Tag: corruption

‘The Richest Political Party in Europe’ Gets Its Wealth From Corruption, According to Macedonian Journalists

Macedonia (GV) – Investigative journalists in Macedonia say the country’s ruling party VMRO-DPMNE owns properties that by law it shouldn’t, and that party officials in government positions have abused their power to benefit the party. The Center for Investigative Journalism SCOOP earlier revealed that Macedonia’s main ruling Read More

Ukraine’s corrupt counter-revolution

In Ukraine, revolution and reform has given way to reaction, with vested interests entrenching themselves even further.

Last week, as the world prepared for the Christmas holidays, Ukrainian MPs gathered in parliament at 10am, and departed 20 hours later. This legislative marathon happens every year, when, in a regime of secrecy and sleeplessness, Ukraine’s parliamentarians pass the budget for Europe’s biggest country. After all, when else can you carve up assets in a country that has seen the overthrow of an authoritarian president, a revolution and occupation by Russian forces?

For the past three years, parliamentary deputies, unashamed of television cameras, surround the country’s prime minister in the chamber as they trade for benefits and state contracts. Take Oleh Lyashko’s Radical Party. Since 2014, this party, known for its populist rhetoric, has managed to triple the level of state support for a company that builds fire engines. In 2017, direct state financing of the company in question (which, of course, belongs to members of Lyashko’s party) will reach $25m. The Radical Party, meanwhile, positions itself as an opposition platform, yet still votes for the state budget from year to year.

S. Koreans Demand President’s Removal in New Year’s Eve Protest

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Even on New Year’s Eve, large crowds of South Koreans gathered to join another rally demanding the ouster of impeached President Park Geun-hye, who’s determined to restore her powers through a court trial.

Carrying signs and candles and blowing horns, people packed a boulevard in front of an old palace gate that has been the center of massive but peaceful protests in recent weeks. Marches were planned near Seoul’s presidential palace and the Constitutional Court, AP reported.

Park’s supporters rallied in nearby streets, surrounded by thick lines of police.

Political eruption in Guatemala

Innovation cannot be understood without its context. Recent developments in Guatemala help to explain emerging innovative proposals.

Like many other Latin American countries, Guatemala has a very repressive political history. After years of dictatorship and intense armed conflict that caused the disappearance and death of 190.000 people, “clandestine security squads” are still using violent practices that violate human rights – often with the participation of public agents.

During the 90s, a peace deal was signed. However, violent practices remained common and the historical trauma remained vividly present in the Guatemalan imaginary. In 2007, an International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICG) was created to support the State Prosecution in its fight to break up violent illegal groups. In recent years, the Commission also began investigating corruption in the country. In 2015, it ended up charging the Vice-President (and later the President) for corruption.

Tax avoidance: the damage done

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A worker from Peru’s state-run oil company tries to hammer a piece of wood into a gaping hole in the country’s northern pipeline. He fails. Repeatedly. The oil continues to gush with alarming speed and force. Dead fish float belly-up in the black slime.

By the time the spills were stopped this August, over 4,000 barrels of oil had poured into a tributary of the Peruvian Amazon – source of a fifth of our planet’s fresh water. Dozens of indigenous villages were left without drinking water and children were covered in angry rashes.

Leonardo Tello, director of a local radio station, produced a report illustrating these horrific images. He is angry, frustrated and heart-broken. Over the past 19 years the government has registered 190 spills, most affecting the Amazon rainforest.

The Glorious, Hilarious Political Chaos in Brazil

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Any Brazilian interested in politics has developed a new morning habit: checking to see which politicians were arrested in the earliest hours of the day. Such arrests have become common lately.

This very morning, there was a police raid on two former big kahunas who are being investigated for taking bribes and disrupting investigations on the mega-company Petrobrás. On the evening of the same day, I left my gym to find that the president of the Senate has been ousted by order of the Supreme Court.

Psychedelic Science Announces Astounding Potential For Addiction Treatment

Psychedelic science continues it’s redemptive march out of obscurity, and stigma. Decades of misinformation and propaganda is crumbling in a free fall accelerated by cannabis reforms. It’s a revolution conjuring up uses for psychedelics ignored since the days of 1960’s counter-culture. Among those benefits, researchers now say, is an uncanny ability to remedy the chains addiction.

The findings hail from a study done by numerous United Kingdom-based researchers. Unlike many, the study noted the “thousands of years” of historical use of psychedelics by indigenous cultures. It’s a facet sometimes referenced, but rarely held with any real credibility, or esteem. Rather, such native knowledge is left to languish well beyond the margins of academia. The UK study also acknowledged the role legislation has played in stunting psychedelic inquiry.

South Africa’s Zuma Faces No-Confidence Vote by Party’s Executive Panel

South Africa’s scandal-plagued President Jacob Zuma is facing a vote of no confidence by the ruling party’s executive committee, media reported on Monday.

The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) extended its scheduled meeting into a third day on Monday, after Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom proposed the motion of no-confidence on Saturday, said Beeld, an Afrikaans-language daily.

Committee members were locked in a “fiery and fierce” debate over whether a secret ballot should be used to decide the no-confidence motion, it added, citing unnamed sources who had attended the meeting, Reuters reported.

Three CIA Operatives Training Syrian Rebels Killed In Jordan

Questions and suspicion now embody three deaths of US military operatives in Jordan. Now, decide for yourself which is sketchier. That the men were working for the CIA, or their alleged killer was a man in Jordanian uniform? Despite an ongoing government terrorism investigation, news is as discreet as their Jordanian mission.

According to the Washington Post, this represents the deadliest CIA-involved incident since 2009. Sources claim the men were ambushed while en route to a Jordanian military training facility.

Jordan’s status as an important regional ally deeply sensitizes the incident. It’s now confirmed that the Americans received fire from a Jordanian soldier, shortly after their convoy was allowed through a security gate. As of yet, FBI can’t rule out the possibility of a “mistake” having occurred. The Jordanian government is launching a parallel, independent inquiry.

SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT SAYS SHE IS ‘WILLING TO RESIGN’

After over a month of protests, South Korean President Park Geun-hye has announced she is “willing to resign.”

As protests in Seoul entered their fifth week and Park’s approval rating hit an all time low around four percent she has finally been forced to consider resigning from office.

The protests started due to a scandal exposed in a 2007 diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks that raised concerns that Park was being almost completely influenced by her wealthy religious confidant Choi Soon-sil who is being referred to by many as the “Korean Rasputin.” Park has denied these rumors, but South Korean media claims they have uncovered further evidence that proves illegal activity.

Special Forces Operatives Photographed In Syria, Black War Darkens

More photos of clandestine American operators have surfaced from Syria’s war torn heart. The unidentified unit, sources report, were sighted outside ISIS-controlled Raqqa. These latest photographs come as offensives in both Iraq and Syria launch to reclaim militant towns.

Unlike photographs taken months ago, the journalists responsible have been identified. RT Arabic correspondent Muhammad Hassan’s team reported seeing “dozens” of Americans during their trip to Syria. “They have the latest weapons and vehicles.” he says, according to RT. Hassan also described how “they, as well as soldiers from European countries” are involved in “battles” for Raqqa. Other photos circulated by RT were taken by Reuters journalists.

R380,000 grant for community food gardens spent on hotel bills

National Development Agency to file complaint with police against Khayelitsha Development Forum

The National Development Agency (NDA) is to open a case with the police against the Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) over the alleged misuse of funds.

The agency will open a case with SAPS after efforts to get cooperation from the KDF failed, NDA Chief Operating Officer Dr Anthony Bouwer told GroundUp this week.