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Corruption

NEWS
November 25, 2012 | By Denis D. Gray, Associated Press
KOH KONG, Cambodia - A Thai force dubbed the "Rambo Army" couldn't stop the gangs, armed with battlefield weaponry, as they scoured the forests. Neither could a brave activist, gunned down when he came to investigate. Nor, apparently, can governments across Southeast Asia. The root of the conflicts and bloodshed? Rosewood. The richly hued, brownish hardwood is being illegally ripped from Southeast Asian forests, then smuggled by sea and air to be turned into Chinese furniture that can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
NEWS
November 11, 2012 | By Joseph A. Gambardello, Inquirer Staff Writer
The federal judge in the case of 88 people suing Camden after their drug convictions were tossed out because of police corruption is giving them until Dec. 5 to decide whether they want to take part in a proposed $3.5 million settlement. In an order issued Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider gave the plaintiffs' lawyers until Dec. 10 to inform the court which of their clients did not respond and which elected - or declined - to participate. But lawyers for both sides cautioned that while the framework of a settlement was in place, the price tag was not fixed and another major obstacle must be overcome before any deal can be finalized.
NEWS
October 23, 2012 | By John P. Martin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In the two years since George C. Venizelos took over the FBI's Philadelphia division, the North Jersey native has developed a sense of how corruption works here. The people and public officials are no more inherently corrupt than in other metropolises, according to Venizelos. But the government structure and history sometimes make the conditions ripe for graft. Take a densely populated area, add hundreds of agencies, departments, municipalities, and elected positions, and fold in a pay-to-play culture.
NEWS
October 23, 2012 | By John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the two years since George C. Venizelos took over the FBI's Philadelphia division, the North Jersey native has developed a sense of how corruption works here. The people and public officials are no more inherently corrupt than in other metropolises, according to Venizelos. But the government structure and history sometimes make the conditions ripe for graft. Take a densely populated area, add hundreds of agencies, departments, municipalities, and elected positions, and fold in a pay-to-play culture.
NEWS
September 11, 2012 | By Geoff Mulvihill, Associated Press
TRENTON - Federal agents arrested the mayor of New Jersey's capital city Monday on corruption charges, alleging that he agreed to accept bribes in connection with a proposed parking garage - actually a fake project created by authorities in a sting operation. Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, his brother Ralphiel, and Joseph Giorgianni, a Mack supporter who owns a Trenton sandwich shop and is a convicted sex offender, were each accused of a single charge: conspiring to extort the undercover informants who pulled them into the scheme.
NEWS
September 8, 2012 | By George Anastasia, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A former Camden City police officer convicted of stealing cash and drugs, planting evidence, and lying to a grand jury was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday by U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler. Kugler also revoked bail for Antonio Figueroa, 36, and ordered the former member of an elite antidrug squad taken into custody. Kugler said Figueroa and three other members of the squad awaiting sentencing "had shattered the community trust" in law enforcement and "cast a pall" over hundreds of honest police officers working in the city.
NEWS
September 2, 2012
The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Took On the Mob, Fought Corruption, and Won By Herbert J. Stern Skyhorse Publishing. 560 pp. $29.95 Reviewed by Rich Aregood Every freshman law student learns that he or she is there to learn about the practice of law. If justice happens along the way, it's a happy coincidence. Herb Stern was in the business of increasing the frequency of those coincidences, prosecuting the well-connected bad guys despite frequent pressure from above, and tempering justice with intelligence and compassion.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 2012 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer
THE VERDICT is in: Tom Hardy is officially Hollywood's go-to guy for hulking brutes who talk with their fists. He was the mixed martial arts goon in "Warrior" and the muzzled Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises," and now - in "Lawless" - he plays the Spartan-tongued leader of a Virginia clan of mountain moonshiner men who repel an invasion of crooked gummint flatlanders. Hardy plays broad-shouldered Forrest Bondurant, a man who's survived so many threats to his life it's rumored he cannot be killed.
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