BitTorrent tracking site The Pirate Bay was raided by Swedish Police, and now the site claims they found evidence that the chief of police who called the raid was in the employ of Warner Brothers. [The Pirate Bay]
First the FAA makes their own inspectors cry in front of Congress and now the Associated Press says that the head of the federal inspectors’ union is alleging that the USDA told him to “drop the matter” when he reported food safety violations at slaughterhouses. When he refused, he was placed on “disciplinary investigative status.”
There’s a congressional hearing going on right now over the unsafe Southwest Airlines planes. It seems like the FAA’s Southwest Airlines operation was a smörgåsbord of delicious corruption that put many lives (and careers) at risk by becoming too cozy with the airline it was supposed to regulate.
NY Governor and former star Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, has resigned today after his predilection for pricey whores caught up with him.
Queens prosecutors said Monday that a 51-year-old worker and his 39-year-old supervisor are charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property. They say the jewelry was stolen last week from a container marked “high value” that was being shipped from Switzerland to Brazil.
We won’t lie, corrupt baggage handlers piss us off. These two specimens broke open the container and stole the jewelry, hiding it in a locker at the American Airlines terminal.
Corrupt Government: Prison sentence for fraud and racketeering and a Nobel peace prize nomination. Who says you can’t deserve both? [NPR]
The Chinese government has discovered a fake diabetes medicine on a fake research institute website, which then links to a fake version of the official government health and drug watchdog agency’s site. If you’re paying attention to urls, it’s hard to not notice that something’s wrong—but we’re sure there’s more than enough people who don’t notice that little detail.
According to evidence the Philadelphia Inquirer calls “anecdotal,” there seems to be a theft problem going on at the Philadelphia International Airport. Recently, quite a few baggage handlers were fired by US Airways for cooking the overtime logs in an attempt to get paid for work they never did.
US Airways is interviewing and firing baggage handlers at Philadelphia International Airport after it noticed they were falsifying overtime records.
Chinese officials have announced that they will “severely” punish the vendors responsible for the recent lead-tainted toy snafu. That leads us to ask, what do they consider severe punishment? Remember what they did to the director of the food and drug agency for accepting poisoned toothpaste bribes? And the new state-sponsored video game “Incorruptible Fighter”, where players get to execute corrupt officials with magic or weapons, is so popular that it’s been downloaded over 100,000 times.
Time Warner refused to transfer Jim’s account information to his new apartment because they claimed, despite the crisp and clear signal he received, that his apartment was not wired for cable service. Time Warner insisted on dispatching a contractor, who, after verifying that Jim’s line worked perfectly, decided to do some unnecessary work so he could get paid. Jim writes:
Don’t doubt the power of the unidentified tipster: Home Depot recently sacked four corrupt purchasing managers accused by a whistleblower of taking bribes. In exchange for the payoffs, the managers arranged for Home Depot to stock tiles and other flooring products from Asia. From the AP:
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators is too paranoid about the recent student loan scandal to allow Wachovia to splash its logo all over the nylon bags it ordered for its annual conference, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The group, which represents about 12,000 college-aid officials across the country, didn’t want to appear to be acting improperly by accepting money from Wachovia in exchange for the marketing opportunity. The association also ditched lanyards and pens from other businesses — and even cut off the bottom of notepads that featured the name of a financial-services company — forfeiting about $200,000 in sponsorship fees paid by various vendors.
China has sentenced a high ranking official to death on charges of corruption, reports the New York Times. Cao Wenzhuang is accused of accepting over $300,000 in bribes from pharmacutical companies in exchange for approving bogus drugs. Mr.Cao is the second Chinese offical to be sentenced to death for corruption in less than 2 months.
The New York Times is reporting that Columbia University will pay $1.1 million into a fund to educate students about loans, and will have its student loan office monitored by the state of New York for 5 years under the terms of a settlement that NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday.
Columbia University has finally fired their director of undergraduate financial aid, David Charlow, after suspending him over “questionable financial ties” to Student Loan Xpress.
This is re-goddamn-diculous. From the New York Times (emphasis ours):
A senior lobbyist at the National Association of Manufacturers nominated by President Bush to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission will receive a $150,000 departing payment from the association when he takes his new government job, which involves enforcing consumer laws against members of the association.
This guy has no business being the head of the CPSC. The reason there is a Consumer Products Safety Commission in the first place is so that there is something to keep tabs on people like Michael Baroody and the companies he represents.
Mr. Baroody said in the letter that the payment would not prevent him from considering matters involving individual companies that are members of the manufacturers’ association, many of whom are defendants in agency proceedings over defective products or have other business before the commission. Nor would it preclude him from involvement with smaller trade groups like those representing makers of home appliances and children’s products that have alliances with the association.
Oh no, $150k won’t influence his opinion. It doesn’t need to, his opinions are already known. He’s a lobbyist, for pete’s sake.
“When honest human beings have a vested stake in seeing the world in a particular way, they’re incapable of objectivity and independence,” said Max H. Bazerman, a professor at Harvard Business School. “A doctor who represents a pharmaceutical company will tend to see the data in a slightly more positive light and as a result will overprescribe that company’s drugs.”
In Minnesota, a state in which drug company payouts are disclosed to the public, “More than 250 … psychiatrists together earned $6.7 million in drug company money — more than any other specialty. Seven of the last eight presidents of the Minnesota Psychiatric Society have served as consultants to drug makers, according to the Times examination.”