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News In Brief

By Robert KilbornJudy Nichols, Noel Paul, and Sara Steindorf / September 15, 2000



TRUST ME WITH YOUR VOTE

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For those who think politicians are crooked, here is at least partial proof that you might be right. In So Paulo, Brazil's largest city, almost one-quarter of the 1,085 registered candidates for next month's local council election are known to the criminal justice system, according to a study by the O Estado de So Paulo newspaper. The most common charge: fraud. But at least two candidates are alleged murder-ers. Others have been implicated in kidnappings, theft, and receiving stolen property.

I COULDN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT

If you missed the 1954 Rose Parade on TV, here's your big chance to catch it ... if you happen to live in Canton, Ohio. Someone took advantage of an amnesty to return an eight- minute film of the spectacle to the Stark County Library. That might not seem remarkable, except that it had been checked out in January 1958. Fines for overdue materials were capped at $5 years ago or the borrower would have owed more than $15,500.

Can you guess which nation rates as the least corrupt?

In the three years since Transparency International last released its index of the world's least-corrupt countries, the top finishers generally have remained the same, trading only a place or two in the ratings. The Berlin-based group, a civil society dedicated to curbing corruption, bases its findings on surveys of the perceptions of risk analysts, business people, and the general public. Finland finished first; the US 14h. Nigeria repeated as the most corrupt. The countries perceived as least corrupt, the scores awarded to each (out of a possible 10), and their ranking in the last previous index, where available:

1. Finland 10.0 (4)

2. Denmark 9.8 (2)

3. New Zealand 9.4 (1)

(tie) Sweden 9.4 (3)

5. Canada 9.2 (5)

6. Iceland 9.1 (n/a)

(tie) Norway 9.1 (6)

(tie) Singapore 9.1 (7)

9. The Netherlands 8.9 (n/a)

10. United Kingdom 8.7 (n/a)

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society