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iamfantastikate : corruption   39

Kansans drank contaminated water for years and weren’t told
It didn’t test private wells less than a mile away. Nor did it notify residents that their drinking wells could be contaminated with dry cleaning chemicals, known as perchloroethylene, so they could test the water themselves.

“We didn’t find out for 7 years,” said Joe Hufman, whose well was contaminated by a Haysville dry cleaner. “Haysville knew it. KDHE knew it. Kwik Shop knew it.”

It had happened at least once before, at a dry cleaning site near Central and Tyler in Wichita, where the state waited more than four years between discovering contamination nearby and notifying residents of more than 200 homes.

Some fear it could happen again at 22 contaminated sites where the state has not checked for people on well water — or that it could happen at a yet unknown site of contamination.

Kansans aren’t required to use city water if they already have a well, and some Wichita neighborhoods still rely on private well water.

The delays stem from a 1995 state law that places more emphasis on protecting the dry cleaning industry than protecting public health.
usa  usa-kansas  health  environment  politics  corruption 
10 days ago by iamfantastikate
Catholic Church Covered Up Child Sex Abuse in Pennsylvania for Decades, Grand Jury Says
Bishops and other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania covered up child sexual abuse by more than 300 priests over a period of 70 years, persuading victims not to report the abuse and police officers not to investigate it, according to a report issued by a grand jury on Tuesday.

The report, which covered six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses and found more than 1,000 identifiable victims, is the broadest examination yet by a government agency in the United States of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church...

The grand jury added that the church officials named in their report have been protected, and some have been promoted...

The report said that church officials followed a “playbook for concealing the truth:” minimize the abuse using words like “inappropriate contact” instead of “rape”; assign priests untrained in sexual abuse cases to investigate their colleagues; when removing an accused priest, don’t inform the community of the real reasons.
abuse  crime  religion  usa  christianity  usa-pennsylvania  corruption 
5 weeks ago by iamfantastikate
GOP candidate calls woman 'young and naive' for asking about fossil fuel industry donations
"You've said that climate change is a result of people's body heat, and are refusing to take action on the issue," Strauss said. "Does this have anything to do with the $200,000 that you have taken from the fossil fuel industry?"

Wagner laughs off the question initially, calling Rose naive — prompting applause and laughter from the crowd. "Are we here to elect a governor or elect a scientist?" Wagner asked.
politics  usa  pennsylvania  corruption  elections  environment 
9 weeks ago by iamfantastikate
The Economist’s Premature Obituary for the Sanders Movement
The Economist article underscores an important current in today’s political climate: the reluctance of corporate media to seriously discuss left-leaning policies that provide alternatives to the racist and corrupt policies of the Trump administration, on the one hand, and the pro-corporate, half-compromise policies that the Democratic Party pushed over the past generation, which contributed to Trump’s victory in 2016...

What the Economist and the rest of corporate media miss is that the Democratic Party establishment continues to engage in ongoing suppression of progressive candidates. Democratic House whip Steny Hoyer was caught on tape trying to strong-arm a progressive candidate out of running (Intercept, 4/26/18), while Joe Crowley was accused by Ocasio-Cortez of Election Day dirty tricks. Major Democratic interest groups, such as the pro-choice EMILY’s List, declined to endorse female candidates like Ocasio-Cortez in favor of Crowley, while national Democratic politicians like Kirsten Gillibrand endorsed incumbent New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over his progressive female challenger Cynthia Nixon.
media  politics  usa  corruption  democrats 
12 weeks ago by iamfantastikate
Facebook retracted Zuckerberg’s messages from recipients’ inboxes
You can’t remove Facebook messages from the inboxes of people you sent them to, but Facebook did that for Mark Zuckerberg and other executives. Three sources confirm to TechCrunch that old Facebook messages they received from Zuckerberg have disappeared from their Facebook inboxes, while their own replies to him conspicuously remain. An email receipt of a Facebook message from 2010 reviewed by TechCrunch proves Zuckerberg sent people messages that no longer appear in their Facebook chat logs or...
facebook  funny  corruption  usa 
april 2018 by iamfantastikate
'Corporations Are People' Is Built on a 19th-Century Lie
A few years later, in an opinion in an unrelated case, Field wrote that “corporations are persons within the meaning” of the Fourteenth Amendment. “It was so held in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad,” explained Field, who knew very well that the Court had done no such thing.

