Prime Minister Cameron shocked everyone by referring to Afghanistan and Nigeria as possibly some of the most corrupt countries of the world just a few days before this week’s anti-corruption summit in London. Many saw his statement as yet another instance of Western hypocrisy. Given London is famously a playground for the corrupt and Mr. Cameron’s family itself profited from stashing money overseas, it does seem odd that he is the one to point the finger. But is it justified to be politically correct about corruption? As a chair of Berlin’s Hertie School of Governance, which runs the EU’s largest policy research program on corruption and and author of the Dutch EU Presidency’s report on public integrity and trust in EU, I'm weighing up the evidence.
ch time I learn of another terrorist who spent time in prison, I’m taken back to my own prison time. In 1994, I was caught smuggling hashish into South Korea and spent three and a half years imprisoned there. Since then I’ve struggled to understand the nature of confinement and its effects on the individual.
It’s a striking and clear pattern that many of the most notorious terrorists of the modern era spent time in prison. Salah Abdeslam, the suspect behind the Paris and Brussels terror attacks, was imprisoned in Belgium with Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who lead the Friday the 13th attacks in Paris last November.
President Obama first requested $1.9 billion in emergency funds to address the Zika outbreak in February, and now, nearly three months later, both chambers have finally begun debating legislation on the issue. On Tuesday, the Senate took initial action in favor of allocating $1.1 billion to Zika-related efforts. A final vote on the provision, which is an amendment to a broader spending bill, is likely later this week. House Republicans, meanwhile, released a standalone bill, which would devote $622 million to the crisis, drawn from unspent funds from the 2014 Ebola outbreak and “other unused administrative funding” within the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Nulled website was a popular marketplace for stolen account details and hacking tips. The leaked data contained more than 5,000 purchase records relating to the exchange of stolen information. The site has been taken offline, stating it is undergoing "routine maintenance".
Why is there no outcry about these oligarchical and aristocratic methods? Is it because plutocrats have power over the mechanisms of representation and repression? Is it, in short, about power? In my view, power can’t explain why voters are so enthusiastically voting for the very people who promise the least democratic outcomes. Nor are Americans knowingly rejecting democratic ideals. Instead, I see an anti-democratic ideology at work, inverting the meaning of democratic vocabulary and transforming it into propaganda.
The leaked information in the Panama Papers from the law firm Mossack Fonseca has captured the headlines for weeks and will continue to do so as further names are exposed. The scandal has placed Panama in the limelight and provided an unprecedented glimpse into the world of hidden money and tax avoidance. To understand its broader context, it is vital that we distinguish between legal corruption, like that exposed by the Panama Papers, and illegal corruption, like that exposed by the Unaoil scandal. Governments must seize the moment to take decisive action against both.
The U.S., the U.K., and a range of other countries will announce commitments to combat corruption at the Anti-Corruption Summit on May 12, championed by Prime Minister David Cameron as a game-changing event. The question is whether these commitments will deliver concrete actions that target the most costly kinds of corruption that flourish globally today.
Unfortunately, the world often engages in “summitry” filled with communiques, calls for coordination and exchanging information, or creating another toothless generic initiative, which offer media and photo opportunities that fulfill particular political objectives for some leaders. Let us see if it’s different this time.
The black unemployment rate is typically twice as high as the white unemployment rate, and African Americans are often the last to feel the economic benefits during a recovery. These realities are reflected in the fact that the unemployment rate for young black graduates is still worse today than it ever was for whites in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Young black college graduates (age 24–29) currently have an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent—higher than the peak unemployment rate for young white college graduates during the recovery (9.0 percent). Young blacks with only a high-school degree (age 17–20) face a grimmer picture: an unemployment rate of 28.4 percent, which is also higher than the peak unemployment rate for white high-school graduates during the recovery (25.9 percent).
According to the Plaintiffs, Facebook scans users’ private messages to power up its “social plugin”. The “like” button available on various web pages which depict the Facebook popularity of those web pages. Facebook reads the private messages and scans for web page links in those messages. It treats a link found in the message as one like and updates the like counter respectively. Facebook also uses those links to know probable interests of the users and display advertisements accordingly.
By doing so, Facebook violates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California Invasion of Privacy Act. Though, the scanning also helps them to fight malware and put a ban on child pornography. But there are other intentions that they want to satisfy, basically, for the hard cash they want to earn.
“The cost of running the primaries is that paid for by the taxpayers,” Hedges said. “And yet, the primary rules are determined by the Democratic Party, so that they can manipulate a system as they did in Nevada, to steal the vote from Sanders.”
Citing the exclusion of independents in closed primaries and the dominance of superdelegates and super PACs, Hedges added: “It’s very clear that without all of these mechanisms, Sanders would win the nomination.”
He insisted there is “palpable evidence that democracy within the United States is a fraud,” and referred to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s high unfavorability ratings to highlight the importance of creating movements outside the system of “the mantra of ‘the least worst.’”
As for outgoing President Barack Obama, Hedges said his attack on civil liberties has been worse than that by George W Bush, pointing to his use of the Espionage Act.
