Privatization & Procurement

The decision of the giant engineering company Bechtel to withdraw from Iraq has left many Iraqis feeling betrayed. In its departure they see the end of remaining hopes for the reconstruction of Iraq.
The U.S. military has hired private companies at a cost approaching $1 billion to help dispose of Saddam Hussein's arsenal in Iraq. That spending has created fierce competition for specialized workers that's draining the military's ranks of explosives experts. Experienced military explosives specialists can earn $250,000 a year or more,
In Canada's British Columbia, ExxonMobil, Talisman, Shell, and other energy giants are racing to tap the region's "sour gas". But the potential toxicity of the gas is being ignored.
An environmental lawsuit filed by a Philippine province against Placer Dome Inc., Canada's second- largest gold producer, may not damp overseas investments in Philippines mining industry, a government official said.
German police clashed with hundreds of protesters in the port of Rostock on Saturday following a much larger peaceful demonstration against the Group of 8 summit meeting next week in a nearby Baltic resort.
U.S. Air Force officials has begun to hire private companies to fly drone aircraft operating over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The unprecedented move is in response to demands from the Obama administration to dramatically expand the drone war just as the Pentagon faces a critical shortage of military pilots.
The Government has been accused of reneging on pledges to control private security companies operating in Iraq because it wants to "privatise the war" as part of its exit strategy.
Wendy Walsh's seventh-graders at Gillespie Middle School in North Philadelphia have something in common with investors in the for-profit education company Edison Schools. Both fear that Edison, the nation's largest private operator of public schools, may be failing them. ''The children ask me what's going on,'' Walsh says, ''and I don't know what to tell them. We're all facing the great unknown.''
Robert Young Pelton is the author of "Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror " and the "Guide to the World's Most Dangerous Places." He is also co-founder of http://www.iraqslogger.com/ . This blog item is about his experiences attending the Congressional hearing into the Blackwater shootings in Iraq written on October 2nd, 2007.
Five years after the citizens of Cochabamba won the "water war" against multinational Bechtel, the poorer half of the city still has no reliable access to the now-public water utility.