His gambit worked. In the following years, the case would be cited over and over by courts across the nation, including the Supreme Court, for deciding that corporations had rights under the Fourteenth Amendm...
history  u.s.a.  money  corruption 
april 2018 by iamfantastikate
Only One Bank Was Indicted For Mortgage Fraud Tied To The 2008 Collapse — And It Was Innocent
You might think the Manhattan district attorney had his choice of banks to prosecute for these obvious and far-reaching crimes, but in the end only one bank has been indicted on felony fraud charges related to the 2008 collapse: Abacus.
money  economy  u.s.a.  politics  corruption 
september 2017 by iamfantastikate
Winner in Trump’s Decision to Fire Bharara Might Be Murdoch
Trump oversaw the firing of Preet Bharara, the U.S attorney for the Southern District of Manhattan, whose office is in the middle of a high-profile federal investigation of Fox News. The probe, according to sources, is looking at a number of potential crimes, including whether Fox News executives broke laws by allegedly obtaining journalists’ phone records or committed mail and wire fraud by hiding financial settlements paid to women who accused Roger Ailes of sexual harassment.
corruption  politics  u.s.a.  trump-presidency  media 
march 2017 by iamfantastikate
The Most Important WikiLeaks Revelation Isn’t About Hillary Clinton
This was October 6. The election was November 4. And yet Froman, an executive at Citigroup, which would ultimately become the recipient of the largest bailout from the federal government during the financial crisis, had mapped out virtually the entire Obama cabinet, a month before votes were counted. And according to the Froman/Podesta emails, lists were floating around even before that.
politics  u.s.a.  corruption 
october 2016 by iamfantastikate
5,300 Wells Fargo employees fired for creating unauthorized accounts
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Wells Fargo sales staff opened more than 2 million bank and credit card accounts that may have not been authorized by customers. Money in customers' accounts were transferred to these new accounts without authorization. Debit cards were issued and activated, as well as PINs created, without telling customers.

In some cases, Wells Fargo employees even created fake email addresses to sign up customers for online banking services.

"Wells Fargo built an incentive-compensation program that made it possible for its employees to pursue underhanded sales practices, and it appears that the bank did not monitor the program carefully," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

The behavior was widespread, the CFPB and other regulators said, involving thousands of Wells Fargo employees.

Roughly 5,300 employees at Wells Fargo were fired in connection with this behavior, according to Los Angeles City Attorney's office.
money  corruption  crime  u.s.a.  california 
september 2016 by iamfantastikate
Are Doctors Refusing to See Obamacare Patients or are Insurance Companies Just Playing Hard to Get?
Blue Shield removed me as a provider for patients who were already in my practice, without telling me and without telling my patients in advance… because they had too many doctors??

Still a bit confused (nothing like this had ever happened to us before) we asked Blue Shield to please put me back in their ACA network so I could resume treating my ACA patients.  And Blue Shield said: “why?” 

I’m not kidding. We asked Blue Shield of California to restore me to their network of ACA providers and they asked, “why?” as in “why would I want to see these patients?”
health  money  corruption  u.s.a.  politics  california 
august 2016 by iamfantastikate
Exclusive: Half of Americans think presidential nominating system 'rigged'
More than half of American voters believe that the system U.S. political parties use to pick their candidates for the White House is "rigged" and more than two-thirds want to see the process changed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  politics  corruption  statistics 
april 2016 by iamfantastikate
Firms that paid for Clinton speeches have US gov't interests
Most companies and groups that paid Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to speak between 2013 and 2015 have lobbied federal agencies in recent years, and more than one-third are government contractors, an Associated Press review has found. Their interests are sprawling and would follow Clinton to the White House should she win election this fall.

The AP's review of federal records, regulatory filings and correspondence showed that almost all the 82 corporations, trade associations and other groups that paid for or sponsored Clinton's speeches have actively sought to sway the government — lobbying, bidding for contracts, commenting on federal policy and in some cases contacting State Department officials or Clinton herself during her tenure as secretary of state.

Presidents are not generally bound by many of the ethics and conflict-of-interest regulations that apply to non-elected executive branch officials, although they are subject to laws covering related conduct, such as bribery and illegal gratuities. Clinton's 94 paid appearances over two years on the speech circuit leave her open to scrutiny over decisions she would make in the White House or influence that may affect the interests of her speech sponsors.
corruption  money  u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  politics 
april 2016 by iamfantastikate
Paris attack: Dealer says one gun came through South Florida
This is not the first time that Century Arms has wound up in headlines. In 2011, The Palm Beach Post detailed how Century Arms has prospered — trading in pistols, sniper rifles and assault weapons, sometimes with the help of “unauthorized brokers” — based on secret diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks, an international organization that publishes secret information....

