Venezuela may have given passports to people with ties to terrorism

CNN and CNN en Español teamed up in a year-long joint investigation that uncovered serious irregularities in the issuing of Venezuelan passports and visas, including allegations that passports were given to people with ties to terrorism. The investigation involved reviewing thousands of documents and conducting interviews in the U.S., Spain, Venezuela and the United Kingdom.

Nearly a fifth of Illinois 9/11 loans deemed uncollectible

An analysis by the Chicago Tribune shows that nearly a fifth of the “economic injury disaster loans” made to Illinois small businesses in the wake of the 9/11 attacks have been deemed uncollectible by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The charge-off rate for the banking industry is well under 1 percent of loans. About half…

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Chicago’s unarmed aviation police officers instructed to run and hide

Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports have nearly 300 sworn aviation police officers wearing uniforms and badges. One thing they don’t have – guns. A CNN investigation revealed that these sworn, unarmed officers have been instructed to run and hide in the case of an active shooter. CNN surveyed other major airports and found that most…

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U.S. government wasted $17 billion in Afghanistan

The U.S. government has spent $17 billion on wasted projects and unused resources in Afghanistan, a ProPublica investigation has found. The decisions that led to wasting billions of dollars in taxpayer money on useless projects did not lead to any consequences for the officials in the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development or…

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Empty military buildings had multimillion-dollar price tags

As NATO withdraws from Afghanistan, the U.S. military is leaving behind almost $42 million in buildings that have never been used, ProPublica reports.  ProPublica used reports from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction as a starting point for a story on how — and why — the military ignored the advice of three generals…

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U.S. government knowingly gave incorrect numbers on Afghanistan schools

The United States has cited education — for which it has spent more than $1 billion — as one of its main achievements in Afghanistan. U.S. officials repeatedly used impressive statistics — the number of schools built, girls enrolled, textbooks distributed, teachers trained and dollars spent — to help justify the 13 years and more…

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Ignoring the terror within

While the number of domestic terror incidents increases, law enforcement agencies are doing less to catch domestic extremists, a year-long investigation by the Kansas City Star has found. The investigation revealed that after Sept. 11, 2001, law enforcement agencies turned their attention toward stopping foreign terrorism at a degree that deemphasized efforts to stop domestic…

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Data breach mystery leads from Arizona counterterrorism site to China

Lizhong Fang, a Chinese national and computer programmer, had access to a variety of sensitive information during his short time at the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center in Phoenix. His work on facial recognition software allowed him to view the Arizona driver’s license database as well as law enforcement records. Fang disappeared in 2007, and…

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Reports reveal safety violations at many bioterror labs

Recent glaring safety lapses involving anthrax, smallpox and a dangerous strain of bird flu are the latest violations at a half-dozen laboratories run by federal health agencies, 11 labs run by universities and eight more operated by state, local or private entities, according to government reports stamped “restricted” obtained by USA TODAY under the Freedom…

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Email shows effort to shield bin Laden photos

According to the Associated Press, “A newly-released email shows that 11 days after the killing of terror leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, the U.S. military’s top special operations officer ordered subordinates to destroy any photographs of the al-Qaida founder’s corpse or turn them over to the CIA.” When the AP initially asked for emails…

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