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 "swiss" ...

  • Swiss Leaks: Murky Cash Sheltered By Bank Secrecy

    “Swiss Leaks: Murky Cash Sheltered By Bank Secrecy” is a penetrating multi-part investigation into the darker side of the world’s second largest bank that prompted questions about the appointment of the United States attorney general, a diplomatic crisis for Switzerland, official inquiries and debate on four continents including a British parliamentary inquiry, and criminal charges and civil lawsuits in multiple countries.
  • Michael LaForgia

    This report was the first interview with Swiss bank whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld since the banker had been released from federal prison and awarded $104 million for his role in revealing how thousands of Americans evaded taxes with secret Swiss bank accounts. Birkenfeld had been released years earlier, but had not spoken publicly about his massive new wealth. In our interview, the Boston-born banker gave a tour of his new luxury box at the Boston Garden, showed off his new Porsche, railed against the US Department of Justice, and alleged that unnamed American political figures had secret bank accounts in Switzerland. http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000375411 http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000375414 http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000375403 http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000375407 http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000375435 http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000375431
  • Is it Right to Pay Ransoms?

    In 2009, an elderly retired teacher from Germany, a Swiss couple and a British citizen named Edward Dyer were kidnapped while driving down a desert highway after taking part in an annual concert of Tuareg music on the Mali-Niger border. They eventually ended up in the hands of Islamist militants belonging to the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or AQIM. The German and Swiss hostages were released after several months when their governments paid ransom. But the British hostage was shot and then beheaded. The UK government bans paying ransom to abductors. This story reconstructs the abduction and its aftermath and shows how whether a hostage lives or dies depends on his or her government's willingness to negotiate and pay ransom.
  • Killing Arafat

    A world exclusive investigation tells the inside story of the fight for the facts behind Yasser Arafat's death. Following What killed Arafat? which led French prosecutors to open a murder inquiry, this documentary follows the struggle to convince the Palestinian Authority to allow an exhumation of Arafat’s body to test for radioactive poison. Al Jazeera’s Clayton Swisher reports on the tests that led to the Swiss scientists reporting high levels of polonium Yasser Arafat's bones.
  • Pest Control: Syngenta's Secret Campaign to Silence Atrazine's Critics

    These stories detailed a secret campaign by Syngenta, the Swiss agricultural chemical giant, to spy on and discredit critics of atrazine, its highly profitable weed killer, used on three-quarters of all the corn grown in the United States. The main story was based on roughly 1,000 pages of documents under court seal that 100Reporters obtained under the Freedom of Information laws and a review of financial and other statements of nonprofits that defended and supported use of the herbicide. The company at the time faced a class action lawsuit over contamination of drinking water in six states, and maintained that the cost of clean-up could end atrazine sales in the United States.
  • Bad to the Bone

    When four executives of a medical-device company called Synthes went to jail for illegally marketing a bone cement—five patients had died after it was injected into their spines—Mina Kimes knew there had to be a compelling saga behind a case that had generated little coverage beyond local news articles. So she began digging, first with FOIA requests for never-before-published government documents, and then assembling hundreds of pages of court transcripts and internal company e-mails and reports. She used that foundation to begin the harder challenge: persuading Synthes employees, many of them terrified by the criminal case and the company’s intimidating chairman, to talk to her. With six months of grueling, old-fashioned reporting, Kimes succeeded, and “Bad to the Bone” is the masterful result. Not only did she persuade more than 20 current and former company employees to speak, but she also revealed a story whose disturbing breadth far exceeded the case presented in court. Her tour de force reporting raises profound new questions about the culpability of a key figure who wasn’t charged: Hansjörg Wyss, the reclusive and controlling Swiss founder and chairman—one of the richest people in the world—who made crucial decisions about how to sell the bone cement. This is a classic tale of corporate malfeasance: Warned by the government not to sell its bone cement for use in the spine, Synthes ignored the admonition despite clear evidence of lethal danger—a pig had died within seconds when the cement was tested on it—and encouraged surgeons to use the cement on people, five of whom died soon afterward. But “Bad to the Bone” isn’t just an exposé. It opens a window into a broader issue: how the medical system actually runs. Readers see how salespeople with no medical training advise surgeons—inside the OR during operations—on how to use their devices. They experience the tale of one surgeon who continues using the cement even after two of his patients died. Oh, and what sort of justice does Synthes itself receive? Wyss sells it, for $20 billion, to health care giant Johnson & Johnson, which praises Synthes’s “culture” and “values.” Corporate crime. Death on the operating room table. Secret e-mails. Surgeons on the edge. An imperious multibillionaire CEO. It’s a mesmerizing article, and Kimes’s reporting takes readers on a deeply unsettling journey that ensures they’ll never look at the medical system the same way again.
  • What Killed Arafat?

    This 50-minute film was the result of a nine month long cold case investigation into the suspicious death of Yasser Arafat, Palestine's iconic, revolutionary leader. After obtaining Arafat's entire original medical files, Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit, led by producer and reporter Clayton Swisher, crossed continents to track down and interview the French, Jordanian, Egyptian, and Palestinian doctors who had worked to save Arafat's life. Part I of "What Killed Arafat?" was able to easily shatter popular myths about what caused Arafat's precipitous decline from the onset of his illness on October 12, 2004 until his death on November 11th. Testimony from Arafat's doctors conclusively ruled out liver cirrhosis, cancer, even rumors of HIV. The scientific, evidence-based discoveries made in the Part II result from the work performed by a team of forensic pathologists, toxicologists, and radiation physicists from the University Center for Legal Medicine and Institute for Radiation Physics in Lausanne, Switzerland. Working without payment, they agreed to run a battery of sophisticated tests on a large gym bag containing Arafat’s last personal effects. The scientists discovered significant levels of reactor-made Polonium 210 contaminating areas of Arafat's personal effects that came into contact with his biological fluids. When the final results came back in late June, Al Jazeera hosted Mrs. Arafat in Doha to watch the Swiss explain the results on set. Upon witnessing their testimony, Ms. Arafat made a resolute, unanticipated surprise announcement, calling on the Palestinian Authority to exhume her husband's body for testing. Yasser Arafat’s body was exhumed on November 27, 2012 so that the final samples could be retrieved. Whether the causes of Arafat's death are determined to be natural, inconclusive—or even murder—suffice it to say that Al Jazeera’s "What Killed Arafat?" and the resulting investigations and exhumation will have inched the world closer to understanding what did not, and possibly for the first time, what did claim the life of this historic and controversial personality.
  • TAMIFLU-The Backstory of a Blockbuster

    This collaborative investigation between RSI (Swiss Italian Television) and CBC/Radio-Canada looks at how a "drug that reduces flu symptoms' duration by only one day can become a 10 billion dollar blockbuster stockpiled by governments around the world"
  • "A Crack in the Swiss Vault"

    This investigative story takes an in-depth look into offshore banking, specifically in Switzerland. Bradley Birkenfeld is an American citizen serving extensive prison time for revealing to the U.S. Government that "he and his colleagues" had been secretly helping their "American customers evade hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes" through private banking divisions in Geneva.
  • Money, Truth and Spin

    Former Canada Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and middleman Karlheinz Schreiber had a secret that lasted more than a decade. The pair had met in North American hotels three times, with Schreiber handing Mulroney envelopes totaling $300,000 in cash, money from a secret Swiss bank account. The scandal centered around "the steering of an Air Canada aircraft order to a firm for which Schreiber acted as promoter." Mulroney denied accepting a bribe.