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.
"Interviews and court records reviewed by BuzzFeed News turned up hundreds of workers who claimed they were forced to pay for their visas. That's illegal; companies are responsible for making sure their labor brokers don't charge bribes. But diplomats from the U.S. and Mexico say such bribes are rampant. In cables released by WikiLeaks, U.S. consular officials in Mexico, Jamaica, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic describe reports of recruiters demanding fees for visas and also committing fraud in order to get visas approved."
Gangs turn to rolling drug houses, exploiting police chase policy (Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel)
"They heavily tint their car windows, often to a degree that is prohibited under city ordinance. The tint is enough for police to pull over the cars, but if the driver flees, under department policy, officers cannot give chase unless they have evidence an occupant has committed a violent crime or is a threat to the safety of others. And the tint often prevents police from seeing what is going on in the car and gathering the evidence they would need to give chase."
Stowaways and crimes aboard a scofflaw ship (The New York Times)
"...concealed corners that might look inviting often turn deadly once ships set sail. Refrigerated fishing holds become cold, exhaust pipes heat up, shipping containers are sealed and fumigated. Maritime newsletters and shipping insurance reports offer a macabre accounting of the victims: 'Crushed in the chain locker,' 'asphyxiated by bunker fumes,' 'found under a retracted anchor.' Most often, though, death comes slower. Vomiting from seasickness leads to dehydration. People pass out from exhaustion. They starve." (Part 1 of a 4-part series on "the outlaw ocean.")
Women's deaths add to concerns about Georgia prison doctor (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"Although prison inmates are guaranteed adequate medical care under the Constitution, it's often difficult to assess whether that level of care is being provided, experts in correctional medicine said. That's because prison medical units are not monitored with the same scrutiny as hospitals and other medical facilities on the outside, they said. 'Correctional systems receive little oversight in many areas, including medical,' said the co-director of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights. 'The only oversight we really have comes from the courts, with people suing, or the press.'"
Review of Nestle water permit neglected for decades (The Desert Sun)
"The permit is one of hundreds the Forest Service has allowed to fall out-of-date in California. In fact, Regional Forester Randy Moore said earlier this year that out of about 15,000 'special use' permits in the state — for all sorts of uses ranging from cabins to pipes for city water supplies — about 4,500 permits are past their expiration dates and have yet to be reviewed. The Desert Sun obtained records for 1,108 water-related permits, and found 616 permits, or 56 percent of the total, were past their expiration dates."
Audit: Nuclear lab lets safety gaps languish for years (The Center for Public Integrity)
"Those who worked at the facility struggled to ensure that monitoring equipment accurately tracked oxygen levels, to avert any chance of a sudden combustion during processing, according to the report. The lab's own assessments, dating back to 2007, warned that the oxygen monitoring system in the building was unreliable. Energy Department staff in April 2013 cited the oxygen monitoring as one of 450 issues that needed to be addressed there."