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Human extinction warning from Oxford

Human extinction warning from Oxford | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
What are the greatest global threats to the future of humanity? An international team from Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute is investigating the biggest dangers.
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Ethics? Rules? Cheating?
If everyone in the Business, Economic and Political world would play by the rules and be ethical - what kind of world would we have?
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Humanity In An Image

Humanity In An Image | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
You can see why I was so affected immediately upon focusing your eyes on the picture.
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Civil Rights Attorney Seeking Probe of Four Fatal Shootings by ...

Civil Rights Attorney Seeking Probe of Four Fatal Shootings by ... | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Civil rights attorney John Burris announced in San Francisco today that he has asked a special unit of the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the fatal shootings of four Hispanic men by Salinas police since March.

Via Dana Hoffman
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Hold Drug Company Accountable for Endangering the Public

Hold Drug Company Accountable for Endangering the Public | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Target: J. Michael Pearson, Chief Executive Officer of Valeant Pharmaceuticals Goal: Call on the company to abandon “cost-cutting measures” that sacrifice consumer safety in its search for profits Before a new pharmaceutical product can be sold to...

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U.S. attorney warns N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo not to interfere with anti-corruption probes

U.S. attorney warns N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo not to interfere with anti-corruption probes | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
T

The U.S. Attorney for Manhattan has threatened to investigate New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration for possible obstruction of justice and witness tampering, after the governor canceled his own anti-corruption commission, The New York Times said.

The prosecutor, Preet Bharara, issued his warning in a “sharply worded letter,” the newspaper reported. His salvo arrived after several members of the “Moreland Commission” overtly defended the Democratic governor’s handling of the panel, which was supposed to clean up politics in Albany but was shut down in March.

“At least some of those statements were prompted by calls from the governor or his emissaries, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation who were unwilling to be named for fear of reprisal,” The Times said.

Mr. Cuomo is under a microscope after The Times reported the governor’s office shut down the panel’s work when it focused on groups with ties to the governor himself.



Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/31/us-attorney-warns-ny-gov-andrew-cuomo-not-interfer/#ixzz393PiIYj6 ;
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

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Indian Ad With Female Boss Sparks an Uproar: Is It Super Feminist or Super Sexist?

Indian Ad With Female Boss Sparks an Uproar: Is It Super Feminist or Super Sexist? | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
There's a lot going on in this new ad from India, and the Internet is fired up about it. The spot, for mobile provider Airtel, opens on two working professionals in a meeting. A woman, who's the boss, gives her male employees a task, and one protests, claiming there's not enough time to finish it.

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malek's curator insight, July 31, 4:17 AM

Progressive or Regressive?

Now try to introduce feminism????

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Relevance of Hannah Arendt’s “A Report On The Banality Of Evil” To Gaza » By Hammad Said CounterPunch

Relevance of Hannah Arendt’s “A Report On The Banality Of Evil” To Gaza » By Hammad Said CounterPunch | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

“We want the nations of the world to know…….and they should be ashamed”   Ben Gurion explaining rationale for Eichmann’s trial [i]

“The triumph of the S.S demands that the tortured victim allow himself to be led to the noose without protesting, that he renounce and abandon himself to the point of ceasing to affirm his identity. They know that the system which succeeds in destroying its victim before he mounts the scaffold…..is incomparably the better for keeping the whole people in slavery”[ii]  

"Hannah Arendt (henceforth HA), philosopher, writer, academic of Jewish heritage, who studied under such luminaries as Karl Jaspers and Martin Heidegger in pre-war Germany, went to Jerusalem in 1961 to cover the trial of Eichmann, one of the actors in the Final Solution, for the New Yorker magazine. Her account of the trial regularly published in the magazine at the time, later became a basis for the book, “Eichmann In Jerusalem: A report on the banality of evil”.

It is obvious from reading the book that HA’s account of the trial in the book transcended the culpability of the single individual, and in fact implicated the whole of western society in the crimes committed."


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New Report Mobilizing Against Injustice | Global Solution Networks

New Report Mobilizing Against Injustice | Global Solution Networks | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

"Global institutions in the twentieth century have addressed global problems and initiated multilateral projects and activities. But their traditional approaches and politics often impede viable solutions for some of the world’s most urgent and intractable challenges. Gender violence is one. The role of women in cultures and families varies—and “abuse” and the issue of equality is a distinct and subjective matter—but global consensus exists against, and this report focuses on, gratuitous violence, rape, exploitation, negligence and enslavement of females. Such maltreatment has been criminalized in developed nations in the past century, but it is still common in many cultures around the world."