In 1987, John Rugg, a former police officer and longtime Century Arms employee, told a U.S. Senate committee that the company was involved in supplying arms, including rockets and grenades, to the Contras of Nicaragua during the 1980s-era Iran-Contra scandal.

In 2011, the Center for Public Integrity reported that Century Arms’ Romanian-manufactured WASR-10 “has become a favorite of the Mexican drug cartels and in recent years hundreds of them have been traced to crimes in Mexico.”
politics  weapons  france  u.s.a.  corruption  florida  money 
december 2015 by iamfantastikate
No charges for Colorado farmworkers videotaped hitting pigs; 7 employees fired
A video showing workers at a Colorado pig farm hitting animals with cans and boards prompted the firing of seven employees, but authorities said Wednesday no criminal charges will be filed.
colorado  u.s.a.  politics  animals  abuse  crime  corruption  food 
may 2015 by iamfantastikate
From Suburban Cafes To The Fields Of Queensland, Worker Exploitation Is Rife In Australia
Casualised and insecure labour now makes up nearly a third of Australia’s workforce. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2013 there were 2.25 million workers “without paid leave” – in other words, casuals – working in this country. You can add an extra 986,000 independent contractors, many of whom are in effect employees of their main client, but without any of the normal entitlements of employment, including superannuation. And then there are those working without any protections at all – the army of cash workers in our cafes and restaurants, building sites and offices, many of whom are taking home $15 or $12 or even $10 an hour, cash in hand, no questions asked, and no entitlements extended. Try it yourself: ask your favourite barista if they are paid in cash. You may be surprised at the answer. Many cafes and restaurants flout employment law, paying their often young and itinerant workforce “off the books” while maintaining a semblance of propriety with doctored ledgers and dubious accounting procedures.  A survey back in 2012 by the Victorian Trades Hall found that a quarter of workers aged 18-30 had worked off the books or for cash.
australia  money  corruption  futurology  education 
may 2015 by iamfantastikate
Du Pont heir faces child sex lawsuit
A du Pont family heir who received no prison time after pleading guilty to raping his 3-year-old daughter nearly a decade ago faces a lawsuit from his former wife that accuses him of sexually abusing his toddler son. Robert H. Richards IV, 47, on probation after pleading guilty in 2008 to fourth-degree rape of his daughter, has never been charged with crimes against his son. The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Superior Court provides in-depth details about a child rape case that did not receive media attention and Delaware authorities never disclosed publicly.
crime  abuse  children  delaware  u.s.a.  politics  money  corruption 
april 2015 by iamfantastikate
FBI overstated forensic hair matches in nearly all trials before 2000
Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence. The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.
death-penalty  politics  crime  science  u.s.a.  corruption  abuse 
april 2015 by iamfantastikate
BuzzFeed's censorship problem
If the word “era” seems overly dramatic, then consider the conflicts around censorship and the advertising model that have cropped up in the last few months. In February, long-time political commentator Peter Oborne resigned from the Telegraph after accusing his editors of suppressing stories that reflected badly on its advertisers, specifically HSBC and Tesco. “We frequently hear about the potential dangers to press freedom from state regulation. But an equal, perhaps greater, danger comes from corporate advertisers,” Peter Wilby wrote in the New Statesman.
media  censorship  money  corruption  politics 
april 2015 by iamfantastikate
America’s Most-Wanted Swiss Bankers Aren’t Hard to Find
Swiss authorities, however, have refused to hand over any bankers—and the U.S. hasn’t asked for them. At least 21 financial advisers in Switzerland under U.S. indictment remain at large, making them fugitives in the eyes of the American government. Their acts aren’t considered crimes under Swiss law, so the country won’t extradite or prosecute them. Several still work in the Swiss financial industry, offering tax advice and other services. Some still have U.S. clients. The only Swiss adviser to receive a significant U.S. prison sentence? Bradley Birkenfeld, the former UBS banker who first revealed the widespread practice of Swiss banks setting up undeclared offshore accounts for wealthy Americans. None of the other Swiss bankers and lawyers who pleaded guilty have been sentenced to prison time.
corruption  politics  money  taxes  u.s.a.  switzerland 
april 2015 by iamfantastikate
Jacksonville police officer who let woman drive patrol car to Hooters was suspended for 10 days
Officer Irving Diaz, hired by the Sheriff’s Office in December 2004, also inappropriately searched her name in a police database because she often was around his children, according to an internal affairs report. The woman was seen at least twice driving his patrol car while dressed scantily.
