Between the Lines

Issue section: 

Capita to process TV licence fees - Harry Potter and Coca Cola - Big increase in US military spending

The contract to process television licence fees has been awarded to Capita, the support services group. However Capita lost its contract with Lambeth council because of its failure to run the housing benefit scheme. Residents in both Lambeth and Westminster have lost their homes because of Capita's inefficiency, and Westminster still has a huge backlog of unprocessed claims.

Consumer and health activists in the US have launched a campaign to stop Coca-Cola from using Harry Potter for marketing purposes. Coke has reportedly paid Time Warner $150 million for marketing rights to the Harry Potter movies. Campaigners argue that excessive intake of sugar is causing a 'epidemic of tooth decay, obesity and diabetes in the US.
Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grunman are set to be the biggest recipients of military spending since 11 September. Once emergency anti-terror funding and other appropriations to finance the war in Afghanistan are taken into account, the Pentagon's budget in 2001 was $375 billion, a $66 billion increase on the previous year.