"USA TODAY examined FBI data -- which defines a mass killing as four or more victims -- as well as local police records and media reports to understand mass killings in America. They happen far more often than the government reports, and the circumstances of those killings -- the people who commit them, the weapons they use and the forces that motivate them -- are far more predictable than many might think."
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Arson is far more common and dangerous than has been previously reported, a new project by Scripps Howard News Service has found.The yearlong investigation has identified more than 163,000 fires in America that experts agree have a significant chance of being undetected arsons. These fires caused at least 788 deaths, 13,009 injuries and at least $5.8 billion in property damages. The project includes a searchable database showing ho local fire departments perform in reporting arson.
Secret memos reveal explicit nature of U.S., Pakistan agreement on drones | The Washington Post
"Despite repeatedly denouncing the CIA’s drone campaign, top officials in Pakistan’s government have for years secretly endorsed the program and routinely received classified briefings on strikes and casualty counts, according to top-secret CIA documents and Pakistani diplomatic memos obtained by The Washington Post."
St. Louis wrongful arrests mount as fingerprint mismatches are ignored | St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“The Post-Dispatch has identified 100 people arrested in error over the past seven years. Collectively, they spent more than 2,000 days in jail — an average of ...
Extra Extra Monday: Poverty and profits, innocent drivers arrested, asbestos lawsuits and neglected abuse fatalities
Facing Foreclosure: Oklahoma's mortgage settlement program benefits attorneys | Tulsa World
"So far, the largest financial beneficiary of Oklahoma's mortgage settlement program is a young attorney who used a system of vouchers and possibly a family connection to acquire dozens of clients."
Shocking cost investigation: Utility middle men charge renters inflated prices | Columbus Dispatch
"A 10-month investigation by The Dispatch found that residents pay markups of 5 percent to 40 percent when their landlords enter into contracts with certain submeter companies. If the customer fails to pay, the companies sometimes resort to collection tactics that would be illegal ...
Extra Extra Monday: Overdoses, background checks, housing markets, midwifery and fraudulent accounting
Use only as directed | ProPublica and This American Life
“About 150 Americans a year die by accidentally taking too much acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. The toll does not have to be so high.” Read the stories from ProPublica.
Company Behind Snowden Vetting Did Check on D.C. Shooter | Bloomberg
“The U.S. government contractor that vetted Edward Snowden, who leaked information about national surveillance programs, said it also performed a background check on the Washington Navy Yard shooter.”
Archdiocese knew of priest's sexual misbehavior, yet kept him in ministry | Minnesota Public Radio
“A memo written in 2011 ...
Errors plague school testing | The Atlanta Journal Constitution
AJC reporter Heather Vogell exposed cracks in a cornerstone of No Child Left Behind: flawed exams. Questions with no right answers; scoring errors; test booklets with missing pages can cost students dearly.
Adviser didn’t disclose tax liens | The Atlanta Journal Constitution
An Atlanta investment adviser public pensions across the nation to sink millions into his firm’s funds. But as he criss-crossed the country touting the investment, he had not disclosed his personal financial problems – including a $1 million lawsuit settlement and federal tax liens - to regulators, the AJC reported Sunday ...
Extra Extra Monday: NSA spying on smart phone data, America's underground adoption market, troubled group homes
The Child Exchange | Reuters
“Inside America’s underground market for adopted children”
Privacy Scandal: NSA Can Spy on Smart Phone Data | Der Spiegel
"The United States' National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smart phones from all leading manufacturers. Top secret NSA documents that SPIEGEL has seen explicitly note that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google's Android mobile operating system."
Left with nothing | The Washington Post
"This man owed $134 in property taxes. The District sold the lien to an investor who foreclosed on his $197 ...
An InvestigateWest analysis found nearly 30 public schools in Washington sit within 500 feet of a major road, which decades of study have shown cause lifelong respiratory problems and asthma attacks through air polution and can boost school absenteeism. In one case of a school that re-opened in close proximity to a highway, 21 months passed between a concerned email from a health expert and action from the Seattle Schools officials. The re-opening of that school, John Marshall Junior High, accordign to InvestigateWest represents "one example of how, when it comes to air pollution near roads, Washington state school policies ...Read more ...
A Bloomberg News investigation reveals how the bank lobby prevented the U.S. from seizing authority over derivatives, financial instruments the investigation states "helped push the global economy to the brink in 2008, taking down American International Group Inc. (AIG) and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and igniting the worst recession since the 1930s."
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has produced about 60 rules for derivatives, and Bloomberg News details how the banking industry and allies forced the retreat on three of the most consequential ones for Wall Street with "one of the largest sustained lobbying attacks on a single Washington ...Read more ...
The Washington Post takes an in-depth look at the "black budget" which spans over a dozen agencies to make up the National Intelligence Program.
Wilson Andrews and Todd Lindeman use data visualizations to lay out what the $52.6 billion is spent on.