|UK/CANADA: Tar sands crude is reaching British petrol stations, Greenpeace says|
by Terry Macalister, The Guardian (UK)
May 9th, 2010
While City investors have begun to question the role of companies such as BP and Shell in the tar sands business, a new report by Greenpeace claims British motorists are unwitting users of diesel and petrol derived from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada. The carbon-heavy production methods involved make tar sands extraction particularly damaging to the environment.
|US: FBI Probes Explosion in West Virginia Mine|
by Kris Maher and Siobhan Hughes, Wall Street Journal
April 30th, 2010
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal probe of the deadly explosion at a Massey Energy Co. mine in West Virginia in early April that killed 29 miners, according to people familiar with the matter. In a statement on Friday Massey Energy said, "Massey has no knowledge of criminal wrongdoing."
|US: BP Is Criticized Over Oil Spill, but U.S. Missed Chances to Act|
by Campbell Robertson and Eric Lipton, New York Times
April 30th, 2010
The Obama administration began Friday to publicly chastise BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials initially seemed to underestimate the threat of a leak, just as BP did last year when it told the government such an event was highly unlikely.
|US: Oil Spill’s Blow to BP’s Image May Eclipse Costs|
by Clifford Krauss , New York Times
April 29th, 2010
BP says that the offshore drilling accident that is spewing thousands of barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico could cost the company several hundred million dollars. Nobody really knows whether the oil giant is being too conservative about the cost for the April 20 accident, which some experts say could end up as the biggest oil spill in history.
|CANADA: Munk takes on mine protesters, defends capitalism|
by John Spears, The Star
April 28th, 2010
Mark Ekepa journeyed from Papua New Guinea to tell the shareholders of Barrick Gold Corp. how police had burned down his house near the Barrick’s Porgera mine. Idolia Bornones travelled from Chile to say that Barrick operations are damaging local glaciers and rivers. But Barrick chairman Peter Munk was unrepentant as he faced the company’s annual meeting.
|US: Financial Debate Renews Scrutiny on Banks’ Size|
by Sewall Chan, New York Times
April 20th, 2010
One question has vexed the Obama administration and Congress since the start of the financial crisis: how to prevent big bank bailouts. In the last year and a half, the largest financial institutions have only grown bigger, mainly as a result of government-brokered mergers. They now enjoy borrowing at significantly lower rates than their smaller competitors, a result of the bond markets’ implicit assumption that the giant banks are “too big to fail.”
|US: Deaths at West Virginia Mine Raise Issues About Safety|
by Ian Urbina and Michael Cooper, New York Times
April 6th, 2010
Rescue workers began the precarious task Tuesday of removing explosive methane gas from the coal mine where at least 25 miners died the day before. The mine owner’s -- Massey Energy Company -- dismal safety record, along with several recent evacuations of the mine, left federal officials and miners suggesting that Monday’s explosion might have been preventable.
|AFGHANISTAN/US: Outsourcing intelligence|
by David Ignatius, Washington Post
March 17th, 2010
The headline read like something you might see in the conspiracy-minded Pakistani press: "Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants." But the story appeared in Monday's New York Times, and it highlighted some big problems that have developed in the murky area between military and intelligence activities.
|AFGHANISTAN/US: Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants|
by DEXTER FILKINS and MARK MAZZETTI, New York Times
March 15th, 2010
Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering program, a Defense Department official set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants, according to military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States. The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives.
|CANADA/CHINA: Canada looks to China to exploit oil sands rejected by US |
by Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian (UK)
February 14th, 2010
Canada, faced with growing political pressure over the extraction of oil from its highly polluting tar sands, has begun courting China and other Asian countries to exploit the resource.
The move comes as US firms are turning away from tar sands because of its heavy carbon footprint and damage to the landscape.
|US: Idea of company-as-person originated in late 19th century|
by Martha C. White, Washington Post
January 31st, 2010
The Supreme Court's 5 to 4 decision in Citizens United v FEC rolled back long-standing restrictions on corporate campaign finance donations. At the crux of the decision was a determination that corporations have a right to free speech. The court ruled that limiting the amount that companies can spend promoting their favored candidates is tantamount to denying First Amendment rights.
|US: Banks Set for Record Pay|
by STEPHEN GROCER, Wall Street Journal
January 14th, 2010
Major U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their people about $145 billion for 2009, a record sum that indicates how compensation is climbing despite fury over Wall Street's pay culture.
|EUROPE: Europe’s Vast Farm Subsidies Face Challenges|
by STEPHEN CASTLE and DOREEN CARVAJAL, New York Times
December 29th, 2009
The last time the European Union decided the future of its 50 billion euro agricultural aid program, in 2005, the deal was cut behind closed doors in a luxury suite at the five-star Conrad Brussels hotel. Now, 2013 is closer at hand and a new round of maneuvering has begun to reshape the richest system of agricultural handouts in the world.
|US: Monsanto's dominance draws antitrust inquiry|
by Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post
November 29th, 2009
For plants designed in a lab a little more than a decade ago, they've come a long way: Today, the vast majority of the nation's two primary crops grow from seeds genetically altered according to Monsanto company patents. Now Monsanto -- like IBM and Google -- has drawn scrutiny from U.S. antitrust investigators.
|US: Ex-UBS Banker Seeks Billions for Blowing Whistle|
by Lynnley Browning, New York Times
November 26th, 2009
Bradley C. Birkenfeld was sentenced to 40 months in prison for helping rich Americans dodge their taxes, his sentence reduced in turn for informing on Swiss banking giant UBS. Now, with the help of the National Whistleblower Center, he and his lawyers hope to use a new federal whistle-blower law to claim a multibillion-dollar reward from the American government.
|UK: Friends of the Earth attacks carbon trading|
by Ashley Seager, The Guardian (UK)
November 5th, 2009
The world's carbon trading markets growing complexity threatens another "sub-prime" style financial crisis that could again destabilise the global economy, campaigners warn. In a new report, Friends of the Earth says that to date "cap and trade" carbon markets have done little to reduce emissions but have been plagued by inefficiency and corruption.
|IVORY COAST: Trafigura offers deal to 31,000 Africans over dumped waste|
by Frances Gibb, The Times (London)
October 17th, 2009
British oil trader Trafigura has offered to settle a court case brought by 31,000 Africans who say that they were injured in the largest personal injuries class action mounted in an English court. The action resulted from the dumping of 400 tonnes of waste in the Ivory Coast by an oil tanker, the Probo Koala, in 2006 — one of the worst pollution disasters in recent history.