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His ‘Jaws, Ears and Forehead’ Got Him Pulled Over and More in MuckReads Weekly

Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email? <a href="">Sign up</a> to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.

Pulled over because of his "cheekbones, jaws, ears and forehead" 130 miles from the border. The Border Patrol's authority is nearly unlimited in the areas in covers. Agents do not need to obtain a warrant to search subjects. Even 100 miles out, considered "a reasonable distance," agents can make warrantless stops. What about beyond the 100-mile line? This report from the Austin American Statesman found that between 2005 and 2013, the Border Patrol apprehended more than 40,000 subjects at nine of the most inland patrol stations – as far away as 350 miles from Mexico. Critics say these interior patrols lead to racial profiling and unconstitutional stops of legal residents. And these stops, the Border Patrol says, aren't tracked. — The Austin American Statesman via @JinATX

Is prison labor "slavery" or "rehabilitation"? It depends on whom you ask. For the state of California, however, it means more than 4,400 mostly "nonviolent" inmates are on the ground fighting wildland fires for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. This workforce saves California more than $1 billion a year. But as the appetite – and policy -- for keeping nonviolent offenders locked up for extended periods of time diminishes and fires increase in a very dry state, California will need to make a choice: "Pay full price for its firefighting workforce, or send more violent inmates out into the wilderness with powerful tools and very little security." — BuzzFeedNews via @HanqingC

The secrets JP Morgan Chase paid $9 billion to keep from you. Alayne Fleischmann had a front row seat to the financial crisis as a deal manager for the enormous bank in 2006. Today, she's the central witness in one of America's biggest cases of white-collar crime. And, as Matt Taibbi writes, Fleischmann was a bargaining chip that Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department used to up the ante – from $3 to $9 billion – that JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon was willing to pay to keep what she knew out of the public sphere. "It felt like I was trying to keep this secret and my body was literally rejecting it," she says. — Rolling Stone via @omar_sX3

A $65 screw in your back that shouldn't be there. While the chief executive of Spinal Solutions rubbed elbows with celebrities courtside at Los Angeles Lakers games, his company's hardware -- which doctors were drilling into the backs of spinal fusion patients -- may have been, in part, counterfeit. The story of these fake screws, which the company is accused of mixing into bags of legitimate medical-grade titanium hardware, came out as part of a larger scheme to bilk California's workers' compensation system. The FDA was alerted in 2011 to the alleged malfeasance. And the company did shut down, but because of its debts, not the fake screws. — The Center for Investigative Reporting via @JewettCIR and @jennifergollan

Is this board "bending over backwards" to protect the Army? The Board for Correction of Military Records is where Army veterans go to change their records. It's charged with correcting "errors" and removing "injustices." Many of the cases involved are appeals to change discharges – and some of these cases have left veterans without medical benefits for service-related injuries. An investigation by Fusion found "that when service members file appeals that could lay significant blame on the Army or cost a lot of money, the default answer is often no." About 5 percent of veterans between 2001 and 2012 were able to change their discharge reason and only 2 percent were granted a medical evaluation that could add benefits. — Fusion via @alissafig and @alicitabrennan


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