Extra Extra : Religion

Twin Cities Archdiocese transfer of assets may protect it from bankruptcy creditors

For decades, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been shifting money into separate nonprofits that may be beyond the reach of its creditors in bankruptcy court. The nonprofits were created for various reasons, but they carry the potential benefit of protecting the church’s assets from liability linked to clergy abuse suits. The moves are seen as prudent by some church finance leaders, while others view them as maneuvers to transfer money to places where victims and their lawyers will have a harder time reaching it.

Read the story by the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Hidden priests, secret pasts: Church silent about where it houses credibly accused clerics

“Cheplic, who has denied the allegations, is one of at least seven alleged sexual predators quietly placed in the Rutherford retirement home in the past decade, The Star-Ledger found. Some lived there a short time. Others have stayed for years. Neighbors said they were never informed of the men’s presence until told by a reporter.”

Archdiocese knew of priest's sexual misbehavior, yet kept him in ministry

“A memo written in 2011 obtained by MPR News from police shows the former vicar general – the top deputy of the archdiocese – did not want parish employees to know about Wehmeyer's past. ‘At every step of the way, this could have been prevented,’ Haselberger said. ‘This is just failure after failure after failure after failure.’”

Extra Extra Monday: Overdoses, background checks, housing markets, midwifery and fraudulent accounting

Use only as directed | ProPublica and This American Life
“About 150 Americans a year die by accidentally taking too much acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. The toll does not have to be so high.” Read the stories from ProPublica.

Company Behind Snowden Vetting Did Check on D.C. Shooter | Bloomberg
“The U.S. government contractor that vetted Edward Snowden, who leaked information about national surveillance programs, said it also performed a background check on the Washington Navy Yard shooter.”

Archdiocese knew of priest's sexual misbehavior, yet kept him in ministry | Minnesota Public Radio
“A memo written in 2011 ...

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Extra Extra Monday: False-negative HPV tests, sex-selective abortion and sharecroppers of the sea

The New Haven Register
Connecticut superintendents get many perks in addition to salaries
“Meal allowances, housing help, generous mileage reimbursements and bonuses of up to $30,000 a year are some perks Connecticut school superintendents get in addition to their annual salaries.”

The Texas Tribune
A Part-Time Legislature, but in Whose Interest?
“Wth a conflict disclosure system rife with holes, virtually toothless ethics laws often left to the interpretation of the lawmakers they are supposed to regulate, and a Legislature historically unwilling to make itself more transparent, the reality is Texans know exceedingly little about who or what influences the ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Dying elephants, Medicare loopholes and fracking our food supply

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 ...

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Documents further confirm surveillance of Muslim-Americans

FBI to agents: “Mainstream” Muslims are “terrorists in waiting”

Spencer Ackerman, of WIRED.com Danger Room, has acquired dozens of FBI training materials on counter terrorism and Islam. The training material argues that it does not matter whether or not American Muslims are law abiding citizens, “the Islamic “insurgency” is all-encompassing and insidious. In addition to outright combat, its “techniques” include “immigration” and “law suits.” So if a Muslim wishes to become an American or sues the FBI for harassment, it’s all just part of the jihad.” The documents claim (using DocumentCloud) that “Islam ‘transforms [a] country’s culture into 7th-century Arabian ways.’”’

When Ackerman pressed the FBI ...

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Former Scientologists allege culture of violence, intimidation

An investigation into the Church of Scientology by Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin of The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times alleges "a culture of intimidation and violence" under the church's leader, David Miscavige. The Times interviewed "executives who for decades were key figure in Scientology's powerful inner circle." Church leaders have refuted the claims made my the former members who spoke to The Times.

Inspiration Network draws scrutiny

The Charlotte Observer published a two-part investigation into the Inspiration Network, which has become one of the world’s fastest growing religious broadcasters largely by repeating this on-air pitch: God brings financial favor to those who donate to the network.  Those contributions have turned the network’s CEO into one of the nation’s best-paid non-profit leaders, with compensation exceeding $1.5 million a year.  The broadcaster has also secured millions in relocation incentives from the state of South Carolina, but has failed to live up to many of its development promises, the paper reported.