DGI Brief - Nov 22, 2016
- NIGERIA: The Ogale & Bille farmer & fishermen communities in the oil-rich Niger River Delta filed a lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell for contaminating their water sources with oil & cancer-causing compounds like benzene. They filed in UK courts because of rampant corruption of the Nigerian courts & to hold Shell responsible for the actions of its Nigerian subsidiary (SPDC). Why it matters: The oil companies claim they haven’t produced oil in the region since 1993 & any pollution was a result of oil theft, pipeline sabotage, illegal refining & armed conflict in the area. Additionally, Shell claims it cannot be responsible for the activities of a Nigerian company (SPDC) over issues in Nigeria. The defense argument is this would open floodgates of litigation on the issues of duty of care whereby multinationals would be held liable by hundreds of millions of people worldwide for the various stages of operations of their subsidiaries. At the same time, how else can we ensure accountability & responsible values of multinationals & their partners & supply chains?
- TURKEY continues its ‘investigation’ of the failed July military coup & cleansing its institutions of any supporters/followers of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen (who denies any involvement in the coup). Authorities sacked 15,000 more people today in addition to the >100,000 government employees (military, police, civil service) already dismissed & 38,000 arrested. They also shut down >500 associations, 19 health establishments & 9 media outlets. Why it matters: Turkey refers to Gulen’s followers as “treacherous gang” but the concerns are this intense purge, allowed under the current state of emergency, is targeting all possible government critics & stifling freedoms. That is a dangerously slippery slope...
- RUSSIA deployed powerful weapons defense systems to the Kliningrad enclave bordering Poland & Lithuania to allegedly rearm its Baltic fleet. But these Iskander tactical ballistic & Oniks cruise missiles, Bastion missile launchers & powerful air defense missile systems are capable of targeting & penetrating NATO aircraft, missiles & defense systems over most of the Baltic region. Why it matters: One side claims to be protecting itself from the other. European & NATO countries are nervous about Russian aggression, while Russia insists it is responding to NATO’s build up of defense systems in the region. It's imperative both sides back down on the rhetoric & actions. Have we not learned anything from the arms race between Pakistan & India?
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