January 26, 2007

Top Stories: Jan 18-24

Citizens Secure Schools in Afghanistan

The Taliban denies responsibility for arson attacks that have destroyed more than 100 Afghan schools, a huge setback in a nation where only half of all children attend classes. Some communities are even closing new schools in fear of vengeful militants, but a new government program has citizens banding together and sometimes arming themselves to successfully fend off attacks.

U.S. Weapons Disappear in Iraq

Corruption infests Iraq’s Ministry of Defense like “termites,” reports The Times of London. As many as 14,000 U.S. guns have been diverted to insurgents, Iraqi Army officials steal the salaries of “ghost” soldiers who appear on the roster but are absent from the ranks, and efforts to audit the total number of troops have proven futile.

A Digital Revolution for India Farmers, With Risks

Illiterate Indian farmers will now be able to access government subsidies through a fingerprint-scan ATM without sacrificing a percentage to corrupt middlemen. But some fear the new technology will provoke criminals to chop off fingers to access accounts.

Sources:

“Neighborhood watch for Afghan schools”
Institute for War & Peace Reporting, January 19, 2007

“How ghost soldiers are bleeding the Iraqi army of guns and money”
Times Online (U.K), January 19, 2007

“Thumb-print banking takes India”
Wired.com, January 19, 2007

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