Militants Attack Somali Hotel, at Least 20 Dead
Somali rescue workers say at least 20 people were killed and more than 50 injured Wednesday in an attack by militants on a Mogadishu hotel.
Witnesses tell VOA's Somali Service that a truck bomb was detonated outside the Dayah Hotel just before 9 a.m. local time. Gunmen then stormed the damaged building, shooting at guests and exchanging gunfire with security forces.
Islamic militant group al-Shabab, which has carried out similar attacks on hotels and key installations in the city, claimed responsibility for the attack on its website.
About 40 minutes after the attack, a second explosion went off near the hotel. Witnesses told VOA's Somali Service the car which brought militant fighters to the hotel was detonated, possibly by remote control.
At least seven journalists were among those injured in the second explosion, according to Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimu, Secretary General of National Union of Somali Journalists.
Corruption Report: Turning to Populist Leaders May Make Things Worse
An anti-corruption watchdog is highlighting a link between inequality and government corruption with the release of its annual global index, saying people are increasingly looking to populist leaders who promise to tackle corruption, but are likely to make the situation worse.
“In countries with populist or autocratic leaders, we often see democracies in decline and a disturbing pattern of attempts to crack down on civil society, limit press freedom, and weaken the independence of the judiciary,” said Jose Ugaz, chair of Transparency International, as the group released its report Wednesday. “Instead of tackling crony capitalism, those leaders usually install even worse forms of corrupt systems.”
The report says countries need “deep-rooted systemic reforms” to address growing imbalances of power and wealth.
The Corruption Perceptions Index is based on surveys and reports of how business leaders and country experts perceive corruption in the public sector. It rates countries on a scale of 0-100, with 0 being a country that is highly corrupt and 100 being very clean.
In 2016, the report said more countries declined than improved when it came to corruption.
The highest ranked countries were Denmark and New Zealand, which each scored 90, Finland with 89 and Sweden with 88. The report said each of those countries has an open government, free press and independent judicial systems.
On the bottom of the index, Somalia ranked as the country with the most perceived corruption for the 10th consecutive year. It scored a 10. South Sudan (11), North Korea (12) and Syria (13) were also at the bottom of the index.
The five countries that serve as the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council represent varying stages of the index, with Britain (81) among the least corrupt, followed by the United States (74) and France (69), while China (40) and Russia (29) scored as more corrupt.