10 Nations Where Corruption Speaks Louder Than Ethics


Corruption, which is the most dangerous form of social stigma, has today inflicted most of the countries. People witness and bear the brunt of this social evil on a daily basis which acts as the biggest developmental barrier to the masses. Transparency International Index (TII), a global civil society organization dedicated to curb corruption, conducted a survey among 114,000 residents of 107 nations where more than one person feels corruption has aggravated in the previous two years. The survey was mainly conducted to check the existence of corruption in each of these nations.

Let us read further to take a sneak peak at the most corrupt nations of the world as listed in transparency.org

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 1. Liberia

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Liberia is the most corrupt nation in the world as per the Transparency International. 86 percent Liberians takes corruption as a very serious social stigma, as its own protector of law like the legislatures and police are highly corrupt in the country. The residents of this country pay bribe for almost every task in both the public and private sectors. Post civil war, Cops appeared to be the most corrupt officials followed by government employees.

 

 2. Mongolia

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Mongolia, an Asian country is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. This nation has one of the world’s fastest growing economies as its gross domestic product rose at an estimated 12.3 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund. But corruption serves as a critical threat to the country’s continued growth as well as to its democracy. Corruption has become pervasive in the country, after “rapid transition to democracy and a market economy created huge demands on bureaucracy that lacks the [means] to prevent corruption,” TII said. 86 percent of Mongolians believe corruption in the public sector is a very serious problem. Unlike other countries, health services, judiciary, and public officials are more corrupt in Mongolia than police and politicians. Medical, judicial and education sectors turns out to be the most bribed sectors.

 

 3.Venezuela

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Venezuela, an urbanized country in Latin America now emerges as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. Corruption in Venezuela came into existence since the discovery of oil in the early twentieth century. This had further worsened corruption in political arenas. Venezuela’s corruption includes widespread corruption in the police force followed by corrupt public officials. 83 percent believed corruption to be the most serious problem in the country, said the TNI.

 

4.Zimbabwe

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In Zimbabwe, an South African nation, corruption has become widespread and prevalent within its political, private and civil sectors. As per the survey commissioned by Transparency International index, it was found that Zimbabwean regarded the public sector as the most corrupt sector in the country. In this survey, respondents favored the police as being most corrupt institution followed by political parties, parliament/legislature, civil servants and the judiciary. A Transparency International director announced that the country loses $5 million to corruption every day. Zimbabwe is one such country where its masses feel the high prevalence of corruption even in media.

 

 5.Mexico

 

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Mexico, the most populous Spanish-speaking nation in the world is a federation comprising thirty-one states and a Federal District, the capital city. In Mexico, corruption is on the rise and is typically petty corruption. High levels of corruption in the police, judiciary, and government in general have contributed massively to the crime problem. Corruption is a significant obstacle to this country in achieving a stable democracy. Most of the residents in this country indulge in paying bribe to police and law officials in a direct or indirect manner. The TI survey revealed that over 91 percent Mexicans feel political parties are the most corrupt bodies as compared to all others.

 6.Paraguay

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Paraguay, a nation of 6 million people stuck in the heart of South America, established its culture of corruption during the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner, the military strongman who seized power in those days when power was consolidated in few hands. But Stroessner was knocked down by a revolution in 1989. Transparency International’s Jose Antonio Bergues said “the long tradition of corrupt administration is still alive and well.” Citizens of this country feel that political parties, parliament and legislature, and police are the most corrupt institutions. Corruption is the main hindrance in the country’s economic development.

 7.Russia

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In a country like Russia, corruption is a significant problem that impacts the lives of its citizens to a great extent. It is widely accepted that corruption is one of the major obstacles to the country’s economic development. According to some expert estimates, the scope for corruption in this nation exceeded $240 billion in 2006. Indem, the Russian think tank estimated that bribes accounted for 20 percent of the country’s GDP. Over the last decade, the total amount of bribes in the economy of Russia had increased tremendously from $33 billion to over $400 billion every year during the regime of Putin. 92 percent people claimed public officials to be among the most corrupt.

