Money & Politics

The US military has drawn up detailed plans to secure and protect Iraq's oilfields to prevent a repeat of 1991 when President Saddam set Kuwait's wells ablaze.
President George W Bush's administration, already on the back foot over its connections with the collapsed energy giant Enron, faces questions over a massive defence contract which aided an investment firm with Bush family links.
A once secret Halliburton oil contract raked in billions long after the Army said the work would be competitively bid. As of September 2004 Halliburton billed over $2.5 billion. A Bechtel whistleblower calls the bidding process to break up the work, "a sham."
The Iranian regime has developed one of the world's most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet. The Iranian government appears to be engaging in a practice often called deep packet inspection. The monitoring capability was provided, at least in part, by a joint venture of Siemens AG, the German conglomerate, and Nokia Corp., the Finnish cellphone company.
Big corporations bankrolled candidates for the 2012 elections in both the Democratic and Republican parties and bought their votes lock, stock and barrel, contributing over $2 billion out of the $6 billion spent this year. The biggest impact was on a California battle to require labeling of genetically altered products.
Recent scandals, involving such titans as Siemens, Volkswagen and Deutsche Poste, have undermined public trust in the integrity of German corporations, bolstering a growing shift to the left and its social welfare ideals.
A meeting of Reform Party leaders in Long Beach erupted in chaos Tuesday, with screaming, shoving matches, a walkout by loyalists to party founder Ross Perot and a declaration that social conservative Pat Buchanan is now guaranteed the fractured party's presidential nomination.
Four years after the company's ignominious collapse, Enron's former top executives are about to head to a climactic criminal trial later this month, serving as a reminder that changes in the behavior of many American companies have been more muted than many once expected.
How much money did Charles G. Taylor, the deposed president of Liberia, siphon out of his war-shattered country, and where is it? Investigators are developing a new strategy involving filing civil damage claims against companies, governments and international banks that they contend aided Mr. Taylor in illegal transactions.
The Iraqi port of Umm Qasr -- once a crown jewel of the Iraqi economy -- is now a symbol of a new era of foreign domination. It's run by SSA, a politically-connected firm with an ugly history of anti-labor policies.