Five US tech giants including Apple, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet have been named in a lawsuit over the death of child laborers in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Impoverished but mineral-rich DR Congo is the world’s largest producer of the rare metal, which is crucial for making batteries used in mobile phones and electric vehicles.
The case was lodged Sunday in the name of 14 unidentified victims, who are members of the families of children killed in tunnel collapses, as well as children maimed as they worked.
It lists Apple, Google’s parent company Alphabet, Dell, Microsoft and Tesla as defendants and was submitted by the International Rights Advocates (IRA) campaign group to a Washington tribunal.
A boom in the technological sector has led to a huge increase in the demand for cobalt, IRA wrote in its statement, adding the tech companies were aware the DR Congo’s mining sector relies on children.
Child miners work for $2-3 a day “under stone age conditions for paltry wages and at immense personal risk”, it said.
BMW along with German chemical giant BASF and Samsung announced a joint project to ensure “responsible” cobalt mining in DR Congo earlier this year.
The mining industry has said it wants to adopt standards of good governance to improve working conditions.
The London Metal Exchange, the global center for trading in industrial metals, recently adopted new ethical standards to ensure better traceability of raw materials, including cobalt.
And earlier this year, the World Gold Council issued “Responsible Gold Mining Principles”, although the guidance is non-binding.
© 2019 AFP
Trump boasts he’s about to declare Antifa a ‘Terrorist Organization’
Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday morning to announce that he will be "designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization."
The brief tweet followed several others blaming violence at George Floyd protests on the loosely organized group of anarchists.
The president wrote, "The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization."
You can see the tweets below:
The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
Make cops pay for their crimes and end ‘qualified immunity’: conservative columnist
Writing for the conservative Bulwark, the vice president for criminal justice at the Cato Institute explained that the time has come for police officers who have been accused of crimes be treated like any other Americans and not be handed the shield of "qualified immunity" that protects them from paying the price for breaking the law.
As Cato's Clark Neily wrote, in light of the death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers -- now all fired -- it is time for a reappraisal of legal protections provided to law enforcement personnel.
Big hints lie in the official complaint against Derek Chauvin — and surprising details are left out: ex-prosecutor
In a column for CNN, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig reviewed the criminal complaint filed against ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and said it gives clues as to the direction prosecutors are likely to follow to convict the alleged killer of Georg Floyd -- but it also leaves out key elements of the case that should be brought before a jury.
As Honig wrote, the case against Chauvin is strong but may not go far enough.