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Why Bad New York Cops Can Get Away With Abuse

Why Bad New York Cops Can Get Away With Abuse | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
NEW YORK -- Two years ago, a black man named Darren Collins claimed that a New York City cop humiliated him in front of his friends in broad daylight, pulling down his pants and underwear on the street and tapping his testicles in an unlawful search ...
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Facebook Sued For $123 Million Over 'Revenge Porn'

Facebook Sued For $123 Million Over 'Revenge Porn' | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
A Houston woman who says she's the victim of "revenge porn" is suing Facebook and a former friend for $123 million.

Meryam Ali says Adeel Shah Khan set up a fake Facebook page in her name that contained doctored photographs that put her...
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10 sexist scenarios that women face at work

10 sexist scenarios that women face at work | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Being ignored, mistaken for the tea lady or branded a 'maternity risk' … the following common experiences reported to the Everyday Sexism project are painfully familiar to working women 

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malek's curator insight, July 30, 3:55 AM

For most men, they will be difficult to imagine. For many women, they are painfully familiar.

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This Could Be A Big Victory For McDonald's Workers

This Could Be A Big Victory For McDonald's Workers | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's is coming under intensifying pressure for labor practices at its U.S. restaurants.
The National Labor Relations Board said Tuesday that the world's biggest hamburger chain could be named as a joint empl...
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Bloomberg gun group releases new ad tying guns to domestic violence

Bloomberg gun group releases new ad tying guns to domestic violence | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun group released a new ad Tuesday spotlighting the role of guns in domestic violence.
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Paul Krugman Lays Bare Latest Corporate Scheme to Rob American Taxpayers

Paul Krugman Lays Bare Latest Corporate Scheme to Rob American Taxpayers | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
It's called 'inversion,' and Congress could close this outrageous loophole right now.

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World Bank Preparing To Scrap Protections For The Environment, Indigenous People

World Bank Preparing To Scrap Protections For The Environment, Indigenous People | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
A leaked World Bank document says the organization is planning to gut crucial safeguards created to protect indigenous peoples and the environment.

Via Jocelyn Stoller
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Help Sexual Assault Victims in the Military

Help Sexual Assault Victims in the Military | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Target: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Goal: Reform the military’s broken system of punishing sexual assault victims for reporting heinous crimes Sexual assault victims within the military are speaking out against the abusive treatment they...

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Yvette Cooper on domestic violence: 'Two women are killed each week. If this happened at football games there would be a national outcry'

Yvette Cooper on domestic violence: 'Two women are killed each week. If this happened at football games there would be a national outcry' | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Shadow Home secretary Yvette Cooper has spoken out about domestic violence, telling BBC radio 4: "Two women are killed by their partner or ex each week. If this happened at football games there would be a national outcry."

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Chewing Argentina’s Living Corpse

Chewing Argentina’s Living Corpse | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

"A call came in from New York to my bosses at BBC Television Centre, London. It was from one of the knuckle- draggers on the payroll of billionaire Paul Singer, Number One funder for the Republican Party in New York, million-dollar donor to the Mitt Romney super-PAC, and top money-giver to the GOP Senate campaign fund. But better known to us as Singer The Vulture.

“We have a file on Greg Palast.”

Well, of course they do.

And I have a file on them."

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NRA Member Who Lost Sister To Gun Violence Tearfully Asks Senate To Protect Women

NRA Member Who Lost Sister To Gun Violence Tearfully Asks Senate To Protect Women | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- Elvin Daniel, 56, is a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association, an avid hunter and a self-described "constitutional conservative" from a small town in Illinois. He became an unlikely witness for the Democrats on...
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‘Slaves’ in the Gulf: Malagasy women lured to Middle East

‘Slaves’ in the Gulf: Malagasy women lured to Middle East | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Malagasy mother Solange left the island in 2013 eager to work as a domestic servant in Saudi Arabia and earn a better living for her family.

Via Dana Hoffman
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In Push To Protect Big Coal, State Officials Say New EPA Regulations Violate God's Will

In Push To Protect Big Coal, State Officials Say New EPA Regulations Violate God's Will | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Pushing back against new Environmental Protection Agency standards limiting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, Alabama officials gathered Monday to argue that the new federal policy flouted the Almighty's will by regulating a God-given re...
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Federal review stalled after finding forensic errors by FBI lab unit spanned two decades

Federal review stalled after finding forensic errors by FBI lab unit spanned two decades | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
After two years, inquiry into FBI forensic testimony targets 45 capital convictions, with no results reported
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Oligarchy: As American as Poisoned Apple Pie

Oligarchy: As American as Poisoned Apple Pie | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
The current struggle between democracy and oligarchy in the United States traces its roots back to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention.
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A Look Back At The Trial That Made Rape A War Crime

A Look Back At The Trial That Made Rape A War Crime | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
The task was almost unimaginable in its magnitude.

