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Poverty and violence are usually portrayed as the biggest challenges confronting Afghanistan. But ask the Afghans themselves, and you get a different answer: corruption
is their biggest worry. As revealed in this new UNODC report, for an overwhelming 59% of the population the daily experience of public dishonesty is a bigger concern than insecurity (54%) and unemployment (52%).
The report says that bribery and drugs generate nearly $5 billion in revenues per year combined, making them the country’s two leading economic forces.
Oh, but there’s good news too: the report says President Karzai has “recognized that corruption is destroying the economy.” So presumably we can expect fast action from him on this soon.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Average number of days an oiled seabird survives in the wild after cleaning and release:
Epilepsy drugs can extend the life of worms by 50 percent.
A deaf dog belonging to a deaf owner was shot and killed in Alabama, and an Indiana dog’s skin troubles were found to be caused by an allergy to humans. “It’s just not his fault,” said the owner of Lucky Dog Retreat.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”