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Josephine Kabura, the woman at the centre of the National Youth Service scandal in Kenya, is a hairdresser although her salon has been locked up for several months. Exactly how does an apparently ordinary person end up right in the middle of a scheme to extract GBP6.3million from a government department?

Diplomats are expert at couching hard truths in soft language, a trick that leads to ambiguity. There's not much of either in the letter Sir Ivan Rogers left for his staff when he left his post several months early so that he was no longer there when negotiations for the UK to leave the EU start in earnest. In Whitehall, this morning, there will be more bloody noses than pulled punches - but Whitehall has a treacle-like approach to criticism. Standard operating procedure is to hang-around until the fuss dies down, then carry on as before.

Editorial Staff
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Richard Rufus used to be a soccer player for a team called Charlton Athletic. The Insolvency Service brought a case before the High Court which said that Rufus created a GBP16 million Ponzi scheme. The Insolvency Service said it was one of the worst cases they had ever seen. Rufus claimed to be a born again Christian. Victims tried to avoid being identified at the time of the civil trial which saw Rufus subject to a 15 year bankruptcy order. But now, information has come to light that a 12,000 member church in the UK has lost the best part of GBP4 million.

One of the things France has been so very proud of itself for is that it not only brought into force the maximum 35 hour working week required under the EU's Working Time Directive (no one else did) but actively enforced it with squads of inspectors checking how long employees' cars were in office car parks. France has, however, admitted that it didn't work. But even so, why was it necessary to pass a law to say that employees have a legal right to refuse to answer office phone calls, deal with messages including instant messaging and emails out of office hours? Isn't that common sense?...

Editorial Staff
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In "The Edge of Madness," Michael Dobbs (of "House of Cards") fame writes of a mad senior officer in China who, off on a frolic of his own, creates a team of hackers who break into infrastructure projects all over the world, causing enormous damage and dangers. It was published in 2008. And when the Washington Post published an article saying that an electricity company in Vermont had been hacked and Russian code found, demonstrating the vulnerability of all systems, including the USA's national grid, Dobbs' novel seemed prophetic. But the Washington Post made up material parts of the story.

Editorial Staff
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The prosecution of senior staff at Kenya's Family Bank ( see story ) is just part of a knot that investigators are slowly unravelling and finding out things that there are many in government would rather not be found out. So would several banks.

You know all that fuss in India about withdrawing bank-notes in a so-called but misnamed "demonetisation" scheme? Well, they were high value notes. What would happen if a country decided to withdraw a low-value coin and replace it? We will all find out in the UK in just a few weeks.

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

Drupal 7 and 8 lost a ferociously powerful ability to block ranges of IP addresses from accessing your website and running up your bandwidth or simply probing it for weaknesses. There is a contributed module but it's fussy. There's a much simpler way. Yes, it scares some people; no, it shouldn't.

Editorial Staff

It is a mark of the integrity of a country as to how it deals with counter-money laundering laws. Politicians who consistently vote to exclude measures that catch bribery and corruption as predicate crimes for money laundering must automatically render the whole country as suspicious, applying the argument that fish rots from the head. Kenya was one of a number of countries that suffered this problem with leaders being constantly frustrated by other members of government. A compromise Act was eventually passed. Now it's bearing fruit. And the role of the targets will ricochet around the world.

The people of Kuala Lipis in Pahang, Malaysia, have long wondered about the two men, apparently British, who lie in the city centre's graveyard. Time ravaged the stones and now the people have restored them. But they still want to learn about the two men who came to their town and stayed.

Nigel Morris-Cotterill
Don't say that: 

controversy

(emphasis on the first syllable)

Do say this: 

controversy

(falling emphasis on the final two syllables.)

Say it like "controversial"

This is a bit weird: criminals have created an Android virus that resides in users' phones and hacks into wifi network routers, then it does devious and harmful things.

Editorial Staff
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FCRO Subsection: 

 

Take a moment to slow down so you can understand the scale of this: the Australian Federal Police have seized a shipment of cocaine that is 1,100 kilos.

Let's put that into perspective: bags of sugar come in 500 or 1,000 gramme packs. Imagine walking home from the supermarket carrying ten big bags.

Now imagine trying to get 110 times that past customs on the way out of a country, then on the way into another and to avoid detection at various way points in between. A diverse and difficult to identity group very nearly managed it.

 

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