the Chinese government run security audits on the new iPhone to prove that there is no back door access for the U.S. government. However, activists say that this agreement could have the opposite effect, allowing China to broaden spying on its own people.
Apple iPhone in China. Photo: Mike Lau. Used under Creative Commons license.

War & Disaster Profiteering

U.S. Government Buys Surveillance Technology To Track Drivers in Real Time
Pratap Chatterjee
February 9th, 2015

Local government officials have the ability to track individual drivers in the U.S. in real time and take pictures of the occupants of their vehicles, with new “truly Orwellian” technology purchased from companies like Vigilant Solutions, according to new documents uncovered by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Screenshot of Vigilant Solutions database.

Natural Resources

Shell Pays Niger Delta Community $84 Million To Settle Pollution Claims
Fatima Hansia
February 5th, 2015

The Bodo community in the Niger delta will get £55 million ($84 million) to settle claims of environmental pollution by the Nigerian subsidiary of Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant. Despite the relatively large settlement, many other pollution claims by Nigerian communities affected by Shell remain unresolved.
Damage caused by oil-related activities in a Niger Delta community. Photo: Sosialistisk Ungdom. Used under Creative Commons license.


Australian Uranium Mining Company Accused of Contaminating Lake Malawi
Mayu Chang
January 28th, 2015

Paladin Energy, an Australian mining company, has been accused of discharging uranium-contaminated sludge into Lake Malawi, which supports 1.7 million people in three countries – Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The company began uranium mining operations in Malawi in 2009 although it suspended operations last year after ore prices fell.
Lake Malawi. Photo: bathyporeia. Used under Creative Commons license.


Brazilian Truth Commission Alleges Volkswagen Had Ties To Former Military Junta
Nicolas Krotz
January 26th, 2015

Volkswagen's subsidiary in Brazil has been accused of providing material support for torture conducted by the military dictatorship during its 21 year reign from 1964 to 1985. Details of the role of the German car manufacturer emerged in the final report of a national Truth Commission issued last month.
Citizens demanding justice for crimes committed during Brazilian military dictatorship. Photo: Circuito Fora do Eixo. Used under Creative Commmons license.


Subsidizing Contractor Misconduct: Alma's Story
Chris Thompson
January 21st, 2015

When Alma Aranda tried to exercise her legal right to take unpaid time off to care for her dying mother, Verizon harassed her with so much paperwork that her hair fell out. In a new CorpWatch investigation into federal contractors who violate workers rights, Chris Thompson tells her story.
Phyllis Cheng, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, brought the lawsuit against Verizon. UC Irvine Law School. Used under Creative Commons license.


Kazakh Oil Consortium Accused of “Mass Poisoning” of Village School Children
Fatima Hansia
January 14th, 2015

A Kazakh oil consortium has been accused of “mass poisoning” after 25 school children and four teachers passed out almost simultaneously at a school in Berezovka village in northwest Kazakhstan. The incident is the latest in a decade of allegations of pollution caused by the neighboring Karachaganak oil field.
The village of Berezovka, Kazakhstan. Photo: Sanat Urnaliyev. Used under Creative Commmons license.