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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.”

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 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.’”

Insiders Allege Fraudulent Accounting at SamTrans | NBC Bay Area
“Insiders say they were asked to make changes to the San Mateo County Transit District’s financial records that they believe were illegal; they say SamTrans made up expenses to create the appearance it needed more taxpayer money.”

D.C. Fire Stations Near Navy Yard Understaffed in Shooting | NBC Washington
“News4 I-Team has learned some D.C. firehouses were understaffed during Monday morning's shooting at the Navy Yard. Twelve people were killed and eight others injured when 34-year-old Aaron Alexis opened fire inside Building 197 in Southeast D.C. around 8:30 a.m. Alexis was later shot and killed by police.”

Legal problems sent midwife to Utah, where another baby died | Salt Lake Tribune
“This is not the first time El Halta has been accused of straying beyond her expertise. It is not her first encounter with the law, nor her first delivery that ended with a death. But for decades she has remained committed to natural childbirth, and some clients say she has helped countless women avoid complicated surgeries and provided choice in births where hospitals may offer few options. ‘They’ll have to cut off my hands to stop me,’ he once told a Michigan newspaper.”

Metro Phoenix housing market’s turnaround creates new issues | Arizona Republic
Now, buyers and renters live in those places — in properties re-floored, repainted and relandscaped. The number of empty houses in the Phoenix area today stands at about 10,000, according to an Arizona Republic analysis of housing data.

Scoring errors jeopardize tests: Poor oversight raises risk | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“It can mean the difference between college and a factory job; between scraping by and a chance for more. The former principal is still haunted by the few times he told parents their children wouldn’t receive a high school diploma because they had failed the exams.”

Carolinas HealthCare’s planes used for business, personal trips | Charlotte Observer
A Charlotte Observer story published Sunday revealed that the CEO of one of the nation's largest nonprofit hospital systems enjoys a rare perk: the freedom to fly hospital planes for both business and pleasure. Flight logs provided by Carolinas HealthCare System show that chief executive Michael Tarwater took at least 29 personal flights on the system’s planes from 2008 through 2012. Tarwater, an accomplished pilot, often flew hospital planes on business trips as well. Some experts believe the practice is rare – and questionable. “It seems inappropriate for them to use (planes) for personal purposes, given that they are being supported via tax exemption,” said Gerard Anderson, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Hospital Finance and Management. “So we are all paying for the vacation the CEO is taking.”

Lee Zurik Investigation: Hingle to jail, taxpayers pay him $400k | WVUE New Orleans
“Former Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Jiff Hingle surrendered himself Monday, reporting to a federal prison in South Carolina where he'll serve most of his nearly four-year sentence. And even while he's behind bars, the public will still be paying Hingle.”

UCI doctors downplayed risks of surgical robot | Orange County Register
“Two top UC Irvine surgeons have spent a decade working with a California company to promote a $2 million surgical robot despite a lack of reliable scientific evidence showing that it is safe or gives patients better results.”

Justice Dept. watchdog never probed judges' NSA concerns | USA Today
“In response to a FOIA request from USA TODAY, the Justice Department said its ethics office never looked into complaints from two federal judges that they had been misled about NSA surveillance.”

DeVry Lures Medical School Rejects as Taxpayers Fund Debt | Bloomberg Markets Magazine
“DeVry, which has two for-profit medical schools in the Caribbean, is accepting hundreds of students who were rejected by U.S. medical colleges. These students amass more debt than their U.S. counterparts -- a median of $253,072 in June 2012 at AUC versus $170,000 for 2012 graduates of U.S. medical schools.”

DWP says it can't track millions in ratepayer money | Los Angeles Times
“DWP ratepayer funds flow to two groups run by agency managers and union leaders, with little accountability.”

“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.’”

The Huffington Post reports that the New York Police Department collected information on businesses owned by second- and third-generation Americans specifically because they were Muslims, according to newly obtained secret documents. They show in the clearest terms yet that police were monitoring people based on religion, despite claims from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the contrary.

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 as to why training material would make such outrageous claims, the FBI responded that the documents obtained were out of date. However, one briefing titled,  “Strategic Themes and Drivers in Islamic Law” took place on March 21, 2011.

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.

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.

The first of two investigative reports from the Center for Investigative Reporting's James Sandler examines the Bush administration's efforts to squelch legal proceedings against two high ranking Chinese officials accused of torturing members of religious groups, including Fulan Gong. The two accused officials are former trade minister Bo Xilai and Beijing

Robert Gehrke of The Salt Lake Tribune reported that U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt discussed incorporating Mormon doctrines and beliefs into state government when he was governor of Utah. When The Tribune started inquiring, Leavitt requested the state remove transcripts of his discussions from public display. PDFs of the minutes from the "seminary" meetings he held with other government officials are posted on The Tribune's website.

Lee Davidson of the (Salt Lake City) Deseret Morning News analyzed nearly 300 tax returns, known as IRS Form 990, filed by tax-exempt organization and found that Boy Scouts both in Utah and across the U.S. tend to pay their top executives significantly more than do other nonprofit groups that serve youths. It's a topic of particular interest in Utah, which is home to some of the largest Boy Scouts councils in the country in part because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints makes scouting part of its youth activity program.

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