By Margaux Stack-Babich and Bill Dedman
Today's reading from the world of investigative reporting.
Story of the day: .A story detailing continued state funding to Florida assisted-living facilities with case histories of abuse and neglect is the latest segment in "Neglected to Death", a four-part series by The Miami Herald. The investigation reveals a rotten system on all sides, from elder advocates fired for trying to speak out against harmful policies to the gruesome reality of violence and sexual abuse of the frailest and most vulnerable, perpetuated with Medicare dollars. Examples of repeat injury from neglect and possible abuse in one care home meant that the "Agency for Health Care Administration could have suspended payments under the Medicaid insurance program to the troubled home. Instead, La Casa Grande received close to a half-million dollars in Medicaid money."
- Pioneer Press: One Minnesota woman's struggle to receive medical care from doctors free from drug company ties highlights a larger investigation into other recipients of drug company money, including the Mayo clinic and the University of Minnesota, "each institution collecting more in drug company payments than any individual doctor in the state", about $650,000 between the two institutes in 2010, and how drug companies are backing away from the lucrative consequences of paying consultants as new legislation for transparency is emphasized.
- ProPublica: Scanning the scanners: A side-by-side comparison of the two types of scanners used by the TSA, and the efficacy and dangers of each
- New Jersey Watchdog: In a continuing investigation, New Jersey prosecutors employ 125 double-dipping 'retirees'; they take $8.6 million a year in state pensions plus salaries
- Salon and WhoWhatWhy.com: Reporters dig into the history behind the little known American University of Iraq-Sulaimaniya in Kurdistan. Though the school was heralded a golden opportunity to bring new ideas and Western education to a war-torn country, the investigation finds the goals of the university are tied up with the interest of big oil companies.
- The New York Times: Waging a one-man war on American Muslims
- The Telegraph: Revealed: the true scale of the UK breast implant scandal; Health Secretary has ordered an urgent review of faulty silicone breast implants given to more than 40,000 women, after an investigation showed the rupture rate could be seven times higher than British regulators previously believed
- WyoFile: Official studying Wyoming's workplace fatality rate, which for the past 10 years has been either the worst or among the worst in the nation, resigns without comment
- Center for Public Integrity: Tax gift to the rich: how one loophole helps wealthy Americans pay less taxes, with accompanying graphs
- Star News Online: Analysis of five years of drug overdose death records from the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reveal the deadly abuse of prescribed medicines is rampant
- The Texas Watchdog: Did changes to Houston Independent School District's draft ethics policy take place behind the scenes? Some trustees puzzled
- Columbia Journalism Review, Campaign Desk: Local TV news, meet the internet: why are broadcasters trying to block political campaign transparency?
- The Journal-World: After months of investigating questionable financial practices, a Kanasa Purple Heart veterans charity dissolved
- Knoxville News Sentinel: An investigation into Tennessee's prescription drug abuse crisis prompts proposal for legislation that would mandate a state database check before writing prescriptions (links to the rest of the investigation included in the report)
- Chicago Magazine: In some parts of Chicago, violent street gangs and pols quietly trade money and favors for mutual gain. The thugs flourish, the elected officials thrive—and you lose
- The Journal-Sentinel: Medical device firm Medtronic paid millions to influential University of Wisconsin chairman
- ProPublica: As coverage of the foreclosure crisis continues, a year-end recap finds America still waiting for justice to be dealt
- Voice of San Diego: How a bad San Diego cop evaded detection
- The Washington Post: F-35 production a troubling example of Pentagon spending
Keep up on the latest investigative reporting with the Twitter feed of the same name.
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Margaux Stack-Babich writes about investigative reporting for msnbc.com. Bill Dedman is an investigative reporter for msnbc.com.