Firestone Made Deal With The Devil, Paid Millions To Help Fund Genocidal Warlord

Firestone Made Deal With The Devil, Paid Millions To Help Fund Genocidal Warlord

Frontline and Pro Publica’s “Firestone and the Warlord” investigates the secret relationship between the American tire company and the infamous Liberian warlord/president/mass-murderer Charles Taylor (pictured). [Photo Credit: © Patrick Robert/Sygma/Corbis]

In the late 1980s, 40% of the latex used in the United States was supplied by a single plantation — a massive operation run by Firestone in the African nation of Liberia. The plantation had survived the 1980 coup that saw the country’s president slaughtered in his bed and cabinet members executed in public. But after an even bloodier uprising began in 1989, Firestone ultimately ended up in bed with one of history’s most evil figures.

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Medtronic plans to complete Covidien deal

Medtronic plans to complete Covidien dealFile photo shows Medtronic headquarters in Minneapolis, MN(Photo: Gannett)Medical device giant Medtronic (MDT) Tuesday reiterated its plan to buy Ireland-based rival Covidien (COV) in a deal expected to cut the Minneapolis-based company’s future U.S. tax bills.Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak pointedly backed the acquisition as the company reported its second-quarter revenue grew 5% to $4.4 billion.”We remain focused on reliably delivering on our baseline financial goals by continuing to execute on our three primary strategies — therapy innovation, globalization and economic value,” Ishrak said in a statement issued with the earnings results. “We believe the Covidien acquisition, which remains on schedule to close in early calendar year 2015, will meaningfully accelerate all three of these strategies.”Medtronic plans to keep many operations in the U.S., but intends to reincorporate in Ireland, where corporate taxes are lower, as part of the deal’s execution. Medtronic investors are scheduled to vote on the acquisition at a shareholder meeting in January.Company officials have characterized the deal as a strategic initiative that will help Medtronic grow and gain access to offshore funds that could be used for corporate investments, medical technology research and other purposes.But transactions like the Covidien deal, formally known as a corporate tax inversions, have drawn criticism from the Obama administration and congressional Democrats. The Department of the Treasury in issued new rules in September designed to make inversions less profitable and more difficult to execute.That announcement came after Obama used a July speech to argue that U.S. firms pursuing inversions were legally but unfairly “gaming the system” and potentially undermining the federal tax base.Republicans, whose pending control of both houses of Congress in January will give a new boost to their tax agenda, have argued inversions should be examined as part of a broad revision of the U.S. tax code. The GOP has long backed cutting the 35% U.S. top tax rate on domestic companies’ worldwide earnings in a strategy aimed at helping the firms better compete with overseas rivals.Medtronic’s earnings report showed net earnings for quarter that ended Oct. 24 totaled $828 million, or 83 cents per share. That represents respective declines of 8% and 7% from the same period last year.The declines resulted from a $100 million pre-tax charitable donation to the Medtronic Foundation and costs related to the Covidien acquisition, the company said. Excluding those items, net earnings were $952 million or 96 cents per share, respective increases of 4% and 5% from 2013, Medtronic reported.Financial analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial Network had forecast earnings per share of 96 cents and revenue of $4.37 billion.Medtronic shares were up 3.64% at $71.71 in Tuesday morning trading. Covidien shares were up 3.1% at $97.54.

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