The protracted two-decade long lawsuit between the people of Ecuador and Chevron‘s oil drilling activities has found a new battleground – the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, Canada.
Two flashpoints have flared this week over the issue of indigenous peoples’ rights in South America, both championed by the excellent NGO Amazon Watch.
In Ecuador, already plagued by the disastrous pollution of its Amazon Basin by Chevron, Canadian oil firm Ivanhoe Energy is preparing to drill into a 426 square-mile stretch of land, much of which is legally-titled to the Rukullakta people.
Abbott Laboratories has agreed to pay fines totalling $1.5 billion for improperly marketing its anti-seizure drug, Depakote.
The U.S. attorney for the western district of Virginia claimed that Abbott’s senior executives carried out a strategy of systematically marketing Depakote for uses unapproved by the FDA from 1998 to at least 2006.
A scoop by Bookseller magazine last month is making waves, most notably in the Guardian, after it was revealed that online retailer Amazon is under investigation by UK tax authorities.
Regulatory filings by the company to the securities and exchange commission (SEC) revealed that despite £7.6 billion of profits over the past three years, the US-headquartered company has not paid any corporation tax on earnings over that period.
A brilliant piece in You’ve Been Sanctioned describes the ties between the US-military apparatus and a controversial Russian arms dealer to both Syria and Iran.
Rosoboronexport, which accounts for 80-90% of Russia’s total arms sales, was criticised in January this year for selling arms to Syria’s Assad regime after an outbreak of civil war and documented human rights abuses by the Syrian government. It was also sanctioned in 2008 for providing illicit assistance to Iran’s nuclear program.
A coalition of human rights activists have filed a plea to the Canadian Supreme Court on behalf of victims of a massacre in Congo in 2004.
The Canadian Association Against Impunity (CAAI) claims that Anvil Mining are directly responsible for arming the Congolese military during a bloody struggle which left scores raped and 100 people dead. Planes, trucks and drivers were provided to the military of the World’s poorest nation as they swept through the port city of Kilwa. The port is crucial for the daily export of $500,000 worth of copper and silver, much from the nearby Kinsevere mine.
Turkcell, Europe’s third largest telecommunications company and Ping An, the world’s second biggest insurer, have earned the ire of investors this week after questionable corporate governance practices.
Hong Kong-based Ping An Insurance raised $2.5 billion in capital through a share placement with billionaire Cheng Yu-Tung. Earlier this month, Ping An announced that it would issue 272 million new shares at a 12.5 percent discount. This represents 3.44 percent of the company’s new share capital.
It’s been a bad week for environmental activists in the Americas. In two cases of citizen groups and even states turning the screw on major oil companies, both Chevron and ExxonMobil were granted reprieves from US District Court Judges.
NY District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan did as ESG Insider predicted – it ruled that the total $18 billion fine levied by the Ecuador Government against Chevron cannot be enforced in the United States or anywhere outside of Ecuador. This leaves the Ecuadorian government in a quandry, as Chevron now owns no assets in Ecuador.
ExxonMobil will settle its $100 million fine for the Exxon Valdez spill out of court with the federal and Alaskan state governments after being granted a reprieve from a US District Court Judge. This is despite State Governor Sean Parnell being a well-known ex-lobbyist for ExxonMobil.
Leaving aside the legion of lawsuits trailing BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster last year, BP’s American subsidiary, Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO), has had a busy week in the courts so far.