After the Rwandan genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 people were slaughtered over a hundred days in 1994, the U.N. created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda with the goal of bri...
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China launches global 'fox hunt' for corrupt officials - Telegraph

China launches global 'fox hunt' for corrupt officials - Telegraph | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

Beijing vows to drive corrupt officials from their overseas refuges in a bid to save the Chinese Communist Party from extinction..

 

China's Communist Party has launched an international "fox hunt" for corrupt officials, vowing to track fugitives to the four corners of the earth and bring them to justice.

Chinese officials have been lining their pockets and skipping the country since the 1980s, the Xinhua news agency reported this week, but the problem has now reached staggering proportions.

More than 750 errant civil servants were repatriated last year after fleeing China with more than £960m, according to figures released this week.

Reports have emerged this year of government officials and fraudsters escaping to countries including Uganda, Thailand, Malaysia and the United States with huge sums of public money.

"We will hunt them down and bring them to justice wherever they try to escape and hide," Liu Dong, the deputy director of Beijing's Economic Crime Investigation Department, vowed earlier this week at the launch of a campaign dubbed "Operation Fox Hunt 2014".


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Is Big Pharma Testing Your Meds on Homeless People? — Matter — Medium

Is Big Pharma Testing Your Meds on Homeless People? — Matter — Medium | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
How the destitute and the mentally ill are being used as human lab rats
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The fight against dirty money goes global | North Africa

The fight against dirty money goes global | North Africa | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

Via Dr Lendy Spires, Jocelyn Stoller
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Dr Lendy Spires's curator insight, July 27, 4:08 PM

 

Trade mispricing, money laundering and tax evasion are stripping more than $50bn a year from African state revenue. So says a detailed, new United Nations report coordinated by South Africa's Thabo Mbeki.

 

A s heads of state meet Malabo on 1 July for the African Union (AU) summit, a substantial bombshell is due to drop at the gathering.

It will take the form of a no- holds-barred investigation into the multibillion-dollar losses that state treasuries are suffering across Africa due to what are euphemistically called 'illicit financial flows.'

A detailed research dossier on how these losses are engineered and the damage they do to Africa's development chances, along with some hard-hitting recommendations, will be released at the summit.

 

The report's authors hope the scale of the losses to African treasuries – $50-100bn a year at a time when the continent is scrabbling for development capital – will prompt serious and practical action from the assembled leaders.

These losses are the ill-gotten gains of grand corruption, criminal fixing of trade prices, tax evasion and money laundering.


Dirty money: the questions

What are illicit financial flows?
Illicit financial flows are the tens of billions of dollars that secretly sluice through the world's economies. About 70% of flows are estimated to be controlled by companies evading tax and customs duties; 25% are from the proceeds of the smuggling of drugs, arms and people; and 5% are kickbacks, bribes and commissions negotiated between corrupt officials and companies.

Why is it important in Africa?
Experts reckon Africa loses $50-100bn per year from capital flight schemes. That is money the continent needs for infrastructure, health and education. These shadowy financial schemes are taking at least 10% a year out of Africa's tax revenues, increasing the burden on tax-paying citizens and reducing the chances of improving the lives of ordinary Africans.

What can be done to fix it?
Tougher customs enforcement, including better training and equipment for customs officials on the hunt for trade mispricing schemes. The establishment of effective anti-corruption commissions with independent prosecutorial powers and research resources. Transnational companies should publish their accounts on a country-by-country basis, and tax havens should be subjected to the highest level of scrutiny. ●

 

The guilty parties – and the beneficiaries-in-chief – are top government officials, politicians and their local business allies, together with multinational corporations and a pin- striped army of account- ants, tax lawyers and company agents.

"A certain elite benefits from this trade mispricing. They inflate prices so they can keep money out- side. This is more or less known, but it's not quantified," says Carlos Lopes, executive secretary of the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa.

 

"There is no financial intelligence, even less trade intelligence. When we engage governments with a lot of information on trade negotiations, the lack of knowledge is really patent," Lopes explains.

International lobbying against these costly trade and tax frauds is finally getting results. In 2012, the UN appointed Thabo Mbeki, a former president of South Africa, to head the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows, supplied with critical research from Lopes's team at the Economic Commission for Africa.

 

African economies are proportionally hit the hardest by this global phenomenon. Experts such as Alex Cobham at the Washington-based Center for Global Development reckon that Africa's trade losses amount to more than double the foreign aid that the continent's 54 states receive.

Cobham told the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa in April that these trade rackets are eating into state revenue for education and health while also contributing to the criminalisation of the state and undermining security.

"Stronger surveillance of trade terms and customs services coordinated regionally with requirements that multinational companies should report their earnings on a country-by-country basis to prevent profit-shifting could stop the rot quickly," argues Cobham.


The west wakes up

Such policies require great political will, say the researchers on the Mbeki report, although international rules are changing.

