A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega–rich the world over.
The secret records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists lay bare the names behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, and other offshore hideaways.
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KOBE – When the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake struck on Jan. 17, 1995, this port city in western Japan was devastated in an instant, leaving 6,437 either dead or missing and about $100 billion worth of infrastructures damaged. Today there is not a trace of the tragic event in this city nestled in between mountains and [...]
IN A FIELD of restored and restricted democracies, and repressive regimes, the Philippines’ so-so score in the 2010 Open Budget Survey is cause enough to celebrate. One of Southeast Asia’s economic laggards, the Philippines did one better: it tops 10 other countries in the region in terms of budget transparency.
This is even as the Philippines scored a measly 55 out of a possible 100.
IT IS Southeast Asia’s largest country in terms of land area, yet there is reason why Burma is unfamiliar to many people, even within the region.
For one, it has been isolated for the last few decades as a result of both Burmese and international actions. For another, press freedom is unknown in Burma, which means accurate and up-to-date information is hard to find — and report — even within the country itself.
BANGKOK — “Political conditions.” That was what the Thai Airways lady at the Chiang Mai airport scribbled as the reason for the cancellation of our Nov. 27 flight from Bangkok, crossing out the word “weather” stamped on our e-ticket. Minutes earlier, an AirAsia staffer had done a similar thing for our other cancelled flight, writing “political disturbance at Bangkok airport” on our tickets.
BANGKOK — Anti-government protesters make up a sea of yellow and the other side, red. Look familiar? To Filipinos, yes: Yellow, after all, is the Pinoy color of protest, bringing back the angry-turned-euphoric days of the civilian-led revolt against the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986. Red, meanwhile, was favored by the Marcos loyalists.
The political divisions in the Thai political drama are quite different from 1986 Philippines, not least because the anti-government groups actually want to go back to a time of fewer elective positions in government and argue that democracy has not worked in this country. But several other scenes unfolding here trigger memory buttons for Filipinos, who consider themselves veterans in the culture of protest.
YANGON, MYANMAR — How long should the Burmese people suffer?
Cyclone Nagris that hit this former capital of Myanmar and its neighboring areas last weekend has made the already impoverished people in far worse situation in the months, and maybe years, ahead.
The death toll, initially reported by cable news networks at four on Saturday evening, quickly multiplied to at least 10,000 by Monday night. The military government gave an exact number of 243 deaths late Saturday, and then 351 deaths, hours later.
SINGAPORE — Twelve years ago, Francisco ‘Kiko’ Escora was already happy when a painting of his fetched P3,000 at an exhibit in Manila. But today Escora must be ecstatic; his works are being snapped up not only in his home country, where they now average P70,000 a piece, but also in places like Singapore, where Escora paintings are bought for S$4,000 each, or a cool hundred grand based on a P30:S$1 conversion.
TIMOR LESTE’S political and subsequent security crisis in 2006 began when a group of soldiers from the country’s west, reportedly numbering up to 591 at that time, signed a petition alleging discrimination inside the Timor Leste military (known by its Portuguese acronym FDTL). The group claimed that soldiers from the eastern part of the country were being favored over those from the western section with regard to promotions. These protesting western soldiers refused to comply with the military directorate’s order to return to their post. They were then dismissed.