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Top MuckReads: Errant Alaskan Rescue, Nuclear Waste and Mitt’s Money

Our rundown of this week’s best investigative or accountability journalism.

Here are this week's top must-read stories from #MuckReads, ProPublica's ongoing collection of the best watchdog journalism. Anyone can contribute by tweeting a link to a story and just including the hashtag #MuckReads or by sending an email to [email protected]. The best submissions are selected by ProPublica's editors and reporters and then featured on our site and @ProPublica.

Is riveting Alaska icebreaker voyage a humanitarian or economic mission? Alaska Dispatch

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell urged the federal government to green-light an exceptional sea voyage to a remote community that he said was in danger of running out of fuel. But people were not in immediate, if any, danger, and critics say the much-celebrated mission mainly benefited a nearby goldmine.

Contributed by @alaskadispatch

Romney Parks Millions in Cayman Islands, ABC News

Mitt Romney has millions in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, but it is not apparent on his financial disclosure firm. A Romney spokesperson said Romney would pay the same in taxes regardless of where the funds are based.

Contributed by @ABC

Science Funding Slashed Under Corbett Administration, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration has diminished funding for scientific research at a time it says it’s basing its Marcellus Shale drilling policies on sound science. Projects examining the impact of drilling and climate change were removed from a recommended funding list.

Contributed by @StateImpactPA

In D.C. loan program, mortgage defaults abound, The Washington Post

D.C. is giving low-income buyers subsidies for homes they can’t afford. Nearly one in five of the homeowners is behind on mortgage payments — three-times the overall rate in the region.

Contributed by @j_nb

Problems plague cleanup at Hanford nuclear waste site, USA Today

A 10-year effort to clean up 56 million gallons of radioactive nuclear waste “faces enormous problems just as it reaches what was supposed to be its final stage.” Design problems could halt operations before much of the waste is treated.

Contributed by Brad Heath

In the super PAC era, do handshakes even matter? Associated Press

Political ad spending correlates more closely with election results than any other known factors, including a town’s political party makeup and frequency of candidate visits.

Contributed by @iWatch

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