Today’s accountability news:

  • Lobbyists are gearing up to protect federal earmarks, according to The Hill. The publication obtained documents that paint a picture of how one of the biggest earmark lobbying firms is going to create the "Earmark Reform and Education Coalition."
  • The Chicago Tribune tested hundreds of skin-lightening creams and found that several contain harmful amounts of mercury, a toxic metal that was banned in certain types of facial treatments in 1990. 
  • In Florida, a school official ordered his employees to hire an architect who is married to a county commissioner, reports The Sun-Sentinel.
  • As more oil companies are drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the amount they are paying for leases has dropped drastically, reports SolveClimate.
  • Soldiers in Massachusetts suspect their current health problems were caused by exposure to Agent Orange at a Canadian training base, according to

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