Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Traveling" ...

  • Pentagon secretly struck back against Iranian cyberspies targeting U.S. ships

    In the middle of June, tensions were rising between the United States and Iran. Iran had attacked oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, and then downed an expensive, high-tech Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone flying over the Strait, upping the ante of the conflict. Given previous rhetoric from Trump administration officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against the Iranian regime, the decision to exit the Iran deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the increasingly heavy sanctions on Iran, the Yahoo News team was monitoring for chances to report in more depth on specific Iranian capabilities as well as U.S. plans to counter them. Following the attack on the U.S. drone, Yahoo News began communicating with sources who had extensive detail on a specific unit within the Iranian military in the cross-hairs of the U.S. military, a unit that had advanced its cyber capabilities to the point that it was able to track nearly all ships traveling through the Strait through both social engineering, or pretending to be attractive women engaging with service members traveling on the ships, to actually compromising ship GPS data websites in order to digitally monitor their paths. In the course of reporting, Yahoo News discovered a key, news breaking event—that just hours prior, the U.S. Cyber Command had launched a retaliatory strike aimed at limiting the capabilities of the specific Iranian cyber group the team had already been investigating. Yahoo was the first to break the news of the retaliatory strike, leading dozens of major news outlets to race to match the story. However, given the fact Yahoo News was investigating details into the cyber unit, our story was not only first but best and most detailed. The story demonstrates our ability to jump into the news cycle, provide key breaking news to our readers, as well as dig deep into illuminating new details. The story also revealed that Iranian capabilities to intercept and down drones to study them for espionage purposes was highly advanced, a fact previously unknown. Given President Trump’s recent decision to authorize a strike to kill IRGC Commander Qasem Suleimani, our reporting will continue to provide value to readers, analysts, and other interested parties hoping to better understand Iranian capabilities and how the U.S. might respond to them.
  • Simon & Schuster: A Deal with the Devil

    A Deal with the Devil chronicles the journey of two investigative journalists as they search for answers about one of the longest-running mail frauds in history. The scam centers around a mysterious psychic named Maria Duval, whose name and face have become infamous to sick and elderly victims all around the world, who have sent in millions of dollars in response to bogus promises made by letters allegedly signed by Duval. Global investigators have spent decades trying to stop the fraud, but when those efforts failed and they couldn’t determine who this woman was -- or if she was even real – authors Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken made it their mission to get to the bottom of this notorious scam once and for all. Their hunt takes readers on twists and turns as they discover key orchestrators of the fraud hiding away in places like Monaco and Thailand, and as they get farther than any law enforcement has -- even traveling to France in an attempt to confront the psychic herself. Investigative reporter Bethany McLean called the book “a personal how-to guide for investigative journalists, a twisted tale of a scam of huge proportions and a really good read.” NYU Journalism Professor Adam Penenberg, who famously exposed journalist fraudster Stephen Glass, said, “Journalists Ellis and Hicken out-sleuthed professional law enforcement in unraveling the mystery of a $200 million global scam. What they have wrought would have made a gripping novel. The fact that every word is true is what makes this book downright shocking.” Other endorsements came from NBC business anchor Ali Velshi and crime fiction writer Megan Abbott.
  • Dangerous Dollar Jitneys

    After scores of complaints, safety violations and a crash that killed an infant, WPIX went undercover and caught “dollar jitney” drivers committing dangerous acts behind the wheel: texting and talking on cell phones, illegally passing and speeding - endangering New York and New Jersey motorists, pedestrians and passengers. http://pix11.com/2015/11/20/pix11-investigation-exposes-dangerous-dollar-jitneys-traveling-ny-nj-roadways/ http://pix11.com/2015/11/23/pix11-investigation-sparks-police-probe-into-jitney-drivers-using-phones-behind-the-wheel/
  • Aviation Security Investigations

    One of the most alarming concerns for the traveling public is airport safety in the wake of terror attacks and other incidents. Over the course of 2015, CNN investigated the insider threat at airports, broadcasting a series of four exclusive investigations that generated high viewer interest. https://vimeo.com/150795855
  • Wayward Hayward

    The Daily was working an investigation into BP’s $20 billion victim’s compensation fund. While interviewing the Alabama Attorney General they learned the AG was going to be traveling to London to depose BP’s former CEO. With that in mind, they filed a records request for copies of any and all depositions. The request paid off when The Daily scored an exclusive copy of Hayward’s grueling videotaped deposition.
  • Most trafficked mammal

