Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email? Sign up to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.
The Fall of King Coal (Mother Jones)
"A mascot of the coal industry's worst excesses, Blankenship pumped millions of dollars into West Virginia's political system to promote an anti-regulatory agenda and curry favor with state lawmakers and officials. But Massey's pursuit of profits at any cost ultimately proved to be Blankenship's downfall. When, on April 5, 2010, an explosion at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 workers—the worst mining disaster in the United States in 40 years—prosecutors began slowly building a case against the powerful mogul ... The irony is that, even at the nadir of Blankenship's power, his ideology is ascendant."
Cell phone lobby win means 'more people will die' (The Center for Public Integrity)
"More than 10,000 people, who would otherwise be saved, die every year when calling 911 from a cellphone because emergency dispatchers can't get a quick and accurate location on them, the Federal Communications Commission calculated, when it proposed new 911 location rules last year for wireless phones. The problem isn't the dispatchers, police officers or firefighters who respond to the emergency calls. The failure is that the technologies used by wireless carriers — like industry giants AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. — fail repeatedly to locate indoor callers."
"'The city of Waco is looking at paying out hundreds of millions of dollars,' says Michael White, Wilson's attorney. 'I don't think we've ever seen something on the scale of 175-plus people being arrested for something they did not do.' To survive the storm, the city's legal strategy seems to be to pressure the Waco 177 into pleading guilty to minor infractions for time served; this would preclude the bikers from being able to sue for wrongful imprisonment."
"They Told Me It Never Happened" (BuzzFeed News)
"After a cursory investigation of the claim they compelled her to file, the police abruptly concluded Lara was lying about being raped and arrested her. ...Internal documents and recordings of private meetings obtained by BuzzFeed News, none of which have previously been made public, show how grievously the police botched their investigation from start to finish, allowing their beliefs about sexual assault to influence the way they pursued the case."
"Facing a budget crisis, Alabama has shuttered 31 driver's license offices, many of them in counties with a high proportion of black residents. Coming after the state recently put into effect a tougher voter ID law, the closures will cut off access — particularly for minorities — to one of the few types of IDs accepted."
Illinois and Cook County reconsider profits from inmate phone calls (Chicago Reporter)
"'It's expensive to police and cage millions of people. So what they're doing is shifting the responsibility onto the backs of the people they're policing and caging,' said Paul Wright, a former inmate and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center, a national organization based in Florida. 'They can't monetize human contact.' Such criticisms have led the FCC and some Illinois legislators to consider either reducing or eliminating commissions collected by prisons."
Secret Service Tried to Discredit U.S. Lawmaker (Associated Press)
"An assistant director suggested leaking embarrassing information to retaliate against Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House oversight committee. The actions by the employees could represent criminal violations under the U.S. Privacy Act, said the report by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general, John Roth."
DEA agents kept jobs despite serious misconduct (USA Today)
"Lawmakers expressed dismay this year that the drug agency had not fired agents who investigators found attended 'sex parties' with prostitutes paid with drug cartel money while they were on assignment in Colombia. The Justice Department also opened an inquiry into whether the DEA is able to adequately detect and punish wrongdoing by its agents."
MuckReads Local: S.C. candidates enrich themselves with campaign cash, gifts, travel
Latest Stories from ProPublica
Republish This Story for Free
Thank you for your interest in republishing this story. You are are free to republish it so long as you do the following:
- You have to credit us. In the byline, we prefer “Author Name, ProPublica.” At the top of the text of your story, include a line that reads: “This story was originally published by ProPublica.” You must link the word “ProPublica” to the original URL of the story.
- If you’re republishing online, you must link to the URL of this story on propublica.org, include all of the links from our story, including our newsletter sign up language and link, and use our PixelPing tag.
- If you use canonical metadata, please use the ProPublica URL. For more information about canonical metadata, refer to this Google SEO link.
- You can’t edit our material, except to reflect relative changes in time, location and editorial style. (For example, “yesterday” can be changed to “last week,” and “Portland, Ore.” to “Portland” or “here.”)
- You cannot republish our photographs or illustrations without specific permission. Please contact [email protected].
- It’s okay to put our stories on pages with ads, but not ads specifically sold against our stories. You can’t state or imply that donations to your organization support ProPublica’s work.
- You can’t sell our material separately or syndicate it. This includes publishing or syndicating our work on platforms or apps such as Apple News, Google News, etc.
- You can’t republish our material wholesale, or automatically; you need to select stories to be republished individually. (To inquire about syndication or licensing opportunities, contact [email protected].)
- You can’t use our work to populate a website designed to improve rankings on search engines or solely to gain revenue from network-based advertisements.
- We do not generally permit translation of our stories into another language.
- Any website our stories appear on must include a prominent and effective way to contact you.
- If you share republished stories on social media, we’d appreciate being tagged in your posts. We have official accounts for ProPublica on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Copy and paste the following into your page to republish: