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

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Search results for "civil war" ...

  • Investigating Sierra Leone

    Last summer, the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone indicted Charles Taylor, then president of Liberiann fir crimes allegedly committed during the civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone. It was only the second time a head of state had been indicted for international war crimes while in office. Prosecutors alleged Taylor was a central figure in a global criminal network that controlled rebels in Sierra Leone who committed murder, enslavement, rape and forced children into combat. American Radio Works journalists Deborah George and Michael Montgomery closely follow the work of investigators and prosecutors as they developed the cases against Taylor and other warlords. The Special Court was established last year in a treat between the UN and the Sierra Leone government and uses a mix of national and international law.
  • A Final Accounting: Arthur Andersen

    The Chicago Tribune's four part series about Arthur Andersen. "Part 1: The Fall of Andersen - After decades as the gold standard for U.S. auditing firms, Andersen changed its focus and lost its way. Part 2: Civil War Splits Andersen - A revolution sweeps Andersen, pitting auditors against consultants in a race for higher profit. Part 3: Ties to Enron Blinded Andersen - Andersen struggles to deal with a monster it helped create: Enron. Part 4: Repeat Offender Gets Stiff Justice - Faulty decisions and strategy in Andersen's final months set the firm up for its collapse."
  • A House Divided; The War Within

    Beirich and Potok report on the takeover of the Sons of Confederate Veterans by extremist hate groups directed by "a white supremacist lawyer and long-time radical right activist named Kirk Lyons." As a group of extremists has taken control of the board of the "heritage organization" with more than 30,000 members nationwide, the stories warn that some might abandon SCV.
  • Phillips in Africa: Coltan (Colombite Tantalite); Zimbabwe business grab

    CBS News reports on the Congo civil war. The first part of the investigation finds that the efforts to stop the war have failed, "in part because Western companies are helping pay for it." Coltan, a mineral essential for the production of computer chips and high-tech devices, has kept the war going because African governments, middlemen and rebels have become "interested in loot as much as politics." The second segment reports on a land dispute in Zimbabwe, which has caused racial conflicts. The threats to white farmers and business-owners have forced some of them to try to escape to South Africa.
  • Torn From The Land

    AP reports on a pattern in which black families have been unfairly stripped of their land through cheating, intimidation and violence. Many takings between the Civil War and the civil rights movement resulted from forced land swaps and foreclosures, as white dealers and lawyers did not allow blacks to finish paying off their debts. The three-part investigation documents 107 land takings in 13 Southern and border states, where "406 black landowners lost more than 24,000 acres of farm and timber land plus 85 smaller properties, including stores and city lots." The series finds that government officials often approved the land takings or personally took part in them. The efforts of some black families to retrieve their land have been mostly unsuccessful. The land takings still occur today through a legal procedure, called "partitioning," for family estates owned in common by dozens of relatives.
  • Plan for Colombia

    The Express-News looks at the United States' efforts to eradicate drug trade in Colombia by spending $1.3 billion on army operations aiming to destroy coca fields. The series questions the effectiveness of the plan. Coca farmers account for the majority of the population in Columbia, and the project would be more successful, if they were provided some alternatives. The reporter examines how the drug war combines with the civil war that has been going on for decades, and finds "that it's unlikely that any significant change will come in Colombia's status as a drug exporter until the civil war is ended."
  • Guns, Money and Cell Phones

    The Industry Standard reports that the demand for an ore called columbite-tantalite -- or coltan -- is helping to fuel the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. When refined, coltan becomes tantalum, a highly heat-resistant metal powder that is a key component in everything from mobile phones to computer chips and VCR's. As the demand for these products has increased, "a new, more sinister market began flourishing in the ...Congo. There, warring groups - many funded and supplied by neighboring Rwanda and Uganda - are exploiting coltan mining to help finance a bloody civil war now in its third year." Although selling coltan is not illegal, a United Nations report in April suggested that thousands of tons of coltan had been smuggled from the Congo into Rwanda and Uganda, and may have eventually made it to the U.S. companies that use the material. For their part, these companies have no way of knowing whether the tantalum they use is helping to finance the civil war. Another side effect of the coltan trade: mining activity is especially big in the mountainous northeastern region of the Congo, where endangered gorillas live.
  • The Somalis

    Columbus Monthly reports on the growing Somali diaspora and reveals that Columbus has become their "capital-in-exile." The story finds that "unlike other American municipalities that have found themselves inundated with Somali refugees, Columbus officials have responded to the challenge of assimilating new Somali population." The report describes Somalis as devout Muslims and sheds light on the shock and disillusionment they experience, when they leave a culture of modesty "for a rich American city like Columbus, where materialism reigns supreme..." The story also reveals that Somalis face "difficult encounters" with black Americans - opposite to their expectations - because of language and religion differences.
  • Diamonds and Blood

    An ABC News investigation into the Central African diamond trade reveals an industry controlled by violent rebels. The ABC News crew was the first American news magazine crew to go into Sierra Leone since the civil war ravaged that country. The crew found a region rife with violence - "men, women and children were getting their limbs savagely amputated by rebel thugs and these thugs were buying their weapons with the proceeds from diamond sales... So, buyer beware - that beautiful diamond you are buying for your loved one might very well have caused the death or mutilation of somebody else's loved one in the heart of Africa."
  • Hidden Wars

    The Dallas Morning News reveals that wars rage in many countries even today and the victims are not just soldiers. Hidden War points out peace is a dream in many places around the globe and the resources that could have been used to feed the hungry, cure the sick are still used for war. In Sudan, two million people have died so far. The Kurds' long struggle for identity has encountered stiff resistance. A dozen forces, including the armies of six nations, fight in Congo. And the main casualty in all these are ordinary people.