An Oregon program designed to help those with mental health histories restore gun ownership rights currently operates with a $576,000 budget and has restored those rights to just three people, according to an investigation by The Oregonian. The program comes from federal money -- the result of lobbying efforts by the National Rifle Association -- but funds are expected to dry up and the state legislature has a pending bill that would shift the cost to the state's taxpayers.
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Terrorism fears have led government to cloak the danger of hazardous chemical plants | The Houston Chronicle
"Around the country, hundreds of buildings like the one in West store some type of ammonium nitrate. They sit in quiet fields and by riverside docks, in business districts and around the corner from schools, hospitals and day care centers. By law, this shouldn’t be a mystery. Yet fears of terrorism have made it harder than ever for homeowners to find out what dangerous chemicals are hidden nearby. Poor communication can also keep rescue workers in the dark about the risks they face ...
"More than 60 people who hold active Mecklenburg County (North Carolina) permits to buy handguns have been convicted of felonies, some involving guns, an Observer data analysis shows."
"Five were convicted of robbery with a dangerous weapon, three of manslaughter, two of firing into occupied property and one of second-degree murder. Others were convicted of assaults that left victims badly injured or of using weapons to attack government officials."
Washington Monthly reports that "over the past five years U.S. border agents have shot across the border at least ten times, killing a total of six Mexicans on Mexican soil." According to the report, border patrol shootings were a rarity before 2009, with only a handful occurring. But after an increase in border patrol agentst between 2006 and 2009, "a disturbing pattern of excessive use of force has emerged."
Oakland police have been questioned for years by court-appointed watchdogs for questionable shootings and a failure to investigate them, The Bay Area News Group reports. A review by the news group finds that police can't account for all shootings since 2000 and that an alarming pattern has persisted in the face of warnings. The news group found two dozen officers involved in multiple shootings, at least 19 unarmed people shot, harmless items mistaken for women and nearly $10 million in legal settlements.
Extra Extra Monday: Raiteros, problems in foster care, questionable death investigations, gang wars in Toledo
Taken for a Ride: Temp Agencies and ‘Raiteros’ in Immigrant Chicago | ProPublica and Marketplace
“Some of America's best-known companies and largest temp agencies benefit from — and tacitly collaborate with — an underworld of labor brokers, known as raiteros, who charge workers fees, pushing their pay below minimum wage.”
Problems keep proliferating at discredited private foster care agency | Los Angeles Times
“A decade after L.A. County auditors delivered a harsh assessment of Teens Happy Homes, probe finds that children were repeatedly harmed in recent years and dubious financial practices grew.”
Mortgage Mess | NBC Bay Area
“Tens of thousands of Bay ...
"As gun control debates raged in Congress early this year, the National Rifle Association increased its federal government lobbying expenditures to record levels, new filings with the U.S. Senate indicate," according to an investigation by The Center for Public Integrity.
"Murders by firearms have increased dramatically in the state since 2000, when there were 499 gun murders, according to data from Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Gun murders have since climbed 38 percent — with 691 murders committed with guns in 2011," according to an investigation by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.
Extra Extra Monday: Motorcycle novelty helmets, secrets of the gulf oil spill and unregulated day cares
How the gun lobby has already blocked Boston’s bombing investigators | MSNBC
“One avenue of investigation is already closed off to forensic officials working the Boston Marathon bombing case due to efforts dating back decades by the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers.”
What BP Doesn’t Want You to Know About the 2010 Gulf Spill | Newsweek
“What has not been revealed until now is how BP hid that massive amount of oil from TV cameras and the price that this “disappearing act” imposed on cleanup workers, coastal residents, and the ecosystem of the gulf. That story can now be ...
Analyzing websites such as ARMSLIST.com, The New York Times found convicted felons advertising to buy and sell guns, sellers calling themselves private parties to avoid background checks and 170,000 advertisements offering unknown quantities of guns for sale. The Times reports that sellers often include in listings phrases such as "No questions asked. No paperwork." In all, the analysis revealed that "Armslist and similar sites function as unregulated bazaars, where the essential anonymity of the Internet allows unlicensed sellers to advertise scores of weapons and people legally barred from gun ownership to buy them."