By Margaux Stack-Babich and Bill Dedman
Today's reading from the world of investigative reporting.
Story of the day: 'Half-Lives: The Chernobyl Workers Now' is a piece by Maisie Crow for the Virginia Quarterly Review, which examines the lives of the people closest to the world's worst nuclear reactor accident. The story explores the new industry that evacuated peoples developed in new cities, created around breaking down the plant, and what the future will hold when the plant has finally been disassembled. "We have no future for our children after they graduate from school," says Chernobyl liquidator Lubov Nikolaevna. "Radiation isn't scary to those who work at the plant. … And the people who live in Slavutych aren't afraid of it either. They are tired of being afraid, that is why they are not afraid. They are afraid of that the city of Sluvatych will be shut down."
Notes: Links open in a new window. More reading: previous daily collections.
- KUOW News: Flying the leaded skies: small planes still pour lead into America's air
- Center for Responsive Politics, Open Secrets blog: Billionaire Harold Simmons gave big to several GOP candidates, super PACs in fourth quarter
- Center for Responsive Politics, Open Secrets blog: E-filing campaign finances remains a rarity for senators
- The Chicago Tribune: Failure to bring border-crossing fugitives to justice a national problem; Tribune analysis shows extradition failures reach far beyond northern Illinois
- BBC News: The Taliban in Afghanistan are being directly assisted by Pakistani security services, according to a secret Nato report seen by the BBC
- msnbc.com, Vitals: Who's behind that outbreak? Sometimes, Center for Disease Control won't say
- The Bay Citizen: Nursing home investigation finds errors by druggists
- The Atlantic: Quietly, U.S. moves to block lawsuits by military families; why is the Justice Department trying to make it more difficult for service members and their families to sue the government for medical malpractice?
- The Guardian: Mysteries of Data Pool 3 give Rupert Murdoch a whole new headache: the arrest of four Sun journalists threatens to open a fresh phase of the scandal surrounding News International
- Mother Jones: How Bain's lobbying saved Mitt millions: private equity titans like Bain Capital used K Street to preserve the GOP front-runner's favorite—and most lucrative—tax loophole
- Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism: Are frac sand miners failing to check for rare butterfly? 'They have to let us know they're there,' Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says
- Bloomberg Businessweek: Congress's six-figure benefits add to $674 billion pension gap
- The Bay Citizen: When the nursing home resident in the next room is a convicted criminal
- Reuters: Insight: Top Justice officials connected to mortgage banks
- Center for Investigative Reporting, CaliforniaWatch: Stanford doctor in birth control vote had ties to pill's maker
- ProPublica: Years after evidence of fracking contamination, EPA to supply drinking water to homes in Pa. town
- The Washington Post, Federal Eye: Federal employees owed $1.03 billion in unpaid taxes at the end of fiscal 2010
- The Los Angeles Times: On L.A. colleges project, firm paid by company it was overseeing; for at least a year, records show, Gateway Science & Engineering collected consulting fees from one of the main contractors it was supervising on the $450-million rebuilding of Mission College in Sylmar
- NPR: CIA tracks public information for the private eye: a rare behind-the-scenes look at the CIA's Open Source Center
- The Jewish Daily Forward: Kars4Kids charity loses big on real estate; $29 million in gifts translates to just $6 million in programs
- Denver Westword: Drilled, baby, drilled: The strange battle to keep Big Oil from cheating the government
- Project on Government Oversight: Navy pressures agency into redacting information from Camp Lejeune investigation
- The Street: Bank of America, Citigroup face billions in losses in antitrust case
- Texas Watchdog: Lots of Einsteins or too low a bar? Houston Independent School District bursting at the seams with 'gifted' students, shelves plan to tighten standards
- ProPublica: Deutsche analyst sounded alarm when asked to alter numbers
- Center for Investigative Reporting, CaliforniaWatch: Calif. public schools relying more on private donors, "being used to prevent teacher layoffs, keep libraries open, and save music and foreign-language classes."
- Center for Public Integrity: Feds investigating possible fraud at GE's former subprime unit: the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department are looking into potentially criminal business practices at WMC Mortgage Corp. during the home-loan boom, according to four people with knowledge of the investigation.
- ProPublica: PAC track: the most recent data on this primary's super-PAC spending, and where the money is coming from
- Mother Jones: During his time as a senator, a controversial land deal by presidential candidate Rick Santorum robbed a vets' home of tens of millions of dollars
- Center for Investigative Reporting, CaliforniaWatch: Ex-school board official sparks records war between state, USPS
- Mother Jones: L.A.'s Abu Ghraib? The ACLU files a lawsuit and cites a "sick culture of deputy-on-inmate violence" in L.A. County jails
- Mother Jones: 21 CEOs with $100 million golden parachutes
- The Oregonian: Oregon taxpayers must bail out state fund that made bad loans for renewable-energy projects
- FRONTLINE: How much electricity does my state generate from nuclear? An infographic breaks down state-by-state consumption, one excerpt from FRONTLINE's three-country investigation into the stability of nuclear power around the world.
- The Wall Street Journal: Protest sapped of cash: Occupy Wall Street freezes spending on new projects as donations dry up
- The Palm Beach Post: Prison privatization effort resurfaces in bills that would exclude public comment
- Investigative Reporting Workshop and FRONTLINE: Citing these two newsgroups' jointly produced film 'Lost in Detention', a documentary that explored the Obama administration's get-tough immigration policies, 30 members of Congress are now pressing the Government Accountability Office to look into the issue of sexual abuse at immigration detention centers
- The Independent: Tamiflu maker accused of secrecy over trial data
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.