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Corporate Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Corporate Corruption News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important corporate corruption news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These corporate corruption news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


Note: This comprehensive list of corporate corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


How drug companies' PR tactics skew the presentation of medical research
2011-05-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-05-31 01:06:00
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2011/may/20/drug-companies-ghost-writing-...

When doctors are deciding which drug to prescribe a patient, the idea behind evidence-based medicine is that they inform their thinking by consulting scientific literature. To a great extent, this means relying on medical journals. The trouble is that pharmaceutical companies, who stand to win or lose large amounts of money depending on the content of journal articles, have taken a firm grip on what gets written about their drugs. That grip was strong way back in 2004, when The Lancet's chief editor Richard Horton lamented that "journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry." It may be even tighter now. Drug companies exert this hold on knowledge through publication planning agencies, an obscure subsection of the pharmaceutical industry. The planning companies are paid to implement high-impact publication strategies for specific drugs. They target the most influential academics to act as authors, draft the articles, and ensure that these include clearly-defined branding messages and appear in the most prestigious journals. There are now at least 250 different companies engaged in the business of planning clinical publications for the pharmaceutical industry. Many firms are based in the UK and the east coast of the United States. Having talked to over a dozen publication planners I found that the standard approach to article preparation is for planners to work hand-in-glove with drug companies to create a first draft.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


'Forever chemicals' may have polluted 20m acres of US cropland, study says
2022-05-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-05-23 20:45:41
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/08/us-cropland-may-be-contam...

About 20m acres of cropland in the United States may be contaminated from PFAS-tainted sewage sludge that has been used as fertilizer, a new report estimates. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 9,000 compounds used to make products heat-, water- or stain-resistant. Known as "forever chemicals" because they don't naturally break down, they have been linked to cancer, thyroid disruption, liver problems, birth defects, immunosuppression and more. Dozens of industries use PFAS in thousands of consumer products, and often discharge the chemicals into the nation's sewer system. The analysis ... is an attempt to understand the scope of cropland contamination stemming from sewage sludge, or biosolids. Regulators don't require sludge to be tested for PFAS or closely track where its spread, and public health advocates warn the practice is poisoning the nation's food supply. Sludge is a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process that's a mix of human excrement and industrial waste, like PFAS, that's discharged from industry's pipes. EPA records show over 19bn pounds of sludge has been used as fertilizer since 2016 in ... 41 states. It's estimated that 60% of the nation's sludge is spread on cropland or other fields annually. The consequences are evident in the only two states to consistently check sludge and farms for PFAS contamination. In Maine, PFAS-tainted fields have already forced several farms to shut down.

Note: Read more about the toxic "forever chemicals" accumulating in our environment. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


The dangerous business of dismantling America's aging nuclear plants
2022-05-13, Washington Post
Posted: 2022-05-23 20:44:24
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/05/13/holtec-oyster-creek-nuclea...

The new owner took over the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in 2019, promising to dismantle one of the nation's oldest nuclear plants at minimal cost and in record time. Then came a series of worrisome accidents. One worker was struck by a 100-ton metal reactor dome. Another was splashed with radioactive water. Another worker drove an excavator into an electrical wire on his first day on the job, knocking out power to 31,000 homes and businesses. All three incidents occurred on the watch of Holtec International. In the nearly three years Holtec has owned Oyster Creek, regulators have documented at least nine violations of federal rules. During the lifetime of America's 133 nuclear reactors, ratepayers paid small fees on their monthly energy bills to fill decommissioning trust funds. Trust funds for the country's 94 operating and 14 nonoperating nuclear reactors now total about $86 billion. After a reactor is dismantled ... some of these trust funds must return any money left over to ratepayers. But others permit cleanup companies to keep any surplus as profit – creating incentives to cut costs at sites that house some of the most dangerous materials on the planet. Even after reactors are shut down, long metal rods containing radioactive pellets – known as spent fuel – are stored steps away, in cooling pools and steel-and-concrete casks. Nuclear safety experts say that an industrial accident or a terrorist attack at any of these sites could result in a radiological release with severe impacts.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on nuclear power from reliable major media sources.


The adverts banned for misleading climate claims
2022-03-06, BBC News
Posted: 2022-05-17 01:01:23
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220302-the-adverts-that-were-banned-for-...

