BBC Television Newsnight has been able to get close-in film of a new Cofan Indian ritual deep in the heart of the Amazonian rainforest. Known as “The Filing of the Law Suit,” natives of Ecuador’s jungle, decked in feathers and war paint and heavily armed with lawyers, are filmed presenting a new complaint in their litigation seeking
The Department of Homeland Security, after a five-year hunt for Osama, finally brought charges against… Greg Palast.
As America crawled toward the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attack, Homeland Security charged me and my US producer Matt Pascarella with violating the anti-terror laws. Don’t you feel safer?
And I confess: we’re guilty.
“Vulture Fund” Company Wins $20 Million Payment from Zambia on $4 Million Debt
Thursday, February 15th, 2007
Watch the BBC Newsnight investigative report on BBC Newsnight — or at Democracy Now! with Palast and Amy Goodman.
Listen — Watch — Read the Report — Read the Transcipt
“Vulture fund” companies buy up the debt of poor countries at cheap prices, and then demand payments much higher than the original amount of the debt, often taking poor countries to court when they cannot afford to repay.
Investigative journalist Greg Palast reports on one company that has won the right to collect $20 million from the government of Zambia after buying its debt for $4 million. In his recent State of the Union address, President Bush declared the United States was taking on the challenges of global hunger, poverty and disease, and urged support for debt relief, which he called the best hope for eliminating poverty.
But what exactly are wealthy nations doing to reduce the debt of impoverished countries?
Today we take a close look at companies known as “vulture funds.” Vulture fund companies buy up the debt of poor countries at cheap prices, and then demand payments much higher than the original amount of the debt, often taking poor countries to court when they cannot afford to repay.
For an in-depth look at this issue, we turn to a BBC Newsnight documentary by investigative reporter Greg Palast. Greg Palast’s BBC report on vulture funds. Today a high court judge in London ruled on the case that a vulture fund can extract more than $20 million from Zambia for a debt which it bought for just $4 million. To tell us more about this case and more we now turn to Greg Palast.
LATEST UPDATE — Zambia Loses ‘Vulture Fund’ Case
Greg Palast. Investigative reporter for the BBC on this story is author of the books “Armed Madhouse”, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” and “Democracy and Regulation.”
The BBC Newsnight report was produced by Meirion Jones, BBC London; Rick Rowley, videographer/editor. Investigative research by Matt Pascarella, New York.
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
The White House knew [the levees broke] because the Army Corps of Engineers sent them photographs. Again, I want to emphasize that the White House had the photographs of the levees breaking, and didn’t tell state and local officials who had stopped the evacuation because the hurricane missed New Orleans. Everyone thought they dodged a bullet, but the White House didn’t tell anybody the levees broke and were drowning the city. — Greg Palast
Greg Palast is just unstoppable, and after you watch his remarkable new DVD, “Big Easy to Big Empty: The Drowning of New Orleans,” you’ll understand why.
Don’t check the casket. I know he’s back. When I saw those lights flickering out at La Guardia Airport yesterday and heard the eerie shrieks and moans in the dark, broiling subway tunnels, I just knew it: Ken Lay’s alive! We can see his spirit in every flickering lightbulb from Kansas to Queens as we head into America’s annual Blackout season.
One year ago today, the lights went out. Even when the Big Blackout ended, the power pirates who have us by the bulbs kept us in the dark, fibbing, fabricating and faking their way through a series of bogus excuses for a disaster created by greed overload.
When Tony met Enron I was there to witness love at first sight. New Labour was warned about Enron and its number crunchers, Arthur Andersen, after the office of Jack Cunningham, then Tony Blair’s Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary, rang me in New York at 5am on 21 September 1995.
In a hot tub somewhere just outside New York on a humid summer night, your correspondent sinks down into the bubbles in the mood for a True Life detective story.
Here’s a good one: Four men on a boat, a cruise ship to Bermuda, July 1994. Back on shore they fell ill, one with a fever so fierce his brain was damaged. One died.
For Gtech, an In With The Bush Family is Worth More Than Anything Lottery Players Have in Their Hand
Congratulations to George W Bush and to Camelot on their victories.
More than a year ago, we reported that the Government had decided to let Camelot retain control of the National Flutter in perpetuity. That was two weeks before the formal bidding process began. Despite our announcement, Richard Branson soldiered on, refusing, like the last dinosaur, to heed the voice whispering: ‘Excuse me, but you’re extinct.’
I have it on good authority that Ralph Nader has changed his name to Larry, glued on a false moustache and joined the French Foreign Legion… not out of fear that pissed-off African-American voters will find his skinny carcass and thump him for planting the Evil Shrub in the White House; Ralph just wants to get away from the absurd he-should-have-he-shouldn’t-have shouting match among Americas activists.
An internal Study Reveals The Price ‘Rescued’ Nations Pay: Dearer Essentials, Worse Poverty and Shorter Lives The Observer So call me a liar. I was standing in front of the New York Hilton Hotel when the limousine carrying International Monetary Fund director Horst Kohler zoomed…
While we were in jail in Washington during the war in Vietnam, my comrades and I spent part of our night as guests of the state singing several choruses of the song, ‘Waist Deep in the Big Muddy’.
I would not compare Scottish Power chairman Ian Robinson to President Lyndon Johnson. And Robinson’s invasion of the US power industry through his plan to purchase PacifiCorp of Oregon is not exactly the landing at Da Nang. But there is a little bit of LBJ’s resolute optimism, while marching deeper into the quicksand, which has me humming that old song.
Scottish Power’s troubled takeover of United States electricity company Pacificorp is under further pressure this weekend. Veteran consumer campaigner Ralph Nader is preparing legal action to block it, while tougher limits on profits threatened by US regulators could make the deal unviable.