USA corruption - search results
Allegations of Greed, Corruption Brought Thousands to Streets in Spain Calling for Prime Minister's...
Cryptowars: UK activist fears US extradition, 99yr sentence for refusal to surrender encryption keys
In the two years since the anti-corruption campaign began, it has proven to be the longest reaching and most impactful clampdown effort since the reform era began in 1978. Anti-graft inspectors have launched thousands of investigations, ending the political careers of hundreds of officials engaged in bribery, embezzlement and acquiring illicit funds through land deals, official infrastructure projects and land development. The scope of the anti-corruption efforts has not spared those in the CPC’s inner circle, creating anxiety within the party.
Zhou Yongkang, one of China’s most powerful men until his retirement in 2012, has been the most prominent official probed for abuses of power. During his tenure as the head of the CPC’s political and legislative affairs committee, Zhou’s only superiors were the president and prime minister. He was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) and oversaw the state’s internal security, judicial system, law enforcement, and paramilitary operations, operating with a larger budget than China’s military.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) – the party’s formidable anti-corruption agency – has also detained reputable officials known to be Zhou’s protégés and opened investigations into the extraordinary wealth of his family members. It is widely believed that the long delays in announcing the probe against Zhou were due to huge inner-party resistance, indicating that Xi engaged enormous political capital in order to create conditions for the investigation.
Monsanto, Syngenta, Pioneer et al.: Through Political Cooptation and Corruption, the GMO Biotech Sector...
Freedom of the Press Geared Towards Protecting Critics of Government Corruption, Not Government Apologists
Washington’s Corruption and Mendacity Is What Makes America “Exceptional” — Paul Craig Roberts World events permitting, I am going to take a few days off. Many of you write to me asking for financial advice or for explanations of the…
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Privatization Is A Ramp For Corruption and Insouciance Is a Ramp for War The New York Times has acquired a new Judith Miller Paul Craig Roberts Libertarian ideology favors privatization. However, in practice privatization is usually very different in result…
The post Privatization Is A Ramp For Corruption and Insouciance Is a Ramp for War — Paul Craig Roberts appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.
Published time: March 04, 2013 05:14
Waves of protests swept Bulgarian cities again on Sunday, as tens of thousands took to the streets despite the government’s resignation. Bulgarians demanded the ‘mafia’ to leave, but it wasn’t clear who could unite them as the country’s new leader.
Anti-government slogans and demands to end monopoly powers were again in evidence on the streets of Bulgaria following the government’s failed attempts to negotiate with the public and its eventual resignation last Wednesday.
Bulgarian cities of Sofia, Plovdiv, Burgas, Blagoevgrad, Ruse, Sliven and Varna saw crowds of people protesting against the corruption, poverty and high energy prices that consume their wages. The largest demonstration took place in the Black Sea city of Varna, with about 50,000 people taking part, according to the local media.
Outgoing prime minister Boiko Borisov was reportedly hospitalized with “high blood pressure and general weakness” amid the mass protests. Borisov pledged to cut electricity prices by 8 percent and even promised to revoke the license of the Czech power supplier CEZ just before his resignation.
Although Borisov and his rightist GERB party have lost a lot of support over the last year, the opposition Socialist Party is not trusted either, according to polls.
“It is obvious that the protesters are not united and this could very quickly destroy the enthusiasm of the people,” Georgi Trendafilov, a demonstrator in Sofia told Reuters.
President Rosen Plevneliev meanwhile stated that the interim government would implement the previous commitments and stick to the 2013 budget.
However, the president’s latest initiative to ease public anger failed on Saturday. Representatives of the protesters refused to participate in the establishment of a public council intended to represent people's interests, saying that they could not “sit at the same table with those they were fighting.”
For three weeks Bulgaria has been rocked by demonstrations, sometimes violent, which began as a small group of young people protesting against high electricity bills. Soon they were joined by thousands outraged by the overall low living standards.
Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007, but it is still behind other member states with wages, at about half the EU average. Public services are also poor despite having the lowest public debt in the bloc. The country is also excluded from the free travel Schengen zone over graft and corruption concerns.
The real story behind how the largest private prison company bought the naming rights to Florida Atlantic University's football stadium.
February 22, 2013 |
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This week, Florida Atlantic University announced a deal to rename its football stadium after GEO Group, one of the largest private prison companies in the world. The deal came with a $6 million dollar price tag, the "largest one-time gift in the history of FAU athletics."
