The Center for Public Integrity

For the EPA, 'Reform' Means Giving Industry What It Wants

First came the smoke. The explosion hit 20 minutes later—so massive it killed 15, injured 260, damaged or destroyed 150 buildings, shattered glass a mile out and set trees ablaze. Under stadium lights, the West, Texas, high school football field, home of the Trojans, was transformed into a makeshift triage center.

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Thousands of Immigrants With 'Protected Status' Face Possible Deportation

Juan Cortez of Maryland owns his own trucking business — he’s almost paid off the $50,000 loan he took to start it — and he holds county contracts to plow snow every winter just outside Washington, D.C. After nearly a quarter of a century here, the Salvadoran immigrant is also the proud owner of a home, and he pays tens of thousands of dollars in annual taxes. He has a daughter in college and a son in high school who’s in the ROTC, the Reserve Officer Training Corps.

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Surge of Women Run for Office in First Major Races Since Trump's Win

The most women candidates in at least a decade are on Tuesday’s ballot in Virginia and New Jersey — what may be the first glimpse of new political activism in the Trump era.

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Millions Consumed Potentially Unsafe Water in the Past 10 Years

This report is part of a project on drinking water contamination in the United States produced by the Carnegie-Knight News21 program.

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Trump Appointee Is a Saudi Government Lobbyist

One of President Donald Trump’s newest appointees is a registered agent of Saudi Arabia earning hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby on the kingdom’s behalf, according to U.S. Department of Justice records reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity.

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Here's What You Need Know About America's Biggest Greenhouse Gas Polluter

Up close, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the U.S. isn't as big as you'd expect it to be. From most angles, you can't even see it until you're right on top of it.

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What's in Gorsuch's Wallet, Trump's U.S. Supreme Court Pick

President Donald Trump named his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday night, tapping Judge Neil M. Gorsuch of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

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31 Numbers That Perfectly Capture the Insanity of the 2016 Election

304: Number of Electoral College Votes won by Republican President-elect Donald Trump

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How a Trumped-Up Fundraiser With the First Family Imploded

A pay-to-play soiree offering the ultra-wealthy access to newly inaugurated President Donald Trump is unraveling — after the Center for Public Integrity on Monday revealed that Trump’s adult sons are registered directors of the new, Texas-based nonprofit organizing the event.

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10 Shady Groups That Crept into Our Election

The bromide says all politics are local. But if examined closely, state politics are looking quite national these days.

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Is Donald Trump a Russian Agent? A Nonpartisan Guide to National Security and Foreign Policy Issues in the Presidential Election

According to Hillary Clinton and her supporters, Donald Trump is crazy friendly with Russian president Vladimir Putin, a bad man who hates America and threatens its interests, and therefore Trump cannot be trusted even with U.S. intelligence secrets, much less the presidency. He is so thin-skinned and impetuous that he could drop nuclear bombs on someone who criticized him, so insulting to nearly everyone outside his family that the country would become dangerously isolated during his presidency, unable to address challenges like ISIS that we cannot take on alone. Trump’s incendiary rhetoric about Muslims is a potent recruiting tool for jihadists. And he is so unconcerned about the welfare of others that he wouldn’t blink at severing defense ties with allies who don’t send us a lot more cash, provoking them to create or expand their own arsenals of nuclear arms—which is actually okay with him. His campaign slogan might as well be, let global chaos reign.

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Meet the Billionaire Environmentalist Funding a Major Ad Push Against Donald Trump

A billionaire environmentalist is spending big money in California to skewer presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump—the latest volley in a barrage of anti-Trump advertising that has saturated TV airwaves.

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Rich People Have Access to High-Speed Internet; Many Poor People Still Don't

Ever since Curtis Brown Jr. got his first Star Wars toy as a toddler, he has been fascinated by action figures. So much so that he has built a business customizing action figures for clients worldwide. But what could be a lucrative career has turned into an exercise in futility that traps Brown and his family in poverty.

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Workers Threw Out U.S. Nuclear Secrets With Common Rubbish for 20 Years

In June 2014, a worker at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee was surprised to find U.S. nuclear secrets inside a trash bag marked for disposal along with standard rubbish. Taking a closer look, the worker found 19 more documents in the bag that were either marked classified or were later determined to contain information that should have been labeled secret.

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ALEC and the Far Right are Seven States Away From Convening A Dangerous and Unpredictable Federal Constitutional Convention

It’s only a short phrase buried in the U.S. Constitution, but it enables an unprecedented avenue to change the law of the land: If two-thirds of the states demand it, Congress “shall call a convention” for proposing constitutional amendments.

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Right-Wing Wall St. Financiers Launch Big Money Attack on Clinton

Hedge fund managers and investors, together worth billions of dollars, are bankrolling a little-known super PAC that on Tuesday unleashed attack ads against Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

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What Are the Only 3 States That Score Higher Than a D+ in the Corruption Index?

