Shareholders in 16 American funds have roundly defeated a non-binding proposal to pull investments from companies doing business in Sudan. Reuters says more than 80% of votes cast at each of the funds opposed the measures. The measures are part a campaign to pressure several Chinese oil companies whose royalty payments are said to prop up Sudan's central government. Sudan is taboo for many in the West over alleged gross human-rights abuses in the conflict-torn western Darfur region. The International Criminal Court in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for crimes against humanity. And while the US is not a signatory of the ICC, it seems strange that there is any private American investment at all considering the long-standing financial embargoes it has on places such as Cuba. Activists, led by Boston-based Investors Against Genocide, had complained the vote was marred by an abridged ballot and by poor telephone-polling procedures. They would no doubt also be concerned that the funds in question invest in Chinese oil companies doing business in largely undemocratic African states, contrary to a stand on business and human rights. Read more: Reuters, Reuters
Ireland's population has still not recovered from the Great Famine.