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Posted inHealth, Public Health, Tobacco

How U.S. policy on marketing tobacco overseas fell through the cracks in Malawi

The economically impoverished country of Malawi in southern Africa is an example of what fell through the cracks in U.S. tobacco policy abroad. One of the most underdeveloped countries in the world, Malawi had a long history of growing tobacco. But for years, production of the country’s most lucrative export was concentrated in the big […]

Posted inHealth, Public Health, Tobacco

U.S. support for tobacco overseas: going out of business?

November 2, 1999 — The exquisitely appointed anterooms leading to the secretary of state’s office are a mix of 18th century antiques, crystal chandeliers, oil paintings of past envoys and carved moldings in the shape of tobacco leaves, blossoms and seed pods. It gives new meaning to the term tobacco lobby. The ’60s-modern reception area […]

Posted inEnvironment

Toxic deception

October 2, 1999 — On the Friday before Labor Day 1998, with much of official Washington already on its last summer trek to seashore or home congressional district, a brief statement appeared in the Federal Register. Only a paragraph long, the notice was six years in the making. The Environmental Protection Agency had, at last, […]

Posted inAccountability

Wages of war

Final offensive? By Ahmed Rashid August 5, 1999 LAHORE, Pakistan, August 5, 1999 — Two decades of fighting have destroyed Afghanistan’s normal economy. In its place has grown a criminal economy based on drugs and smuggling, which has proven so lucrative for Afghanistan’s warlords that they have little incentive to try to restore legitimate agriculture […]

Posted inAccountability

Final offensive?

Wages of war By Ahmed Rashid August 5, 1999 LAHORE, Pakistan, August 5, 1999 — Since the failed peace talks, the Taliban have been massing their forces along a wide east-west arc 20 kilometres north of Kabul. They are launching what they hope will be a final offensive against the Northern Alliance, the last force […]

Posted inAccountability

Afghanistan: Heart of darkness

LAHORE, Pakistan — As the Taliban launch a new offensive against opposition forces, the threat which this Islamic regime poses to regional stability has gone unnoticed. Terrorists fighting the governments of virtually every Central Asian power find shelter with the Taliban. An equally dangerous by-product is the criminal economy supported by the Taliban, which spreads […]

Posted inAccountability

It takes a village

MANILA, Philippines — When [Executive Director] Bill Luz asked me to address the Makati Business Club two weeks ago, I asked him why he wanted someone so small and so puny to speak for the press. After all, we are supposed to be a powerful institution – loud, bold, fearless, beholden to no one. I […]

Posted inAccountability

Where journalists still get respect

PANAMA CITY, July 21, 1999 — Investigative reporter Gustavo Gorriti, an ICIJ member and associate director of La Prensa in Panama, published the following op-ed in The New York Times, July 21, 1998. It is reprinted here with permission. From afar, the recent spate of journalistic embarrassments in the United States suggests that something more […]

Posted inAccountability

Journalism with teeth

LONDON, July 17, 1999 — Western media follow a depressingly familiar formula when it comes to the preparation of a nation for conflict. The way wars are reported in the western media follows a depressingly predictable pattern: stage one, the crisis; stage two, the demonisation of the enemy’s leader; stage three, the demonisation of the […]

Posted inAccountability

Dark alliance rules the high seas

JAKARTA, Indonesia, April 13, 1999 — Bangkok’s The Nation newspaper originally published this series on April 13, 1999. It is reprinted here with permission. For decades Southeast Asian waters have been a hunting ground for murderous pirates who are growing increasingly daring and dangerous. The Nation‘s correspondent in Indonesia, Andreas Harsono, spent over a month […]

Posted inAccountability

Open your mind

NEW YORK — Day-to-day, investigative reporting is about sweat and perseverance. Forget about the widely held view that government officials “leak” embarrassing stories to eager reporters who sit waiting for the phone to ring. You know — and I know — that hardly anything of value falls from the sky like manna from heaven. There […]

Posted inAccountability

The encryption imperative

It’s a credo that most journalists strive to live by: Don’t share your notes and don’t give out advance copies of your story. But what many American journalists often lose sight of is that while traveling through cyberspace one might unwittingly put his work at risk. Stories that might still be in the tweaking stage […]

Posted inAccountability

General as bandit

LAGOS, Nigeria — Until General Sani Abacha’s death 8 June 1998, Lt.-Gen. Jeremiah Timbut Useni was the second most senior officer in the Nigerian Army. But all that changed over two months ago, when Abacha, Nigeria’s worst dictator died. Not only did Useni lose out in the power-game that followed, he also carried the burden […]

Posted inAccountability

From Russia for Love

MELBOURNE — They told Anna Vladimirovna that if she tried to escape, “things” could happen to her son and family back in the Ukraine. “We were treated like slaves,” the 32-year-old prostitute says. “I was scared that my sister and my son may have been hurt badly if I caused any problems.” The heat didn’t […]

Posted inAccountability

“This war can’t go on any longer” — Carlos Castaño

“I will vote for Serpa” — Carlos Castaño By María Cristina Caballero December 15, 1997 “I am the moderated wing of the self-defenses” — Carlos Castaño By María Cristina Caballero December 15, 1997 BOGOTA — In an exclusive interview with Cambio16, the commander of the self-defense leagues says that “the final onslaught” is underway. He […]

Posted inAccountability

Fat Cat Hotel

In June 1996, Forbes magazine reported that the Democratic National Committee was using overnight stays at the White House as a perk to entice wealthy donors to make six-figure contributions to the party. For a contribution of $130,000, “you can spend the night in Abraham Lincoln’s bed,” ABC News’s David Brinkley, picking up on the […]