In September 2019, Ryanair circulated a series of adverts on TV, radio and online which urged customers to fly with "Europe's Lowest Fares, Lowest Emissions Airline. Everybody knows that when you fly Ryanair you enjoy the lowest fares. But do you know you are travelling on the airline with Europe's lowest emissions as well?" The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), the UK's advertising watchdog, banned the campaign several months later after concluding that these claims were misleading. Ryanair is far from the only company to come under fire for making misleading climate claims. Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, there has been a wave of corporate commitments to reduce emissions. But the increase in enthusiasm for climate responsibility has been matched by a rise in concerns that some companies are using advertising and public messaging, with buzzwords such as "carbon neutrality" and "net zero", to try to appear more sustainable than they actually are. This is referred to by some as "greenwashing". Consumers are increasingly seeing through misleading claims and making more complaints about them as a result. Almost 50 complaints are currently pending globally before a court or an advertising standards body, according to a recent report. The ASA plans to release new guidance to ensure adverts don't mislead the public about the environment in 2022. To date, most complaints regarding misleading climate claims are dealt with by watchdogs, rather than taken to court.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and climate change from reliable major media sources.


Revealed: top US corporations raising prices on Americans even as profits surge
2022-04-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-05-09 00:30:39
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/apr/27/inflation-corporate-america-...

As inflation shot to a new peak in March, cost increases exacted a deep toll on the economy. But for many of the US's largest companies and their shareholders it has been a very different story. A Guardian analysis of top corporations' financials and earnings calls reveals most are enjoying profit increases even as they pass on costs to customers, many of whom are struggling to afford gas, food, clothing, housing and other basics. The analysis of Securities and Exchange Commission filings for 100 US corporations found net profits up by a median of 49%, and in one case by as much as 111,000%. Those increases came as companies saddled customers with higher prices and all but ten executed massive stock buyback programs or bumped dividends to enrich investors. In earnings calls, executives detailed how even as demand and profits rose post-vaccine, they passed on most or all inflationary costs to customers via price increases, and some took the opportunity to add more on top. Margins – the share of sales converted into profits – also improved for the majority of the companies. The Guardian's findings are in line with recent US commerce department data that shows corporate profits rose 35% during the last year and are at their highest level since 1950. Inflation, meanwhile, rose to 8.5% year over year in March. The Guardian's data ... objectively shows a massive "transfer of wealth" from consumers, who pay higher prices, to shareholders and investment firms.

Note: Meanwhile global poverty has skyrocketed. Do the billionaires really care? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Facebook's Ukraine-Russia Moderation Rules Prompt Cries of Double Standard
2022-04-13, The Intercept
Posted: 2022-04-25 21:12:55
https://theintercept.com/2022/04/13/facebook-ukraine-russia-moderation-double...

An unprecedented spree of policy changes and carveouts aimed at protecting Ukrainian civilians from Facebook's censorship systems has earned praise from human rights groups. But a new open letter addressed to Facebook and its social media rivals questions why these companies seem to care far more about some attempts to resist foreign invasion than others. In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook and Instagram, rapidly changed its typically strict speech rules in order to exempt a variety of posts that would have otherwise been deleted for violating the company's prohibition against hate speech and violent incitement. The rule change ... included a rare dispensation to call for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin, use dehumanizing language against Russian soldiers, and praise the notorious Azov Battalion of the Ukrainian National Guard, previously banned from the platform due to its neo-Nazi ideology. In a statement signed by 31 civil society and human rights groups ... criticism is directed squarely at American internet titans like Facebook. "We call for ... equal and consistent application of policies to uphold the rights of users worldwide," reads the letter. "Once platforms began to take action in Ukraine, they took extraordinary steps that they have been unwilling to take elsewhere. From the Syrian conflict to the genocide of the Rohingya in Myanmar, other crisis situations have not received the same amount of support."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


With $20 trillion between them, Blackrock and Vanguard could own almost everything by 2028
2017-12-04, Financial Post
Posted: 2022-04-25 21:10:34
https://financialpost.com/investing/a-20-trillion-blackrock-vanguard-duopoly-...

BlackRock Inc. and Vanguard Group – already the world's largest money managers – are less than a decade from managing a total of US$20 trillion, according to Bloomberg News calculations. Amassing that sum will likely upend the asset management industry, intensify their ownership of the largest U.S. companies and test the twin pillars of market efficiency and corporate governance. Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, widely regarded as the father of the index fund, is raising the prospect that too much money is in too few hands, with BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Corp. together owning significant stakes in the biggest U.S. companies. "That's about 20 per cent owned by this oligopoly of three," Bogle said. "It is too bad that there aren't more people in the index-fund business." Vanguard is poised to parlay its US$4.7 trillion of assets into more than US$10 trillion by 2023, while BlackRock may hit that mark two years later, up from almost US$6 trillion today, according to Bloomberg News projections based on the companies' most recent five-year average annual growth rates in assets. BlackRock and Vanguard's dominance raises questions about competition and governance.

