The Texas Observer reports that the s tate health department left approximately $2.3 million of its family planning funds unspent while clinics across the state closed because of lack of money. As a result, tens of thousands of women lost access to reproductive care. The unspent funds happened at a time when, according to previous Observer reporting, "146 family-planning clinics lost funds, and more than 60 clinics closed as a result following budget cuts instituted by the Texas Legislature in 2011."
Extra Extra : Social issues
Extra Extra Monday: Motorcycle novelty helmets, secrets of the gulf oil spill and unregulated day cares
How the gun lobby has already blocked Boston’s bombing investigators | MSNBC
“One avenue of investigation is already closed off to forensic officials working the Boston Marathon bombing case due to efforts dating back decades by the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers.”
What BP Doesn’t Want You to Know About the 2010 Gulf Spill | Newsweek
“What has not been revealed until now is how BP hid that massive amount of oil from TV cameras and the price that this “disappearing act” imposed on cleanup workers, coastal residents, and the ecosystem of the gulf. That story can now be ...
Analyzing websites such as ARMSLIST.com, The New York Times found convicted felons advertising to buy and sell guns, sellers calling themselves private parties to avoid background checks and 170,000 advertisements offering unknown quantities of guns for sale. The Times reports that sellers often include in listings phrases such as "No questions asked. No paperwork." In all, the analysis revealed that "Armslist and similar sites function as unregulated bazaars, where the essential anonymity of the Internet allows unlicensed sellers to advertise scores of weapons and people legally barred from gun ownership to buy them."
Extra Extra Monday: Faltering courts, the curse of fertilizer, nuclear byproduct, stranding the mentally ill
Faltering Courts, Mired in Delays | The New York Times
“The Bronx courts are failing. With criminal cases languishing for years, a plague of delays in the Bronx criminal courts is undermining one of the central ideals of the justice system, the promise of a speedy trial.”
The Curse of Fertilizer | National Geographic Magazine
"Runaway nitrogen is suffocating wildlife in lakes and estuaries, contaminating groundwater, and even warming the globe’s climate. As a hungry world looks ahead to billions more mouths needing nitrogen-rich protein, how much clean water and air will survive our demand for fertile fields?"
"The electronic ankle monitors California used for several years to monitor more than 4,000 high-risk sex offenders and gang members were so inaccurate and unreliable that corrections officials said that the public was 'in imminent danger,'" according to the Los Angeles Times' investigation.
Bloomberg reports that national fraternities, with at least $170 million in revenue, "often protect their growing wealth by insulating themselves from legal and financial responsibility for a wave of alcohol and hazing-related deaths and injuries."
Bloomberg reports that some of the biggest national fraternities, while facing lawsuits alleging negligent supervision, "shielded funds in hard-to-tap foundations and cast blame on local chapters with few or no assets. Rather than intensify monitoring of branches, some fraternities have ceded daily supervision to undergraduates."
Over the last decade, federal prosecutors pursued only eight domestic gun-trafficking cases in Minnesota, according to court records examined by the Star Tribune. Federal law enforcement officials say their limited presence in the state and significant constraints in federal law present serious obstacles to cracking down on illegal gun trafficking. Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, whom President Obama has nominated to lead the ATF, said the agency has gone “a long time without the resources it needs to really be healthier.” The ATF’s Minnesota office has among the fewest inspectors in the nation to watch over the ...Read more ...
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 New York Times
Ruled a Threat to Family, but Allowed to Keep Guns
“Advocates for domestic violence victims have long called for stricter laws governing firearms and protective orders. Their argument is rooted in a grim statistic: when women die at the hand of an intimate partner, that hand is more often than not holding a gun.”
OECD Enables Companies to Avoid $100 Billion in Taxes
“With little outside attention, it also plays a pivotal role enabling global corporations such as Google Inc. (GOOG), Hewlett- Packard Co. and Amazon.com Inc. to dodge taxes by shifting profits into ...
According to a report from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a sharp rise in students diagnosed with major disabilities is forcing many Minnesota schools to take difficult and at times divisive new steps to tailor classrooms to the disabled students’ needs, no matter how expensive that gets. Even as overall school enrollment declined over the past decade, the number of disabled students rose 14 percent. Many of the state’s most psychologically troubled students also are being sent to school settings for the first time as mental health programs that once served them have been cut back or eliminated. By law ...Read more ...