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.
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Extra Extra : Crime
Extra Extra Monday: Faking the grade, mug shots online, pharma payments and the politics of mental health care
How Sunrise police make millions selling drugs | Sun Sentinel
"Police in this suburban town best known for its sprawling outlet mall have hit upon a surefire way to make millions. They sell cocaine."
How safe are Indiana day cares? | Indianapolis Star
"Indiana spends about $2.5 million inspecting and licensing more than 4,000 day cares that serve more than 150,000 children every year. Yet an Indianapolis Star investigation found that the system fails to hold many day cares accountable — even if they jeopardize the safety of children. In fact, at least 21 children have died in Indiana day ...
Last year more than 500 people were murdered in Chicago, a greater number than in far more populous cities such as New York and Los Angeles. The prevalence of gun crimes in Chicago is due in large part to a fragmentation of the gangs on its streets: There are now an estimated 70,000 members in the city, spread out among a mind-boggling 850 cliques, with many of these groupings formed around a couple of street corners or a specific school or park. Young people in these areas are like young people everywhere, using technology to coordinate with their friends ...Read more ...
A USA Today investigation found that consumers who buy Reumofan, a Mexican dietary supplement considered a "100% natural" treatment for arthritis and joint pain, "are risking dangerous side effects and trusting their lives to a company that uses fake addresses, lies about the ingredients in its products and may not even exist."
USA Today set out to find the company behind Reumofan products, Riger Natural, and the people responsible through searching corporation records and visiting addresses listed for it in Mexico. The addresses were fake, and no evidence exists the companies ever had facilities in the locations, USA Today reports ...Read more ...
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 ...
"At the end of a summer that saw significant increases in shootings and homicides, The Sun told the stories of seven Baltimoreans affected by the violence. They included a man whose wife was killed, a witness who fled the city, a cop on the beat and the leader of a neighborhood watch group."
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 ...
The Fresno Bee reports: "The Fresno County Jail has been a place of terror and despair for mentally ill inmates who spiral deeper into madness because jail officials withhold their medication. About one in six jail inmates is sick enough to need antipsychotic drugs to control schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and other psychiatric conditions, but many sit for weeks in cells without medication previously prescribed by private doctors, say family members, lawyers and psychiatrists. If the inmates do get medication, it’s often at a lower dose or is a cheaper generic substitute that doesn’t work as well, they say."
A New Yorker article states: "The basic principle behind asset forfeiture is appealing. It enables authorities to confiscate cash or property obtained through illicit means, and, in many states, funnel the proceeds directly into the fight against crime. But the system has also given rise to corruption and violations of civil liberties. Over the past year, many have expressed concern that the state laws designed to go after high-flying crime lords are routinely targeting the workaday homes, cars, cash savings, and other belongings of innocent people who are never charged with a crime."
"Another child is dead. This time, a brown-haired, brown-eyed girl, a year younger than Jimmy Ryce. A 1999 law passed after Jimmy was raped and murdered at age 9 is meant to protect Floridians from sex offenders by keeping the most dangerous locked up after they finish their prison sentences. But an eight-month Sun Sentinel investigation into the law named in Jimmy’s memory has uncovered shocking failures. Florida’s safeguards have broken down at every stage, setting hundreds of rapists and child molesters free to harm again."