Melissa Sweet, a freelance Australian health journalist, reports that she recently received an email from a staffer with the private intelligence company Hakluyt.
When China submitted its bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, it promised that journalists would have "complete freedom to report" from the country. However, "sites such as Amnesty International or any search for a site with Tibet in the address could not be opened at the Main Press Center [in Beijing], which will house about 5,000 print journalists when the games open Aug.
Zoriah Miller, a freelance photojournalist who published images of marines killed in a June 26 suicide attack in Iraq, has been forbidden to work in Marine Corps-controlled areas of the country and may be barred from all United States military facilities throughout the world. His case "has underscored what some journalists say is a growing effort by the American military to control graphic images from the war," write Michael Kamber and Tim Arango.
Both the Democratic and Republican conventions are bringing in millions of dollars in corporate sponsors, but there is no reporting requirement for either the political parties or the companies. There are a reported 146 organizational and corporate donors, but less than a quarter have chosen to disclose information about their donations.
The Swiss drug company Roche has been suspended from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) after adverse findings over its promotion of the weight-loss drug Xenical.
The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless plans to hand out free movie tickets, free passes to the Zoo, Denver's Museum of Nature and Science and other cultural attractions to homeless people during the Democratic National Convention August 25-28. They will even provide free bus tickets for the homeless to visit attractions that are beyond walking distance. Day shelters will stay open extended hours during the Convention, and some shelters will set up big-screen TVs so patrons can watch the event.
Former Congressman Curt Weldon's employer Defense Solutions got a good deal in Iraq. So good, that "the deal, for decades-old, equipment, included terms so lopsided, they likely would have been illegal under U.S. law." Defense Solutions got a contract with the Iraqi government in 2005 to refurbish obsolete Soviet-era Hungarian tanks. While U.S. law would dictate that the company's fee be tied to performance, Defense Solutions' contract not only ensures payment, it also gives them a percentage of the total cost.
The European Union (EU) has drastically changed its course for the future of biofuels. Until this week, the EU planned to be the world leader in using biofuels as an alternative to petroleum-based fuel, aiming for 10% of transportation fuels to be derived from biofuels by 2020.