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U.S. food aid program struggles to move forward

The U.S. government spends more than half of its international food aid budget transporting life-saving commodities through a tangled system of special interests and government bureaucracy – more than $9 billion in taxpayer dollars over the past decade, a Medill/USA Today investigation has found.

That makes it by far the most inefficient and expensive food assistance delivery system in the world, and one that delays or deprives sustenance to potentially millions of people who desperately need it—and in some cases, die without it, according to interviews with dozens of U.S. officials and experts, and a review of ...

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Reports on college crime are deceptively inaccurate

College crime stats are inaccurate and misleading thanks to an abused reporting system that allows off-campus crime to sometimes slip through the cracks, according to an investigation by The Columbus Dispatch and the Student Press Law Center.

The Education Department does little to monitor or enforce compliance with the Clery Act, which was enacted in 1991 to alert students to dangers on campus but often fails at its mission, according to the investigation.

To read the full story, click here.

Extra Extra Monday: Injury-leave program, secret service fumbles, the cost of rape

Blacks disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession in Pinellas, Hillsborough counties | Tampa Bay Times

Black people in Pinellas and Hillsborough are at least six times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as white people. It's not because of who smokes pot and who doesn’t.

Racial disparities in pot possession arrests is not a new topic. But the disparities are particularly pronounced in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, a Tampa Bay Times analysis found.

 

L.A. pays millions as police and firefighter claims rise | L.A. Times

An injury-leave program for Los Angeles police and firefighters has cost taxpayers ...

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Wall Street Journal publishes free ‘Deadly Medicine’ e-book

Last December, The Wall Street Journal told the world the story of Amy Reed, a Boston doctor who had a hysterectomy to treat what doctors thought was a benign fibroid tumor, only to find out later that she had cancer and that a device called a power morcellator had caused it to spread.

Now, the Journal has published an ebook, drawn from its investigative coverage throughout 2014. It tells the story of Amy and other women who have been made sicker or who have died because of this device. The ebook can be downloaded for free from the Journal website.

VA records show veteran rescheduled appointment after death

A delay in care at the Minneapolis VA led to the death of a young Marine, according to a report by KARE-Minneapolis. The veteran’s medical records also appear to have been falsified after his death. An FBI investigation was launched this week in repose to the station’s most recent report and previous reports in which VA whistleblowers claim they were ordered to regularly falsify patient data to meet performance measures.

Danger lurks underground from aging gas pipes

About every other day over the past decade, a gas leak in the United States has destroyed property, hurt someone or killed someone, a USA TODAY Network investigation finds. The most destructive blasts have killed at least 135 people, injured 600 and caused $2 billion in damages since 2004.

A crack found in a cast-iron service main caused an apartment building explosion in Birmingham, Alabama last year. Alabama Gas Corp. built and operated that pipeline, according to the Montgomery Advertiser, one of the Gannett-affiliated publications involved in the project.

The Advertiser recently went to court over Alagasco documents it obtained ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Ray Rice and the NFL, sexual assaults at the University of South Florida, a questionable robbery conviction

A stickup. A manhunt. A mistake? | The Sarasota Herald-Tribune

A long time ago, a family was robbed. The police pounced. A man went to jail. A lot of people wondered if the law got it right. It sure doesn’t look like it.

The Herald-Tribune spent nine months examining the case against Andre Bryant, now 28 and serving his seventh year in a Panhandle prison. New evidence suggests Bryant is not the robber and shows how lawmen developed tunnel vision during their inquiry, dismissing clues and other suspects during an abbreviated investigation.

 

Rice case: purposeful misdirection by team, scant investigation ...

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Why Americans are flocking to their sinking shores even as the risks mount

Americans ability to work around some of the most restrictive beach development laws in the country is indicative of a problem that only worsens as rising seas gnaw at U.S. shores: Americans are flocking to the water’s edge, as they have for decades, even as the risks to life and property mount. And government is providing powerful inducements for them to do so, Reuters found

Between 1990 – when warnings were already being sounded on rising sea levels – and 2010, the United States added about 2.2 million new housing units to Census areas, known as block groups, with ...

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Former county executive continues to rake in the cash

Monroe County Republicans consistently rake in more donations than many other county-level political parties in New York, the Democrat & Chronicle found. Campaign finance reports shed light on one reason for the party's fundraising prowess: Former county executive Jack Doyle. The party contracts with Doyle to work as a fundraiser, county Republican Chairman Bill Reilich said recently. Doyle works on commission, Reilich said, meaning that he earns a percentage of the donations he brings in.

A recent campaign disclosure report shows that the GOP paid Doyle — or John D. Doyle LLC — $45,593 in March for professional services. It was ...

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How Gangs Took Over Prisons

Originally formed for self-protection, prison gangs have become the unlikely custodians of order behind bars—and of crime on the streets, The Atlantic reports. The California prison system, which houses the second-largest inmate population in the country—about 135,600 people, slightly more than the population of Bellevue, Washington, split into facilities of a few thousand inmates apiece. With the possible exception of North Korea, the United States has a higher incarceration rate than any other nation, at one in 108 adults.

Among the fundamental questions about prison gangs—known in California-corrections argot as “Security Threat Groups”—is ...

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