On February 14, a Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information. The ruling basically declares it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.
The Navajo nation is fighting uranium mining through the US courts. Radiation levels are 450 times the normal levels. Other uranium mines are opposed by indigenous groups in Australia, India, Canada, Niger and Botswana.
The Bushmen of the Kalahari desert have been progressively pushed out of their traditional lands by the state to make way for mining.
Brazil, Paraguay, Peru
Five “uncontacted” tribes living deep in the forests of Peru, Brazil and Paraguay are at risk of extinction as oil companies, colonists and loggers invade their territories, says Survival International.
The giant oil tar fields in Alberta are some of the most polluting in the world, and will stretch over thousands of square kilometres. They are the centre of a legal battle between oil companies and the Beaver Lake Cree nation and other indigenous groups.
Oil companies are moving into the western Amazon and prospecting indigenous land. Tribes are caught in the crossfire of a civil war between the state and guerillas.
Pygmy groups in the rainforest are threatened by logging and mining companies.
Thousands of indigenous people have been forced to move to make way for giant dams and other developments. Indigenous leaders are regularly faced with threats of assassination by the authorities. Death squads have re-emerged.
Palm oil companies in Sumatra have been expanding into the forests and grabbing land from indigenous communities. This, says Oxfam, is leading to conflict and more poverty.
The indigenous Ogiek people who have lived for centuries in the Mau forest are being forced out to make way for logging, paper and tea companies.
The oil producing Niger Delta which accounts for 4% of all the world’s oil, is now heavily militarised as ethnic militia groups resort to kidnapping and violence in response to generations of abject poverty.
Tribal lands are being militarised and repression of indigenous groups is increasing as giant coal, gold and copper mines destroy traditional water sources and fields.
Companies have dug around $100bn of copper and gold from West Papua in 40 years, but while the Indonesian government has richly benefited, local tribes have been dispossessed of land and livelihoods.