Forgotten Fugitives, FDA Spies, and Who’s Paying for the Super Bowl

Journalism in the public interest.
Feb. 3 2012 2:02 PM

Forgotten Fugitives, FDA Spies, and Who’s Paying for the Super Bowl

This week's top MuckReads from ProPublica

Will the Super Bowl have any economic benefit for Indianapolis?

Win McNamee/Getty Images

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 The best submissions are selected by ProPublica's editors and reporters and then featured at @ProPublica.

Super Bowl Lands on Taxpayers’ Backs as Indianapolis Stadium Deal Sours, Bloomberg
As the market turned sour, taxpayers in central Indiana dug deep to foot the bill for the stadium where the Super Bowl will be played. Taxes have increased on hotels, restaurants, and rental cars; meanwhile, the Colts financed part of their contribution to the stadium through government insurers, and they pay only $250,000 a year to use the stadium. And the Super Bowl? One consultant says it has a negligible effect.
Contributed by @BloombergNews

Quietly, U.S. Moves to Block Lawsuits by Military Families, the Atlantic
A 1946 law protects the U.S. government from medical malpractice suits "arising out of the combatant activities of the military or naval forces, or the Coast Guard, during time of war." However, federal lawyers are now quietly trying to expand the government's immunity, making it difficult for current and former members of the military to bring their medical grievances to trial.
Contributed by @TheAtlantic

FDA Staffers Sue Agency Over Surveillance of Personal Email, Washington Post
After a group of FDA employees warned Congress about agency approval of risky medical devices, the FDA secretly monitored their personal e-mail—an act the group says eventually contributed to harassment or dismissal. The whistle-blowing group worked in an office reviewing devices for cancer screening and other purposes.
Contributed by @Jake_Bernstein

Failure To Bring Border-Crossing Fugitives to Justice a National Problem, Chicago Tribune
An analysis of nearly 10,000 international fugitive leads has revealed a nationwide failure to extradite criminal suspects, even when their location is known. High extradition costs, diplomatic and political conflicts, and miscommunication have all contributed to problem, with only a "fraction" of the fugitives abroad brought back to the U.S. to stand trial.
Contributed by @brianboyer

Brown Ordered Firing of Regulator Who Took Hard Line on Oil Firms, Los Angeles Times
After a top regulator refused to authorize more lenient oil-drilling laws, California Gov. Jerry Brown had him fired. The method in dispute, underground injection, is a particularly risky form of oil extraction, but is also—Brown’s administration argues—a source of jobs in California’s struggling economy.
Contributed by @ashleypowers

Did the Stimulus Do Anything for Transparency? Governing
Whatever the ultimate economic impact of the stimulus, one result is clear: increased government transparency, on both state and federal levels, that's released an unprecedented level of data. Many see this transparent recovery as a blueprint for the future of open government.
Contributed by @tinatrenker

These stories and many more can be found at ProPublica. You can also subscribe to a daily #MuckReads email or follow ProPublica on Twitter. Reader submissions are key to making #MuckReads a success—please contribute!



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 2:35 PM Germany’s Nationwide Ban on Uber Lasted All of Two Weeks
The Vault
Sept. 16 2014 12:15 PM “Human Life Is Frightfully Cheap”: A 1900 Petition to Make Lynching a Federal Offense
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 8:41 PM You’re Cut, Adrian Peterson Why fantasy football owners should release the Minnesota Vikings star.