Property, Tourism & Transportation

Staring at potential payouts in the billions of dollars, the U.S. oil industry is maneuvering to escape responsibility for cleaning up after MTBE, the now-banned toxic gasoline additive that has seeped into drinking water across the country.
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.
Today, Oxfam America, in collaboration with the Global Mining Campaign, launches a new, international, online popular action to support the local people of Tambogrande, a small agricultural town in Peru, in their ongoing struggle against a proposed mining project. The campaign asks individuals around the globe to tell the mining company, Manhattan Minerals, to respect the local people's way of life. To join the online action, visit www.OxfamAmerica.org. For information on the Global Mining Campaign, see www.GlobalMiningCampaign.org.
Although a trade panel is expected this week to order the United States to permit access to all U.S. roads by Mexican trucks, the U.S. should continue to limit access because of the grave dangers many Mexican trucks pose to motorists on U.S. highways, Public Citizen has concluded in a report released today.
About 1,700 locomotive engineers with the Canadian National Railway went on strike early Saturday. The walkout followed a decision by Canadian National to impose a new contract on its workers, including a 500-mile increase in the distance engineers are required to cover each month. The union said that the increased distance would sometimes make engineers work seven-day weeks without overtime.
The war between the world's largest woodchip exporter, Gunns Limited, and the Australian conservation community has been raging for decades. But the company's recent efforts to silence Tasmanian activists through lawsuits could earn them millions and set a very dangerous precedent. ALSO: BlueLinx Buys Illegal Indonesian Timber
Carnival Cruise staff on UK ships are paid $1.20 an hour or $400 a month in basic wages, according to the Guardian newspaper. These workers lose their tips, ie roughly 15 percent of wages, unless they get at least a 92 percent favorable rating from customers.
Government auditors are questioning whether several multimillion-dollar Katrina contracts" including one involving a subsidiary of Houston-based Halliburton Co." invite abuse because they are open-ended and not clearly defined.
Pass it on. General Motors is providing $100,000 of backing for two fiercely anti-corporate activist groups, IndyMedia and CorpWatch, with a little help from the British pop band Chumbawamba.