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Bill Gates buys into British security firm G4S

Ohanian Comment: I find it mind-boggling that the richest man in the world would buy 6 million more shares in G4S. Note what G4S does around the world--as reported in The New York Times (And believe me, this is the tiny tiny tip of the proverbial iceberg).

G4S, an Anglo-Danish security conglomerate with more than 600,000 employees in 125 countries, was faulted for lethal neglect and abusive use of solitary confinement in Australia. By the middle of the past decade, after refugee children had sewed their lips together during hunger strikes in camps like Woomera and Curtin, and government commissions discovered that Australian citizens and legal residents were being wrongly detained and deported, protests pushed the Liberal Party government to dismantle some aspects of the system.

In this country:

In America, G4S operates a fleet of custom-built fortified buses that serve as deportation transports for illegal migrants caught along the United States-Mexico border. Just last month, the U.K. Border Agency signed a new contract with G4S worth up to $337 million to house asylum seekers.

The US hires ArmorGroup, a G4S subsidiary, for security in Afghanistan. Here's The New York Times reporting on how that's working out:

[T]he State Department had long known of the serious problems with ArmorGroup, the contractor chosen to protect its embassy. The complaints went beyond the lurid pranks that made headlines, the documents show, and included serious understaffing, bullying by management, petty corruption and abusive work conditions.

Sounds rather like teaching conditions under mayor control, doesn't it? ArmorGroup also has a very shady history while in the employ of the US in Iraq. ArmorGroup is a founding member of International Peace Operations Association (IPOA).

In 2013, the Public Eye, which stages a counter-event to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, named G4S as one of 7 nominees for its [lack of] Social Conscience award.

The New York Times makes no mention of Bill Gates' G4S purchase--just as they make no mention of the way Gates spreads out its money to get what it wants in education policy and practice. We are left to wonder what kind of a mind could do this. Crown himself king of humanity--battling polio and malaria--while investing in WalMart, Big Pharma, and worse.

A number of researchers have made the point that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invests where there's money to be made. Period. So. . . clearly, Bill Gates and his advisors think money is to be made from buying lots of G4S stock. Read on for a few tidbits showing just how nasty this is.

by Neil Maidment

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has increased his stake in G4S (GFS.L), the world's biggest security firm, which is looking to bounce back from a blunder over its staffing of the London 2012 Olympics.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust and Cascade Investment, an asset management firm owned by Bill Gates -- one of the world's richest people -- increased their combined holding in G4S to 3.2 percent last week by acquiring around 6 million more shares, G4S said on Monday.

G4S, which runs services such as cash transportation and prison management in over 125 countries, suffered a blow to its reputation when it failed to provide a promised 10,400 guards for the London Games. Following a profit warning in May, its chief executive stepped down last month.

Gates's investments range from stakes in the Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR.TO) to global drinks group Diageo (DGE.L) and British carpet firm Carpetright (CATVU.L).

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, founded by Gates and his wife in 2000, works to eradicate the world's most deadly diseases and poverty.

Shares in G4S, which have fallen 18 percent in three months, were down 1.2 percent at 241.55 pence by 7:21 a.m. ET on Monday.

— Neil Maidment with Ohanian notes





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