Extra Extra : Real Estate

Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries deny, delay asbestos, hazard claims, suits, insiders allege

“Scripps interviewed more than 20 sources -- some confidential -- reviewed dozens of lawsuits and spoke with former insiders, who all allege the Berkshire-owned companies that handle its asbestos and pollution policies -- National Indemnity Co. and Resolute Management Inc. -- wrongfully delay or deny compensation to cancer victims and others to boost Berkshire’s profits. In multiple cases, courts and arbitrators have ruled that the Berkshire subsidiaries’ tactics have been in “bad faith” or intentional.”

Forged documents surprise homeowners, cost thousands of dollars to fix

In February, 41 Action News found housing documents somehow signed by dead people and homeowners who had no idea the deeds to their properties had been forged. Continuing its investigation, 41 Action News reports "a growing trail of 'dirty deeds,' and evidence of a crime that’s so shockingly easy, there is very little to stop it from happening."

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 ...

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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 ...

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Life and Death in Assisted Living

“More and more elderly Americans are choosing to spend their later years in assisted living facilities, which have sprung up as an alternative to nursing homes. But is this loosely regulated, multibillion-dollar industry putting seniors at risk? In a major investigation with ProPublica, Frontline examines the operations of the nation’s largest assisted living company, raising questions about the drive for profits and fatal lapses in care.”

Extra Extra Monday: Breaking the banks, assisted living, street gang recruiting and crowdsourced investigations

Breaking the Banks | Sarasota Herald-Tribune
“An investigation that began three years ago has found that at least half of Florida’s community banks failed because their leaders were greedy, arrogant, incompetent or sometimes corrupt. The newspaper obtained previously confidential state records that show how failed bankers broke the law, manipulated financial documents and gorged themselves on insider deals. These bank records had never before been collected by an American newspaper.”

Life and Death in Assisted living | ProPublica and Frontline
“More and more elderly Americans are choosing to spend their later years in assisted living facilities, which have sprung up as ...

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Arizona failed to distribute federal aid to struggling homeowners

Arizona has failed to pass along tens of millions of dollars in federal aid to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure, despite being one of the states hit hardest by the housing bust. The Arizona Republic reports that Arizona had the nation’s second-highest foreclosure rate during much of the housing crisis. Yet from mid-2011 through the end of 2012, it spent only 6 percent of $268 million allocated to help Arizona homeowners through the worst housing crash in the country’s history. And a large portion of Arizona’s money was spent setting up the program — at one point making ...

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Landlords, self-employed get state aid on honor system

“A (Milwaukee) Journal Sentinel investigation found property owners with major sources of rental income who did not reveal it in applications for public assistance. The cases reveal a gap in regulation that affects every public assistance program in the state. Local and state regulators fail to verify actual income when applicants report that they make no money or are self-employed. 'Basically we're supposed to accept what they tell us,' said one public assistance fraud investigator in southeastern Wisconsin. The government considers much of the information about recipients of public assistance to be confidential, making it impossible for the public ...

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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 ...

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