Serco has been forced to abandon plans to bid for contracts at Britain’s Atomic Weapons Establishment after investors threatened to sell their shares in the company, reports Linda Pearson.
As the British government is set to celebrate 50 years of Trident, Scottish-based anti-nuclear activist Linda Pearson argues they should instead apologise for the impact of British nuclear weapons testing on Aboriginal communities and halt plans to transfer nuclear waste from the Dounreay nuclear power plant to Australia.
Linda Pearson, anti-nukes activist, says that Members of the Scottish Parliament are effectively profiting from Trident due to the Scottish Parliament’s pension fund investments and that they should re-invest the money into projects which make Scotland a better place to live.
In January, the federal government launched its new Defence Export Strategy, which aims to turn Australia into one of the world’s top 10 arms exporters. The strategy will raise government assistance for arms exports, making Australia more like Britain and other major arms-exporting states.
Over the past three months, the world has watched the escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States with growing alarm. North Korea has continued to develop its nuclear weapons program since first testing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4.
It is unlikely either side is planning to start a nuclear war, but the situation could escalate out of control and lead to a conflict involving nuclear weapons. This would have unthinkable humanitarian and environmental consequences.
Yet the arms companies that make such a conflict possible are benefitting from the increased threat of nuclear war, along with their investors.
The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade tabled its report, Principles and Practice — Australian Defence Industry and Exports, in Parliament in December 2015. The report made 19 recommendations about how the Australian government should increase its support of Australian arms exports, which largely reflected the wishes of arms companies.
Most of the arms companies that made submissions to the Inquiry into Government Support for Australian Defence Industry Exports said government assistance in the promotion and facilitation of overseas arms sales should be increased.
Throughout last year, devastating conflicts raged in Iraq and Syria. The Afghan War entered its 16th year with a record number of civilians deaths, while in Yemen, a Western-backed, Saudi-led coalition continued to bomb civilian targets using British and American-made weapons.
After more than 50 years in Ecuador, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) closed up shop last month. The Ecuadorian government said USAID has been asked to leave Ecuador, while a US Embassy official claimed it was USAID’s decision.
Cables from the first term of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa show how the US sought to defend the interests of US companies in Ecuador, and protect the position of foreign investors in general. Moves against the power of transnational corporations by Correa's government, first elected in 2006, were seen as attempts to increase control over the economy, which the US government views as the domain of private interests. The US Embassy in Quito therefore tried to influence Ecuadorian economic policy in conjunction with allies from other embassies and from within the private sector.