But GEO Group has a history of human rights abuses that it would rather keep secret, especially once 30,000 screaming football fans begin seeing the company's corporate sponsorship. So, in all the excitement surrounding the announcement, GEO took to quietly covering up parts of its shady past--by scrubbing its Wikipedia page.
As Brave New Foundation’s Jesse Lava reported, a GEO Group employee deleted the entire “controversies” section of the company’s Wikipedia page and replaced it with some glowing propaganda. Before GEO’s lackey doctored the article, it outlined a slew of horrific abuses in the company’s prisons, including reports of squalid conditions and the deaths of dozens of prisoners.
Wikipedia editors quickly noticed the changes and restored it to its original form Wednesday evening. The highly educational, yet alarming article is available for your perusal—controversies and all— here. And just before they changed it back, Wikipedia took a jab at the company that tried to game its netizen-dependent editing process, posting this delightful disclaimer on the top of the page:
“The article appears to be written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by rewriting promotional content from a neutral point of view and removing any inappropriate external links.”
But the Wikipedia cover-up is just the beginning of this story's deceit. Details are emerging on how the GEO’s stadium buyout is only part of a university-prison circle jerk of unprecedented proportions. As the New York Times notes, GEO Chairman George Zoley, and several other employees in the ranks, are all alumni of Florida Atlantic University. And GEO Group’s headquarters sits only four miles away from campus. GEO and university officials laughably claim that the deal is strictly philanthropic, and in no way, shape or form a corporate sponsorship, or, worse, a way to recruit new employees and desensitize people to the horrible private of for-profit prisons.
But marketing professionals have trouble taking that claim in good faith. They say slapping your name in huge letters over an ocean-view stadium hosting America’s most revered sport is probably more than an act of compassion.
"If it's pure philanthropy, you don't ask for your name to go on the stadium," Don Sexton, a Columbia University marketing professor told The Huffington Post. "The only reason you want your name on the stadium is because you want to get something back."
HuffPost’s Chris Kirkham reports a potential ulterior motive for GEO’s $6 million dollar deal with FAU. Private prison critics say the public university donation is part of a grand plan to “gain influence with state and local public officials who decide whether to hand out contracts.” Kirkham notes that GEO has a rich history of shelling out for favors:
“For the last three election cycles, the GEO Group has donated more than $1.2 million to the Florida Republican Party. Republicans in the state legislature last year came close to approving a massive expansion of private prisons in south Florida, a deal that the GEO Group mentioned frequently in calls with investors.”
Steven Hsieh is an editorial assistant at AlterNet and writer based in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @stevenjhsieh.
Pakistani supporters of Canadian-Pakistani cleric Tahir-ul Qadri look on during a protest march in Islamabad on January 15, 2013.(AFP Photo / Farooq Naeem)
Pakistani officers scuffled with followers of a cleric at a mass anti-government protest, firing shots in the air to disperse the demonstrators. Thousands gathered in Pakistan’s capital to call for revolution and the resignation of the government.
Followers of Canadian-Pakistani Sufi cleric Muhammad Tahirul Qadri marched through Islamabad as part of a two-day mass protest again government corruption. Qadri demanded that the Pakistani parliament dissolve itself by 11:00am local time (06:00 GMT) on Tuesday.
"Morally, your government and your assemblies have ended tonight," he said in a public address on Monday. "I will give [the government] a deadline until tomorrow to dissolve the federal parliament and provincial assemblies. After that, the people's assembly here will take their own decision."
The situation spiraled out of control when the deadline passed, as scuffles broke out between protesters and the police. Officers fired tear gas shells at the ground and shots into the air to disperse the crowd.
Muhammad Tahirul Qadri, leader of Minhaj-ul-Quran movement speaks before a protest march from Lahore to Islamabad January 13, 2013.(Reuters / Mohsin Raza)
Pakistani supporters of Canadian-Pakistani cleric Tahir-ul Qadri rest during a protest march in Islamabad on January 15, 2013.(AFP Photo / Farooq Naeem)
Pakistani supporters of Canadian-Pakistani cleric Tahir-ul Qadri shout slogans during a protest march in Islamabad on January 15, 2013.(AFP Photo / Farooq Naeem)
Qadri’s supports pelted police with stones and beat them with sticks. Six activists were allegedly injured in the altercation. In an email to AP, Qadri blamed the security forces for the violence, claiming that they attempted to arrest him.
Thousands continued to rally in central Islamabad in support of the cleric after the spate of violence. A city official told Reuters that there were around 30,000 people remaining the streets.
