Hundreds of charities now operate, not to help the needy, but to turn donations made to paralyzed veterans, dying children and cancer victims into profit for private fundraising companies. An investigation by The Center for Investigative Reporting, CNN and the Tampa Bay Times revales that the top 50 worst charities collected more than $1 billion used for corporate fundraisers.
Extra Extra : Collaboration
A collaboration between the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and NBC6 has found that "for years, due in part to lax regulations on safety equipment and few mandates for formal boating safety education, Florida has led the nation in boating-related deaths and injuries."
"The Florida Legislature has failed to address the state’s hazardous waters through additional safety requirements and mandated boater education, because year after year, the $10.3 billion Florida boating industry and the state’s boating constituents have pressured legislators to keep safety regulations to a minimum."
Dozens of journalists working for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism sorted through millions of leaked records that "lay bare the names behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and other offshore hideaways."
International Consortium of Investigative Journalism reports that key findings include:
- Government officials and their families and associates in Azerbaijan, Russia, Canada, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Mongolia and other countries have embraced the use of covert companies and bank accounts.
- The mega-rich use complex offshore structures to own mansions, yachts, art masterpieces and other assets, gaining tax advantages and anonymity not ...
Extra Extra Monday: buried in grain, wired for waste, immigrants in solitary cells and democracy denied
Buried in Grain | NPR, Center for Public Integrity
“Nearly 180 people — including 18 teenagers — have been killed in grain-related entrapments at federally regulated facilities across 34 states since 1984, records show. Their employers were issued a total of $9.2 million in fines, though regulators later reduced the penalties overall by 59 percent. Read about the incidents here.”
Wired for Waste | Charleston Gazette
“In 2010, West Virginia received a $126 million federal stimulus grant to bring high-speed Internet across the state. The Gazette is scrutinizing the state's stimulus spending in an ongoing series of reports.”
The Voice of San Diego and NBC 7 San Diego report that in 13 of 17 local school districts that have issued bonds since 2006, there is a significant correlation between the district's major donors and the companies that won work. More than 70 percent of companies that donated more than $5,000 to bond campaigns also won bond-funded contracts, according to the report. In collaboration, the reporters "looked at every school bond campaign in San Diego County since 2006, and focused on companies that donated more than $5,000 to campaigns. Then we approached each district to see ...Read more ...
Security for San Diego's rail transit is staffed by private security officers, who say they have long been ill-equipped, untrained and unprepared to respond to many railway emergencies like collisions or terrorist attacks, according to a investigation from Investigative Newsource.
In 2010, 44 percent of all people who died and received Medicare benefits chose hospice, according to Investigative Newsource. While the number of hospice patients has doubled in the past decade, the cost has quadrupled, leading the federal government to scrutinize hospice providers and specifically the eligibility of those accepting care.
As Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday nears, the federal probe into his finances is focusing on legendary San Francisco financier Thomas Weisel, who bankrolled Armstrong's champion teams, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting. CIR reports that "according to documents, the pair's business affairs are being investigated by the Major Fraud Investigations Division of the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General. At stake is $40 million in federal funds the Postal Service paid Weisel's Tailwind Sports between 1996 and 2004 to sponsor the team."
With employment hovering around 9 percent, and a poverty rate that now ranks sixth in the nation, Georgia's all-Republican state government has created a land that welfare forgot, with private charities struggling to fill the holes, Slate reports in collaboration with The Nation Institute. Georgia nonprofits give out millions of cans of free food and help the city's poor apply for food stamps and Medicaid — but no one bothers to help struggling families apply for welfare. There's no point: thanks to Beverly "B.J." Walker, a zealous state welfare commissioner who built a reputation for being tough ...Read more ...
In collaboration with WBEZ-Chicago, The Center for Public Integrity looks at the story behind Carlos Centeno’s death. The terribly accident "underscores the burden faced by some of America’s 2.5 million temporary, or contingent, workers. The growing but mostly invisible group of laborers often toil in the least desirable, most dangerous jobs."