Monthly Archives: May 2019

Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 shows anti-corruption efforts stalled in most countries

Transparency International January 29, 2019

The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released today by Transparency International reveals that the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis of democracy around the world.

“With many democratic institutions under threat across the globe – often by leaders with authoritarian or populist tendencies – we need to do more to strengthen checks and balances and protect citizens’ rights,” said Patricia Moreira, Managing Director of Transparency International. “Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption.”

The 2018 CPI draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, giving each a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). To view the results, visit:   

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Oppression and Exploitation News May 23 – 29

Conflict 2019

The UN has failed civilians Tharanga Yakupitiyage Inter Press Service May 24, 2019
“According to the UN, more than 22,800 civilians were killed or injured in 2018 alone across just six countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. All five permanent Security Council members are parties to many of these conflicts, and are thus responsible for the failure to protect civilians.”

Do we need a global convention of common principles for building peace? Thalif Deen Inter Press Service May 17, 2019
Susan Wilding of CIVICUS, the global alliance of civil society organizations, said that what is missing is a clear focus on human rights. “How can we expect to prevent conflict if we do not first focus on the prevention of human rights abuses…If we do not start to see the link between human rights, civic space and the humanitarian, development and peace agenda, we will surely fail in our endeavors to reach any of the goals.”

China 2019

How China uses high-tech surveillance to subdue minorities Chris Buckley and Paul Mozur New York Times May 22, 2019
“[The technician] showed how the system could retrieve the photo, home address and official identification number of a woman who had been stopped at a checkpoint on a major highway. The system sifted through billions of records, then displayed details of her education, family ties, links to an earlier case and recent visits to a hotel and an internet cafe. ”

How China turned a city into a prison Chris Buckley, Paul Mozur and Austin Ramzy New York Times April 4, 2019

Oppression and Exploitation News May 16 -22

Crime 2019

One way out: Pastors in Brazil converting gang members on YouTube Mariana Lopes Washington Post May 17, 2019

Devastating epidemic of crime & insecurity in Latin America & Caribbean Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva Inter Press Service May 15, 2019

Harm through the market

Do companies fear the law? The signs say no. Peter J. Hemming New York Times May 15, 2019

Europe fines 5 banks $1.2 billion for their role in foreign exchange cartels Amie Tsang New York Times May 16, 2019

Opposing oppression, injustice

I criticized Poland’s government. Now it’s trying to ruin me. Wojciech Sadurski Washington Post May 21, 2019

A widow’s pathbreaking election bid highlights a deep crisis in rural India Joanna Slater Washington Post May 15, 2019

Oppression and Exploitation News May 9 -15

Harm through the market 2019

Individual consumers do not have the market power of Medicare (or large health insurance groups) and thus get charged much more. While a justification for this on the part of hospitals is that individual consumers may not pay, there is little reason why those who do pay should cover the charges (and very possibly much more) of those who don’t.
Many hospitals charge double or triple what Medicare would pay Reed Abelson New York Times May 9, 2019

California to ban controversial pesticide, citing effects on child brain development Reed Anderson and Juliet Eilpern Washington Post May 8, 2019

One major way in which companies benefit is by locating production in countries where people’s incomes have been most limited by exploitation. This article considers the shift in textile production to Ethiopia. “Entry level garment workers in Ethiopia typically receive a base salary worth only $26 a month–the lowest by far in the worldwide clothing supply chain.”
A new industry is creating jobs in Ethiopia. But at what cost? Paul Barrett Washington Post May 10, 2019

“The current state of the migrant labour market [is] riddled with blatant violations of all the norms of an ideal workplace.”
Are migrant workers humans or commodities? Thalif Deen nter Press Service May 1, 2019

Struggle for control

As profits soar, Wall Street’s political spending hits new high Jeff Stein Washington Post April 30, 2019

Crime 2019

Violence, poverty reign in Honduran city where caravans form Sonia Perez Z AP/Washington Post May 3, 2019