U.S. slips to historic low in global corruption index [via Reuters]
The Berlin-based watchdog group Transparency International announced yesterday that the United States fell three places to take the 22nd spot on the index of least corrupt countries. Topping the list of least corrupt nations are Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore; at the bottom, the most countries are Somalia, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Iraq. “Nancy Boswell, president of TI in the United States, said lending practices in the subprime crisis, the disclosure of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and rows over political funding had all rattled public faith about prevailing ethics in America. ‘We’re not talking about corruption in the sense of breaking the law,’ she said. ‘We’re talking about a sense that the system is corrupted by these practices. There’s an integrity deficit.’”
Man gets 15 months in federal prison for aiming laser pointer at a CHP helicopter [via The Lost Angeles Times]
19-year-old Nathan Ramon Wells of California has been sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to a felony count of interference with an operator of an aircraft. Judge Virginia Phillips, who made headlines recently after declaring the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy unconstitutional, set the sentence and ordered three years supervised release after. “According to the U.S. attorney’s office, the California Highway Patrol pilot was flying at 700 feet when the helicopter’s cockpit was suddenly illuminated with a bright green light, causing both CHP officers aboard to look away and change course. The officers aboard determined that the light was coming from a vehicle below, which they tracked as it drove through Cathedral City in Riverside County. When police stopped Wells’ vehicle, they found a laser device inside.”
Deptford man charged with dumping mail [via The Courier-Post]
New Jersey postal contractor Robert Lyons has been charged with the federal crime of “desertion of mails” after allegedly leaving some 32,000 pieces of mail in a Deptford, N.J. park in May. Prosecutors say Lyons three pallets containing the mail in the woods. Lyons told investigators “he was upset over personal issues and drinking alcohol on the night of the alleged incident” and that he planned on returning for the mail at a later date.