Thursday, 28 August 2008

Former Haliburton Subsidiary KBR Sued in Human Trafficking Case

KBR, the former Haliburton subsidiary, is being sued for human trafficking of Nepali workers in Iraq. 13 Nepali men, between the ages of 18 and 27, were recruited in Nepal to work as kitchen staff in hotels and restaurants in Amman, Jordan. But once the men arrived in Jordan, their passports were seized and they were told they were being sent to a military facility in Iraq, said Agnieszka Fryszman of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, the law firm that has brought the action against KBR.

KBR split from Haliburton in 2006 with all ties between the two companies completely severed in 2007. Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney was the CEO and Chairman of Haliburton from 1995 to 2000, when he resigned to run as George W. Bush's VP nominee. He recieved a severence package worth some $34 million.

This is far from the first time that Haliburton or KBR have come under fire, KBR have been accused of inflating prices when importing oil into Iraq and installing faulty wiring that led to the death of a US soldier by electrucution in a shower.

Full Story Here

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Biden Wipes the Floor with John McCain in DNC speech

Senator Joe Biden gave what was easily the best speech of the night. The newly elected (by acclimation) Democratic VP nominee attacked John McCain saying that, "I profoundly disagree with the direction that John McCain wants to take this country in".

He acknowledged that McCain was his friend and had served his country well, but he said that McCain equals "
not change [but] more of the same". He spoke of America's standing in the world, "the world used to trust us, and looked to us for leadership... Barack will restore that". Biden claimed that the "American Dream is slowly slipping away" and that it is "our responsibility to embrace change".

Biden said that "Barack Obama is the American story". Biden's wife brought out Barack Obama who appeared as a 'surprise' (the Huffington Post reported that he would hours ago). Obama said that he is "proud to have Biden family on this journey with me". Obama also said that President Clinton "reminds us of when a President puts people first".

Biden's speech ticked all the boxes, and then some. It was possibly the first to attack McCain and the Republicans in such an impassioned way, while still being respectfull and not turning to dirty politics. Our verdict: speech of the week (so far).

Biden Speech Reaction

Check out the reaction of MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman below. Matthews was very impressed by what Biden brings to the Obama campaign.

At the Podium: Senator John Kerry's brilliant speech

Bill Clinton "Join me, Hillary & Chelsea in voting for Obama"

Bill Clinton gave a speech that ticked all the boxes and put his full support behind Barack Obama. However, in my opinion, it was a fairly mediocre speech at best and John Kerry, who followed him, was much much better. Then again, Keith Olbermann says the speech was superbly delivered.

Barack Obama Claims Historic Nomination

Barack Obama is now officially the Democratic Presidential nominee. Hillary Clinton made the motion to stop the roll call and accept his nomination by acclimation.

Will Bill Back Barack?

So, we heard Hilary Clinton's endorsement of Barack Obama last night. Tonight, however, it's her husband President Bill Clinton's turn to take to the stage at the Democratic National Convention; and the Obama camp is likely shaking with anticipation.

President Clinton has was consistently accused of overstepping the line when attacking Obama during the primaries and is widely believed to still be pouting over Hilary's loss even now.

Speaking at a PUMA (People United Means Action, a political action committee) appearance he asked, "[what if] you have two candidates, candidate X and candidate Y, candidate X agrees with you on everything but you don't think that person can deliver on anything, candidate Y disagrees with you on half the issues, but you believe that on the other half the candidate will be able to deliver."

The question then is, what will Bill say when he reaches the podium. Barack Obama's VP nominee Joe Biden is the other principle speaker at the third night at the DNC.

Picture: dbking at Flikr