    The pangolin -- a little-known, scale-covered mammal -- is thought by scientists to be the most trafficked mammal in the world. Conservationists fear it could go extinct before most people realize it exists. To try to ensure that doesn’t happen, CNN’s John Sutter traveled, at times undercover, to Vietnam and Indonesia to introduce readers and viewers to this loveably introverted creature, and to expose the massive, illegal trade in its meat and scales. Traveling alone, and at times using hidden cameras and recording devices, Sutter met with wildlife traffickers and pangolin in Sumatra, Indonesia. He followed undercover wildlife cops in Hanoi, Vietnam, to a number of restaurants and markets that deal in pangolin products. This work exposed the ease with which pangolin traders are able to operate in these countries, in part because the pangolin has maintained a lower profile than rhinos and elephants. It also helped explain the rise in demand for pangolin scales and meat in Southeast Asia. Sutter’s work also humanized and popularized the pangolin, a creature he described as “elusive, nocturnal, rarely appreciated and barely understood.”
  • Crude oil in Pittsburgh

    North America is now one of the biggest producers of crude oil in the world, partly because of fracking in North Dakota and other Western states. With a lack of pipelines in place to move the oil, much of it has been pushed onto the rails. Much of that oil is moved in tank cars found to spill their loads when accidents occur. With the increased traffic, accidents have piled up across North America. Refineries processing much of the crude from the Bakken formation in the West are in the Philadelphia area. In May, the federal government told the railroads to give that information to states where they shipped large quantities of crude. Many states made the information public, but Pennsylvania was one of the states that opted out, citing that the information was “confidential” and “proprietary” to railroads. The state emergency response agency denied our public records requests (as well as other news agencies requests) for the information. PublicSource wanted to show people where trains were traveling in Pittsburgh and the potential affected population living around those lines.
  • Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos

    Between 1964 and 1973, in an offshoot of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military dropped 4 billion pounds of explosives on Laos. Up to 30 percent of those bombs did not detonate, and they remain in the Laotian soil today as UXO—unexploded ordnance—contaminating more than one-third of surface area of the country. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and injured in UXO accidents since the war officially ended. 2014 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the start of that bombing campaign. Yet every week, more Laotians are hurt and killed. In a rural country largely composed of subsistence farmers, it is dangerous to dig. Coates and Redfern spent more than seven years traveling in Laos, talking to farmers, scrap-metal hunters, people who make and use tools from UXO, and the bomb-disposal teams working to render the land harmless. With their words and photographs, they reveal the beauty of Laos, the strength of Laotians, and the daunting scope of the problem - a problem largely unknown outside the country. Much of the American bombing campaign was carried out in secret, known only to pilots, policy makers and the people on the ground under the flight paths. Coates and Redfern aim to educate readers—especially Americans—about this little-known war and its lesser-known legacy, at a time when Americans are learning about their government's recent efforts to operate in secrecy. Eternal Harvest offers a critical look at the effects on civilians of secret military actions.
  • Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos

    Between 1964 and 1973, in an offshoot of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military dropped 4 billion pounds of explosives on Laos. Up to 30 percent of those bombs did not detonate, and they remain in the Laotian soil today as UXO—unexploded ordnance—contaminating more than one-third of surface area of the country. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and injured in UXO accidents since the war officially ended. 2014 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the start of that bombing campaign. Yet every week, more Laotians are hurt and killed. In a rural country largely composed of subsistence farmers, it is dangerous to dig. Coates and Redfern spent more than seven years traveling in Laos, talking to farmers, scrap-metal hunters, people who make and use tools from UXO, and the bomb-disposal teams working to render the land harmless. With their words and photographs, they reveal the beauty of Laos, the strength of Laotians, and the daunting scope of the problem - a problem largely unknown outside the country. Much of the American bombing campaign was carried out in secret, known only to pilots, policy makers and the people on the ground under the flight paths. Coates and Redfern aim to educate readers—especially Americans—about this little-known war and its lesser-known legacy, at a time when Americans are learning about their government's recent efforts to operate in secrecy. Eternal Harvest offers a critical look at the effects on civilians of secret military actions.
  • TSA Theft

    In the first nationwide investigation into a burgeoning problem of theft within the Transportation Security Administration since its inception in 2003, the ABC News Investigative Team compiled compelling data obtained through FOI requests, an insider’s tell-all, victim stories and its own tracking integrity test at TSA checkpoints that resulted in immediate impact and calls for swift change. The TSA, tasked with protecting the traveling public in the wake of the September 11 attacks, admitted during the course of our investigation that it had quietly fired hundreds of its employees for stealing the belongings of passengers. The ABC News team conducted a tracking integrity test at 10 major airports across the country, each chosen for its history of theft problems (as indicated by FOI data). We purposefully left iPads at TSA security checkpoints. In nine out of ten cases, TSA screening officers did exactly what they were supposed to do and returned the iPad to the ABC News Investigative team. But in one case, our iPad was taken and we tracked it using GPS technology to the home of a TSA officer (the last person our cameras in the Orlando airport also saw handling the device). The investigation resulted in the officer’s dismissal, thousands of responses from viewers across the country, and immediate calls from Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman John Mica for reform within the agency. The TSA began conducting additional sting operations, during which a TSA officer was caught and fired in December.