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Aliyev re-elected as President for another 7 years – the chain of oil autocracy that binds Azerbaijan

Aliyev re-elected as President for another 7 years – the chain of oil autocracy that binds Azerbaijan

On 18th April Ilham Aliyev will be inaugurated for the fourth time as President of Azerbaijan. His re-election comes as no surprise. It is so predictable that it barely counted as ‘news’ and consequently got next to no coverage in the international media. Originally the election was scheduled for 17th October, but at nine weeks...
La Zad puts down roots – sensing the future

La Zad puts down roots – sensing the future

We’re in the middle of the crowd. Standing some way back from the stage, watching transfixed and elated at the performance of Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp. Two trombones, two drummers, two marimbas, two electric guitars, two cellos and five other musicians blast out such a blissful riot of sound that our souls sail above...

Gulfsands ends payments to Assad’s cousin – but continues supporting Syrian regime with $8 million every week

Documents revealed by the FT amid concerns raised by Avaaz show that Gulfsands Petroleum, the London-listed oil and gas company, agreed to give a share of profits from its production activities in Syria to a company controlled by Rami Makhlouf, the first cousin of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The company has also paid more than...

Geoengineering and synthetic life – BP’s “solutions” to climate change and the energy crisis

While drilling holes in the Atlantic seafloor and mining tar sands, BP has also been working with Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genomics to geoengineer microbes that could be injected into tar sands to release methane and create algae-based biofuels, according to Jim Thomas of etc group writing for The Ecologist yesterday. He also investigates BP’s role in driving science-fiction schemes to re-engineer atmospheric...

BP violated human rights rules, says UK government

Company failed to respond to alleged intimidation by Turkish security forces along its UK-backed Caspian oil pipeline Ruling places BP in breach of loan agreements, say campaigners A BP-led consortium is breaking international rules governing the human rights responsibilities of multinational companies in its operations on the controversial Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the UK Government ruled...

Royal Dutch Shell profiting from Sultan’s absolute rule in Oman

Unrest has reached Oman, the usually “sedate” and “tranquil” Sultanate on the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. Inspired by uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain, Omani youth took to the streets to challenge government corruption, cronyism, unemployment and a lack of democracy. Protests spread across the desert country, with police firing bullets and teargas from...

BP support for Mubarak dictatorship revealed

The millions on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez are furious at Mubarak for upholding his own interests and those of Western powers and foreign companies at the expense of the Egyptian people. For decades, British and American oil companies worked hand in glove with the Egyptian dictatorship, enjoying its “stability” (lack of democratic...

Oil, British foreign energy policy and Middle East repression

British oil interests are tightly interlinked with our governments’ recent political and military support for Gaddafi’s regime. Libya’s oil reserves – the largest in Africa – long had Western companies drooling. Shell beat its competitors to the chase, signing a $1 billion gas contract in 2004 during Tony Blair’s first visit to Libya. After three...

How BP made friends with Mu’ammar Gaddafi

On Monday, BP CEO Bob Dudley declared that “we remain committed to doing business” in Libya and stressed that offshore operations in the region were still open and continuing. That morning, stories of tanks crushing unarmed protestors in Benghazi and massacres by (British-built) sniper rifles had been front page news. As Dudley spoke, reports emerged of airstrikes targeting demonstrations...