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January 2012 Archives

How the Stimulus Revived the Electric Car

The Obama administration helped build an American electric car and battery industry. The question is: Will it last? From ProPublica reporter Michael Grabell's new book on the stimulus, Money Well Spent?

Bets Against Homeowners Must Stop, Freddie Mac Was Told

After an examination by its regulator, Freddie agreed not to make new investments that profited from homeowners staying trapped in high interest-rate mortgages. But Freddie has kept billions worth of those investments.

Anatomy of a Stepper Graphic

A small library for stepper graphics.

One Soldier’s Progress Against Traumatic Brain Injury

With the help of virtual-reality machines and a bevy of specialists, Sgt. Victor Medina's thinking and speaking rapidly improved. But he's among only a tiny fraction of brain-injured soldiers who get access to the most advanced treatment at military's new state-of-the-art center in Maryland.

Freddie Mac Bets Against American Homeowners

The taxpayer-owned mortgage giant made investments that profited if borrowers stayed stuck in high-interest loans while making it harder for them to get out of those loans.

Ernie Lopez to Face Charges Again

Despite detailed challenges to the medical evidence, prosecutor says he sees no change in the facts of the case.

Top MuckReads: Anti-Muslim Training, Sex Predators, And The Labor Behind iPads

The most damning, hard-hitting stories from January 21 to January 27.

By the Numbers: Life and Death at Foxconn

A look at working conditions at the manufacturing giant that produces nearly half of the world's consumer electronics.

Podcast: SOPA Opera

Dan Nguyen joins the podcast this week to talk about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and his popular news application illustrating where members of Congress stand on the controversial bill.

Drive-by Scanning: Officials Expand Use and Dose of Radiation for Security Screening

From prisons to borders to the streets of New York, law enforcement officials are using X-ray scanners on people more often and with higher doses of radiation.

Dems Governors’ Gathering Gets Big Bucks Selling Prime Spot Next to Gov. Cuomo

The price for seats on a closed-door panel with New York Gov. -- and noted campaign finance reformer -- Andrew Cuomo? $50,000

Bill Would Require Independent Study of X-Ray Body Scanners

Sen. Susan Collins is planning to introduce a bill that would require the TSA to conduct a new, independent health study of the X-ray body scanners used to screen airline passengers for explosives at airports.

Texas Court Voids Conviction in Child Death Case

The court set side the conviction of Ernie Lopez, whose case we explored in our series on flawed death investigations.

Obama’s Gerrymander

President Obama may have propelled his political career by gerrymandering a Chicago district to include rich supporters.

House Panel Queries Attorney General About Pardon Office

The questions from the House Judiciary Committee follow ProPublica's investigation into the Justice Department's pardon office and a finding of racial bias against minorities.

Inside Romney’s Tax Returns: A Reading Guide

Mitt Romney released 550 pages of tax returns Tuesday. News organizations are making their way through them. Here’s our guide to where to look to make sense of the numbers.

Obama’s Unfulfilled State of the Union Goals

On energy, taxes, immigration and Guantanamo tribunals, President Obama has had to settle for something less than the ambitious goals he outlined in prior State of the Union speeches.

Senate Watchdog Targets High-Prescribing Medicaid Docs

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, wants to know why an Ohio doctor wrote 54 prescriptions per weekday for the antipsychotic Abilify, while the biggest prescriber of Seroquel wrote an average nine prescriptions per hour.

Little Progress in Congress on Push for Forensic Standards

Efforts to reform forensic science have struggled with the issue of how independent a new national agency would be.