Note: This empire directly benefits from relaxation of financial regulations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


The Details About the CIA's Deal With Amazon
2014-07-17, The Atlantic
Posted: 2022-04-25 21:08:10
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/07/the-details-about-the-...

The intelligence community is about to get the equivalent of an adrenaline shot to the chest. This summer, a $600 million computing cloud developed by Amazon Web Services for the Central Intelligence Agency over the past year will begin servicing all 17 agencies that make up the intelligence community. If the technology plays out as officials envision, it will usher in a new era of cooperation and coordination, allowing agencies to share information and services much more easily and avoid the kind of intelligence gaps that preceded the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. For the first time, agencies within the intelligence community will be able to order a variety of on-demand computing and analytic services from the CIA and National Security Agency. What's more, they'll only pay for what they use. For the risk-averse intelligence community, the decision to go with a commercial cloud vendor is a radical departure from business as usual. It is difficult to underestimate the cloud contract's importance. In a recent public appearance, CIA Chief Information Officer Douglas Wolfe called it "one of the most important technology procurements in recent history," with ramifications far outside the realm of technology. The importance of the cloud capabilities the CIA gets through leveraging Amazon Web Services' horsepower is best exemplified in computing intelligence data. Instead of each agency building out its own systems, select agencies ... are responsible for governing its major components.

Note: The CIA tries to "collect everything and hold on to it forever." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


Big oil companies are using wartime profits to enrich investors, report says
2022-04-05, Washington Post
Posted: 2022-04-11 17:35:07
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/04/05/big-oil-companies-are-usin...

The nation's biggest oil and gas companies have significantly increased stock buybacks and dividends since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, raising questions about whether the firms are using wartime profits to enrich investors instead of curbing Americans' pain at the pump. The report released today by Friends of the Earth, Public Citizen and BailoutWatch turns up the heat on the fossil fuel industry ahead of two high-profile congressional hearings this week, when Democrats plan to scrutinize the industry's windfall profits amid rising crude prices sparked by the war in Ukraine. The three groups looked at Securities and Exchange Commission filings and public statements from the 20 largest U.S.-headquartered oil and gas companies. In January and February, seven companies' boards authorized their corporate treasuries to buy back and retire $24.35 billion in stock – a 15 percent increase over all of the buybacks authorized in 2021. Six of those decisions came in February, after fears of Russian aggression against Ukraine lifted stock prices. In total, the 20 companies announced $45.6 billion in stock buybacks since the start of 2021. More than half of the companies boosted their dividends in January and February. Of the 11 companies raising their dividends, nine were increases of more than 15 percent and four were increases of more than 40 percent.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Leaked: New Amazon Worker Chat App would Ban Words like "Union," "Restrooms," "Pay Raise," and "Plantation"
2022-04-04, The Intercept
Posted: 2022-04-11 17:27:57
https://theintercept.com/2022/04/04/amazon-union-living-wage-restrooms-chat-app/

Amazon will block and flag employee posts on a planned internal messaging app that contain keywords pertaining to labor unions, according to internal company documents reviewed by The Intercept. An automatic word monitor would also block a variety of terms that could represent potential critiques of Amazon's working conditions, like "slave labor," "prison," and "plantation," as well as "restrooms" – presumably related to reports of Amazon employees relieving themselves in bottles to meet punishing quotas. In November 2021, Amazon convened a high-level meeting in which top executives discussed plans to create an internal social media program that would let employees recognize co-workers' performance with posts called "Shout-Outs." But company officials also warned of what they called "the dark side of social media" and decided to actively monitor posts in order to ensure a "positive community." At the meeting, [head of worldwide consumer business, Dave] Clark suggested that the program should resemble an online dating app like Bumble, which allows individuals to engage one on one. Following the meeting, an "auto bad word monitor" was devised, constituting a blacklist that would flag and automatically block employees from sending a message that contains any profane or inappropriate keywords. Even some phrases like "This is concerning" will be banned. Managers will have the authority to flag or suppress any Shout-Outs that they find inappropriate.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Pfizer pushes to intervene in lawsuit seeking COVID vaccine information from FDA
2022-01-26, Reuters
Posted: 2022-04-04 15:17:27
https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/pfizer-pushes-intervene-lawsuit-seek...

Pfizer Inc wants to intervene in a Texas federal lawsuit seeking information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration used in licensing the company's COVID-19 vaccine, a litigation move that plaintiffs who are suing for the data say is premature. Pfizer's lawyers at DLA Piper told U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman on Jan. 21 it wanted a role in the proceedings to help the FDA avoid "inappropriately" disclosing trade secret and confidential commercial information. On Tuesday night, the group of doctors and scientists who sued last year over public access to the FDA's Pfizer licensing records said in a court filing that the company's bid to jump into the lawsuit was untimely because the plaintiffs have not challenged any redactions to requested records. Earlier this month, the judge ordered a fast-track release of hundreds of thousands of documents, calling the case "of paramount public importance." U.S. government agencies control the release of information under federal public-records laws, but companies can challenge and even sue to block the disclosure of certain details. The FDA earlier drew criticism over its plan to release 500 pages a month in response to the lawsuit from Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency, a production schedule that would take more than 50 years to complete. In its filing, Pfizer said the company supports public disclosure of FDA records "to promote transparency and the public's confidence in the vaccine."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


'Wall of secrecy' in Pfizer contracts as company accused of profiteering
2021-12-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-03-27 18:49:29
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/05/wall-of-secrecy-in-pfizer-con...

Ministers have agreed [to] a secrecy clause in any dispute with the drugs manufacturer Pfizer over Britain's Covid vaccine supply. Large portions of the government's contracts with the company over the supply of 189m vaccine doses have been redacted and any arbitration proceedings will be kept secret. The revelation comes as Pfizer is accused by a former senior US health official of "war profiteering'' during the pandemic. Tom Frieden, who was director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Barack Obama, said: "If you're just focusing on maximising your profits and you're a vaccine manufacturer ... you are war profiteering." Zain Rizvi, research director at Public Citizen, a US consumer advocacy organisation which has examined Pfizer's global vaccine contracts, said: "There is a wall of secrecy surrounding these contracts and it's unacceptable, particularly in a public health crisis." Rizvi said the UK needed to explain why it had agreed to secret arbitration proceedings. He said: "It's the only high-income country we have seen that has agreed to this provision. It allows pharmaceutical companies to bypass domestic legal processes." While AstraZeneca agreed to sell its vaccine at cost during the pandemic, Pfizer wanted to secure its profits. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine ... will be one of the most lucrative drugs in pharmaceutical history. One biological engineering expert [claims] the Pfizer vaccine costs just 76p to manufacture for each shot. It is reportedly being sold for Ł22 a dose to the UK government.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Lobbying broke all-time mark in 2021 amid flurry of government spending
2022-03-12, Washington Post
Posted: 2022-03-27 18:46:08
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/03/12/lobbying-record-government...

The lobbying industry had a record year in 2021, taking in $3.7 billion in revenue as companies, associations and other organizations pressed Congress and the Biden administration over trillions of dollars in new pandemic spending and rules affecting health care, travel, tourism and other industries. The revenue figures, compiled in recent weeks from government records by OpenSecrets, show that lobbying spending began steadily growing in 2017. The jump in 2021, when lobbying spending was about 6 percent higher than 2020, came as the government's pandemic interventions and record expenditure took center stage. The surge came as companies and associations aimed to roll back regulations on their industries – many of them pandemic-related – while others vied for a slice of the trillions in new spending. Manufacturers, unions, financial companies and technology firms all spent significantly more in 2021 than in previous years. Thousands of companies and organizations appeared to hire lobbyists for the first time during the pandemic, as more than 3,700 companies and other groups that spent no money lobbying the government in 2019 paid lobbyists last year. The pharmaceutical industry, regularly one of the biggest spenders in Washington, also increased its spending. Its top trade group, the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), topped $30 million in spending last year, up 17 percent from the year prior.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Canadian pipeline groups spend big to pose as Indigenous champions
2022-03-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-03-27 18:44:09
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/10/canadian-pipeline-groups-...

Oil and gas companies and lobby groups in Canada are heavily investing in campaigns to present themselves as defenders of Indigenous interests in the face of high-profile protests against a controversial natural gas pipeline on First Nation land. "I'm being a steward to my land and I'm being a defender," read one of 21 ads targeting British Columbia in November 2021, quoting a Coastal GasLink worker from Nak'azdli Whut'en' First Nation. As the ad conveying Indigenous support for the pipeline appeared on the Facebook and Instagram feeds of people in the Canadian province, 30 Wet'suwet'en Nation members and supporters were being violently evicted from their territory along the pipeline. The fossil fuel groups spent some C$122,000 (US$95,249) on more than 400 targeted Facebook and Instagram ads. The vast majority of the ads, which were shown some 21m times in total, were linked to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, the site of intense protest and violent police crackdown in recent years. The construction of the 670km pipeline through unceded Wet'suwet'en territory – land never signed away to the Canadian government – has sparked nationwide protests in recent years. Analysis of Facebook advertisements ... by Eco-Bot.Net, a research project exposing climate crisis misinformation and corporate greenwashing online, has found a steady flow of "Indigenous-washing" ad campaigns from TC Energy, the company behind the pipeline, and associated oil and gas lobby groups.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Big Oil profits when prices surge, and corporations will cash in on this crisis
2022-03-14, Denver Post
Posted: 2022-03-20 23:43:01
https://www.denverpost.com/2022/03/14/colorado-oil-gas-prices-fracking-public...

As Russia perpetrates war crimes against the people of Ukraine, the fossil fuel industries in Colorado and across the country are licking their collective chops and preparing to cash in on the crisis, likely generating yet another round of record profits in adherence to one of the most famous maxims, often attributed to Winston Churchill, "Never let a good crisis go to waste." The price of gasoline is high right now. Big Oil is exploiting the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the price of gas to run up record profits. At the end of 2021, BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Chevron all reported the highest profits they've seen since 2014, and every single company attributed those record profits to surging oil prices as post-pandemic demand increased and supply had not yet met that demand. Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pointed out that U.S. oil companies are sitting on over 9,000 federal drilling permits, claiming that these should be tapped before additional leases are granted. The industry balked, arguing that "developing a lease takes years and substantial effort to determine whether the underlying geology holds commercial quantities of oil and/or gas," undermining their own point while they're making it: if it takes so long to produce oil from a new lease, how on earth would issuing new leases have any discernible effect on gas prices today? When record-high prices coincide with record profits, as they almost always do, it is lunacy to ignore the obvious connection between the two.

Note: Explore an alternative viewpoint on the Ukrainian situation from a respected source. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Facebook allows war posts urging violence against Russian invaders
2022-03-10, Reuters
Posted: 2022-03-20 23:40:54
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/exclusive-facebook-instagram-temporarily...

Meta Platforms will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy. The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to internal emails to its content moderators. "As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as 'death to the Russian invaders.' We still won't allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians," a Meta spokesperson said in a statement. The calls for the leaders' deaths will be allowed unless they contain other targets or have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method, one email said, in a recent change to the company's rules on violence and incitement. Last week, Russia said it was banning Facebook in the country in response to what it said were restrictions of access to Russian media on the platform. Moscow has cracked down on tech companies, including Twitter, which said it is restricted in the country, during its invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a "special operation." Emails also showed that Meta would allow praise of the right-wing Azov battalion, which is normally prohibited.

Note: Read more about Facebook permitting praise for the neo-Nazi Azov battalion. Intrepid reporter Ben Swann gives a great, balanced view on the biolabs in the Ukraine, including efforts to scrub one particularly incriminating video from the Internet. And explore an alternative viewpoint on the Ukrainian situation from a respected source. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


This ex-undercover agent infiltrated Pablo Escobar's cartel as a money launderer
2016-07-15, CNBC News
Posted: 2022-03-20 23:33:38
https://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/15/this-ex-undercover-agent-infiltrated-pablo-es...

Robert Mazur was a federal agent. He infiltrated Pablo Escobar's Colombian drug cartel for two years in the mid-1980s by pretending to be Robert Musella, a money-laundering, mob-connected businessman. "My role was to come across to the cartel as a credible money launderer," Mazur said. As an undercover operative, he was working with the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, a Luxembourg-based bank with branches in more than 70 countries, in order to launder the cartel's money. BCCI was known to have accounts of drug operatives, terrorists, dirty bankers and others who want to hide money. At one point, he was out at a social event in Miami with a senior bank officer at BCCI who asked him point blank, "You know who the biggest money launderer in the world is? It's the Federal Reserve, of course." That sounds like a crazy allegation, but Mazur said the banker connected the dots for him: In Colombia, it's illegal for anyone to have a U.S. dollar account. But at the state-run Bank of the Republic there is a window they call the "sinister window" or the "anonymous window." There, you can trade in as much U.S. currency as you want. The central bank exchanges it for Colombian pesos at a high rate immediately. Mazur recalls the banker asking: "What do you think happens with that cash? It gets put on pallets, they shrink-wrap it and they're sending hundreds of millions of dollars back to the Federal Reserve. Why didn't anyone ... ask where this money was coming from?"

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Here Comes the Full Amazonification of Whole Foods
2022-02-28, New York Times
Posted: 2022-03-14 17:41:27
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/28/technology/whole-foods-amazon-automation.html

"Would you like to sign in with your palm?" That was the question a cheerful Amazon employee posed when greeting me last week at the opening of a Whole Foods Market in Washington's Glover Park neighborhood. For the next 30 minutes, I shopped. Then I simply walked out, no cashier necessary. Whole Foods – or rather Amazon – would bill my account later. More than four years ago, Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13 billion. Now the Amazon-ification of the grocery chain is physically complete. Amazon designed my local grocer to be almost completely run by tracking and robotic tools for the first time. The technology, known as Just Walk Out, consists of hundreds of cameras with a god's-eye view of customers. Sensors are placed under each apple, carton of oatmeal and boule of multigrain bread. Deep-learning software analyzes the shopping activity to detect patterns and increase the accuracy of its charges. The Whole Foods in Glover Park ... has sparked a spirited local debate, with residents sparring on the Nextdoor community app and a neighborhood email list over the store's "dystopian" feeling versus its "impressive technology." Some ... said they had found errors in their bills and complained about the end of produce by the pound. Everything is now offered per item, bundle or box. Some mourned the disappearance of the checkout line, where they perused magazines. Many were suspicious of the tracking tech. "It's like George Orwell's '1984,'" said Allen Hengst, 72, a retired librarian.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Switzerland at risk of EU blacklist after Credit Suisse leak
2022-02-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-03-14 17:35:46
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/feb/21/switzerland-at-risk-of-eu-blackl...

The fallout from a huge leak of Credit Suisse banking data threatened to damage Switzerland's entire financial sector on Monday after the European parliament's main political grouping raised the prospect of adding the country to a money-laundering blacklist. The European People's party (EPP), the largest political grouping of the European parliament, called for the EU to review its relationship with Switzerland and consider whether it should be added to its list of countries associated with a high risk of financial crime. Experts said that such a move would be a disaster for Switzerland's financial sector, which would face the kind of enhanced due diligence applied to transactions linked to rogue nations including Iran, Myanmar, Syria and North Korea. The EPP released the proposal after media outlets including the Guardian, SĂĽddeutsche Zeitung, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), and Le Monde revealed how a massive leak of Credit Suisse data had uncovered apparently widespread failures of due diligence by the bank. The investigation, called Suisse secrets, identified clients of the Swiss bank who had been involved in torture, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption and other serious crimes. The country's addition to the EU high-risk third countries list would mean regulated professions, such as bankers, lawyers and accountants, would be required to conduct enhanced due diligence on any transaction or commercial relationship with a person or company in the country.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Covid-19: WHO efforts to bring vaccine manufacturing to Africa are undermined by the drug industry
2022-02-09, The BMJ (Formerly British Medical Journal)
Posted: 2022-03-06 22:55:34
https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj.o304

A foundation representing the vaccine maker BioNTech has been accused of seeking to undermine the World Health Organization's initiative to bring covid vaccine manufacturing to the African continent. The kENUP Foundation, a consultancy hired by BioNTech, has claimed that WHO's hub, which is creating a covid-19 mRNA vaccine that African companies can make, is unlikely to be successful and will infringe on patents, documents obtained by The BMJ have shown. Instead, they show kENUP promoting BioNTech's proposal to ship mRNA factories housed in sea containers from Europe to Africa, initially staffed with BioNTech workers, and a proposed new regulatory pathway to approve the vaccines made in these factories. The novel pathway has been described as paternalistic and unworkable. The move threatens the pan-African venture backed by WHO that seeks to scale up African production of lifesaving vaccines from 1% to 60% by 2040. WHO's technology transfer hub, launched in June 2021 and based in South Africa, uses publicly available information to recreate Moderna's vaccine, to teach companies and scientists across the continent how to use mRNA technology. It will then develop a comparable vaccine, which, if successful in clinical trials and approved by regulators, it will manufacture industrially. In a document sent to South African government officials after a visit to the country on 11-14 August last year, the kENUP Foundation said that the hub's activity should be stopped.

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