Advertising, Entertainment & Media

For nearly a week, the advertising pages of Thai- and English-language dailies have been the stage for debates on Thailand's decision to break patents on anti-AIDS drugs in the interest of public health. A lobby championing the cause of the powerful pharmaceutical companies ran full-page spreads in the morning newspapers with an eye-catching warning in large, bold text, which said: "The Wrong Prescription for Thailand".
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).
During a so-called green fair at the LGBT center in San Francisco, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG & E) unveiled a $170,000 gift of solar panels for the roof of the building. But activist's complain that this recent move is a greenwashing tactic, to make this corporation, which owns a mere 0 percent solar and 2 percent wind, appear green when it is in fact not.
So great is the official level of concern about AllofMP3 that American trade negotiators darkly warned that the Web site could jeopardize Russia's long-sought entry into the World Trade Organization.
A story authored by a prominent U.S. neo-conservative regarding new legislation in Iran allegedly requiring Jews and other religious minorities to wear distinctive colour badges circulated around the world this weekend before it was exposed as false. The article by a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Iranian-American Amir Taheri, was initially published in Friday's edition of Canada's National Post, which ran alongside the story a 1935 photograph of a Jewish businessman in Berlin with a yellow, six-pointed star sewn on his overcoat, as required by Nazi legislation at the time. The Post subsequently issued a retraction.
Wal-Mart, the controversial retailing giant, is under investigation in the US over allegations it is trying to pass off non-organic foods as organic.
The sale of the Body Shop to the French cosmetics giant L'Oréal last month has dented the reputation of the British high street retailer once vaunted as the champion of ethical beauty products.
The drop in U.S. demand for high-end jewelry in a slumping economy is having ripple effects around the globe as stores close, workers are laid off in mass in the diamond-polishing factories of Gujarat, and countries like Botswana experience a dramatic drop in diamond revenue.

US:

Wal-Mart Stores, facing a raft of state legislation that would require it to increase spending on employee health insurance, will lift several of its long-standing - and most-criticized - restrictions on eligibility over the next year, the giant retailer said this morning.
In the next few days Pope Benedict plans to issue his second encyclical - the most authoritative