by Blair Hickman, ProPublica
Here are this week’s top must-read stories from #MuckReads, ProPublica’s ongoing collection of the best watchdog journalism. Anyone can contribute by tweeting a link to a story and just including the hashtag #MuckReads or by sending an email to MuckReads@ProPublica.org. The best submissions are selected by ProPublica’s editors and reporters and then featured on our site and @ProPublica.
Danger Zone: Aging Nuclear Reactors, Center for Investigative Reporting
As many of the United States’ 104 nuclear plants near the end of their approved lifespans, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will relicense the reactors. But the commission’s oversight issues may be putting the millions of Americans who live near reactors at risk.
Kids in Peril, The Palm Beach Post
Though child-care centers in Florida must obtain a license, summer camps are unregulated. As a result, several sex offenders have snuck in as employees. Lawmakers have been warned about the lax laws since the mid-1980s, but they’ve “taken virtually no steps to protect kids.”
Contributed by @adamplayford
NYPD files: ‘Focus’ Scrutiny on Muslim Americans, Associated Press
New York police and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have asserted that religion does not guide their investigations, but the AP says newly obtained documents show “in the clearest terms yet” that the police “focused” their scrutiny on Muslim Americans. A 2007 police investigation into the region’s Syrian population, for example, excluded Jews and “focused on the smaller Muslim community.”
Contributed by @srubenfeld
As An Adviser, Goldman Guaranteed Its Payday, The New York Times
When Kinder Morgan bought the energy company El Paso last fall, Goldman Sachs advised El Paso on the sale. Now, a ruling in a shareholder suit shows how Goldman was involved in all sides of the deal. Goldman claims transparency, but others say the bank’s handling of the deal was “GS at its most shameless.”
Warehouse Workers Say Abuses Are Systemic, FairWarning, MSNBC
Warehouse workers in Southern California, the nation’s biggest distribution hub for consumer goods, claim their employers neglected safety violations and cheated them out of fair pay. The warehouses deny wrongdoing, but the allegations echo findings in two state investigations. Similar suits filed in Chicago suggest systemic industry problems.
Contributed by @elliottjustin
State Fails to Recover $60 Million in Missing Funds, Dayton Daily News
State auditors in Ohio have identified roughly $72 million in missing or overdue state funds and have recovered only $12 million. The state said that, until recently, it didn’t have a clear debt collection process. State officials are working on it.
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