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Vladimir Putin: Facebook Rockstar

We just noticed that one of our (personal) Facebook friends became a supporter of, “Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich – The Greatest Statesman of Modern Russia.” Why we think this is interesting: the president has 18,925 Facebook supporters! For those that bemoan Russia’s slide back to authoritarianism (our hands our raised too), remember: this isn’t happening in…

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USA: The Fuzzy Side of Habeas Corpus

Think that US law requires that citizens be charged with a crime before being imprisoned? It does… except when it doesn’t. Welcome to the weird legal backwater of civil contempt, where a defendant’s guilt is presumed until they can prove otherwise. While the indefinite detentions at Guantanamo have (reasonably) gotten more attention, the stories collected…

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Carrots, Sticks, & Aid Dollars: Documenting the “MCC Effect”

New from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an analysis of the “MCC effect” — the catch-all term for the American aid agency’s indirect impact via their big money, pay-for-performance approach to policy change in countries receiving aid. Via email: I would like to bring a new publication to your attention entitled The “MCC Effect”: Creating…

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Government Advertising as Soft Censorship

Drawing from local examples, a new report entitled Soft Censorship: How Governments around the Globe Use Money to Manipulate Media provides a global perspective on a transparency issue that is likely to continue despite changes in the media industry. Globally, the traditional print media industry is declining. With the rise of new forms of media,…

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A Journalist Murdered in Sri Lanka

The BBC reports on the murder of Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga. The editor of the Sunday Leader was shot in the head while driving to work. As disturbing as Wickramatunga’s death is in it’s own right, he is only one in a line of journalists killed recently, marking a larger trend of brutal media…

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Ranking Corporate Ethics, Via Google News

In a methodology reminiscent of the Failed States Index, rating firm Covalence SA assigns scores on corporate ethics, based on coding stories from a battery of news tickers. Their results appear to be real, but limited. Covalence is measuring a consensus opinion — perceptions — as played out in newspapers reachable by Google News and…

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