The UK's company registry finally prosecuted someone for setting up a fraudulent company, but it's a whistleblower who told them he did it

Companies House, the UK registry of companies, is widely known to be filled with fraudulent registration information about directors, addresses and ownership, and it's this willingness to tolerate fraud that has made the UK one of the first ports of call for criminals and looters looking to launder their fortunes. Read the rest

America has spent more rebuilding Afghanistan than it spent rebuilding Europe under the Marshall Plan

After WWII, the US launched the Marshall Plan to help Europe rebuild, spending about $120B in inflation-adjusted dollars on the project, which lifted the war-stricken European nations out of disaster and launched them into post-war prosperity; the US has spent even more than that on rebuilding projects in Afghanistan since the official cessation of hostilities there, but Afghanistan remains a crumbling, corrupt, failed state where violence is rampant, opium exports are soaring, and soldiers and civilians alike are still dying. Read the rest

Inside Islamic State's spookocracy

The leaked secret strategic plans of Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi -- who served in the Iraqi army under Saddam and later masterminded the Islamic State -- reveal the surveillance at the heart of Islamic State's military success. Read the rest