• New reports by the U.S. inspector general for Afghanistan development aid reports several billion dollars were wasted through widespread fraud and abuse, were released but generated little outrage on Capitol Hill. Included were $549 million for 20 Italian-made cargo planes that did not work and were eventually sold for scrap. According to Foreign Policy magazine, the case was referred to the Justice Department for prosecution, but no action was taken.
(“Corruption in Afghanistan as ‘Big a Threat’ as Taliban,” Foreign Policy, March 4, 2021)
• In late February, China’s Communist Party launched a major anti-corruption purge of its domestic security services. State-controlled media have described it as the biggest such campaign since the late 1990s within the domestic security system, which includes the police, the secret police, the judiciary and prisons.
(“Scraping the bones,” Economist, March 1, 2021)
• Progressives swept early March elections for leadership positions inside Nevada’s Democratic Party. Almost immediately, party executive director Alana Mounce and the rest of the staff, close to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid quit. Prior to the election, the party had transferred $450,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
(“Entire Staff of Nevada Democratic Party Quits After Democratic Socialist Slate Wins,” Intercept, March 8, 2021)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.