ROME—In 2015, the Council of Europe’s financial-evaluation arm Moneyval laid down the law for the Vatican Bank, telling the rather unholy financiers who had been accused of abetting money laundering for years that it isn’t enough to just smoke out suspicious account holders and freeze assets. Instead they said the Vatican Bank, formally known as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, needed to start actually prosecuting criminal cases. Two years later, thousands of accounts have been closed or frozen, but Moneyval still isn’t happy. According to its 209-page December 2017 progress report, the Vatican gets good marks for not funding terrorism and for flagging potential illegal behavior. But the holy bank fails once again to actually hold anyone accountable for what are clearly crimes such as “fraud, including serious tax evasion, misappropriation and corruption,” according to the report. More curious still, a week before the highly anticipated … [Read more...] about The Vatican’s Dirty Money Problem
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As it turns out, giving developers taxing and bonding authority was a bad idea. Just because we’re $17 billion into this failed experiment of trusting for-profit companies with taxpayer dollars doesn’t mean it’s too late to stop. In fact, a new metropolitan district is likely being considered by a city council or county commission near you this month. These city and county officials should stop approving the formation of new districts immediately until local officials and state lawmakers are able to gain control of the situation. The situation, to briefly recap the first part of The Denver Post’s investigation “Metro Districts: Debt and Democracy,” is dire. Post reporter David Migoya uncovered multiple ways developers in Colorado are abusing the almost unlimited power granted to them through these metropolitan districts.Almost no new development is occurring in Colorado that isn’t funded, at least in part, with taxpayer money. But it … [Read more...] about Editorial: Rein in the unlimited taxing powers of developers
ROME— Several moments during the four-day summit on clerical sex abuse truly were inspirational. Like when Nigerian nun, Sister Veronica Openibo, scolded Pope Francis and the 190 church leaders who had gathered there. “How could the clerical Church have kept silent, covering these atrocities?" she asked, at one point turning to the pope who was seated near her. “The silence, the carrying of the secrets in the hearts of the perpetrators, the length of the abuses and the constant transfers of perpetrators are unimaginable.” Other moments focused on the suffering at the center of the scandals. “From the age of 15 I had sexual relations with a priest,” the prelates heard on the first day, listening to one victim’s recorded testimony. “This lasted for 13 years. I got pregnant three times and he made me have an abortion three times, quite simply because he did not want to use condoms or contraceptives. At first I trusted him so much that I did … [Read more...] about Pope Calls for Battle on Abuse, But Where Are the Weapons?
I landed my first job in network television in the spring of 1981. Johnny Carson had just taken The Tonight Show from 90 minutes to one hour and given the extra 30 minutes to the show that followed. The Tomorrow Show, as it was called, was renamed The Tomorrow Show Coast to Coast starring Tom Snyder—and it was a hot mess. NBC executives had brought in a studio audience and turned a once-intimate talk show known for revealing interviews with the likes of John Lennon and Alfred Hitchcock into a variety show with brassy gossip queen Rona Barrett as the co-host in L.A. Tom Snyder was miserable, Rona Barrett was worse and, as the story goes, the NBC suits sat around 30 Rock trying to think of the toughest person who could control their unruly anchors who they believed were acting like petulant children. It didn’t help that The Tomorrow Show’s executive producer was Snyder’s live-in girlfriend. She would be the first casualty. “What about that S.O.B. who used to … [Read more...] about Roger Ailes Sexually Harassed Me. I Thought I Was The First and Last