8 December 2018
ISRAEL AUTHORISED NSO SALE OF SPYWARE TO SAUDI ARABIA
Haaretz on 8 December reported that former U.S. officials have told the Washington Post that Israel authorised cyber-company NSO to sell surveillance software to Saudi Arabia in return for Saudi discreet support for the Israeli struggle against Iran; and that the deal was reportedly made through NSO’s affiliate Q Cyber Technologies, located in Luxembourg.
SUDAN ALLOWS GOLD EXPORTS AFTER 6-YEAR GOVERNMENT MONOPOLY
On 8 December, Asharq Al-Awsat reported that the Central Bank of Sudan has agreed to allow foreign and domestic mining companies and individuals to export gold after a government monopoly of more than 6 years. It says that Sudan produces 150 tons of gold per year, but the Central Bank managed to export no more than 37 tons in 2018; with some 113 tons having been smuggled into neighbouring countries.
HESTON BLUMENTHAL, THE TAX HAVENS AND THE RIPPED-OFF WORKERS
The Brisbane Times on 8 December saying that international restaurant empire fronted by world-renowned chef Heston Blumenthal is run through a series of notorious offshore tax havens while also substantially underpaying staff at its high-end high-end Australian eatery. It says that the Australian businesses are routed through the volcanic Caribbean island of Nevis where foreign companies pay zero tax on their worldwide earnings. Directors are based on the Isle of Man and shares directors with its ultimate owner Lowenthal Corporation, also based on Isle of Man. Fat Duck and the group’s other UK restaurants are routed through a separate Nevis-based company and are also ultimately owned by Lowenthal Corporation.
CORPORATE LAND GRAB EXPLOITS PAPUA NEW GUINEA’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
Ekklesia on 8 December reported that private companies are illegally occupying land in Papua New Guinea for logging and palm oil plantations, according to a new report published by War on Want and Act NOW!, its partner in Papua New Guinea. The report, The SABL land grab: Papua New Guinea’s ongoing human rights scandal, is said to reveal the devastating impact of corporate land grabs on the indigenous population. Foreign companies are exploiting Special Agricultural Business Leases (SABL), without due process, to illegally lease land from indigenous customary landowners. The land and its inhabitants are then exploited for profit, the rich natural resources exported to countries like China, and the indigenous peoples forced to work on their own land for poverty wages.
The report is at –