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Oxfam International (Oxfam) has released its Company Scorecard, which provides Oxfam's first annual assessment of the social and environmental policies of the ten biggest food and beverage companies worldwide since February 2013. According to Oxfam, nine of the ten companies improved their scores with the top three performers being Nestle, Unilever and Coca-Cola, all of which had policies addressing "issues like hunger, poverty, women's rights, land grabs and climate change in their supply chains". General Mills made no improvements in its policies and was ranked last, while Associated British Foods (ABF), Kellogg, Danone, Mars, Mondelez and PepsiCo were all marked as slow improvers in 2013.

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that Chilean corporation Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores S.A. (CSAV) has agreed to plead guilty to one charge of "[engaging] in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by allocating customers and routes, rigging bids and fixing prices for the sale of international ocean shipping services of roll-on, roll-off cargo to and from the United States and elsewhere".

Published in Competition

The United States (US) Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has released its Opinion (3 March 2014) in In Re: Deepwater Horizon. According to BP plc (BP), the Court has decided to deny BP's request for a permanent injunction preventing payments to business economic loss (BEL) claimants whose alleged injuries are not traceable to the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill. BP argued that such claimants are not proper class members under the terms of the Economic and Property Damages Settlement (the Settlement) reached in 2012; however, Reuters reports that the Court rejected BP's argument that this interpretation of the Settlement would allow businesses to recover for fictitious losses.

The United States (US) Department of Transportation (DoT) has announced that it has fined South Korea-based airline Asiana Airlines Inc (Asiana) US$500,000 for delays and other failures in communicating with the family members of passengers on Asiana flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on 6 July 2013.

The Group of 20 (G20) has released the Communiqué (undated) from its meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors held in Sydney, Australia during 22 - 23 February 2014. The communiqué states that the meeting's outcomes include the endorsement of the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (undated) (the Standard) as part of a global response to base erosion and profit shifting.

Published in Financial Integrity

United States-based bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (Lehman) is to pay US$767 million to the US Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) to settle a US$1.2 billion claim over two loans issued by Freddie Mac to Lehman a matter of months before Lehman filed for bankruptcy.

Published in Consumer Protection

The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that Military Professional Resources Inc (MPRI) has agreed to settle allegations that it "submitted false labor charges on a contract to support the [US] Army in Afghanistan" by paying US$3.2 million.

Published in Government Contracting

Kellogg to Use Only Sustainable Palm Oil by 2015

19 Feb 2014
Written by World Watch

Kellogg Company (Kellogg) has announced a global commitment to require all its suppliers to source palm oil that is "environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable", by the end of 2015.

The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that Japan-based automobile parts manufacturer Bridgestone Corp (Bridgestone) has agreed to "plead guilty and to pay a [US]$425 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices of automotive anti-vibration rubber parts installed in cars sold in [the US] and elsewhere".

Published in Competition

Former CEO Pleads Guilty to Role in Bribery Scheme

19 Feb 2014
Written by World Watch

The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that British Virgin Islands-based international petroleum company PetroTiger Ltd's (PetroTiger) former co-chief executive officer (CEO) Knut Hammarskjold has pleaded guilty to conspiring to "pay bribes to foreign government officials and to defraud PetroTiger".

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