8.Nigeria

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Nigeria, with a population of over 100 million people, is the most populous country in Africa. Since the formation of modern public administration in the country, cases of official misuse of resources for personal enrichment had been reported. Corruption in this country is blatant and endemic, from parents bribing teachers to get hold of exam papers for their children through clerks to policemen taking bribe for turning a blind eye to a particular incident. It is most outspread in the oil industry, where 136 million barrels of crude oil worth $11 billion were illegally drained off in just two years from 2009 to 2011. Around 81 percent Nigerians said that they have bribed police in the last two years. Though corruption is prevalent in other areas like education, registry, and permit services and judiciary, it is much lower as compared to police.

9.Zambia

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Zambia is one of the developing countries located in Southern Africa.  In this country, most of its citizens continue to stumble in poverty, not because there are no deliberate government programmes to improve their standard of living, but because of the sheer greediness and selfishness exhibited by public officials who were entrusted with huge resources to serve the masses. Most of its citizens believe that the military, education systems and judiciary are the most corrupt organizations. Corruption remains a major setback at both the administrative and political levels in the country. The most common types of corruption in Zambia include petty and administrative corruption, grand corruption and political corruption.

10.India

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Corruption is still the main issue in India as it impedes the growth of the country. It prevails in the society among different classes and in various forms. As per the study conducted by Transparency International, it was found that over 40 percent Indians had firsthand experience of paying bribes or using a contact to get a job done in public offices successfully without wasting much of their time. The main cause of corruption in India includes excessive set of laws, complicated taxes and licensing systems and the lack of transparent laws and processes. Political parties and police in India turn out to be the most corrupt institutions as stated by 86 percent and 75 percent respondents respectively. Although corruption is widespread, 36 per cent of the people think that common man can still make a difference in the fight against this developmental obstacle.

Nina Davuluri brushes off racist criticism after Miss America victory


First winner of Indian heritage and aspiring doctor says she will rise above attacks on social media

 Miss America winner Nina DavuluriWinner Nina Davuluri said: ‘I’m thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America.’ Photograph: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The Miss America pageant has crowned its first winner from an Indian background – an aspiring doctor who plans to use the $50,000 (£31,000) prize money to fund her studies – sparking a flood of racist criticism on social media.

“I’m so happy this organisation has embraced diversity,” 24-year-old Nina Davuluri said in her first press conference, moments after winning the crown in Atlantic City. “I’m thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America.”

But within minutes of winning the title, Davuluri, whose talent routine was a Bollywood fusion dance, was the target of racist social media comments.

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If you’re #Miss America you should have to be American,” said one on Twitter.

“WHEN WILL A WHITE WOMAN WIN #MISSAMERICA? Ever??!!” asked another.

Davuluri, however, brushed aside the negative comments.

“I have to rise above that,” she said. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

Her grandmother told the Associated Press that she cried when she saw the news on television.

“I am very, very, happy for the girl. It was her dream and it was fulfilled,” 89-year-old V Koteshwaramma said by phone from her home in the city of Vijaywada, in southern India.

In the run-up to the pageant, much attention was given to Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, an army sergeant believed to have been the first contestant ever to openly display tattoos. She has the Serenity Prayer on her rib cage, and a smaller military insignia on the back of one shoulder.

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Vail won a nationwide “America’s choice” vote to advance as a semi-finalist, but failed to make it into the top 10.

In a Twitter message on Sunday before the finals began, Vail wrote: “Win or not tonight, I have accomplished what I set out to do. I have empowered women. I have opened eyes.”

The pageant pitted 53 contestants – one from each state, plus Washington DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands – in swimming wear, evening gown, talent and interview competitions.

RedBus Witnessing Massive Senior Management Exit


redBus.in, an online bus ticketing portal which was taken over for 800 crore by Naspers  in June this year, is presently witnessing various senior management level exits. According to sources, it is found that many more are planning to leave the job.

