Today's accountability news:

  • Nitrates from fertilizers, wastewater treatment plants and manure are contaminating water across California, reports California Watch, and regulators are doing nothing to stop it.
  • McClatchy reports that smaller banks are just as vulnerable to failure as large ones, evidenced by the many bank failures in Georgia. 
  • A company that verified the quality of mortgage loans for Bear Stearns as they were stuffed into securities had little time for due diligence, and sometimes made up credit scores and other information, according to The Atlantic. 
  • The U.S. military is still using "a secret network of private spies," despite earlier suggestions that the operation had been shut down, reports The New York Times.
  • The Federal Reserve would retain most of its powers in the latest Senate financial reform bill, despite bipartisan agreement last year that the agency needed to be reined in, according to The Washington Post.

These stories are part of our ongoing roundup of investigations from other news outlets. For more, visit our Investigations Elsewhere page.