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February 2012 Archive

Did the NYPD's Spying on Muslims Violate the Law?

We interview an expert and explore whether the New York police crossed the line.

Financial Firm Fined for Misleading Investors on Magnetar Bets

Yet another player, Boston’s State Street, is scrutinized over Magnetar deals and fined $5 million.

Bahraini 'Reformers' in Washington, Courtesy of American Spinmeisters

The tiny Persian Gulf country is using American flacks to undermine support for the opposition.

New Report Likely to Fuel Debate Over TSA Scanners

A new report from the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security is likely to fan rather than extinguish the debate over the safety of X-ray body scanners, known as backscatters, deployed at airports across the country.

What Do Republican Presidential Candidates Say on Foreclosure Crisis? Not Much.

Our guide to how the candidates say they would approach the housing crisis — when they speak about it at all.

Showing You the Money (Faster)

We pitched in on some new features in the New York Times' Campaign Finance API and its Ruby wrapper, CampaignCash.

Banks Colluding with Insurers to Rip Off Homeowners, Lawsuit Alleges

A suit being brought against Wells Fargo sheds light on the business of force-placed insurance.

This Week's Top MuckReads: Faulty Birth Control, Abuse of Disabled, and Bad Bank Landlords

The most damning journalism of the past week.

Taking Stock of the Stock Act: A Side-by-Side Comparison

The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or Stock Act, recently passed in both chambers of Congress. We break down the main differences between the House and Senate versions, with a real-life scenarios that illustrate activities the bill targets.

Homeowners Who Negotiate Debt Relief Could Soon Face Massive Tax Bill

If Congress doesn't renew a key 2007 law, people who get a principal reduction on their mortgages or short-sell their homes could be forced to pay taxes on their "gain."

Revelations on NYPD Surveillance of Muslims Contradict Bloomberg Claims

Last summer, New York Mayor Bloomberg said the police department focuses on threats, not religion. A new report suggests otherwise.

New York Court Affirms Towns’ Powers to Ban Fracking

New York communities gain new authority to determine who can frack in their town.

How to Kill the Volcker Rule: Just Add Fat

Bank lobbyists couldn't kill the Volcker Rule, intended to stop banks from risking taxpayer money on risky speculation. So they're getting Congress and regulators to render it morbidly obese and bedridden.

The Oranto Deal, Explained

Follow the Money: Payment Trail Reveals Challenges of Ridding Liberia of Corruption

Chevron is investing millions in Liberia, which could help boost the economy of this impoverished African country. But the oil concessions it purchased are marred by allegations of bribery.

Two Wall Street Players Ensnared in New Probe

Banker involved in Magnetar deals is one of two recommended for disciplinary action for "alleged misrepresentations in connection with the sale" of a complex security.

Pioneering a Way to Distinguish Blood Disorders From Child Abuse

Child deaths are especially challenging for coroners and medical examiners because several diseases have symptoms that can mimic those of abuse. Dr. Michael Laposata and his colleagues have designed a series of blood tests to diagnose such disorders more accurately.

SEC Warns Top Banker of Charges Over Magnetar Deal

The SEC has warned Alexander Rekeda that it is considering civil charges against him for his role in creating risky collateralized debt obligations while working for the Japanese bank Mizuho.

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