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Tuesday, February 2, 1999

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  • Death in the Niger Delta

    At least 19 people were killed and another 10 were seriously injured in the Niger Delta this weekend when Nigerian military forces opened fire on a group of protesters at a Shell oil facility. Community activists had come to the Forcados oil terminal, located about 150 miles southeast of Lagos, to protest the oil giant’s continued devastation of their land. Oil production at the Forcados facility is down from 400,000 barrels a day to around 250,000 barrels per day due to the ongoing protests by activists from the impoverished communities where Shell operates. Nigerian dictator General Abdulsalami Abubakar ordered troops into the region as protests in the Niger Delta against oil multinationals and against Nigeria’s military government escalate.

  • Ecuadorian Rainforest Communities Sue Texaco

    It is being called a case of "David vs. Goliath": A group of indigenous communities from the Ecuadorian rainforest suing oil giant Texaco for widespread devastation of their land, ruining their traditional way of life and creating a dramatically increased risk of cancer among tens of thousands of people. Yesterday, they once again faced off in court, as lawyers representing the communities asked a federal judge in New York to allow the class action suit to proceed in a U.S. court, rather than have it dismissed and heard in Ecuador, as Texaco is proposing to do. The case is being watched carefully because it would be the first one of its kind, and could open the door to other lawsuits in U.S. courts against multinational corporations for their operations abroad.

  • Noam Chomsky On the New World Order

    The World Economic Summit comes to a close today, after hosting some of the world’s most powerful players in the corporate and political world. On Friday, Vice President Al Gore addressed the summit, which was held at a glitzy alpine ski resort in Switzerland. It has also drawn political figures such as Henry Kissinger, as well as finance ministers from around the world. As countries with emerging markets criticized the global economy for being rigged to the West’s benefit, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan warned of a backlash against the global economy, and challenged international big business to enter into an agreement with the U.N. to promote human rights, labor and environmental practices in countries where they do business.

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