UK / LOCAL AUTHORITIES
Local councils are to be slammed for wasting “tens of millions of pounds” because of the poor quality of spending data published by them.
Transparency International UK, the anti-corruption organisation, is set to publish a damning report that will highlight the failings by local authorities in how they publish spending data. It will say: “Local government in England is increasingly becoming a significant corruption risk.”
Business / 1MDB
British financier Patrick Mahony received a mysterious $33 million payment that has plunged him into claims of a huge financial scandal in Malaysia.
Exaro has obtained a copy of the e-mailed instruction from the boss of an oil-exploration company based in Saudi Arabia to make the massive transfer, and the records to show the payment into Mahony’s Swiss bank account. He denies wrongdoing.
UK / CHILD ABUSE
Detectives have combined a series of investigations into alleged cover-ups of child sex abuse by VIPs into one umbrella operation.
Exaro can reveal that allegations about how Scotland Yard “corruptly” dropped old cases on claims against celebrities, politicians and other prominent people are being investigated under ‘Operation Winter Key’. It covers allegations about shelved investigations up to 2012.
Business / RBS
Bosses at the Royal Bank of Scotland face pressure to set up a compensation scheme after its restructuring unit fleeced assets from “distressed” businesses.
Exaro understands that a long-awaited report on the scandal – commissioned by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the City regulator – is set to recommend a compensation scheme. The report was sent to state-controlled RBS last Wednesday for any final comments before publication.
International / YEMEN
Foreign minister Tobias Ellwood is to be grilled in a parliamentary inquiry into whether UK arms have been used in the war in Yemen.
MPs on the committee on arms export controls will quiz Ellwood about the UK’s sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. They will question him on whether Saudi Arabia has used UK weapons in military action in Yemen against Iran-backed rebels.
BHP faces new criticism over probe into mine disaster in Brazil
Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton faces fresh criticism for its part in Brazil’s worst environmental disaster by commissioning an investigation that “cannot be considered independent”. BHP and its Brazilian partner ordered lawyers who acted as their corporate advisors to conduct an “independent” investigation into why a dam burst at their Samarco mine last November, releasing a huge wave of mud and killing 19 people.
Court 73: where UK institutions are ‘in the dock’ in CSA inquiry
Tucked away on the third floor at the back end of the Royal Courts of Justice is where British institutions will come under painful scrutiny. This is where the UK state will face accusations that it failed many of the nation’s children fundamentally. This is the courtroom where the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse is holding its hearings. This is Court 73.
Theresa May urged to up scrutiny of wealthy foreign investors
Home secretary Theresa May is being urged to introduce “full transparency” over rich foreigners who are fast-tracked for UK visas in return for investment. Transparency International UK, the anti-corruption organisation, says in a report today that the Home Office should make public disclosures of who is investing, how much, as well as their financial interests and assets for those eligible for “Tier 1 (Investor) visas”.
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