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Tuesday, 22 May

01:16

Another world class mining company in a corruption scandal "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Glencore shares drop nearly 7% on report of SFO probe

Henry Sanderson | Financial Times | May 18, 2018

Shares in Glencore fell by their most in almost two years on Friday after a report said the miner may face a bribery probe by the UKs Serious Fraud Office over its ties to Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The SFO is planning to seek formal approval for a probe into Glencores dealings in the country with its former business partner Mr Gertler, Bloomberg News reported. Mr Gertler was sanctioned by the US in December for his opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals, in DRC. 

Mr Gertler previously owned stakes in Glencores two key projects in the resource-rich country, before Glencore bought him out for $960m in 2017. 

Glencore shares fell 6.8% per cent to 370.75p after the news. 

The reported possible probe is the latest setback for FTSE 100 member Glencore over its activities in the DRC. Last month the countrys state-owned miner Gecamines launched legal action against the company seeking to dissolve its joint venture Katanga copper mine, saying Glencore had drained it of money....

00:21

Policy Proposals to improve governance and service delivery "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Papua New Guinea is facing some serious governance challenges that are inhibiting economic development and service delivery and affecting the health and wellbeing of ordinary citizens, but what reforms are needed to ensure things improve?

To help address this question, ACT NOW! has developed a set of fifteen policy proposals that it has set out in a consultation document.

The proposals, which range from a freedom of information law to greater devolution of powers to the Provinces, have been developed to promote openness and transparency, improve integrity and accountability, empower citizens, and harness new technologies to make government more effective and accountable and ensure the aspiration of our National Goals. 

The proposed measures will support and enable greater civic participation in government decision making, increase the available information about government activities, and promote the highest standards of professional integrity. 

The policy proposals can be downloaded from the ACT NOW! website and comments and feedback are welcome so the proposals can be further developed into an effective and comprehensive guide. This will be used to help inform government, business, civil society and multinational agencies and feed into existing and future reform efforts.

Any comments and other feedback can be sent to info@actnowpng.org

Monday, 21 May

19:01

Malaysias new Cabinet ministers are sworn in as post-election drama continues "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Malaysias 13 new federal ministers were sworn in yesterday (Monday) in a ceremony at the National Palace (Istana Negara). A foreign minister is yet to be named.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says there will eventually be 25 ministers in the Cabinet.

The swearing-in ceremony came just 12 days after Malaysian voters put an end to the rule of Barisan Nasional (the National Front).

Since the election on May 9 there has been a period of high drama during which the country has seen the swearing in of the worlds oldest prime minister, the release of the jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim, and police raids on the home of the former prime minister Najib Razak.

The victory of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition was the oppositions first general election win since Malaysia gained its independence from Britain in 1957.

Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, tried to go on a private plane to Indonesia the weekend after the election, but the immigration department has placed a ban on them leaving the country. Najib said in a tweet: I have just been informed by the immigration department of Malaysia that my family and I are no...

02:42

LNG project that promised economic boom leaves PNG in worse state: report "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Source: Isabel Esterman / Mongabay. 

  • Proponents of PNG LNP, an ExxonMobil-led natural gas project in Papua New Guinea, predicted it would bring massive economic benefits to landowners and to the country as a whole.
  • According to two recent reports by the Jubilee Australia Research Centre, PNGs economy is worse off than it would have been without the project.
  • Jubilee Australia also links the PNG LNG project to an upswing of violence in the areas around the plant.

In 2008, when a consortium led by ExxonMobil was drumming up support for a $19 billion natural gas extraction and processing project in Papua New Guinea, proponents of the development predicted it would underpin the countrys economy for decades.

Production began in 2014, and now reaches approximately 7.9 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year. However, according to two recent reports by advocacy group Jubilee Australia Research Centre, the PNG LNG project has not only exacerbated conflict and inequality in the Papua New Guinea highlands, it has also failed to produce the promised benefits. According to Jubilee Australias analysis, PNGs economy would be better off if the gas had been left in the ground.

Predicted economic impacts of the PNG LNG project compared to actual impacts (based on Jubilee Australias analysis of underlying economic trends). While exports have exceeded expectations, GDP growth has been slower than forecast and income, employment and government spending have dropped. Image courtesy of Jubilee Australia.

Big promises

When pitching the project, developers made big promises about the economic and social benefits the megaproject would bring to the country.

One influential 2008 study, an economic impact analysis commissioned by ExxonMobil and authored by Australian con...

01:24

Group questions Namatanai MPs stance on seabed mining "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Carmella Gware | Loop PNG | May 19, 2018

recent response by the Namatanai MP on Radio New Zealand over the experimental seabed mining has not gone down well with some locals.

In the May 16th article, Walter Schnaubelt was reported to have said though  too much remained unknown about the environmental impacts of seabed mining, that doesnt mean that we just shut the door.

Schnaubelt further said he was keeping an open mind on potential seabed mining, and he would maintain a neutral stand until adequate information on the benefits of the Solwara 1 project are made available to him.

Following his statement, the Alliance of Solwara Warriors said as an educated elite, Schnaubelt has to come out clear on his stance, as being neutral only indicates two reasons:

  • The benefits of seabed mining to support his election promises
  • And to swing when people react as it will have a political implication
...

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