Managers at Volkswagen know with whom they have to maintain friendships. After the then EU Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship Antonio Tajani paid a visit to the company in the spring of 2010, he received a package. "We hope to make you happy with this VfL Wolfsburg jersey signed by the players," the head of VW's Brussels office wrote deferentially.
Americans are up in arms right now over the near epidemic number of deaths of African-American at the hands of police, and rightfully so. African-Americans make up only 13 percent of the population, yet they are the victims in 26 percent of all police shootings. That is nearly 3 times the rate of whites.
The outrage by the #Black Lives Matter movement is founded in statistical evidence which shows that the system inherently and with extreme bias disproportionately targets blacks.
That being said, there is one group who no one is talking about that is targeted more than everyone else. The racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement is Native Americans. While Native Americans only make up 0.8 percent of the population, they make up 1.9 percent of all police killings.
A top HSBC executive has been charged with fraud in the US. Mark Johnson, the company's global head of foreign exchange trading was arrested on Tuesday night and is due to appear in court later. A former colleague, Stuart Scott, has also been charged. The two traders are accused by the US government of using inside information to profit from a $3.5bn (£2.6bn) currency deal. HSBC has so far declined to comment. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) accuses the traders of "front-running".
How would you feel if the government confiscated your land, sold it to someone else, and tried to force you to change your way of life, all the while telling you it’s for your own good? That’s what Congress did to Indian tribes 125 years ago today when, with devastating results, it passed the Dawes Act.
Norwegian shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS (WWL) has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $98.9 million criminal fine for its involvement in a conspiracy to fix prices of international ocean shipments of roll-on, roll-off cargo to and from the Port of Baltimore and other locations in the United States, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday."
The TPP seeks to expand on that, establishing a global Mickey Mouse Protection regime. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman made a trip to Hollywood in May to remind a trade group that the TPP would require countries to lift their copyright terms to the 70-year standard in the United States. This would be an increase from 50 years, the current standard in many of the countries that are part of the negotiation.
Froman pointed to films such as Sound of Music and Dr. Zhivago, noting that these films are “1966 vintage, which without TPP will be off protection next year.”
In his opinion for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts held his nose but agreed with Mr McDonnell. “There is no doubt that this case is distasteful”, he wrote, and “it may be worse than that.” But the court’s concern “is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns”. The legal question is whether the “boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute” used to convict Mr McDonnell was the appropriate reading of the law and whether the fallen GOP star had made “official acts” in exchange for Mr Williams’ results-driven generosity. Merely arranging meetings and granting access to the levers of power, Mr Roberts wrote, do not constitute official acts:
To qualify as an “official act”, the public official must make a decision or take an action on that “question, matter, cause, suit, proceeding or controversy”, or agree to do so. That decision or action may include using his official position to exert pressure on another official to perform an “official act”, or to advise another official, knowing or intending that such advice will form the basis for an “official act” by another official. Setting up a meeting, talking to another official, or organising an event (or agreeing to do so)—without more—does not fit that definition of “official act.” According to this “more bounded interpretation” of “official act”, politicians are free to do many kinds of favours for constituents (or non-constituents) and there is nothing to stop them (except perhaps for a concern about how they might appear to voters or, in an extreme case, a pang of conscience) from doing bigger favours for people who give them more sumptuous gifts. The only rewards for generosity that could get an official into legal trouble are those that constitute tangible acts of quid pro quo: requiring a researcher to do a clinical trial, say, or voting for a particular bill in exchange for a cash payment.
The British Government's austerity policies are a breach of international human rights, a new report by the UN has warned. The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has expressed “serious concerns” about growing inequality in the UK following six years of austerity policies under the current Conservative Government and the Coalition which preceded it.
When David Cameron described Afghanistan to the Queen as "fantastically corrupt" over drinks at Buckingham Palace in April it was widely regarded as a gaffe. But the British prime minister was not wrong. Afghanistan ranks a woeful 166th out of 168 countries in Transparency International's latest assessment of graft and crooked dealing around the world. And there is no better evidence of just how deep corruption goes than the fate of one of Afghanistan's greatest treasures, the gemstone lapis lazuli.
