February 23, 2007

Top Stories * Feb. 15-21

Dow Fine Stirs Bhopal Ghosts

Survivors of the Bhopal chemical disaster called for a police investigation after U.S. regulators fined Dow Chemical for paying $200,000 to Indian bureaucrats to legalize a pesticide banned in the United States in 2000.

India’s Agriculture Ministry said it was “surprised” by the fines, and that it follows “strict norms” for pesticide regulation, the Financial Express reports. But activists told the Indo-Asian News Service that the bribery incident is only the “tip of the iceberg.”

Poverty, Unemployment on the Rise in Europe

Pressure is building for economic and labor reform in Europe, where one out of six citizens, especially children, are living below the poverty line, and four in ten young people are unemployed — particularly those without higher education.

Some critics say making it easier to hire and fire young people will help bring them into the job market, but just such a measure sparked huge protests in France last year, causing reformists to back down.

A Risky New Sea Route, With Low Returns

Growing numbers of Southeast Asian migrants are spending thousands of dollars flying to Addis Ababa or Dubai, and trekking across Africa to risk their lives on boats headed for the Canary Islands. Many destroy their passports to avoid being repatriated, a practice that usually sends them into the stateless limbo of refugee camps.

Sources:

“Bhopal gas survivors demand action against U.S. firm”
Indo-Asian News Service, February 16, 2007

“Dow chem’s kick-back issue rocks agriculture ministry”
The Financial Express (India), February 17, 2007

“One in six Europeans living below the poverty line”
The E.U. Observer (Belgium), February 20, 2007

“Jobless youth fuel Europe’s heated debate about reform”
The Financial Times (U.K.), February 17, 2007

“Immigrants open a new path to Europe”
International Herald Tribune, February 16, 2007

Comments are closed.