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 ProPublica and @ProPublica.
Gingrich Archives Show His Public Praise, Private Criticism of Reagan, Washington Post
A largely unexplored cache of documents detailing Newt Gingrich's career shows a politician who privately savaged the Republicans he praised in public and showed his penchant for thinking big. “My job description as I have defined it is to save Western civilization," he said in a 1979 address to staffers.
Bank Lobby Widened Volcker Rule, Inciting Foreign Outrage, Bloomberg
The Volcker Rule is a simple concept that is supposed to prevent taxpayer-subsidized banks from making speculative trades. But lobbying by banks helped turn it into a 530-page behemoth. And then banks encouraged governments around the world to complain about the rule's reach. The result: the Volcker Rule's future looks a little grim.
Contributed by @KYWeise
With Banks As Landlords, Some Tenants Neglected, NPR
Big banks have snapped up thousands of foreclosed homes—and it turns out, some aren't the best landlords. Though some are better than others, the government recently warned banks that they must fulfill their duties as landlords.
Contributed by @aarti411
Police Force’s Sloppy Investigations Leave Abuse of Disabled Unsolved, California Watch
Though California has a special police unit to protect men and women with severe disabilities, these officers routinely fail to conduct basic police work, even when patients die under mysterious circumstances.
Contributed by @suzanneyada
Is Pfizer Liable for Pregnancies Caused by Faulty Birth Control?, Atlantic
Pfizer recently announced it's recalling 1 million packets of birth control medication because they mixed up the order of the hormone-containing pills with placebos. Are they liable if women end up pregnant?
Contributed by @NickRadioActive
Fishing as Slaves on the High Seas, Businessweek
Beyond the reach of international regulators, human-rights violations are committed on a daily basis on the high seas, in the name of satisfying the world’s appetite for seafood. This is the story of how that ill-gotten catch may wind up on your plate.
Contributed by @NicoleJMFile