War & Disaster Profiteering
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.
An arm of the Pentagon has come under fire for procuring large quantities of apparel from a Nicaraguan factory that labor rights groups say is a sweatshop and that the United States trade representative has voiced serious concerns about.
The Defense Department and five companies, including Sharper Image Corp. and Kohl's Corp., sell goods produced at factories in Asia and Central America that exploit workers, a labor rights group claimed.
Raytheon directors punished the chief executive, William H. Swanson, by taking away almost $1 million from his 2006 compensation yesterday because he failed to give credit for material that was in a management book he wrote.
For most American troops, the only connection they have to the locals - whether soldiers in the Afghan army or villagers they're trying to secure - is through their interpreters. Yet the way the military uses translators is too often haphazard and sometimes dangerously negligent.
All was remarkably staid as shareholders celebrated Halliburton's $4 billion in operating profits in 2008 at the company's recent AGM in Houston, a striking 22 percent return at a time when many companies are announcing record losses. At the same time, Sen. Byron Dorgan's Senate Democratic Policy Committee was holding a hearing on Capitol Hill focused on abuses by former subsidiary KBR.
Interview with CorpWatch managing editor Pratap Chatterjee, on his forthcoming book, "Halliburton's Army," published by Nation Books and available in books stores on February 2, 2009.