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2012 February 25 | Activist News
Disobey

The Road to World War 3

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Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »

greed3

U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

Huffington Post July 1, 2013 By Mark Gongloff Big, profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of less than 13 percent in 2010, according to a new study — or More »

jeff olsen

Man Tried for Chalk Drawings Found Not Guilty

NBC San Diego July 1, 2013 By Christina London The man accused of vandalism for drawing with chalk outside banks has been found not guilty on all charges. A jury returned its More »

freedom-of-the-press

The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

Daily Archives: February 25, 2012

Supreme Court to hear corporate human rights case

Reuters
Feb. 25, 2012
By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court will weigh next week whether corporations can be sued in the United States for suspected complicity in human rights abuses abroad, in a case being closely watched by businesses concerned about long and costly litigation.
The high court on Tuesday will consider the reach of a 1789 U.S. law that had been largely dormant until 1980, when human rights lawyers started using it, at first to sue foreign government officials. 
Then, over the next 20 years, the lawyers used the law to target multinational corporations.
The case before the court pits the Obama administration and human rights advocates against large companies and foreign governments over allegations that Royal Dutch Shell Plc helped Nigeria crush oil exploration protests in the 1990s.

Administration attorneys and lawyers for the plaintiffs contend corporations can be held accountable in U.S. courts for committing or assisting foreign governments in torture, executions or other human rights abuses.

Attorneys for corporations argue that only individuals, such as company employees or managers involved in the abuse, can be sued, a position adopted by a U.S. appeals court in New York. Other courts ruled corporations can be held liable.
The justices will hear an appeal by a group of Nigerians who argue they should be allowed to proceed with a lawsuit accusing Shell of aiding the Nigerian government in human rights violations between 1992 and 1995.
California attorney Paul Hoffman, who will argue on behalf of the plaintiffs, said corporations, under the 1789 law, were permissible defendants and that corporate civil liability was a general principle of international law.
“Businesses involved in genocide, crimes against humanity or other serious human rights violations deserve no exemption from tort liability,” he said in a brief filed with the court.

NO EXEMPTION FOR GENOCIDE

The Obama administration supported the corporate liability argument, as did international human rights organizations and Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Representing Shell at the arguments, Kathleen Sullivan, a former dean of the Stanford Law School in California, said U.S. and international law do not allow corporate liability for the alleged offenses. She said the post-World War Two Nuremberg tribunals covered prosecutions of individuals, not corporations.

She warned of the consequences of allowing such lawsuits.

“Even a meritless … suit against a corporation can take years to resolve,” she said in a brief, adding that corporations may reduce their operations in less-developed nations where such abuses tend to arise.

The British, Dutch and German governments supported Shell and said it violates international law to apply a U.S. law from more than 200 years ago to acts that take place in other countries and have no connection to the United States.

Full Article Here – http://news.yahoo.com/supreme-court-hear-corporate-human-rights-case-231247941.html 

One billion slum dwellers

Boston.com
Feb. 25, 2012

One billion people worldwide live in slums, a number that will likely double by 2030. The characteristics of slum life vary greatly between geographic regions, but they are generally inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged. Slum buildings can be simple shacks or permanent and well-maintained structures but lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services. In this post, I’ve included images from several slums including Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, the second largest slum in Africa (and the third largest in the world); New Building slum in central Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Pinheirinho slum – where residents recently resisted police efforts to forcibly evict them; and slum dwellers from Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi, India. India has about 93 million slum dwellers and as much as 50% of New Delhi’s population is thought to live in slums, 60% of Mumbai. — Paula Nelson (55 photos total)

Full Article Here – http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/02/slum_life.html 

NYPD disciplines officer after he’s snapped sleeping on subway

if you see something, say something

New York Post
Feb. 25, 2012
By LARRY CELONA

This decorated cop was photographed snoozing on the subway by a straphanger who saw something, and said something.

Martin Bisi used his cellphone to snap the alarming picture of Officer Matthew Sobota, 43, on an F train — with his holstered gun in plain view — at around 3 p.m. Feb. 16.

Bisi then e-mailed the photo to NYPD brass, who slapped Sobota with a “command discipline.”

“NYC cop sleeping on F train last Thurs w/weapon — i reported,” Bisi tweeted yesterday, as he posted several pictures of Sobota to his Twitter account.

“if you see something, say something!” Bisi wrote.

SEC Charges Three Oil Services Executives With Bribing Customs Officials in Nigeria

SEC
Feb. 24, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2012-32

Washington, D.C., Feb. 24, 2012 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged three oil services executives with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by participating in a bribery scheme to obtain illicit permits for oil rigs in Nigeria in order to retain business under lucrative drilling contracts.

The SEC alleges that former Noble Corporation CEO Mark A. Jackson along with James J. Ruehlen, who is the current Director and Division Manager of Noble’s subsidiary in Nigeria, bribed customs officials to process false paperwork purporting to show the export and re-import of oil rigs, when in fact the rigs never moved. The scheme was designed to save Noble Corporation from losing business and incurring significant costs associated with exporting rigs from Nigeria and then re-importing them under new permits. Bribes were paid through a customs agent for Noble’s Nigerian subsidiary with Jackson and Ruehlen’s approval.

The SEC separately charged Thomas F. O’Rourke, who was a former controller and head of internal audit at Noble. The SEC alleges that O’Rourke helped approve the bribe payments and allowed the bribes to be booked improperly as legitimate operating expenses for the company. O’Rourke agreed to settle the SEC’s charges and pay a penalty.

“These executives knowingly authorized and paid foreign officials to process false documents, and they consciously concealed the scheme from Noble’s audit committee,” said Gerald Hodgkins, Associate Director in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “When executives bribe government officials overseas, their misconduct puts their companies in legal peril and damages the integrity of foreign markets and the reputation of U.S. companies abroad.”

Full Statement Here – http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2012/2012-32.htm 

SEC’s complaints below:

SEC Complaint against Mark A. Jackson and James J. Ruehlen

SEC Complaint against Thomas F. O’Rourke