Corruption

Exploring the causes of persistent corruption

Corruption affects all of us. It impedes equitable development, destabilizes societies, and undermines the institutions and values of democracy. EurekAlert It is viewed by many as one of the world’s greatest problems. According to the Gallup Poll, a majority of people even place its negative impacts ahead of global problems like climate change, poverty, and terrorism. Corruption comes in various guises, including favoritism, clientelism (the exchange of goods and services for political support), and embezzlement of public funds. In their ... Read More »

Logging ravaging the Solomon Islands’ forests

The Solomon Islands is the biggest exporter, after Papua New Guinea, of round logs to China, where they are processed and sold as tropical hardwood products around the world. By Louise Hunt, Honiara Asia Times To sate this demand, logging companies are clearing Solomon Islands forests at nearly 20 times the sustainable rate, according to an investigation by watchdog NGO Global Witness, published last October. The Solomon Islands’ Ministry of Finance has also suggested its commercially viable natural forest will be exhausted ... Read More »

EU anti-fraud body considering investigation into Nigel Farage

Former UKIP leader allegedly received gifts worth £450,000 from insurance tycoon and Brexit campaigner Arron Banks. Lili Bayer Politico Former UKIP leader allegedly received gifts worth £450,000 from insurance tycoon and Brexit campaigner Arron Banks. OLAF, the EU’s anti-fraud agency, is in the process of determining whether to open a formal investigation into allegations that British politician Nigel Farage received £450,000 from a businessman. The U.K.’s Channel 4 News program reported last week that Farage had received gifts worth £450,000 from ... Read More »

Corruption and Populism Are the West’s Weaknesses, Not Moscow’s Invention

It is important to remember that no one tied Austria’s far-right politician Strache to a chair and forced him to listen to the Russian’s pitch. Mark Galeotti The Moscow Times Austria faces snap elections after a mysterious video was released showing vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom Party promising government contracts to an… Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has dissolved his right-wing coalition with the Freedom Party, and while much is unclear about the case, it has once again raised ... Read More »

Austrian government collapses over Russia scandal

Kurz calls for snap election after video shows far-right leaders offering contracts for cash. Matthew Karnitschnig Politico Turns out Russian collusion isn’t a “witch hunt hoax” after all. At least not in Austria. The country’s government collapsed on Saturday after Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he was pulling the plug on his ruling coalition after just 17 months in office. The move came barely 24 hours after the release of a bombshell video showing Heinz-Christian Strache, the far-right leader of his junior coalition partner, ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say

Butchers have stopped selling meat cuts in favor of offal, fat shavings and cow hooves, the only animal protein many of their customers can afford. Anatoly Kurmanaev The New York Times MARACAIBO, Venezuela — Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s. The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all. Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say. “It’s ... Read More »

Caruana Galizia murder: Fighting for justice for my murdered mother

Once every few months I have to sit in a room with the person investigating my mother’s murder. Our family first encountered him six years ago, when he came to our home to arrest her. By Matthew Caruana Galizia World Press Freedom Day BBC My mother had published a satirical blog post about a candidate for Maltese prime minister on election day and one of his supporters filed a police report. So, the detective was sent to our family home ... Read More »

Why Assange and Ecuador Fell Out

Seven years ago, Julian Assange seemed at the height of his powers—a superstar information warrior behind the biggest leak in history—when he faced his first major legal blow. Dan Collyns NYR Daily He had lost a long fight against extradition to Sweden, where two women had accused him of rape. The possibilities for the rootless WikiLeaks founder, who was used to working from other people’s sofas and hotel rooms around the world, narrowed rapidly. Fearing that the Swedish investigation could ... Read More »

Peru’s ex-president kills himself to avoid arrest

Peru‘s former president Alan Garcia shot himself in the head on April 17 to avoid arrest in connection with alleged bribes from Brazilian builder Odebrecht, taking his own life, in the most dramatic… LIMA- Reuters Hurriyet Garcia, a towering and charismatic figure who played a central role in Peruvian politics for more than three decades, died in a hospital at age 69 after shooting himself at his house in Lima when police… Garcia’s death shocked the Andean country that had watched ... Read More »

The Roots of Right-Wing Dominance in Israel

Most commentators have focused on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s personal qualities to explain what looked to many to be an unlikely election victory. Shlomo Avineri Project Syndicate But there are important structural reasons for Likud’s durability in power, and a strong economy is just the start. JERUSALEM – Binyamin Netanyahu’s latest electoral success, winning a fifth term as Israel’s prime minister, is by any measure a remarkable achievement for him and his right-wing Likud party. Serious corruption charges did ... Read More »

Government advertising may be legal, but it’s corrupting our electoral process

The Coalition government’s use of taxpayer money for political advertising – as much as A$136 million since January, according to Labor figures – is far from an aberration in Australia. Joo-Cheong Tham The Conversation It is part of a sordid history in which public resources have routinely been abused for electoral advantage. For example, the Coalition governments of Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull spent at least A$84.5 million on four major advertising campaigns to promote their policies and initiatives with ... Read More »

Secret tape increases pressure on Trudeau in SNC-Lavalin affair

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under new pressure after his former justice minister released new documents relating to the SNC-Lavalin affair. BBC Jody Wilson-Raybould says government officials tried to persuade her to shield the company from prosecution in a corruption case. She gave an audio recording and other materials to a Commons committee. The files were released publicly on Friday and are likely to increase pressure on Mr Trudeau. He has struggled for weeks to contain the fallout from ... Read More »

After Danske, Next Dirty Money Route Gets Scrutinized in Denmark

As one avenue for money launderers is shut, another one may be opening. Frances Schwartzkopff Bloomberg In Denmark, home to Danske Bank A/S, the authorities are now taking a closer look at companies that provide payment services. The worry is that the process is becoming so complex that criminals might be able to hide their illicit transactions. Danish Business Minister Rasmus Jarlov says the goal is “to all the time be ahead of the criminals.” Because they’re “trying to exploit any ... Read More »

Anti-corruption candidate wins first round of Slovakia’s presidential election

Zuzana Čaputová will face Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič in final vote. By ANCA GURZU AND LAURA GREENHALGH Politico Lawyer Zuzana Čaputová won the largest share of votes in Slovakia’s presidential ballot Saturday, making her the frontrunner ahead of a second round later this month. Čaputová, a newcomer to politics who has run a campaign focused on tackling corruption, won 40.6 percent of the vote, ahead of government candidate and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič on 18.7 percent, according to the… The two will face off in ... Read More »

Former NAB boss’ chief of staff charged over alleged fraud

A former senior executive at the National Australia Bank has been arrested and charged after travelling from Melbourne to Sydney to be interviewed by police over an alleged $40 million fraud engulfing the bank. Lucy Cormack The Age Rosemary Rogers, the former chief of staff to former NAB boss Andrew Thorburn, presented herself at Surry Hills police station about 11am on Tuesday, after flying of her own accord to Sydney. Shortly before 3pm on Tuesday the 43-year-old was charged with ... Read More »

Royal Commissions tell us a great deal about Corruption. But will Justice be an inevitable final chapter?

The string of Royal Commissions have provided us with stinging visual images of corruption, notably among bankers and clergymen. Josephine Zananiri Tasmanian Times Aside from some gratifyingly blunt cross-examination, causing a degree of humiliation, the legal outcomes are far from clear. At this point we might hazard a guess that corruption and justice are a sleight of hand depending on the cards dealt. Now if you happened by chance to find yourself in the top say five per cent of ... Read More »