Barricades were set up around government buildings in the center of Islamabad, and additional security personnel have been deployed. Mobile phone networks have also been shut down in the area, as authorities fear cellphones could be used to detonate bombs.
Qadri has demanded that the Pakistani governmental elections scheduled for this spring should be delayed until corruption is stamped out in the current regime.
The Pakistani government warned that they will not concede the cleric’s demands following the outbreak of violence. "We will not accept Qadri's pressure because his demands are unconstitutional," Interior Minister Rehman Malik told local television channels
Pakistani supporters of Canadian-Pakistani cleric Tahir-ul Qadri hold placards during a protest march in Islamabad on January 15, 2013.(AFP Photo / Farooq Naeem)
Although Qadri enjoys significant support among Pakistan’s lower- and middle-class, some suspect that he is being backed by the Pakistani military.
The cleric has denied any involvement with the military, although he said that the army could form a transitional government while new rulers are elected, giving rise to speculation over his connections to the military.
"I have no link with military institutions," he told Reuters earlier. "I am one of the biggest staunch believers… of democracy in the whole world."
If the Pakistani elections proceed as planned this year, it will be the first time a civilian government has conducted democratic elections in the country’s history.
Pakistani supporters of Canadian-Pakistani cleric Tahir-ul Qadri chant slogans during a protest march in Islamabad on January 15, 2013.(AFP Photo / Farooq Naeem)
Thousands of protesters gather at the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Mohd Rasfan)
Tens of thousands Malaysians have come out to protest in the country’s capital against the government calling for reforms and possible ouster of the ruling coalition. The rally comes before Malaysia’s general elections, which are due by mid-2013.
According to local police, 80,000 people marched through Kuala Lumpur to the legendary Stadium Merdeka, where the current governing alliance declared independence from Britain in 1957, reported The Malaysian Insider.
Opposition estimates that the turnout was even higher, at about 100,000, according to Malaysia Kini.
Protesters’ demands included better electoral and environmental laws, improved education system, abolition of student loans and fair royalty payments to oil-producing states.
The opposition argues that the country’s electoral register is fraudulent and has pro-government bias.
A protestor waves flag during a grand gathering at the historical Medeka Stadium (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)
During the rally people wore various bright colors including yellow and green, each representing an activist group.
The rally resembled a festival with food sellers and other vendors coming out to the streets. People carried flags and signs and some even wore Guy Fawkes masks, as popularized by the 2005 film V for Vendetta.
A protestor wearing a Guy Fawkes mask waves a Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) flag inside the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) as he takes part in an opposition rally ahead of looming elections in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Mohd Rasfan)
Opposition leader Lim Guan Eng spoke at the protest urging for change from the country’s Prime Minister Najib Razak's and his Barisan Nasional coalition, which has held power for the past 55 years.
The ruling coalition has been in control of Malaysia since independence from Britain.
“Our government is so corrupt. The government should listen to us. They need to reform. For more than 50 years they have ruled Malaysia,” rally participant Azlan Abu Bakar told News24.
Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (C) shouts alogans during a grand gathering at the historical Medeka Stadium during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)
Malaysia’s national poet A. Samad Said read out some of his work to a cheering crowd.
“Even poems have become weapons,” he said. “I am already 80, I have always dreamed of witnessing a sea of souls. This is it, change now.”
Access to the stadium was granted by local authorities and the rally was peaceful, police reported.
Protestors march towards the historical Merdeka Stadium (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)
This stands in stark contrast to the previous demonstration held in April 2012 when at least 1,000 people were injured and hundreds detained after police Malaysian police fired teargas and chemical-laced water at 25,000 protesters gathered calling for electoral reforms.
The ruling government’s term is due to expire in April with elections to be held by mid-2013.
PM Razak's bloc faces a new opposition force comprised of Anwar Ibrahim’s multi-ethnic party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party and Malaysian Chinese Association, party dominated by ethnic Chinese.
The ruling block has also been experiencing waning support. It lost more than a third of its seats in parliament to the opposition in 2008, as the charges of corruption grew.
Protestors climb for high angle view outside the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) as they take part in an opposition rally ahead of looming elections in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Mohd Rasfan)
Protestors march towards the historical Merdeka Stadium (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)
Protestors climb for high angle view inside the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) as they take part in an opposition rally ahead of looming elections in Kuala Lumpur.(AFP Photo / Mohd Rasfan)
When institutions protect the liberty of individuals, greater prosperity results for all. Economist Adam Smith formed this theory in his influential work, The Wealth of Nations, in 1776. In 2013, his theory is measured by the Index of Economic Freedom. The world average score of 59.6 was only one-tenth of a point above the 2012 average. Since reaching a global peak in 2008, the WSJ and Heritage note, economic freedom has continued to stagnate.
