Extra Extra : Banking

Extra Extra Monday: Prenatal screening tests, prison labor programs and nonprofit donations

Oversold and misunderstood: Prenatal screening tests prompt abortions | The New England Center for Investigative Reporting

Sparked by the sequencing of the human genome a decade ago, a new generation of prenatal screening tests, including MaterniT21, has exploded onto the market in the past three years. The unregulated screens claim to detect with near-perfect accuracy the risk that a fetus may have Down or Edwards syndromes, and a growing list of other chromosomal abnormalities.

But a three-month examination by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has found that companies are overselling the accuracy of their tests and doing little to ...

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Records show troubled stockbrokers often cluster near the affluent and elderly

Stockbrokers who’ve been in trouble with regulators tend to cluster in certain places in the country where the affluent and elderly are easily accessible and where regulatory punishment is lax, a Wall Street Journal data analysis shows. The Journal found these hotspots in south Florida and Long Island, long known as havens for troubled brokers, but also in places around Detroit, Las Vegas and parts of California. The Journal’s analysis, showing a total of 16 such hotspots, came after the reporters pieced together stockbroker records from 27 states detailing the disciplinary and employment histories of about 550,000 ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Child abuse deaths unheeded, strawberry pesticides, habitual drunk driving

Nursing homes unmasked: Who owns California’s nursing homes? | Sacramento Bee
As private investment groups scoop up an ever-larger share of the nation’s skilled-nursing care market, it has become increasingly difficult to decipher who owns the nation’s largest chains.

Elder-care advocates will tell you this is no accident: A convoluted ownership structure, they say, is a way for owners to hide assets and shield themselves from civil and criminal liability when patients are abused or neglected in their care. Confusing lines of ownership also make it harder for regulators to detect worrisome patterns of care among facilities within ...

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How one of the EU's smallest states helps foreign businesses save millions

Luxembourg, one of the EU's smallest nations, boasts both a massive GDP per capita and an incredibly lucrative haven for multinational corporations to set up a small branch. In the case of Shire, a specialized drug company has its smallest location in Luxembourg, but it's one of the company's most financially successful in the world. Many familiar multinational corporations such as Pepsi, Ikea, Dyson, Heinz and FedEx have used similar techniques to Shire to make these branches as lucrative as possible.

An article from The Guardian explains in great detail the convoluted processes used by Luxembourg officials ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Uneven assessments, National Guard misconduct, Chicago migration myth

Across Wisconsin, uneven property assessments fly in the face of fairness | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By measure after measure, in cities, towns and villages across Wisconsin, property assessors are discounting uniformity and trampling on fairness, while officials with the state Department of Revenue do little to rectify the disparities, an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found.

In dozens of communities, 20% or more of residential property taxes are being paid by the wrong people, according to the Journal Sentinel's analysis of Department of Revenue records for each of the state's 1,852 municipalities. The analysis considered communities ...

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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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Extra Extra Monday: Hospice firms drain billions, JPMorgan hired China's elite, restaurants stay open despite violations

San Diego Has Fallen Behind on Combating Police Racial Profiling | Voice of San Diego
The San Diego Police Department has often failed to follow its own rules regarding the collection of racial data at traffic stops, saying the community isn't concerned about racial profiling. A local black officers group, the NAACP and a city councilman disagree.

Hospice firms draining billions from Medicare | The Washington Post
But over the past decade, the number of “hospice survivors” in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying, a Washington ...

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Banks making money off charitable donations

Banks are reaping significant financial rewards as they give to charities hundreds of distressed properties in communities still suffering the effects of the foreclosure crisis. But a Chicago Tribune investigation looked at the outcomes for hundreds of donated homes and revealed a pattern of profiteering, mismanagement and failure to help some of the city's hardest-hit communities. This is another installment in the Poverty & Profit series, which probes how a once-stable African-American community has been devastated by corruption and City Hall neglect. 

Bloomberg Markets investigation finds investors lose 89 percent of gains from futures funds

Bloomberg Markets magazine investigates the managed futures industry, and finds that while 63 public partnerships earned $11.5 billion over the past decade, 89 percent was siphoned away in commmissions, fees and expenses.

In a nine-month investigation relying on compiled data from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bloomberg Markets found that the partnerships wiped out all the trading profits -- all that was left for investors came from interest earnings on the limited partners' cash. The impact of these high fees has escaped both regulators and some industry executives, the magazine reports.

Hundreds of Stockbrokers Migrate Between Firms Expelled by Regulators

More than 5,000 brokers were still licensed to sell securities earlier this year after working for one or more firms that regulators expelled between 2005 and 2012, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal. Hundreds of these brokers worked at more than one firm expelled by regulators, the analysis found.