Human Rights

Italy to Study Genoa Violence

Anxious to avoid another public relations calamity, the Italian government has agreed to allow a parliamentary inquiry into the horrific police violence that injured 240 protesters during recent globalization talks in Genoa. The violence included the secret torture of arrestees in police cells. "I heard my ribs break, like snapping matchsticks. I thought, my God, this is it, I'm going to die," said Mark Covell, one of the journalists injured when police attacked the school where he was staying.


Have a Coke And a Smile (And Forget About Any Human Rights Abuses)

Coca-Cola, which was ranked as the world's most valuable brand for the third straight year by Omnicom Group's Interbrand unit, apparently has seen little harm to its brand reputation from a recent lawsuit for human rights abuses. The Corporate Crime Reporter writes that the United Steel Workers Union and the International Labor Rights Fund filed suit against Coke and Panamerican Beverages Inc. in federal court in mid-July. The case was initiated by Sinaltrainal, a trade union that represents Coca-Cola workers in Columbia.


Purple Guns and Tidy War Zones

Rubenstein Associates, the PR firm that has represented clients such as Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump, Leona Helmsley, Adnan Khashoggi and Kathie Lee Gifford, has been hired to help the state of Israel spruce up its image in the deadly conflict with the Palestinians. His advice so far?


Journalists -- You Can't Beat Them

Many eyewitness reports have come in regarding the July 22, 2001 police raid on the Independent Media Center's office in Italy, where journalists were gathered to report on mass protests against the G8 meeting by a broad spectrum of groups seeking economic, environmental, and social justice. At least a hundred fully-armed riot police raided the office, looking for film and photographs in the possession of demonstration organizers. They kicked and clubbed people as they lay on the ground, even when an officer yelled at them to stop.


Interactive TV Puts Users' Privacy at Risk, Report Says

As interactive television becomes a reality, cable companies and marketers will be able to monitor the viewing habits of millions of Americans, often without clear disclosure, according to a report by the Center for Digital Democracy, a new Washington-based advocacy group. Industry officials said they will use information about customers only to provide better service, but the CDD said the information could lead to manipulation or deceptive advertising.


School of the Americas Changes Its Name

The US Army School of the Americas has been the center of a storm of controversy for nearly two decades. Graduates from this training center for the Latin American military have been linked to nearly every major human rights violation that has occurred in Latin America since the schoolis inception 50 years ago. Last year the heat on Congress to stop funding the School of the Americas got so intense that the Pentagon decided to rename it as "the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation." Nothing else, however, has really changed.



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