The cost of corruption in Afghanistan has risen sharply and half of all citizens paid a bribe to public officials last year, a new United Nations study said.
More than 11 years after a US-led invasion led to billions of dollars in aid flowing into one of the world’s poorest countries, Afghanistan ranks among the most corrupt nations on earth.
And Western nations due to pull their troops out next year have linked future financial support to a crackdown on graft.
The report by the UN office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Afghanistan’s anti-corruption unit says that while there has been “some tangible progress”, the total cost of corruption increased to $3.9bn (€2.9bn) in 2012 — 40% up on 2009.
“The bribes that Afghan citizens paid in 2012 equals double Afghanistan’s domestic revenue, or one-fourth of the Tokyo pledge,” the report says, referring to the $16bn promised by donors at a conference in Japan last year.
More than 68% of those surveyed considered it acceptable for a civil servant to top up a low salary by accepting small bribes — up from 42% in 2009.
A man who appeared to provide sign language interpretation on stage for Nelson Mandela's memorial service, attended by scores of heads of state, was a "fake", the national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa said.
The troika is leaving Ireland with business unfinished, including changes to the medical and legal service, but they will be pursued through the new EU governance to which all eurozone countries are now subject.
The ECB could be forced to introduce another long- term refinancing operation and drag the deposit rate into a negative territory to cushion the region from another year of sluggish growth and the uncertainty caused by the comprehensive assessment of the banks, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2014 economic outlook.
IT'S one of the most iconic features on the Cork skyline. First established as a monastic site in 606 AD, St Fin Barre's Cathedral now houses a French neo-gothic cathedral designed in 1862 by William Burges of London.
Tipperary native Brian Lonergan fulfilled a long-standing ambition when his tricolour appeared on live TV during Sunday's NFL clash between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park.
THE scandal at the Central Remedial Clinic is a gift to the Government. Here we have an organisation seemingly plundering charitable funds, to feather the nests of a group of Fianna Fáil insiders, all of whom can be linked easily to former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.