STATUS REPORTS

A university dives into water, Carson Block gets sued — maybe — kids fight back against bullying and Occupy Wall Street returns.

“RESCUING THE BLUE”

(April-May 2012)

Worth’s “Blue Issue detailed seven nonprofits, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, working to solve the world’s water problems.

Another university is focusing attention on water: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently announced a two-year academic project titled “Water in our World.” The university’s various schools — including its Institute for the Environment and the Water Institute — will create courses and programs to address subjects including water policy and marine sciences. UNC will also host a conference on issues surrounding global access to drinking water.

“THE CHINA HAND”

(February-March 2012)

Worth interviewed Muddy Waters founder Carson Block, whose research reports have alleged fraud at Chinese companies such as Sino-Forest Corp.

In March Sino-Forest announced that it is suing Block for $4 billion. The lawsuit, filed in Ontario Superior Court (Sino-Forest was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange), claims that Block devised an “unlawful scheme” to short Sino-Forest, then launched his “biggest bear attack yet.”

Block doesn’t sound worried; a representative says that he has yet to be served. Meanwhile, Sino-Forest has filed for bankruptcy protection, and its longtime auditors, Ernst & Young, resigned in April because of “outstanding issues” relating to Sino-Forest’s financial statements.

“THE CASE FOR QUITTING”

(February-March 2012)

Parenting columnist Alina Tugend argued that letting kids quit activities might not be such a bad thing.

A recent study commissioned by i9 Sports, a national youth sports franchise, shows just how many kids want to quit the sports they play — and their quite understandable reasons for wanting to do so. Eighty-four percent of the 300 children (ages 8 to 14) surveyed said that they have quit or wanted to quit a team. Why? Sixty-one percent of the respondents said that other players, parents and even a teacher have insulted them or their teammates while playing sports.

“OCCUPY AMERICA”

(February-March 2012)

Worth security columnist Paul Viollis warned that the Occupy Wall Street movement would remain active even after police closed its campgrounds, raising security issues for financial executives.

In terms of potential threats from lone-wolf Occupy Wall Street protesters, “the worst is still to come,” security expert Viollis predicted in February. In early May, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase locations in Manhattan received envelopes containing a white powder (nontoxic, as it turned out) and a note that read, “You are not in control.” An OWS spokesman denied responsibility, but the pranks were timed in coordination with the movement’s May Day events, a reigniting of the global protests that began last fall.

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