World (WNV) – Whistleblowers from within institutions, corporations, government departments, police or military can be critical to movement success, and their testimony is often the key to exposing and resisting injustice and creating change. Institutions clamp down on and deter whistleblowing…
This year’s lowlights from world politics, the culture wars, and the military-industrial complex.
Each year Conn Hallinan gives awards to individuals, companies, and governments that make reading the news a daily adventure. Here are the awards for 2016.
The Golden Lemon Award had a number of strong contenders in 2016, including:
General Atomics for its MQ-9 Reaper armed drone, which has a faulty starter-generator that routinely shorts out the aircraft. So far, no one can figure out why. Some 20 were either destroyed or sustained major damage last year. The Reapers costs $64 million apiece.
Panavia Aircraft Company’s $25 billion Tornado fighter-bomber that can’t fly at night because the cockpit lights blind the pilot. A runner up here is the German arms company Heckler & Koch, whose G-36 assault rifle can’t shoot straight when the weather is hot.
The British company BAE’s $1.26 billion Type 45 destroyer that breaks down “whenever we try to do too much with them,” a Royal Navy officer told the Financial Times. Engaging in combat, he said, would be “catastrophic.”
What steps did the London Anti-Corruption Summit make towards eliminating corruption?
On 12 May 2016, David Cameron hosted the Anti-Corruption Summit in London. This summit aimed to bring together world leaders to discuss ways to expose corruption, punish those responsible, and to eliminate institutionalized practices that encourage corruption. I previously wrote an article explaining why this conference was unlikely to result in meaningful reform. So far, many civil society organizations have claimed that the Summit was underwhelming and did not go far enough. However, some positive steps were taken and as a result, I believe that it is worth exploring the end result of this Summit.
In the days before the Anti-Corruption Summit, tension started to brew as David Cameron was caught on camera stating that “Nigeria and Afghanistan are possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world.” This was expected to cause problems as the Nigerian and Afghani presidents were high profile invitees to the conference. Fortunately, this faux pas appeared to have been forgiven and the summit was able to proceed in a cooperative manner. At the Summit, several commitments and provisions were agreed to and published in a communiqué. Some of these provisions are as follows:
On 12 May, 2016, many world leaders will meet at a summit in London to discuss corruption. The objective of this summit is to foster international cooperation for combatting corruption. Since this is occurring in the aftermath of the Panama Papers, the summit is coming at a very opportune time when this topic is still salient amongst the public. However, while this summit has noble objectives, many have expressed skepticism towards it.
On 8 May 2016 Downing Street published a statement from David Cameron about the summit. This statement, which recognizes the myriad of poverty and security-related problems that corruption causes, stated Cameron’s desire to formulate and implement the first global declaration against corruption and mechanisms for combatting it. In the process, David Cameron set lofty goals for international cooperation to engage in anti-corruption efforts. To this end, David Cameron invited many prominent heads of state to his summit, the agenda of which includes exposing corruption, punishing those responsible, and eliminating cultures of corruption. The British government has expressed optimism that this will lead to meaningful anti-corruption reform.