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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:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.
Amount an auditor estimated last year that Oregon could save each year by feeding prisoners less food:
Kentucky is the saddest state.
An Italian economist was questioned on suspicion of terrorism after a fellow passenger on an American Airlines flight witnessed him writing differential equations on a pad of paper.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”