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Sources also mentioned that the reason behind this exodus was largely due to issues relating to how the employee stock options (ESOPs) were not executed as per the employees. The ESOPs are benefitted by the founding team and some select employees only while the rest of employees were left out, reports medianama.com.
Actually, redBus selected the company securities decision, through which the acquirer offers preferred common stock in its company based on the ESOP structure of the acquired, instead of choosing accelerated vesting choice that converts stock options to shares and employees. Recently at a conference, Sama had interestingly spoke about the trickiness involved in  judging whether startups should provide stocks to every employee or restrict the stock options to only some selected employees and how much stock should they provide to employees, as they have a limited amount of available stocks. He said, “We formulated a program to restrict the stock options to only senior management and early employees. However, if we had known we are going to exit after seven years at this price, then we would’ve done this differently and would’ve provided stocks to more number of people, but that’s always uncertain. Another problem is that the company’s life is uncertain. It could be 20 years or 40 years or 7 years, during which the company management could change several times and you will have to accommodate all of them,” reports medianama.com.

So far, redBus founder and CEO Phanindra Sama have not commented to the publication yet.

Indian Engineer To Get Rs.8.4 Lakh For Exposing Facebook’s Image-Deleting Bug


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Arul Kumar, a 21 year old Indian Electronics and Communications engineer hailing from Tamil Nadu, has been awarded bounty of $12,500 by Facebook for recognizing a bug within website which allowed users to delete an image or an  interaction from other users without his or her concern.

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The whole story started when Kumar, also a researcher, posted in his blog about a flaw within the Facebook Support Dashboard. According to the blog, it is easy to exploit the Facebook Support Dashboard and delete any picture from any user page, including verified ones. The blog also had a detailed structure of the bug. For more confirmation, Kumar even had made a video on the bug and send it to the Facebook security team.
About the flaw, it works well with any browser, but according to Kumar, it works better through mobile devices. Initially, the doer needs two profiles, one as the receiver and the other as a sender. Parameters used are Photo_iD and Owner Profile_iD. Once exploited, hackers can delete any photos from any user profile without the owner even knowing about it.

Interestingly, this event shares great similarities to that of Khalil’s, a security expert who couple of weeks before broke into Mark Zuckerberg’s profile. When Khalil came across multiple faults in Facebook, he tried to report the openness to Facebook Security Team, who instead of rewarding dismissed his bounty or even didn’t take it seriously. Impatient and desperate, Khalil hacked into Mark Zuckerberg’s wall and displayed the bug that gave the freedom to post on any Facebook user’s wall. Apart from hacking, Khalil also wrote a huge post explaining about the bug and his discontent against Facebook Security Support team for not taking his efforts seriously.

Soon after the whole event, Khalil’s profile was suspended and eventually he didn’t receive any bounties. According to Facebook, Khalil had broken the golden rule of ‘never to compromise a real-time user’s profile while displaying a bug’ and eventually was disregarded.

As Khalil, Kumar also faced some initial refusals from the Facebook team. But what made the difference was that Kumar detailed the whole bug in a comprehensive video and had sent it to the security team. He even exploited Zuckerberg’s Facebook photo, but did not delete it. This move certainly impressed Facebook as they have recognized the bug and decided to reward Kumar $12,500. The social networking giant also approved 3 Open Redirectors by Kumar, making him eligible for an extra bounty of $1,500.

Ten Countries with Cheapest Petrol Prices


With the advent of technology, life has become so much easier for all of us. Not long ago people used to wait for days to receive message from near and dear ones. But now, the time taken to travel from one place to another is less than time required to send a letter via post. However, with the ease of transport came the blow of rising fuel cost. The cost of fuel is the most unstable thing across the world and it depends on crude oil price, oil company cost, taxes and, exchange rate, reports Rediff.com.

Because of the presence of considerable oil reserves in home-grounds, few countries are fortunate enough to get this motor spirit at affordable prices. Read on to know the countries where petrol is cheapest in the world.

