first_imgSouth Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has agreed to pay a $75 million penalty as part of a settlement agreement reached with the U.S. Justice Department over bribery investigation related to a 2007 drillship construction involving Petrobras and drilling contractor Pride.“[Samsung Heavy Industries] has agreed to pay total penalties of more than $75 million to resolve the government’s investigation into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) arising out of a scheme to pay millions of dollars in bribes to officials in Brazil,” the DOJ said last Friday.“Samsung Heavy Industries paid millions of dollars to a Brazilian intermediary, knowing that some of that money would be used to bribe high-level executives at Petrobras and obtain a lucrative shipbuilding contract,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger of the Eastern District of Virginia said that Samsung “caused millions of dollars in corrupt bribe payments to be paid to foreign officials to win business, upsetting what should have been a level playing field for other companies that followed the rules.”According to admissions by Samsung Heavy Industries, as shared by DOJ, beginning in 2007 and continuing until 2013, Samsung provided approximately $20 million in commission payments to a Brazilian intermediary, knowing that portions of the money would be paid as bribes to officials at oil company Petrobras.The bribes paid caused Samsung to secure improper business advantages, as Petrobras then entered into a drillship charter contract with Pride (now part of Valaris) to whom  Samsung Heavy Industries then sold the drillship for this contract.“Samsung Heavy Industries took actions in furtherance of the bribery conspiracy from its branch office located in the United States,” the DOJ said.Samsung and the DOJ also reached a three-year Deferred Prosecution Agreement. Upon successful completion, the DOJ will seek to dismiss the deferred charge, which relates to a drillship known as the “DS-5,” Samsung said. The rig in question, delivered in 2011, is now owned by Valaris, and is stacked without a contract in Spain.Commenting on the DOJ settlement Samsung Heavy CEO Joon Ou Nam said: “We deeply regret the company’s involvement in these events, which is contrary to our values and ethical standards,” “Many of the events described in our agreement happened more than a decade ago, and the individuals involved are no longer with the company. Over the past years, we have taken extensive steps, at our own initiative, to strengthen our anti-corruption compliance program to meet the highest standards of compliance and ethics.”last_img read more


first_imgIf you thought Amnesty International Aotearoa NZ were about human rights, you’d be totally wrong. You just need to read their submission supporting the decriminalisation of abortion.They start by saying“Our vision is for every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.”Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3, says that “Everyone has the right to life…“, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, Preamble, says “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth“…Good start – but what follows is completely the opposite message from this so-called human rights group…“We recognise that legal protection of human rights, including the right to life, commences at birth.”(Might as well scrap all those prenatal guidelines about mothers not drinking or smoking or singing to their unborn child or eating healthy etc)“We believe [Model A] will best ensure that access to safe abortions is effectively available to pregnant people (!!) to make their own decisions, free from barriers, delays or restrictions that could violate their human rights, including their reproductive autonomy.”Model A is abortion any time, for any reason, up to birth.“Criminalisation of abortion in any circumstances and denial of access to safe abortion services is a manifestation, cause and consequence of social systems that discriminate, deny personal and bodily autonomy and impose unequal burdens on the basis of individuals’ reproductive capacities and their pregnancy status, among other related factors.”Too bad about the ‘personal and bodily autonomy’ of unborn children, ‘discrimination’ against them, or ‘denial of access’ to life!And just to show how ‘woke’ Amnesty International is –“AIANZ therefore recommends that the Bill be clarified further and that it is made explicit that services should be available also to transgender people and people of other gender identities capable of becoming pregnant.”Um, if they can become pregnant, they’re a ‘woman’. We checked. It’s still a biological truth.Interestingly, the only highlight of their submission is their advocacy for the disabled community…“We affirm that the only way of supporting all prospective parents to make informed decisions about continuing or terminating their pregnancies is through affirmative measures, such as combating ableism in prenatal testing and counselling processes, ensuring all parents are operating in an enabling environment and have the social and economic supports they need to raise any child, including a child with disabilities or who is otherwise socially excluded, and promoting the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities in all spheres of public and private life.” That’s, of course, if they are actually allowed to be born.Ironically, they’re against the death penalty. Go figure.last_img read more


first_imgAll five Power Five conferences have canceled their basketball tournaments, putting the NCAA Tournament in doubt.The Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, ACC and Pac-12 conferences were all preparing to play games in large arenas across the country, but with few people in the buildings.The NCAA had announced Wednesday that it planned to play its men’s and women’s tournament games that start next week with restricted access for the general public. The NCAA said only essential staff and limited family members would be allowed to attend the games.The men’s NCAA Tournament is one of the most popular events on the American sports calendar. March Madness draws hundreds of thousands of fans to arenas from coast to coast.last_img read more