police  florida  u.s.a.  corruption  sexism  privacy 
march 2015 by iamfantastikate
A Christian Nation? Since When?
Back in the 1930s, business leaders found themselves on the defensive. Their public prestige had plummeted with the Great Crash; their private businesses were under attack by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal from above and labor from below. To regain the upper hand, corporate leaders fought back on all fronts. They waged a figurative war in statehouses and, occasionally, a literal one in the streets; their campaigns extended from courts of law to the court of public opinion. But nothing worked particularly well until they began an inspired public relations offensive that cast capitalism as the handmaiden of Christianity.
christianity  u.s.a.  history  politics  money  corruption 
march 2015 by iamfantastikate
Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher
[Wei-Hock Soon] has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.
environment  money  science  corruption  u.s.a.  politics 
february 2015 by iamfantastikate
Russia's former largest foreign investor: Putin is worth $200 billion
Hedge fund manager Bill Browder, once the largest foreign investor in Russia, estimates Russian President Vladimir Putin's wealth at $200 billion — which would make him by far the richest man in the world.  "After 14 years in power of Russia, and the amount of money that the country has made, and the amount of money that hasn't been spent on schools and roads and hospitals and so on — all that money is in property, Swiss bank accounts, shares, [and] hedge funds managed for Putin and his cronies." Bill Gates is considered the world's richest man with a net worth of $79 billion.
russia  money  corruption  crime  politics 
february 2015 by iamfantastikate
AfriLeaks website to expose abuses in Africa
A whistle-blowing website which aims to expose politicians and businessmen who abuse power in Africa has been launched by media and campaign groups. AfriLeaks will give people a chance to leak sensitive information anonymously. The site's founders say it is an attempt to boost investigative journalism to expose widespread corruption and human rights abuses.
africa  media  surveillance  corruption  politics 
january 2015 by iamfantastikate
How elected judges became a threat to American democracy
Why? Because state supreme courts — which decide important cases involving business liability, workers compensation, and insurance coverage — have become the latest battleground in the nation’s long-running tort wars, pitting business interests, which are eager to limit damage awards, against plaintiffs and their allies, who contend that big-dollar judgments are critical to holding negligent businesses accountable. “We’re clearly engaged in hand-to-hand combat, and we’ve got to step it up if we’re going to survive,” says U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donahue. On the other side are their opponents: unions and trial attorneys. As an Ohio AFL-CIO official put it, “We figured out a long time ago that it’s easier to elect seven judges than to elect 132 legislators.”
u.s.a.  politics  money  corruption  equality 
january 2015 by iamfantastikate
St. Louis Grand Jury Heard Witnesses Who Lied, Prosecutor Says
Some witnesses were clearly lying when they spoke to a grand jury about the August police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., according to St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch. In an interview about the case Friday, the prosecutor says he won't seek perjury charges.
missouri  u.s.a.  equality  racism  corruption  politics 
december 2014 by iamfantastikate
Make your Wikipedia donations count
The WMF remained a small organization with just a few employees to help organize the volunteer writers, photographers, and administrators, maintain and expand the servers, and support the (mostly volunteer) programmers who worked on small improvements to the core Mediawiki software. Back in the 2005-06 tax year, the WMF had total expenses of less than $700,000. But now, the WMF runs a budget of nearly $46 million. When you draw back the curtain to see just how the WMF is spending this staggering influx of money, you discover that improving Wikipedia’s content is not really in the budget. Nearly $20 million goes toward salaries and wages — but none of the staff edit Wikipedia as part of their job function.
wikipedia  corruption  money  media  education 
december 2014 by iamfantastikate
Ferguson officer accused of raping pregnant woman: ‘You’re the type of girl that can get me in trouble’
The federal lawsuit against Jaris Hayden accuses him of ordering the woman into the boiler room of the city jail in October 2013 and ordering her to provide oral sex before forcing himself upon her. Hayden allegedly assaulted the woman even though her boyfriend had posted her bond, telling her, “You’re the type of girl that can get me in trouble” as he released her from her cell. According to the lawsuit, DNA analysis confirmed that pubic hair the woman obtained during the attack belonged to Hayden.
missouri  u.s.a.  corruption  abuse  sexism  equality  gender  equality  politics 
