Condi Rice Renamed
Energy giant Chevron Corp. has quietly renamed one of its big oil tankers.
The Condoleeza Rice, named after the former Chevron director and current
National Security Adviser to President Bush, was renamed the Altair Voyager,
the San Francisco Chronicle reported in May.
In April, at a White House press briefing, assistant press secretary
Scott McLellan was asked about the oil tanker.
The reporter put it this way: Before she became National Security
Advisor, [Rice] was on the board of directors of Chevron Corporation.
Chevron before she left named an oil tanker
after her. Theres an oil tanker named the Condoleeza Rice. Its
a 136,000 ton oil tanker that carries oil around the world. Given that
Chevron has been accused of human rights abuses with the Nigerian Mobile
Police against civilians in Nigeria, Im wondering whether the president
thinks its wise to have this close a relationship with Chevron.
McLellan said that he thought the issue has already been addressed
by Dr. Rice and she will uphold the highest ethical standards in office.
When asked whether the president should call the CEO of Chevron and say,
Take the name off the tanker, McLellan said, I think
the issue has been addressed.
We made the change to eliminate unnecessary attention caused by
the vessels original name, says Chevron spokesperson Fred
Asked whether the White House had asked for the name change, Gorell told
the San Francisco Chronicle thats not for me to discuss.
In April, when the controversy was brewing, a spokesperson for Chevron
said that the company would not rename the Condi Rice tanker. If
you remember, Carla Hills was on our board, and went off the board to
take a role in the administration, and we did not rename the tanker,
the spokesperson said at the time.
Less than one percent of the 60,000 articles published during 1997 in
181 peer-reviewed science and medical journals with conflict of interest
policies contained any disclosure of author personal financial interests,
according to a report released in April.
The report appeared in the journal Science and Engineering Ethics and
examined nearly 1,400 high impact science and medical journals, including
a subset of 181 prestigious peer-reviewed journals with conflict-of-interest
Growth in university-industry collaborations has intensified the
conflicts of interest among academic researchers and weakened public trust
in science, says Sheldon Krimsky, professor of urban & environmental
policy at Tufts and a co-author of the study. Disclosure of such
interests, while not a panacea, will help to restore that trust.
In researching the scholarly journals, Krimsky and his UCLA co-author,
L.S. Rothenberg, discovered that nearly 66 percent of the 181 journals
with conflict-of-interest policies had zero published disclosures of author
personal financial interests in the study.
The authors surveyed 181 editors of peer-reviewed science and medical
journals with conflict-of-interest policies in effect during 1997. Their
74 percent of the editors reported that they always or almost
always publish conflict-of-interest disclosures while nearly 11 percent
never do so;
19 percent said they have rejected a submitted manuscript primarily
on conflict-of-interest grounds;
54 percent reported that they expect peer reviewers to use financial
interest information in their evaluation of manuscripts;
36 percent indicated that they do not request financial conflict-of-interest
information from peer reviewers.
The authors conclude that poor compliance with journal conflict-of-interest
policies is the most likely explanation for the low rates of personal
financial disclosures in scientific and medical journals with disclosure
Increasingly, journals are adopting financial conflict-of-interest
disclosure policies for contributors but editors are unaware of the levels
of compliance, says Krimsky.
White Collar Crime Penalties
The United States Sentencing Commission in April voted to increase penalties
for high-dollar fraud and theft offenders.
Under the new guidelines, the perpetrator of a $590,000 investment fraud
will be subject to a sentence as high as 63 months.
The new guidelines will go into effect on November 1, 2001, absent any
action by Congress.
The economic crime amendments result from several years of extensive
research conducted by the Sentencing Commission in which the experience
of countless professionals was consulted, says Commission Chair
Diana F. Murphy. Because approximately 20 percent of all federal
defendants are subject to these economic crime guidelines, it was especially
important that we address this area.
The Commissions action consolidates existing guidelines on theft,
fraud, tax offenses and property destruction in order to increase penalties
for high-dollar frauds or thefts and to reduce unwarranted sentencing
Commission officials said they were responsive to concerns raised by
federal judges, probation officers and lawyers regarding sentences imposed
for white-collar offenses.