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Investigations You Need to Read: Thursday

Today in accountability news:

  • Prominent oceanographers are accusing the Obama administration of allowing BP to obscure the true scope of the Gulf oil disaster, reports The New York Times. The scientists say federal agencies--most notably, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration--has been slow to obtain and release data on the enormous plumes of dispersed oil forming in the deep waters of the Gulf, which both the Houston Chronicle and Huffington Post have also pointed out.
  • The Gulf oil spill has put the Minerals Management Service, the U.S. offshore drilling regulator, under intense scrutiny, but the Associated Press reports it's not alone: Across the globe, offshore oil drilling regulation has shifted away from heavy government involvement to self-regulation by industry.
  • The Huffington Post Investigative Fund reports on a legal process that caused one Baltimore woman to lose her home. Vicki Valentine had paid off her mortgage, but owed $362 to the city for her water bill. The city sold that debt to investors--which typically range from big banks to regional banks to law firms--and with interest, processing fees for the sale, and legal charges stacked up, Valentine couldn't pay and lost her home.
  • A House probe has found that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation's public health agency, misled D.C. residents in 2004, when it played down the health risks of lead in the water, reports The Washington Post. The CDC declined to directly comment to the Post on the investigators' findings, although it acknowledged that one of its claims--that "no children had been found with lead poisoning"--was misleading.

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

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