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Iraq: If Your Illness Doesn’t Kill You, Your Medication Might

Alive in Baghdad, a project of citizen journalists, runs video and written features on daily life in Iraq. They’ve posted a story this week on the Ministry of Health’s inability to provide proper oversight of pharmacies. According to the report, licensing regulations are not enforced by the Ministry and counterfeit drugs have flooded the market.…

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Freedom in the World 2009

This morning, Freedom House released its annual Freedom in the World index with the headline that freedom has “retreated for a third year.” As part of the event, panelists Thomas Carothers, Larry Diamond, Jackson Diehl and Joshua Muravchik debated the regional implications of this global trend and the possible applications of Freedom House’s findings to…

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UK Police Seize Server from Media Group

Our previous coverage of media harassment in Great Britain focused on a prickly billionaire’s aggressive use libel laws. This time, British police have seized a Web server of because they failed to disclose personal information on a reader who posted a comment on the left-leaning media site. The progression is a little complicated: Earlier…

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Sierra Leone: Fix Leaking Funds or Leaking Plumbing?

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma was elected in 2007 on an anti-corruption platform, but according to the BBC, the only tangible “leakages” addressed so far, have been in restrooms of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building. The BBC’s Mark Doyle delivers a sarcastic but well researched discourse on the recent work of Sierra Leone’s…

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USA: Transparency Reforms Under New Administration

Sorry, we know we’re late on this…but it’s worth cataloging, for the record, two of the Obama administration’s important steps towards restoring openness in American government. First is the “presumption in the favor of disclosure” that the new President has instructed all Federal agencies to abide by when fulfilling Freedom of Information Act requests. As…

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Notes from Egypt: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

After a long day of working with local researchers on corruption issues, your blogger finds himself awake and channel surfing at 4am. As it turns out, jihadist propaganda movies should never, ever be used as a jetlag cure. I flip on the tube, and with a few clicks get appalling clips of Israeli/Palestinian combat footage,…

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