Human Rights

Blackstone Group, a major private equity firm, has bought up 200,000 houses in cities hardest hit by the economic meltdown. They hope to profit by renting homes to poor people and securitizing the cash flow - the very plan that caused the crisis in the first place.
Eli Lilly, an Indianapolis based company, that has sold insulin products to diabetes patients since 1921, has quietly raised some U.S. prices 700 percent in the last 20 years by marketing so-called improved versions to consumers. Novo Nordisk, a Danish company, has also profited handsomely from this practice.
More than 70 juveniles and their families filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against two former judges who pleaded guilty this month in a scheme that involved their taking kickbacks to put young offenders in privately run detention centers. The two privately operated centers are run by PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care.
In Eastern India's Jharkand State, tensions are mounting between indigenous tribal communities and the Uranium Corporation of India Limited, or UCIL. Heavy security at a May public hearing on UCIL's planned expansion in the Jagoda region prevented many local activists and villagers from entering. But outside the hearing, activists from the Jharkhandi Organization Against Radiation (JOAR) argued their case for protecting their health and the environment from the horrific impacts of radioactive contaminated waste resulting from uranium mining.
Chinese and South Korean companies are leading an investor rush to Burma to build lucrative cross-country pipelines to deliver Saudi oil and Burmese natural gas to China. Poor communities have been displaced and allegations of human rights abuses are rife in the pipeline's route.
A lawsuit claiming US energy giant UNOCAL was complicit in human rights abuses committed by Myanmar's military regime will go ahead in California in September, lawyers said.
After six years of battling, the plaintiffs must prove whether certain multinationals enabled the apartheid government to commit acts of gross human rights violations. Among the 21 defendants are oil, vehicle and financial companies which continue to operate in South Africa -- the likes of BP, Shell, Chevron Texaco, Barclays, Daimler Chrysler and Rio Tinto. They stand accused of supporting the former regime with arms and ammunition, financing, fuel, transportation and military technology.
A small, but growing, group of Diné indigenous peoples in New Mexico are protesting against a planned new huge coal-fired power plant. This is one of 150 similar plants scheduled to supply an anticipated boom in energy demand in the U.S.
Ms. Kineston is among a number of American women who have reported that they were sexually assaulted by co-workers while working as contractors in Iraq but now find themselves in legal limbo, unable to seek justice or even significant compensation.
Banana workers, including children as young as eight years old, suffer from a range of abuses on plantations in Ecuador whose government fails to enforce international labor standards or even its own national labor code, according to a report released in Washington Thursday by Human Rights Watch (HRW).