The week that was | The Jackal

11 Mar 2011

The week that was

Audio Version.

After 18 years of litigation, Chevron has been found guilty of polluting the Ecuadorean Amazon with billions of gallons of oil waste. Facing a historic judgment of more than $8 billion, Chevron has vowed not to pay to clean up its mess. The oil giant has enlisted a cast of crooked professionals to sabotage the justice process.

Hundreds of thousands of people have made the difficult decision to leave Libya with many of these refugees and migrants now stranded at the border between Libya and Tunisia. There’s outrage expressed by world leaders over this deplorable situation and many countries are pledging to provide humanitarian aid and resources. A decision of whether to impose a no fly zone is expected today.

The International Joint Commission, (a collaboration between the U.S. and Canadian governments) identifies eutrophication in the lakes because of climate change as its chief concern. Eutrophication is unchecked plant growth caused by the presence of excessive nutrients, such as nitrates and phosphorous, in the water. Because that growth can deplete the amount of oxygen, eutrophication poses a major threat to the quality and viability of the Great Lakes' massive water store.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says Christchurch cannot afford to spend time going through ponderous processes to save its heritage buildings. Prime Minister John Key has also conceded he received no official advice that some areas of quake-stricken Christchurch may need to be abandoned. The official Civil Defence figures show that some 2198 homes in Christchurch have been deemed unliveable - far less than the 10,000 homes Mr Key has said need to be knocked down. Key has also said that Asset sales need to be made to fund the Christchurch rebuild.

The Foreshore Seabed Act 2004 receives 72 submissions all supporting its repeal. However it passes its second reading, even without the support of the majority of Maori people. Hone Harawira and the Maori party split over the Maori parties support of the bill. Te Ururoa Flavell has reportedly asked for Hone Harawira to be taken off the Maori Affairs Select Committee but because the appointment was approved by parliament the request is declined.

National Minister of Telecommunications Steven Joyce who used to own Radio Works now known as Mediaworks, deferred payment of $43.3 million in taxpayer money to cover Mediaworks' licensing fees. This money could have better been spent on rebuilding Christchurch.

Two police officers have been accused of beating a young autistic man who became "the face of looting". Cornelius Arie Smith-Voorkamp, 25, was arrested for stealing two light bulbs and an antique light fitting from a quake-damaged home in Christchurch. But Mr Smith-Voorkamp has a mental disability that compels him to take light fixtures. On the night of his arrest, he was beaten by two officers and taunted by New Zealand Army personnel, his lawyer Simon Buckingham said.