From North Korea (the least 'free') to Hong Kong (the most 'free') the following heatmaps break down the 177 countries covered across 10 specific categories: property rights, freedom from corruption, fiscal freedom, government spending, business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom. On the plus side, average government spending scores improved. Unfortunately, this was matched by a decline in regulatory efficiency, as a number of countries hiked minimum wages and tightened control of labor markets. The world’s most-improved country is Georgia, and the country that saw the biggest decline was Belize (we blame McAfee).
The United States, with an economic freedom score of 76, registered a loss of economic freedom for the fifth consecutive year, and its lowest score since 2000. Its score is 0.3 point lower than last year, with declines in monetary freedom, business freedom, labor freedom, and fiscal freedom.
Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)
Mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Jankovic speaking after an anti-corruption watchdog found irregularaties in his assets and bank accounts, and those of Prime Minister Janez Jansa, on January 9, 2013.
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa has offered to resign as party chief over allegations of fraud from the country’s anti-corruption watchdog.
The premier offered a conditional resignation on Wednesday based on the opinion of his center-right wing party, who will cast a vote of confidence over the accusations and the leader’s defense.
“I will offer my resignation from the SDS (Slovenian Democratic Party) leadership to the party's council on Wednesday,” Jansa said on Tuesday.
"If my arguments do not satisfy them that will also mean my resignation as prime minister," he added.
Slovenia’s anti-corruption watchdog accused Jansa of withholding information of bank accounts and personal assets with a value of 210,000 euros between 2004 and 2012.
Mayor of Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana, Zoran Jankovic had also apparently concealed 2.4 million euros in assets and bank accounts, which the watchdog revealed on Tuesday.
Jankovic, also leader of the center-left opposition group Positive Slovenia, came under fire after the watchdog opened an investigation in 2011 on all parliamentary leaders to clear out corruption in Slovenia.
The commission's findings come as thousands of Slovenians have protested over corruption in political parties and the government’s austerity measures.
On Monday, protesters demanded the resignation of all City of Maribor council members because of their association to former Ljubljana Mayor Franc Kangler, who resigned over corruption allegations on December 6, 2012.
A similar protest was held in the city on December 3, 2012. Police forces arrested some 40 people during the demonstration.
The recession-hit eurozone state has seen a wave of protests in recent months over public sector spending cuts and tough austerity measures.
Lewandowski Hire Makes Journalists Choose Between Defending Their Profession and Embracing Its Demise
Gates Foundation’s “Corporate Merry-go-round”: Spearheading the Neo-liberal Plunder of African Agriculture
People hold a sign reading: 'For the 300,000 sterilized women, no to Keiko', referring to the sterilization of thousands of Andean women during the former Peru's president Alberto Fujimori's government, during a protest against Peru's presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori in Lima, May 20, 2011. (Reuters/Pilar Olivares)
Peruvian judicial authorities have ordered the reopening and expansion of a criminal probe into the mass forced sterilization of an estimated 350,000 women and 25,000 men during the 1990s.
A Peruvian public prosecutor reopened an investigation on Thursday into former President Alberto Fujimori’s possible role in the forced sterilization of thousands of Peru’s indigenous people during the ‘90s.
Luis Antonio Landa Burgos, the state prosecutor leading the case, said he will extend his investigation to include new witnesses and that it must be completed within three months.
Focusing mostly on indigenous and poor people in rural areas, the sterilization program was led by President Fujimori’s government, who was in power between 1990 and 2000. Fujimori himself has been serving a 25-year jail term since 2007 for human rights abuses and corruption.
Most of the victims were deceived, threatened or operated on without them even knowing, according to the rights group. The reported methods used by the authorities were not systematic. In some cases a signature of a relative was used to go ahead with an operation, in other cases victims were operated on secretly after giving birth.
Human rights groups filed a complaint against the authorities in January 2014 after finding out that the investigation into the program had been closed after clearing the government of any wrongdoing.
This is despite the rights groups receiving statements from 2,073 women, while 18 fatalities were recorded by activists from what they believe was the often secretive and slap dash surgery involved in the process.
One of Peru’s top state prosecutors said on April 29 that the enquiry will be widened to include oral statements from more alleged victims in other areas of the country.
The Peruvian feminist organization DEMUS, one of several rights groups that had filed the complaint, welcomed the move.