1. Venezuela

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Price per litre: 6.49 ($0.12)

It is a place where the price of most of the objects goes up other than petrol. The price of petrol has always been cheap and now it has become almost free. In Venezuela, following the official exchange rate, the premium gasoline comes at around 5.8 U.S. cents. The price of petrol has been kept constant for almost 14 years under the rule of late President, Hugo Chavez, even though the tropical capital has hit big time inflation.
Monthly income expenditure on petrol:  2.73 percent.

2. Egypt

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Price per litre: 7.30 ($0.14)

The Egyptian government is planning to cut down the fuel subsidies as a measure to control its budget deficit. The size of fuel subsidies is expected to reach 120 billion Egyptian dollars in the current fiscal. The subsidies have hit the economy hard and lead to blackouts and fuel shortages in Cairo. The next few months are expected to witness reforms like fuel-rationing card in an attempt to curb smuggling of fuel.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 4.39 percent

3. Saudi Arabia

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Price per litre: 8.12 ($0.15)

Saudi Arabia holds one-fifth of world’s total oil reserves and the crude from this country still influences fuel prices across the global. It is the second home to cheapest petrol in the Middle East after Egypt. The country, however, is working on methods to use wind, solar and nuclear power to produce energy and bring down the use of crude and natural gas to generate electricity.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 0.98 percent.

4. Qatar

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Price per litre: 9.74 ($0.18)

Prior to discovery of oil, the economy of Qatar ran on fishing and pearl hunting. In 1940, after the discovery of oil reserves, the economy of the country improved significantly. Because of the absence of income tax, Qatar is rated as one of the countries with lowest tax rates in the world. The economy is highly dependent on petroleum and natural gas and as of 2012, it has the highest GDP per capita in the world.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 0.40 percent

5. Bahrain

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Price per litre: 12.50 ($0.23)

Bahrain is situated near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. The country has been recognized as the fastest growing economy in the Arab world and is highly dependent on demand for oil. 60 percent of the country’s export, comes from petroleum production and processing. It also accounts for 70 percent of government revenues and 11 percent of its GDP.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 1.81 percent.

6. Libya

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Price per litre: 12.50 ($0.23)

Libya has the largest oil reserves in entire Africa and its economy primarily benefits from oil sector which accounts for 97 percent of export and 80 percent of GDP. It is also a major contributor of light to the global supply. Because of its small population and handsome revenues from energy sector, Libya is one of the countries with highest per capita GDPs in Africa.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 3.32 percent.

7. Turkmenistan

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Price per litre: Rs 14.31 ($0.26)

Turkmenistan has the fourth largest oil reserves in the world. It has an oil reserve of about 700 million tons. The extraction of oil started in 1909 in Cheleken and it took a leap with the discovery of oil fields in Kumdag and Koturdepe. Most of its oil is refined in Turkmenbashy and Seidi refinaries. It exports oil to Europe through Caspian Sea via canals.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 17.79 percent.

8. Kuwait

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Price per litre: 14.31 ($0.26)

With a GDP of $167.9 billion and per capita income of $81,800, Kuwait stands as the 5th richest country in the world. The major export products are petroleum and petrochemical products and the country earns about $94.47 billion on exports. The government of Kuwait is trying to make the country a regional trading and tourism hub and less dependent on oil for its growing economy.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol:1.2 percent.

9. Algeria

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Price per litre: 14.31 ($0.26)

Algeria is the 10th country in the world with the largest natural gas reserve of 160 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources. It ranks 14th in petroleum reserves and about 60 percent of its budget revenues comes from petroleum. The hydrocarbon is also responsible for about 30 percent of its GDP and 95 percent of export earnings.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 11.85 percent

10. Iran

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Price per litre: 17.93 ($0.33)

The economy of the country is dependent on state ownership of oil, village agriculture, small scale private trading and, service venture. The GDP was about $482.4 billion in 2011, while in 2006 about 45 percent of the government’s budget came from oil and natural gas reserves. The European Union restriction on Iranian crude has led to a steep fall in the value of rial.

Monthly income expenditure on petrol: 6.53 percent.