The US Treasury Department has warned the European Commission about taking action against US companies over tax avoidance allegations. The commission is investigating tax deals granted to US companies for setting up headquarters in Europe. Next month the EU is expected to deliver its decision on Apple. The company could be hit with a multi-billion pound bill for unpaid taxes. The commission said there was "no bias against US companies" in the probes. In a report published on Wednesday, the US regulator said action by Brussels would make it into a "supra-national tax authority" overriding the tax codes of its member states. It also said Brussels was using a different set of criteria to judge cases involving US companies, adding that potential penalties were "deeply troubling".
"A few years ago, federal food inspectors were walking around the warehouses of the Ontario Food Terminal in Toronto – the nerve centre where much of the province’s fresh produce is bought, re-packaged and sold – when they noticed something unusual.
In the “farmer’s market” area, where only Ontario-grown produce is meant to be sold, the inspectors saw large cartons of greenhouse peppers with conflicting labels. The outside of the boxes had “Product of Canada” stickers, next to visible signs of damage on the cardboard – bits of paper and glue, as if another sticker had been peeled off. And stickers on the inside of the box read “Product of Mexico.”"
A federal grand jury in Charleston, South Carolina has returned an indictment charging Aegean Shipping Management S.A. and Aegeansun Gamma Inc. with obstruction of an agency proceeding, conspiracy and failing to keep accurate pollution control records, the Justice Department has announced. Three engineering officers were charged with related offenses.
A new investigative report finds that in the last two years Gilead Sciences has raked in billions in profits from exorbitantly priced hepatitis C medications that were developed with taxpayer dollars, and then shifted those profits to offshore tax havens where it dodges U.S. taxes.
“Gilead is making a fortune selling essential drugs to the very government and taxpayers that helped pay to develop them, and then dodging taxes on the resulting profits,” said Americans for Tax Fairness Executive Director Frank Clemente. “Congress should stop this assault on the American people’s health and pocketbooks by curbing the company’s flagrant drug-price gouging and tax dodging.”
Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science Committee, has subpoenaed two state attorneys general to obtain records of their investigations into whether ExxonMobil misled investors and the public on climate change risks.
Former residents of the Chagos Islands who were forcibly removed from their homeland more than 40 years ago have lost their legal challenge to return. Families left the Indian Ocean islands in the 1960s and 70s to make way for a US Air Force base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the group of islands. An Immigration Order preventing anyone from going back was issued in 1971. The Supreme Court - UK's highest court - upheld a 2008 House of Lords ruling that the exiles could not return. Olivier Bancoult, the Chagossian leader who has been fighting in the courts on behalf of the islanders, had argued that decision should be set aside.
With a number of U.S. states proceeding with investigations of Exxon Mobil Corp's (XOM.N) record on climate change, the attorney general of Massachusetts and investment funds of the Rockefeller family on Friday told a Congressional committee it lacked powers to oversee those probes.
The pushback is the latest chapter in a high-stakes fight between the world's largest publicly traded oil company and a coalition of state attorneys general who have said they would go after Exxon to try and force action to tackle climate change.
The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology last week reiterated demands that state attorneys general hand over any records of consultations the prosecutors had with outside environmental groups before their probes were opened.
If you buy products or services from any of the 50 companies listed below (and you likely do), you are supporting modern American slavery American slavery was technically abolished in 1865, but a loophole in the 13th Amendment has allowed it to continue “as a punishment for crimes” well into …
Last month in Minya, Egypt, a 70-year-old Christian woman was beaten and dragged through the streets naked by a mob because her son was suspected of having an affair with a Muslim woman. Horrors like these have renewed fears of religious discord in Egypt. President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi and his government regularly describe Egypt as unified and have worked hard—publicly—to reduce Muslim-Christian tension. But the Minya event has once again demonstrated the relative impunity of the Egyptian police, who failed to respond to earlier warnings of a violent, religiously-motivated attack and took hours to appear on the scene.
Former Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn is under investigation in Germany for alleged market manipulation. German prosecutors have accused Mr Winterkorn, and another former board member, of withholding information from investors about VW's emissions scandal. Mr Winterkorn resigned last September following revelations that the firm cheated US diesel car emissions tests. But VW said the prosecutors have offered "no new facts or information". Volkswagen has already said in response to an investor lawsuit that it met its disclosure obligations.
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