"We've waited long enough for the government to investigate these 2,073 cases and hold ex-President Fujimori and his administration accountable for these reproductive rights abuses," Maria Cedano, head of DEMUS, told Reuters on Thursday.
It is unclear if Fujimori and his former officials can be charged with any crimes, although they are expected to come under close scrutiny when the probe continues.
"There's no specific statement in the notice that the investigation will look into them, but prosecutors have the obligation to investigate the contextual element, to see if there was a state policy for the forced sterilizations, involving the <…> the president and the ministry of health," said Monica Arango, a lawyer and director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Current President Ollanta Humala said he would investigate the forced sterilizations as part of his election campaign against Keiko Fujimori the daughter of the former dictator. However, after his victory in 2011 progress in the investigation has been slow.
“The IAASTD was the work of over 400 scientists and took four years to complete. It was twice peer reviewed. The report states we must look to small-holder, traditional farming (not GMOs) to deliver food security in third world countries through agri-ecological systems which are sustainable. Governments must invest in these systems. This is the clear evidence.”
“The Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) promotes public-private-partnerships with the biotechnology industry. It does this with the active backing of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The MoA has handed Monsanto and the industry access to our agri-research public institutions placing them in a position to seriously influence agri-policy in India. You cannot have a conflict of interest larger or more alarming than this one. Today, Monsanto decides which Bt cotton hybrids are planted and where. Monsanto owns over 90 per cent of planted cotton seed, all of it Bt cotton.”
“We have had the National Academies of Science give a clean chit of biosafety to GM crops – doing that by using paragraphs lifted wholesale from the industry’s own literature! Likewise, ministers who know nothing about the risks of GMOs have similarly sung the virtues of Bt Brinjal and its safety to an erstwhile Minister of Health. They have used, literally, “cut & paste” evidence from the biotech lobby’s “puff” material. Are these officials then, “un-caged corporate parrots?”
“Here is a real foreign hand that informs the IB report. Cornell University, where Dr Herring works, was one of the main forces, along with USAID and Monsanto, behind the making of Bt brinjal in India.”
“… the biggest foreign hand by ‘STEALTH’ and official ‘COVER-UP’ will be in GMOs/GM crops if introduced into Indian agriculture. All that stands between a corporate takeover of our seeds and agriculture is the committed and exemplary work by the not-for-profit sector… In conspiring with deeply conflicted institutions of regulation, governance and agriculture… to introduce GM crops into India, the IB will in fact aid the hand-over of the ownership of our seeds and foods to multi-national corporations. This will represent the largest take-over of any nation’s agriculture and future development by foreign-hands… (and)… will plunge India into the biggest breach of internal security; of a biosecurity threat and food security crisis from which we will never recover…. GM crops have already demonstrated no yield gain, no ability to engineer for traits of drought, saline resistance etc and have some serious bio-safety issues which no regulator wishes to examine.”
“This ‘VALUE CAPTURE’ for Monsanto which was contrived and approved by our own government mortgaging the public interest has ensured that in a short 10 years, 95% of cotton seeds in the form of Bt cotton are owned by Monsanto… It is Monsanto now that decides where cotton should be planted and when by our farmers… The Royalties accruing to Monsanto that have been expatriated are approximately Rs 4800 Crores in 12 years, (excluding other profit mark-ups)… The IB is thus conspiring with global corporate interests to hemorrhage India’s agricultural economy… We call for an investigation on the foreign influence in writing the GMO section in the IB report.”
“If India’s intelligence agencies become instruments of global corporations working against the public interest and national interest of India, our national security is under threat. This IB report is deeply anti-national and subversive of constitutional rights of citizens in our country. It does India no credit.”
“We believe that this report is designed to muzzle and silence civil society who raise their voices against injustices to people and the environment by asking uncomfortable questions about the current model of growth.”
“It is clear that Greenpeace is being targeted because its strong views and campaigns question the government’s development policies. The extreme measures taken by the government to disable an organisation for promoting the voices of some of the country’s most powerless people will damage and shame India. Intolerance to dissent will only weaken our society.”
“Non-Governmental Organizations often take positions, which are contrary to the policies formulated by the Government of the day. That by itself…cannot be used to portray petitioner’s action as being detrimental to national interest.”
“The Ministry of Environment and Forests has agreed that the Mahan coal block is located in a protected forest, where no mining should take place. Instead of dubbing Greenpeace anti-national, the government should focus on the vital issues that it raises. Amnesty International India is particularly concerned about the rights of Adivasis affected by state policies, and urges the government to strengthen protections for these communities.”