november 2014 by iamfantastikate
40,000 Voters Missing in Georgia? After Registration Drive in Areas of Color, Names Left off Rolls
More than 40,000 voter registrations have allegedly gone missing in Georgia, most of them representing communities of color, who largely support Democrats.
democrats  republicans  georgia  u.s.a.  u.s.-elections  equality  corruption 
november 2014 by iamfantastikate
In survey, Costa Rica police admit to discrimination against LGBT community
In the survey, in which nearly 500 police, traffic, and immigration officers responded, 17.7% said they felt it was acceptable to demand bribes from gay people while 20.4% found it acceptable to detain gay people without probable cause.   A further 15.7% said they felt it was acceptable to physically harm gay people without cause and 13.5% felt the sexual abuse of a gay person was acceptable.
costa-rica  abuse  police  corruption  lgbt  equality 
october 2014 by iamfantastikate
Schimel blasted on campaign fund use, marriage comment
Republican attorney general hopeful Brad Schimel illegally used campaign donations to pay his children's baby sitters, a liberal group alleged in a complaint filed Wednesday with state election officials. The complaint came the same day that a Democratic state representative told reporters that Schimel said last month he would have had to defend interracial marriage bans if he were an attorney general in the 1950s.
corruption  racism  equality  lgbt  u.s.a.  politics  u.s.-elections  wisconsin 
october 2014 by iamfantastikate
The concept of stress, sponsored by Big Tobacco
NPR has an excellent piece on how the scientific concept of stress was massively promoted by tobacco companies who wanted an angle to market ‘relaxing’ cigarettes and a way for them to argue that it was stress, not cigarettes, that was to blame for heart disease and cancer. They did this by funding, guiding and editing the work of renowned physiologist Hans Selye who essentially founded the modern concept of stress and whose links with Big Tobacco have been largely unknown.
health  science  psychology  corruption  money 
july 2014 by iamfantastikate
Onscreen But Out Of Sight, TV Preachers Avoid Tax Scrutiny
Of all nonprofits, churches face the least scrutiny and oversight. They don't have to pay federal or local taxes. They don't have to worry about being audited. And they don't have to report anything to anybody. It's reasonable to ask, then, what happens with large TV ministries that are classified as churches? They take in tens of millions of dollars in revenue. They're as rich as large corporations, yet many of them are answerable to no one outside of the organization.
religion  money  corruption  politics  u.s.a.  podcast  media 
april 2014 by iamfantastikate
California state Senate votes to suspend three Democrats over criminal investigations
The Senate voted 28-1 to suspend the trio, all of whom have been either charged with or convicted of criminal wrongdoing in separate cases in a move that further erodes what had once been a Democratic two-thirds super-majority in the senate.
politics  u.s.a.  california  corruption  money  weapons  crime  democrats 
march 2014 by iamfantastikate
Dependence Through Denial and Deception: How Health Insurance Companies Keep Your Premiums High
As you can see, both medications cost less than the copay, meaning the insurance company wasn't actually being asked to "cover" anything. In fact, the one I prescribed was the cheaper of the two. So why were they preventing my patient from getting it? And even though my patient could have bought the medication herself -- for less money than the copay her insurance plan required, she couldn't do it at Walgreens. At most chain pharmacies, if you show them an insurance card, you're forced to play by your insurance company's rules.
health  u.s.a.  money  politics  corruption  drugs 
march 2014 by iamfantastikate
The Economist Insights | A crisis of culture
Industry executives champion the importance of ethical conduct, but they struggle to see the benefits of greater adherence to ethical standards. While large majorities agree that ethical conduct is just as important as financial success at their firm, 53% also say that strict adherence to such codes would make career progression difficult.
money  corruption 
march 2014 by iamfantastikate
Troubles at Women’s Prison Test Alabama
Corrections officers have raped, beaten and harassed women inside the aging prison here for at least 18 years, according to an unfolding Justice Department investigation. More than a third of the employees have had sex with prisoners, which is sometimes the only currency for basics like toilet paper and tampons.
sexism  abuse  corruption  alabama  u.s.a.  gender  equality  prisons  crime 
march 2014 by iamfantastikate
Secret hearings could allow police to seize journalists' notes if bill passes
The seizure of journalists' notebooks, photographs and digital files could be conducted in secret hearings, owing to a little-publicised clause in a government bill aimed at cutting red tape, media organisations have warned.
media  politics  uk  censorship  corruption 
february 2014 by iamfantastikate

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