Friday, April 30, 2004

Two News Items

*** Newsflash: French Communists Are Corrupt: On Tuesday, I mentioned police raids on union offices at France's largest electricity comapny as part of an anti-corruption investigation. Today the AFP reports the investigation is widening to include the French Communist Party and the powerful union known as CGT (Confédération générale du travail). Authorities allege the Idelia car-fleet management company and the events organizer, Compact, issued phony bills to the EDF workers committee (comité d'entreprise) in order to cover for funds being diverted to the committee's friends. They allege furthermore that the committee paid €145,000 in 2001 for super-sized video screens for the annual Fête de l'Humanité, a Communist Party festival held by the eponymous newspaper, once the flagship publication of French communism, and that the committee paid €26,800 for sound equipment and production for the presidential campaign of Communist leader Robert Hue. Ten party functionaries got fake jobs at the committee while working for the CGT or the Party, say investigators, and last year, the committee bought 77,000 copies of the weekly edition of l'Humanité.

*** The BBC reports that international terrorist attacks are at a thirty year low:
US government figures suggest that terrorist attacks have fallen to the lowest level for more than 30 years.

The annual report records a slight fall in the number of international attacks last year and a dramatic decrease in the number of victims.

The report says that less than half the number of people lost their lives in such attacks last year compared with the year before.

However, most of the violence in Iraq has not been included in the figures.

No comments: