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Extra Extra Monday: Female inmates wrongly sterilized, hazardous chemical program flawed, postal service snooping

U.S. well sites in 2012 discharged more than Valdez | EnergyWire
"It was one of the more than 6,000 spills and other mishaps reported at onshore oil and gas sites in 2012, compiled in a months-long review of state and federal data by EnergyWire. That's an average of more than 16 spills a day. And it's a significant increase since 2010. In the 12 states where comparable data were available, spills were up about 17 percent."

Female inmates sterilized in California prisons without approval | The Center for Investigative Reporting
“Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.”

U.S. system for flagging hazardous chemicals is widely flawed | Reuters
“A 27-year-old U.S. program intended to warn the public of the presence of hazardous chemicals is flawed in many states due to scant oversight and lax reporting by plant owners, a Reuters examination finds.”

Violence reverberates through the city, even with decline in shootings, homicides | Chicago Tribune
“It was just one scene in a city where gunfire has long been too common. In the first six months of this year, more than 1,000 people were shot in Chicago, according to a Tribune analysis.”

U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement | The New York Times
“As the world focuses on the high-tech spying of the National Security Agency, the misplaced card offers a rare glimpse inside the seemingly low-tech but prevalent snooping of the United States Postal Service.”

Walking our roads could kill you | Orlando Sentinel
“Nowhere in America are pedestrians at greater risk of being struck and seriously injured or killed. Nowhere are drivers more likely to suffer the life-changing split second of taking someone's life — simply by operating one of the 3,000-pound machines that are so ubiquitous in Central Florida life, and so deadly.”

Landlords, self-employed get state aid on honor system | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“A 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 to hold regulators accountable for oversight of the dozen or so taxpayer-funded programs.”

MIA work 'acutely dysfunctional' | The Associated Press
“Largely beyond the public spotlight, the decades-old pursuit of bones and other MIA evidence is sluggish, often duplicative and subjected to too little scientific rigor, the report says. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the internal study after Freedom of Information Act requests for it by others were denied.”

Small businesses likely to see little help from new tax cuts | Cincinnati Enquirer
“An Enquirer analysis of the new tax cut – pitched as a big boost for Ohio’s small businesses – finds that most will save just a few hundred dollars a year. Businesses with annual incomes of $25,000 or less will get no more than $351 in tax savings, while those with incomes of $100,000 will save about $2,100.”

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