NEWS

This section provides readers with the latest news regarding anti-corruption issues worldwide.

What’s He Up To? Signs of an Anti-Corruption Push

The recent reappearance of one major political figure in China provides a clue that the upcoming 18th Communist Party Congress will be as much about how policy initiatives get handled as it will be about who gets named to the top spots in the scheduled leadership transition. He Guoqiang, a member of the Communist Party’s ruling Politburo Standing Committee and head of the party’s leading anti-corruption body, returned to the public eye after an absence of nearly two weeks, inspecting anti-corruption work in the education and propaganda operations of a Chinese publishing house. [field_txt_news_link]

Political Cartoonist Who Criticized Indian Gov't Corruption Jailed in Sedition Investigation

Aseem Trivedi, a political cartoonist whose drawings mock Indian government corruption, has been jailed in a sedition investigation. He was arrested after police issued a warrant based on a political activist’s complaint Trivedi’s cartoons were “insulting” to the country. Students, opposition politicians and free speech advocates protested that Trivedi’s arrest showed politicians’ increasing intolerance to criticism. Taken aback by the protests, the state Home Minister said government would review Trivedi’s case and the charge, which is punishable by up to life in prison. [field_txt_news_link]

U.N. Expands Probe into Afghan Funding Oversight

The United Nations has expanded a probe into its largest global development program because of questions over the management of international aid funds in Afghanistan. UNDP’s Afghanistan office used the recently established Policy Advisory and Development program to hand out millions of dollars in donated money to Afghan ministries without proper oversight of how it was spent. In a majority of cases, U.N auditors found "no evidence" that Afghan ministries that received the funds spent the money for the intended purpose. There were indications that ministry workers received excessive pay raises or double salaries, according to the report, which was completed in July 2012. [field_txt_news_link]

TRAC Officially Launches Today

TRAC is pleased to announce the launch of a user-friendly new due diligence tool, which is available to both member companies and non-members at no cost. TRAC is a global compliance tool that: verifies intermediaries’ or suppliers’ addresses, collects and verifies business registration forms, collects ownership information, collects compliance certifications  and searches all names against hundreds of global watch lists on a daily basis . TRAC  uses social media principles to enable individuals and entities to complete the due diligence process and upload required documents to the site and, after review and approval by TRACE, to make their files available to whichever business partners they choose. [field_txt_news_link]

Putting Corruption Out of Business

Transparency International (TI) has released the first part of the results of a survey of 3,000 businesspeople in 30 countries. The survey asked not just for their views on bribery and corruption, but also on what works to stop corruption in the private sector and what the business community can do to put corruption out of business. [field_txt_news_link]

Offices to Unite in Fight Against Graft

China has set up its first "integrated" anti-corruption bureau, with the aim to prevent graft through a comprehensive system of shared information and resource. The new Office Against Corruption is in Hengqin New Area, an island in Guangdong province close to Hong Kong and Macao. [field_txt_news_link]

Transparent Electoral Financing Will Solve 90% of Graft

Ninety per cent of India’s problems related to graft would be solved by addressing the issue of financing of elections, according to Union Minister Salman Khurshid. The Law Minister was speaking at the Global Summit organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi. Khurshid said that there were many fundamental issues which needed to be addressed and "anybody who believes that he can do away with corruption in the country without having a transparent system of elections was mistaken. If we can solve the issue of financing elections in the country. If we make elections transparent in this country we will solve ninety per cent of the problems. That is the main issue. [field_txt_news_link]

Vietnamese Journalist Who Exposed Police Corruption Sentenced to 4 Years in Jail for Bribery

A Vietnamese journalist who bribed a police officer as part of an undercover investigation into corruption has been sentenced to four years in prison, while the officer who accepted the money got a five-year sentence, state-controlled media reported. Supporters of the journalist cheered after he made a statement to the court proclaiming his innocence. The reaction appeared to be a show of public defiance toward the Vietnamese government’s Communist rulers. [field_txt_news_link]

China City Party Chief “Fled with Money”

A former top official of a city in northeast China has fled the country - reportedly with millions of dollars, Chinese reports say. Wang Guoqiang, who was party secretary of Fengcheng city in Liaoning province, left for the United States in April with his wife, the People's Daily said. Local officials said Mr Wang, who was being investigated for corruption, had been removed from his post, it said. Several reports cited 200m yuan ($31.5m; £20m) as the amount taken. A report released by China's central bank last year said more than $120bn (£74bn) had been stolen by corrupt officials who fled overseas, mainly to the US. Between 16,000 and 18,000 officials and employees of state-owned companies left China with the funds from the mid-1990s up until 2008, the report said. [field_txt_news_link]

Poor in India Starve as Politicians Steal $14.5 Billion of Food

Ram Kishen, 52, half-blind and half-starved, holds a tattered card entitling him to subsidized food rations. Kishen has had nothing from the village shop for 15 months. Yet 20 minutes’ drive from Kishen’s village, a government storage facility five football fields long bulges with wheat and rice. By law, those 57,000 tons of food are meant for Kishen and the 105 other households in his village with ration books. They’re meant for some of the 350 million families living below India’s poverty line of 50 cents a day. Instead, as much as $14.5 billion in food was looted by corrupt politicians and their criminal syndicates over the past decade in Kishen’s home state of Uttar Pradesh alone, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The theft blunted the country’s only weapon against widespread starvation -- a five-decade-old public distribution system that has failed to deliver record harvests to the plates of India’s hungriest. [field_txt_news_link]

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