Law & Regulation

The last time the European Union decided the future of its 50 billion euro agricultural aid program, in 2005, the deal was cut behind closed doors in a luxury suite at the five-star Conrad Brussels hotel. Now, 2013 is closer at hand and a new round of maneuvering has begun to reshape the richest system of agricultural handouts in the world.
The United States is investigating reports Indian nationals were victims of human trafficking to Iraq and mistreated while working there as contractors in U.S. military camps, the State Department has said.
Adrian Elcuj Miranda, a judge in Buenos Aires, has ordered the seizure of Chevron's assets in Argentina, to force the company to pay a $19 billion penalty for polluting the Amazon in Ecuador.
Bank of America leads the list of companies that have paid over $1 billion in penalties and fines to the U.S. government in the last six years. Violation Tracker, a new corporate misconduct database maintained by Good Jobs First, estimates that the North Carolina bank has paid $56 billion.
Municipal Wi-Fi has the potential to be a viable alternative for people sick of the same choices when it comes to Internet access But with powerful corporate interests opposing it and a disinterested Congress, the road ahead is rough.
One question has vexed the Obama administration and Congress since the start of the financial crisis: how to prevent big bank bailouts. In the last year and a half, the largest financial institutions have only grown bigger, mainly as a result of government-brokered mergers. They now enjoy borrowing at significantly lower rates than their smaller competitors, a result of the bond markets' implicit assumption that the giant banks are "too big to fail."
Residents took to the streets of Chengdu to protest a $5.5 billion ethylene plant under construction by PetroChina, reflecting a surge in environmental awareness by urban, middle-class Chinese determined to protect their health and the value of their property.
The Cornucopia Institute, the nation's most aggressive organic farming watchdog, has filed a formal legal complaint with the USDA asking them to investigate allegations of illegal "organic" food distribution by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Cornucopia has documented cases of nonorganic food products being sold as organic in Wal-Mart's grocery departments.
HSBC, one of the world's largest banks, has been accused of laundering money for Mexican drug cartels. At a hearing conducted by the U.S. Senate earlier this week, David Bagley, HSBC's head of compliance, apologized and resigned.
A formal complaint has been filed against Uber, the car ride company, by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a non-profit advocacy group. The NGO says Uber plans to use their smart phone app to access user's locations at all times, and to send advertisements to user's contact lists.