In China, people convicted of bribing government officials have until now been able to move on and do the same elsewhere, with the odds good that their conviction will remain locked in the records of the courthouse that convicted them. This week, China unveiled an online national blacklist of people and companies convicted of bribery. The list so far counts 1,983 companies and 3,075 people.
Until now, there has been no central repository of information about bribery cases. With this list, people can inquire about companies and people that may have prompted their suspicions.
The purpose of the list is to shame those who have paid bribes, and to alert local authorities, who can bar those named from winning government contracts. The list is also expected to assist criminal investigators, who have similarly been hampered by geography and a lack of coordination with colleagues elsewhere in the country.
Sweep to National bribery list goes online
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who’s the baddest of them all?
According to a new study, Chicago is the most corrupt city in the United States, while California and New York are the most corrupt states–followed by Illinois.
The study tallied federal corruption convictions since 1976. The district that covers Chicago had 1,531 convictions, while Illinois as a whole had 1,828. The study’s co-authors, Dick Simpson, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Jim Nowlan, a senior fellow at the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs, titled the report “Chicago and Illlinois: Leading the Pack in Corruption.”
“For a long time – going back at least to the Al Capone era – Chicago and Illinois have been known for high levels of public corruption,” Simpson said at a press conference in Chicago’s City Hall, where he released the report. “But now we have the statistics that confirm their dishonorable and notorious reputations.”
“The two worst crime zones in Illinois are the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield and the City Council Chambers in Chicago,” he added. While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has appointed a new task force on corruption, Simpson suggested they start with an overhaul of ethics training, saying “people in this building don’t seem to have it.”
Anthony Shadid, a prize-winning veteran correspondent for The New York Times in the Middle East, died yesterday in Syria, after suffering a fatal asthma attack. He was on assignment with Tyler Hicks, a Times photographer who tried to save his life and then carried Shadid’s body across the border into Syria.
Shadid was reporting on the armed opposition to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, without the government’s knowledge. It was a dangerous assignment as the country implodes, but one that was also vintage Shadid. He had been shot in Ramallah, arrested in Libya and harassed in Egypt. He cared deeply about the story, and risked his safety to get it right.
Shadid was a reporter’s reporter. He understood the countries and people he covered, and had bravery and a kind of humbleness that allowed him to meet people at their level, without looking down. His approach opened the way for genuine empathy and understanding of his subjects, conveyed in his every dispatch.
Shadid’s death is a tragedy for his family and for our friends and colleagues at The New York Times. It is also a loss for a world sorely in need of understanding.