International

Water: The Newest Wave of Corporate "Social Responsibility"

Even critics of World Water Week, held annually in Stockholm, Sweden, agree that it's an important forum where thousands of people working on water issues share information.

This year's event, held from August 16 to 22, placed special emphasis on the relationship between water and climate change. The closing statement (pdf) was literally a message to COP15, the major United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, this December. "Water is a key medium through which climate change impacts will be felt," it reads, adding that "water-related adaptation" should be seen as part of the solution. The statement also calls for funding "to assist vulnerable, low income countries already affected by climate change," along with longer-term adaptation efforts.

So why are there critics of World Water Week? In a word, Nestlé.

PR: War by Other Means

"The PR race is not that different from the arms race," writes John Feffer. "Russia, for instance, recently paid nearly $3 million to Ketchum for a six-month media blitz to promote the country's leaders and policies. Georgia has retained Public Strategies, Inc. at $50,000 a month.

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Honduras Tries for a PR Coup

The negotiating team representing Honduras' coup government "rarely made a move without consulting ... an American public relations specialist who has done work for former President Bill Clinton," reports the New York Times. Roberto Micheletti heads the "de facto" government of Honduras, which took power after the military coup against elected president Manuel Zelaya.

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"Toxic Bob" Spins Chretien Through the Revolving Door

Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has been appointed as a "senior international adviser" to Ivanhoe Mines. The Executive Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines, Robert Friedland, who earned the nickname "Toxic Bob" after a major cyanide spill from a gold mine in Colorado in 1993, was upbeat about the benefits of hiring Chretien. "We believe that Mr.

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Murdoch Subsidiary Faces Investigation Over Spying Claims

Nick Davies reports that a UK subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation "has paid out more than £1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal evidence of his journalists' repeated involvement in the use of criminal methods to get stories." "The payments," he reports, "secured secrecy over out-of-court settlements in three cases that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using private investigators who

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