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U.S. Department of Justice Drops Stevens Case

NPR reports that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to drop all corruption charges against former Alaskan senator Ted Stevens, despite already winning seven felony convictions. Stevens lost his reelection bid days after the conviction. He was appealing and maintains his innocence. Holder’s decision was based on internal mishandling of the prosecution by the…

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The Quiet Coup: The IMF View on How Wall Street Took Over America

The former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund offers a sweeping and articulate indictment of the US financial system. Simon Johnson argues that blaming favorite policies of the right or left misses the larger point: that the financial sector grew so large that oligarchs dictated policy to government, most of which passed without a…

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Impact Challenge: Applications Are Now Closed.

Update: Applications are now closed. Finalists will be announced April 13. If you want to win the US$1000 prize for the Global Integrity Impact Challenge, there is one week remaining. Read the rules and apply here now. The deadline is April 5th, 2009. We’ve seen some solid project ideas come in so far, but I…

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William Easterly: Is the UK Propping Up Autocrats, or Merely Wasting Money?

William Easterly and Laura Freschi, writing for AidWatch, kick the aid anthill by claiming European aid agencies (particularly the UK’s DfID) are supporting autocratic governments instead of people by pumping money directly into national budgets, rather than development programs. A flurry of blog posts follow; we’re wading in. Easterly and Freschi’s argument is essentially this:…

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Hamid Karzai Declares Assets

Afghan President Hamid Karzai provided a public asset disclosure and suggested that all government officials do the same. But Karzai also had harsh words for critics calling for better anti-corruption in Afghanistan. “Foreigners have defamed Afghanistan so badly in terms of corruption. But it’s not as serious as they think,” he said. Reuters has Karzai’s…

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