Archive for: July 2013

Chinese High Official Indicted for Corruption and Abuse of Power

MP Bo Xilai is indicted for corruption and abuse of power. His indictment includes bribery for personal gain. The 65-year old politican had been placed in detention since April 2012.

Bo Xilai had an earlier allegation as he was removed before as a party chief in Chongqing for “serious disciplinary violations”. His trial is highly anticipated in China. His indictment paper was received in a Jinan Court, which would reveal the story behind the politics of his actions.

The indictment also shows that Bo took advantage of his position to receive great profits to provide higher profits for companies, businesses and individuals. He is also said to have embezzled large amounts of government money and have abused his power that compromises public and national interest.

Bo Xilai had implemented several beneficial laws in China, including a law and order campaign that had thousands of suspected gangsters arrested. However, critics note that Xilai’s campaign also targeted political adversaries involved in such activities. He spent millions on social housing projects.

His deputy also confessed to the US consulate in Chengdu in February regarding the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood by Bo Xilai’s wife, Gu Kailai. Gu was arrested with family aide Zhang Xiaojun in April for poisoning the British businessman who died in Chongqing hotel due to poisoning.

Xilai has not yet commented on any of the allegations or his wife’s case. However, his lawyer claims that Bo denies all allegations and wishes to have an open trial.

Palestinian’s Inability to Decide Shows Weakness of the Arab League

US Secretary of State John Kerry needed an answer from Palestine on Thursday night regarding the restart of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but its inability to answer quickly showed the weakness of the Arab league. Kerry estimated that the Palestinian Authority would only make a move if it had backing from the Arab League. However, this mindset exposes that the Arab League is an organisation that is still using the mindset of yesteryears.

The current conflicts in Syria and Egypt had also added to the weakness of the 22-nation organisation in the Middle East. With two of Israel’s Arab neighbours having no functional government and with Lebanon and Jordan spilled with refugees from conflicting countries, authority was greatly lost in the Arab world.

The Arab League had already given its approval for the restart of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks on Wednesday, but the Palestinian Authority itself was not sure of its decision. The PA was questioning why they would bother to negotiate with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and if they could still get more out of Israel with their current conditions.

According to political analysts, Secretary of State Kerry placed too much dependence on the Arab League, which is clearly not a helpful backing for restarting the peace talks given their weakness.

Worldwide Government Corruption on the Rise

Transparency International reveals through a report that the extent of worldwide corruption is increasing from two previous years. Israel and Greece are among the developed countries with the highest levels of corruption and politicians being the most corrupt in all areas.

The study, The Global Corruption Barometer 2013, conducted by TI based in Berlin collected over 114,000 opinions of people from 107 countries. The survey had participants answer questions about their government and the institutions to reflect public trust.

The report showed that corruption numbers increased in the last two years and public distrust is also on the rise. Aside from the government, the public perceives a high level of corruption in law enforcement agencies.

A great factor of the mistrust comes during the 2008 financial breakdown. Before the breakdown, 32% of the public trusted governments can fight corruption. After the financial crisis, the figure dropped to 23%.

TI said that the report indicates a crisis of trust in politics and concerns the public about the capacity of their governments to bring the criminals to justice.

According to the survey, Political parties are the highly-corrupt institutions worldwide with a score of 3.8 out of 5 with 5 being the highest. Next came police forces with 3.7; public officials, civil servants, parliaments and judiciaries came in third place with 3.6.