Welcome to the Coke side of life. Africa's planned legal action is just the latest in a litany of alleged human rights and environmental abuses in developing markets that has made Coca-Cola a cause celebre.
In Mexico, The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which took effect on January 1, 1994, has resulted in worsening economic and social conditions and increasing violations of human rights for working people, peasants, aboriginal communities and others.
They're often portrayed as obstructionists to trade and the global economy. But the social movement that mobilized thousands in Quebec last month -- and earlier in Seattle and Prague -- is maturing beyond street protests.
In April this year, with much fanfare, US President Bill Clinton announced the introduction of a new ''No Sweatshop'' Code of Conduct for US Apparel and Footwear companies. The code is voluntary, but high profile companies like Nike Inc., Reebok International Ltd. and Liz Claiborne Inc. were among the ten initial signatories. These companies agreed that a set of minimum standards for working conditions in factories would be adhered to in the production of their goods -- wherever that production occurs.
UBS AG, the Swiss bank battered by massive write-downs and its role in a U.S. tax-evasion scheme, announced the surprise departure of chief executive Marcel Rohner. Mr. Rohner's sudden departure comes after UBS agreed earlier this month to a $780 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department of a criminal inquiry into the bank's role in the tax evasion.
Water that is undrinkable. Air that is better left unbreathed. A community impoverished, living above mountains of gold. These are some of the contradictions of AndalgalÃ¡, a town of 17,000 inhabitants in Catamarca, Argentina, 240 kilometres from the provincial capital, home for ten years now to the largest gold and copper mine in the country, and one of the largest in the world.
April's big business-led coup in Venezuela failed, where international finance's coup in Argentina in recent months has succeeded. Greg Palast gives us the inside track on two very different power-grabs.