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.
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Extra Extra Monday: Medicare prescribers, payday loans, swift deportations and secret consulting work
Medicare Drug Program Fails to Monitor Prescribers, Putting Seniors and Disabled at Risk | ProPublica and The Washington Post
"Prescription data obtained by ProPublica shows widespread use of antipsychotics, narcotics and other drugs dangerous for older adults, but Medicare officials say it's not their job to look for unsafe prescribing or weed out doctors with troubled backgrounds." Also published this weekend is a database of Medicare's prescription drug program.
Beyond Payday Loans | Marketplace and ProPublica
"A near billion dollar company, World Finance is the largest of an often-overlooked breed of high-cost lender: installment lenders. Ranging from a few hundred ...
Investigative Newsource in San Diego reports on the North County Transit District, which was overhauled and largely outsourced four years ago with significant consequences. Newsource reports that the "the turnover among upper management at North County Transit District has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and has, at times, put riders at risk."
"An 'Outside the Lines' investigation of 115 charities founded by high-profile, top-earning male and female athletes has found that most of their charities don't measure up to what charity experts would say is an efficient, effective use of money," according to ESPN's story.
“But an examination of the group’s financial records — part of a Globe review of more than 150 Internal Revenue Service filings by 50 nonprofits operated by professional athletes — reveals that just 37 cents of every dollar raised by the Josh Beckett Foundation went toward its mission to “improve the health and well-being of children.” That’s far less than the 65 to 75 cents that nonprofit specialists say is an acceptable minimum.”
According to an analysis from California Watch, nearly 1 in 10 teachers lack the necessary credentials for their positions. Using data from the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing, California Watch found more than 32,000 school employees lacked proper authorization between 2007 and 2011. According to the report, "The problem is greater at low-performing schools, where students are overwhelmingly low-income and Latino. The average rate of improperly assigned teachers at these schools was 16 percent over the same period."
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 ...
Haiti Grassroots Watch reports: "The population of Cadouche, a small village about 12 kilometers south of Cap-Haitian in Haiti’s North department, is nervous about three new mining exploitation permits granted last December in an opaque and secretive process."
Residents of the area, who told Haiti Grassroots Watch they are concerned the mining will poison their environment, say no members of the government or the company approached them to hear complaints or ask for agreement in the mining plan.
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.
The Seattle Times
Glamour Beasts: The Dark Side of Elephant Captivity
“Zoos' efforts to preserve and propagate elephants have largely failed, both in Seattle and nationally. The infant-mortality rate for elephants in zoos is almost triple the rate in the wild.”
Food and Environment Reporting Network
Fracking our food supply
“In Pennsylvania, the oil and gas industry is already on a tear—drilling thousands of feet into ancient seabeds, then repeatedly fracturing (or “fracking”) these wells with millions of gallons of highly pressurized, chemically laced water, which shatters the surrounding shale and releases fossil fuels. New York, meanwhile, is on ...