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Sony dramatically increased their importation of coltan following the release of their Playstation 2, while Compaq, Microsoft, Dell, Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Nokia, Intel, Lucent, and Motorola are also large-scale consumers (17). Sony's current Executive Vice-President and General Counsel Nicole Seligman was a former legal adviser for Bill Clinton through the D.C. firm Williams and Connelly, LLP, whose clients included Bill Clinton and Oliver North (18). Sony Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Robert Wiesenthal is a former banker with First Boston, a supporter of Refugees International's "humanitarian" relief efforts at Rwandan refugee camps in Eastern Congo, just before the fall of Mobutu in 1995; Wiesenthal was also financial adviser to Cox Communications, OM Group, Time Warner and The New York Times (19).
Walter Kansteiner, the son of a coltan trader in Chicago, is the Assistant Secretary of State for Africa and former member of the Dept. of Defense Task Force on Strategic Minerals. Kansteiner's speech at The Forum for International Policy in October of 1996 advocated partitioning the Congo (then Zaire) into smaller states based on ethnic lineage (20). Ironically, while the speech was given, Laurent Kabila and his ADFL were beginning their march to overthrow Mobutu with the aid of Rwanda, Uganda, and the U.S. (21). Kansteiner is a trustee of the Africa Wildlife Foundation-another euphemistic front for resource acquisition in Congo.
Bechtel, a U.S. aerospace & construction company, provided satellite maps of reconnaissance photos of Mobutu's troops for the ADFL invasion of Congo in 1996; they also created infrared maps of the Congo's mineral deposits (22). The Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), led by Paul Kagame, the current Rwandan President graduate of the U.S. Army officers school at Fort Leavenworth, used Bechtel's NASA maps to locate Rwandan Hutu civilians that fled the cataclysm in Rwanda in 1994. An estimated 800,000 refugees were hunted down and killed in the Congo's forests (23). Bechtel's friends in high places include former Secretary of State George Shultz (Board of Directors), former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger (Bechtel Counsel) and retired U.S.M.C. general Jack Sheehan (Senior Vice President), who is also a member of the Defense Policy Board at the Pentagon (24). Riley P. Bechtel is on the Board of J.P. Morgan (25). Bechtel's Nexant Company is the prime contractor on the Uganda-Kenya pipeline project, believed to ultimately facilitate petroleum transport out of the Semliki Basin of Lake Albert.
While the World Bank publicly emphasizes that it aims to alleviate poverty in the world, imperialistic attitudes occasionally emerge from its leading figures. In 1991, then chief economist Lawrence Summers (now US Secretary of the Treasury) wrote in an internal memo that was leaked:
Just between you and me, shouldn�t the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [less developed countries]? ... The economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable, and we should face up to that ... Under-populated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted; their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City .... The concern over an agent that causes a one-in-a-million chance in the odds of prostate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostate cancer than in a country where under-five mortality is 200 per thousand.
Originally posted by GreatTech
The 2006 CIA World Factbook indicates the the average USA and UK citizen lives to about 78. In Mozambique and Zimbabwe this figure is 39. This huge discrepancy is a disgrace to the world community, especially with technology as advanced as it is.
While South Africa's black middle class is growing, so too are the ranks of the country's poor, the SA Institute of Race Relations said on Tuesday.
"Increases (in levels of inequality) were most dramatic for the African population, which saw levels... rise by 21 percent... since 1996," the institute said in a statement issued to mark the publication of its annual South Africa Survey.
Such growing inequality was in part an indication of the growth of a black middle class.
Of concern, however, was that "such growth has been accompanied by an increase in poverty among the lowest income groups".
The survey showed the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day - the measure of absolute poverty - had more than doubled since 1994.