Global Trade

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.
In the rural, tribal lands of Eastern India, protesters are going head-to-head with world steel giant Arcelor Mittal. "We may give away our lives, but we will not part with an inch of our ancestral land," the villagers cry. "The forest, rivers and land are ours. We don't want factories, steel or iron. Arcelor Mittal Go Back."
Nike's website allows visitors to create custom shoes bearing a word or slogan -- a service Nike trumpets as being about freedom to choose and freedom to express who you are. Confronted with Nike's celebration of freedom and their statement that if you want it done right, build it yourself, I could not help but think of the people in crowded factories in Asia and South America who actually build Nike shoes.
The Group of Eightmembers yesterday committed themselves to concluding the stalled Doha world trade round on schedule by the end of next year, but hinted at no shifts in negotiating positions that could lead to progress in the talks.
Environmentalistsa and land-owners livng along the US-Mexico border express anger at the US government's plan to build 700 miles of fence along the US-Mexico border, claiming that the fence will threaten both local farming and a valuable nature preserve and wildlife corridor.