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Yesterday I posted an item about how UNESCO may allow Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the corrupt dictator who rules Equatorial Guinea, to endow a prize in his own name. In return, UNESCO would pocket $3 million in cash from Obiang.
Today Freedom House released a new report, Worst of the Worst 2010: The World’s Most Repressive Societies, which identifies “the world’s most flagrant human rights abusers.” Equatorial Guinea joined eight other countries and one territory — Burma, Eritrea, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tibet — in that illustrious category. To give you an idea of how bad the situation in is those bottom-dweller nations, wonderful countries like Belarus, Laos, and Saudi Arabia didn’t make the list.
Incidentally, for his $3 million Obiang wants UNESCO to name the prize the “Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences.” The prize is meant to reward scientific research that leads “to improving the quality of human life.”
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
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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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.”