Parker Leads France To World Cup Berth
The foreign ministrys project is the first of its kind in France, which has pledged 280 million euros ($374 million) in aid to Mali after it helped the west African country oust Al-Qaeda-linked groups that were occupying the vast north. It consists of a website that geolocalises every development project on a map, giving funding details for each programme, and asks Malians to report any irregularities about the schemes via text message or an online form as part of a citizen control. This site is a promise, that of transparency with regards to the Malians, but also with regards to the French who too often regret not knowing what development aid is used for, Development Minister Pascal Canfin said in a statement on the website. The site is accessible to the general public and will allow those people concerned to take better control of the projects being implemented, making French aid more effective, he added in an interview with the daily freesheet 20 minutes. If it works, we will be able to extend this to other countries. Crowdsourcing, or the practice of gathering information from a large group of people often online is increasingly being used to fight corruption. Russias well-known opposition figure Alexei Navalny, for instance, has a website that asks volunteers to peruse public documents on government contracts and tenders and report any sign of corruption. Anti-graft watchdog Transparency International has also used crowdsourcing in various countries to report cases of corruption, such as Zimbabwe and Macedonia. Canfin said the initiative was an innovation for France. Its the first time that an information system of this scale has been established, he said. Frances aid projects in Mali include fighting against malnutrition, helping farmers, building schools and assisting those displaced by the conflict. [Image via Agence France-Presse]
Slovenia and Serbia, who got crushed by Spain, now head to the losers bracket. Theyll play Thursday (8:30 a.m. ET) with another WCOB berth on the line. The loser of that game will head to the critical seventh place game on Saturday. France-Slovenia was a pretty ugly game in the first half, but France took control with a 10-0 run early in the third quarter. Slovenia got back to within three, but couldnt tie or take the lead. France opened things up again in the fourth quarter behind their NBA big three and held on for a 10-point win. Tony Parker led the way with 27 points on 9-for-20 shooting, while Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw combined for 24. Slovenia got 18 points from Goran Dragic, but shot poorly and allowed France too many second chances on the glass. In the days first game , Spain simply ran over Serbia. A big first quarter from Rudy Fernandez, a big second quarter from Sergio Rodriguez and the tournaments best defense gave Spain a 25-point lead at halftime. They shot 13-for-25 from 3-point range and led by as many as 40 in the third quarter. The other two quarterfinals will take place after the Serbia-Slovenia game on Friday. At 11:45 a.m. ET, Croatia faces Ukraine and at 3 p.m.