Initially reluctant to take the problem seriously, perhaps because some of their biggest companies were benefiting from the scams, Western governments are reining in tax havens such as Guernsey, Jersey and the British Virgin Islands as well as demanding more open exchanges of information about corporate taxation and profit-shifting schemes.

Lopes says he expects a good reception for the report at the AU: "I think those within the leadership who will not like it will keep quiet, but there will be very vocal support for it."

Although the report and recommendations will be detailed, its authors hope it will be worded diplomatically enough to win back- ing from key African leaders.

High up on the list will be proposals for much tougher customs enforcement together with better training of and equipment for customs officials.

In many countries, customs departments have been one of the most protected, opaque and corrupt of state institutions. Changing that will require political determination and much better surveillance technology.

The report will include case studies of massive trade losses in Algeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa. It is likely to urge closer cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force, an international outfit that is leading the charge against money laundering.

A lack of international data on trade pricing in Africa has held back enforcement. Officials from the United States (US) are proposing a system of trade transparency units under which countries could share trade documents and set common standards for statistics.

Many trade scams have been exposed because investigators have had access to the US Department of Commerce's comprehensive database.

 

The most common form of trade fraud is a scheme for getting money out of a country without paying taxes and duties while evading capital controls.

A typical deal would involve grossly inflated invoices for imports. For example, a Kenyan sports company imports golf clubs that sell for $1,000 in the exporter's market.

But the exporter will sell to an intermediary or shell company that marks up the invoice by 10 or 20 times the market value of the products.

So the shell company will invoice the Kenyan sports company $20,000 for each set of clubs, allowing the companies involved to shift substantial sums of capital outside the country and to declare a trading loss and evade tax.

Undervalued exports

At the same time, exports – especially of minerals and oil car- goes – are often undervalued and quantities are deliberately understated. That reduces the tax burden and disguises the size of the real financial gains.

To facilitate such deals, governments appoint third parties to market their commodities.

These traders buy cheaply from the country of origin and sell to the destination market at the going price. The profits are then shared between the traders and corrupt government officials.


Flies do not land on an egg that is not cracked

In Nigeria, such trade scams are institutionalised, according to Nuhu Ribadu, the country's former anti-corruption tsar.

"Why does Nigeria need private agents to sell its oil when our state-owned oil company could sell directly to the end user? This is not done in any other oil-producing country in the world," he says.

Not only do such arrangements take revenue from the public coffers, says Ribadu, they promote a criminalisation that fuels violence and instability: "I see links between corruption, stolen money and these insurgencies [...]. They are all the outcome of lawlessness.

"An African proverb says: 'Flies do not land on an egg that is not cracked.' Nigeria is like a cracked egg: it's attracting pretty bad people. It comes down to our inability to protect our resources. They go into the private pockets of individuals, and our institutions are extremely weak," Ribadu explains.

Even when Ribadu headed up the state anti-corruption agency, it made few inroads into the oil sale scams that were costing Nigeria billions of dollars a year.

Diagnosing and identifying the problem of trade fraud is difficult enough. Arresting the perpetrators is tougher still, as they often operate behind a wall of secrecy and shell companies, and they frequently have friends in high places.

As the pace of African economic growth gathers momentum and banks are better regulated, more revenue is lost to this trade-based money laundering. Increasingly, it is a two-way traffic: trade scams are used to smuggle money into as well as out of countries.

Cross-border crooks have become adept at smuggling money into countries to evade tax and capital controls and launder the proceeds of crime.

Over the past decade, hundreds of millions of dollars from drug smuggling have been invested in real estate in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire while officials turned a blind eye.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimates the proceeds from the drugs trade in West Africa at more than $1bn a year, much of which is laundered through the regional economies.


Narco-governments

These investments are quickly converted into rents, producing substantial local surpluses: those revenues can buy political influence and power, creating narco-governments.

Last year US authorities slapped a $102m forfeiture order on a Lebanese bank that had helped finance a complex scheme to sell used cars in West Africa for massive profits that were then transferred to front companies controlled by Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Islamist militia.

Trade frauds are growing in scope and ambition. The non-governmental organisation Global Financial Integrity (GFI), whose president Raymond Baker sits on Mbeki's UN panel, reckons that almost $1trn flowed illicitly out of poor countries in 2011.

Those funds were made up by the proceeds of drug trafficking, arms smuggling, terrorism and state corruption.

Later this year, GFI will publish an exhaustively researched report showing that there has been a net transfer of capital from developing economies to rich industrial ones for several decades.

In Africa, GFI reported in May that more than $60bn of illicit trade deals took place in just five countries – Ghana, Kenya, Mozam- bique, Tanzania and Uganda – between 2002 and 2011.

Those countries lost about a tenth of their tax receipts to these trade frauds. "This is just the beginning of the conversation surrounding trade misinvoicing and illicit flows in these countries," says Baker


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