In November 2014, Arkansas voters approved a ballot measure that, among other reforms, barred the state’s elected officials from accepting lobbyists’ gifts. But that hasn’t stopped influence peddlers from continuing toprovide meals to lawmakers at the luxurious Capital Hotel or in top Little Rock eateries like the Brave New Restaurant; the prohibition does not apply to “food or drink available at a planned activity to which a specific governmental body is invited,” so lobbyists can buy meals so long as they invite an entire legislative committee.

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25 Years After America's Biggest Nuclear Cleanup Project Began, Not a Single Drop of Waste Has Been Treated

The largest and most costly U.S. environmental cleanup project has been dogged for years by worries about an accidental nuclear reaction or a spill of toxic materials that could endanger residents nearby, as well as a history of contractor retaliation against workers who voice worries about persistent safety risks.

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EPA's Environmental Justice Plan Would Perpetuate Racism, Opponents Say

While touting the importance of environmental justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pushing a draft “framework” for tackling the problem that lacks substance, residents of polluted communities, advocates and agency employees say.

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The EPA Has Tightened Ozone Standards -  and Absolutely No One Is Happy

The Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that the country’s anti-smog standard does not sufficiently protect Americans’ lungs and will be tightened, a move that irked groups on both sides of the debate.

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Environmental Racism Has Long Been Ignored by the EPA, but Not Anymore

The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Civil Rights will more aggressively evaluate recipients of EPA funding to ensure their compliance with federal civil-rights laws, the office said in a draft Strategic Plan released two weeks ago. Billed as an effort that "invigorates the EPA's civil-rights mission," the five-year plan commits the agency for the first time to conduct targeted compliance reviews.

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Former Employees Blame Samsung for Cancer

Han Hye-kyung’s wheelchair is folded and leaning against the wall at the apartment entrance two floors below. There is no need for her wheelchair in this tiny apartment. The main room has no furniture, just appliances: a refrigerator, stove, sink and a second refrigerator for storing kimchee, the spicy fermented vegetable dish. There is a bedroom on either side of the room and a bathroom.

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Environmental Racism Persists, and the EPA is One Reason Why

The invasion of sewer flies moved residents of University Place subdivision to turn to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for help. Darting from a neighboring sewage plant, the flies descended upon the mostly African-American neighborhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with such regularity that one resident posted this warning sign: Beware of attack fly

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Health Care Sleaze: The Person Who Ran Medicare Is Now in Charge of the Insurance Lobby

Washington’s notorious revolving door was in full swing again last week as the health insurance industry snagged another top federal official to help it get what it wants out of lawmakers and regulators.  

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Koch Brothers: Teach Our Libertarian Claptrap and Get Millions for Your College!

In 2007, when the Charles Koch Foundation considered giving millions of dollars to Florida State University’s economics department, the offer came with strings attached.

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Casinos and Offshore Gaming Sites Furiously Battle Over Billions in Gambling Revenue

Ever since Bugsy Siegel opened the Flamingo Hotel in 1946 and launched the Las Vegas Strip, gambling has held a tenuous position in American life, suggesting glamour, wealth, depravity and corruption all at once. Now that casinos have spread throughout the nation and allegedly shed their mafia ties, a new branch of the industry is fighting for legitimacy here.

Las Vegas-based casinos and overseas operators have begun an all-out battle over Internet gambling, which is mostly banned nationwide but carries with it the promise of billions of dollars in additional revenue for casinos and state governments. Three states began licensing online betting last year, and lawmakers are debating online gambling bills in seven others right now. In Washington, meanwhile, Congress is facing increasing pressure to either bar or regulate the fledgling industry federally.

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Our Airwaves for Sale: The Wireless Company Free-For-All

The setting was ornate, the subject esoteric, but the implications huge.

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The Shocking Ways Debt Collectors Are Hounding U.S. Military Service Members

Debt collectors are targeting members of the Armed Services by calling their superior officers, threatening reduction in rank and even courts-martial, despite stepped-up efforts to protect them from abuse, according to a government report issued last week.

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San Francisco Takes the Lead in Defining Role of School Police, Sets Limits on Interrogations, Arrests

As debate over harsh school discipline heats up nationwide, San Francisco is taking a lead role among big cities by formally limiting the role of police on campuses and requiring specific types of training for school-based officers.

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Inside the Fight to Prevent Billions in International Money Laundering and Tax Shelters

In June 2000, international groups rolled out blacklists targeting offshore refuges that shelter tax dodging and money laundering. Some observers predicted “the death of tax havens.” 

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Battle Brews Over Obama's Renewable Energy Plan

America’s deserts are stark, quiet places, where isolation and the elements have long kept development at bay. To outsiders, these arid expanses may not seem like prized land.

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