According to Karnad, migrant fishermen from Andhra Pradesh usually live in severely unhygienic conditions aboard fishing vessels in Maharashtra, suffer from frequent wounds and infections, receive little or no medical care, and lack personal space, safety equipment and community support.
The civil war in Syria has forced some 10 million people—more than half the country's population—from their homes and communities, creating one of the largest human displacements since the end of World War II. Daily headlines testify to their plight, both within Syria and in the countries to which they have fled.
An international tribunal has unveiled a secret ruling confirming it rejected a bid by tobacco giant Philip Morris to sue Australia over its plain packaging laws, calling the attempt “an abuse of rights”.
In its heavily redacted 186-page ruling dating from 17 December 2015, the permanent court of arbitration said it had no jurisdiction over the case brought by Philip Morris.
In 2012 Australia became the first country to mandate that cigarettes must be sold in plain packages, in an attempt to reduce smoking rates. This initiative has since been followed by other nations including France and Britain
The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) will be held under UN auspices in Istanbul from 23-24 May 2016. While the participants are entertained Turkish style, the government of Turkey will continue to be a major destabilising force in Syria and kill its own civilian citizens in Kurdish towns and cities in the name of fighting terrorism. This is a tragic sign of the extent to which moral, institutional and political decay has pervaded national and international politics alike.
The summit should be deplored and boycotted for two reasons. First, it unashamedly reduces a humanitarian crisis into a development issue, the root causes of which are ignored. Secondly, the summit will have the unintended consequence of emboldening the Turkish government in its atrocities against its own citizens and in its meddling in Syria.
The CEO of Enron – now in prison – happily applied ‘selfish gene’ logic to his human capital, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Assuming that the human species is driven purely by greed and fear, Jeffrey Skilling produced employees driven by the same motives. Enron imploded under the mean-spirited weight of his policies, offering a preview of what was in store for the world economy as a whole.
An avowed admirer of Richard Dawkins’ gene-centric view of evolution, Skilling mimicked natural selection by ranking his employees on a one-to-five scale representing the best (one) to the worst (five). Anyone with a ranking of five got axed, but not without first having been humiliated on a website featuring his or her portrait. Under this so-called ‘Rank & Yank’ policy, people proved perfectly willing to slit one another’s throats, resulting in a corporate atmosphere marked by appalling dishonesty within and ruthless exploitation outside the company.
It was a frigid winter in Uzbekistan and Sanjar Umarov stood shoeless and shivering in the middle of the prison courtyard for hours, fighting the freezing cold. It was torture. But his punishment was light in comparison to the other prisoners, he knew. He could hear their bloodcurdling screams. Like him, a notorious opposition leader, many were guilty of simply standing up to the president, Islam Karimov.
Umarov and the men and women who shared his pain in that Uzbek prison are not alone, of course. Political repression has survived the end of the Cold War and the advent of the internet quite nicely, thank you — just look to Bashar al-Assad’s Syria or Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. Indeed, 2,600 years after its birth in Athens, democracy is having a tougher go of it than one might expect. In its 2015 Democracy Index, the Economist Intelligence Unit reckons that just 12 percent of the world’s population lives in what it calls “full democracy,” down from about 15 percent in 2014. Three in 10 people live under regimes where challenging the status quo is likely to land them in prison, get them tortured or worse. The headline of a survey by the nonprofit Freedom House tells a similar tale. Its title: “Discarding Democracy: Return to the Iron Fist.”
Corruption in the construction industry is not only a Quebec problem. It’s a global one, says the anti-corruption movement Transparency International.
But one local expert says that in Quebec, additional factors contribute to corruption that are particular to this province. One of them is the division over Quebec independence.
Denis Saint-Martin is an internationally respected professor of political science at the Université de Montréal. He is among seven concerned citizens who this week announced the formation of a non-partisan monitoring committee to pressure the Couillard government into applying the recommendations of the Charbonneau inquiry.
Other members include Peter Dent, president of Transparency International Canada and a partner in the Deloitte Canada accounting firm; Peter Trent, mayor of Westmount; and Gilles Ouimet, former president of the Quebec bar association and until last year a Liberal member of the National Assembly.
In a paper delivered at last year’s meeting of the American Political Science Association, Saint-Martin identifies three factors particular to Quebec that contributed to the corruption in the construction industry exposed in recent years.
He traces these factors back to the rise of modern Quebec nationalism in the “Quiet Revolution” of the early 1960s.
The first factor identified by Saint-Martin is the economic nationalism that made public policies “partial towards French-speaking and Quebec-based businesses.” In the engineering sector, major firms such as SNC-Lavalin “(used) their dominant positions as ‘national champions’ to engage in cartel-like practices to raise the price of construction projects.”
The nationalization of private electricity companies under Hydro-Québec and the latter’s policy of preferring French-language businesses for contracts for its megaprojects played a “key role” in the development of several large engineering firms able to compete in world markets.
Over the years, mergers and acquisitions created an “oligopoly” of a small number of firms competing for public contracts. And “collusion most often takes place within the market structure of oligopoly.”
The second additional factor in corruption in Quebec is the centralization of power in the hands of the provincial government. This resulted in weak municipal bureaucracies, which made the municipalities “easy prey for corrupted interests.”
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