Unocal fights Myanmar charges
Date: 7 Jun 2003
The US Appeal Court is to rehear arguments on the Unocal Myanmar case, which alleges that the company aided and abetted the military to undertake acts of brutality against villagers.
Acts included murder, rape and forced labour - allegedly meted out to villagers working on sites protected by the military. However, the case will focus on definitions of 'aiding and abetting' as different definitions apply within international law to that of US common law.
Unocal has said that neither definition applies, since it has no control over the actions of the Myanmar military. Its position has also received a boost from the Bush administration, which has filed a brief in the case suggesting that national interests in the war against terrorism are impacted if the case should go ahead.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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