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posted by jeffburdges on Jun 6, 2012 - 266 comments

$9 billion missing

Billions over Baghdad. "Between April 2003 and June 2004, $12 billion in U.S. currency—much of it belonging to the Iraqi people—was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad, where it was dispensed by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Some of the cash went to pay for projects and keep ministries afloat, but, incredibly, at least $9 billion has gone missing, unaccounted for, in a frenzy of mismanagement and greed. Following a trail that leads from a safe in one of Saddam's palaces to a house near San Diego, to a P.O. box in the Bahamas, the authors discover just how little anyone cared about how the money was handled."
posted by homunculus on Sep 27, 2007 - 50 comments

"The station's gaffes have included broadcasting in December 2006 a 68-minute call to arms against Israelis by a senior figure of the terrorist group Hezbollah..."

Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program. That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, ... from their About US page: Alhurra is operated by non-profit corporation “The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.” (MBN). MBN is financed by the American people through the U.S Congress. US Govt. Accountability Office abstract about other MBN problems here.
posted by amberglow on May 22, 2007 - 44 comments

he argued strenuously against giving antiretroviral drug treatment ... to the 25 million Africans infected with HIV.

Meet our new Special Envoy to Darfur, where genocide is taking place-- Andrew Natsios--he did a heckuva job at the Big Dig in Boston, and in misunderestimating the costs of Iraq, and --while head of USAid--at refusing funding AIDS drugs in Africa because many Africans 'don't know what Western time is.
posted by amberglow on Sep 19, 2006 - 65 comments

Kazakhstan HIV

Fourteen infants in Kazakhstan hospitals have been found to have HIV. The chief of the regional anti-AIDS center blamed degenerate parents. Not a bad guess; certainly drug use and prostitution have been the major driving force behind the spread of HIV into Central Asia. In this case, however, the victims were probably infected by tainted blood, a problem largely solved in developed countries but still problematic in much of the world. Attitudes like the official's in this case are a big part of the problem.
posted by thirteenkiller on Jul 23, 2006 - 22 comments

Top Story: We fell for an internet hoax

The top-rated Greek news channel is Alpha TV's. Tonight's second-lead story: outrage and disgust over babycage.net, a quite obvious web hoax that is even listed as one on Open Directory (and which took this Googling non-journalist about 60 seconds to discover). The breathless commentary on this "instance of American self-indulgence"? how this is a first step towards a new Orwellian society --ironic considering they are spreading disinformation through mass-media, just like Mr. Orwell predicted...
posted by costas on Feb 18, 2006 - 17 comments

"To achieve memorable badness is not so easy.

"To achieve memorable badness is not so easy. It has to be done innocently, by a poet unaware of his or her defects. The right combination of lofty ambition, humorless self-confidence, and crass incompetence is rare and precious. "

I wish I was talanted enough to write something really bad. At best, I flirt with the mundane.
posted by grumblebee on Jun 25, 2000 - 7 comments

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