Rapist In India Burned To Death By His 25-Year-Old Victim


“This is real justice,” says one Indian, a sentiment echoed by many.

A 25-year-old woman from a village in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh killed her alleged rapist by dousing him in kerosene and setting him on fire. The 38-year-old man, Raju Vishvakarma, had been arrested for allegedly raping the woman at knifepoint in April but was released on bail in May.

According to the rapist’s statement before his death, his victim invited him to her house to negotiate an out-of-court settlement in the rape case. When he arrived, the woman and her brothers set him on fire. He died of burn injuries after locals took him to a hospital.

The police have booked the rape victim and her family members on murder charges.

 

YouTube invites people to laugh


Tying up with about 100 partners to get content of 400 hours, YouTube has launched 35 channels dedicated to comedy.

Following its first comedy week in the US, YouTube has now announced the second edition of the same, in India. Mentioning the variety in consumption patterns, YouTube India officials are confident that comedy entertains all and will be a hit in the country.

The comedy week, between September 5 and 12, will facilitate new channel launches on the digital platform. Tying up with about 100 partners to get content of 400 hours, YouTube plans to launch 35 channels dedicated to comedy. The partners include Indian content producers and production houses.

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All India Bakchod, Yo Yo Bharti Singh (featuring comedian Bharti), The Viral Fever (featuring the Qtiyapa team) and NH7 are some of the channels scheduled for launch during the week. The original content will be produced by O4 Digital Media, for 10 different channels on YouTube (www.youtube.com/comedyweek). The content is owned by the production house, which will get a percentage share from the advertisements gathered by the videos.

Comedy content will also be available on other channels, contributed and maintained by Rajshri, Eros, T-series, Shemaroo, Disney, Star, Colors, SabTV, Sri Adhikari Brothers, Telguone, MTV and Yash Raj films.

Television content from serials such as Comedy Circus, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Khichdi, Sarabhai versus Sarabhai, Comedy Nights with Kapil and The Great Indian Laughter Challenge will also be curated, along with Bollywood humorous content.

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It will also feature comedians Like Cyrus Broacha, Vir Das, Bharti, Krushna, VIP, Saurabh Pant and Sugandha Raja Sagoo, and Indian regional language comedy content in Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi, Malayalam, Gujarati and Kannada.

Gautam Anand, director, content partnerships, YouTube APAC, says, “Here in India, comedy shows contribute to over 30 per cent of total watch hours within the TV shows category, and in the past year, comedy show viewership has shown one of the fastest growths in viewership. Bringing Comedy Week to India allows us to give India’s audiences more of the content they love and discover new content that they can only enjoy on YouTube.”

In a conversation with afaqs!, Anand adds that there will be more such theme-based festivals in the future. In the US version, out of the total 150 partners, 100 partners saw an increase of about 40 per cent in their subscription base.

Interestingly, partnering with the television channels will help the company get some extra promotion for the content and hence, Comedy Week. The channels can promote their content in whatever way they want.

Sandeep Menon, director, marketing, Google India mentions that two television commercials will be released. Apart from that, digital will be used to communicate with the existing viewers.

He explains, “One thing that is peculiar to the Indian market is that while 1.2 billion people log in to YouTube now, we know that there is potential for bringing much more than that. So, communication has to go beyond the reach of internet.”

Further, he notes that there are over one billion people coming onto YouTube every month and over six billion hours of video watched every month. There’s tremendous growth and momentum for YouTube here in India.

Sanjiv Sharma, founder and executive chairman of O4 Digital Media, says, “There is a lot of scope in digital in the sense that video consumption is increasing by the day. On 10 channels, we will put up 10-15 fresh videos every day. The Cyrus Broacha channel alone will be launched with three-four shows and more will be launched as we go by.”

He shares that the best part of digital is that there is no time limit. He adds, “On TV, you have one screen to broadcast content and hence the time window is restricted.”

The production company aims to establish a strong presence online with original content. The exclusive content will include shows of leading stand up comedy stars, mimicry, slapstick comedy, sketch and character comedy.

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