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VA Center’s ‘Flat Stanley’ Research Claims 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.

Leaky stoves. Backed-up sewage. Mold. These are the types of conditions Florida health inspectors are supposed to deter in more than 800 migrant labor camps across the state. But a Watchdog Sarasota analysis found many camps continue to operate despite "unsatisfactory" ratings by state inspectors. The system that favors camp owners, who receive advance notice of inspections, can reschedule visits and often avoid the strictest penalties. —  Sarasota Herald Tribune via @jfloum

The U.S. spent $20 million on incinerators in Afghanistan — then exposed soldiers to burn pits anyway. Aware of the health risks associated with burn pits, the Defense Department invested millions in incinerators. But according to an inspector general's audit, many of them were defective or never used, in many cases because "officials did not take sufficient steps to ensure the proper management of contracts for the construction of the incinerators," the inspector general reported. — Center for Public Integrity via @JuliaHarte1

VA center touts research with questionable claims (and an essay on Flat Stanley). The VA Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans in Waco has lagged behind its peers in publishing research in recent years, according to an analysis by the Austin American-Statesman. And the work it has claimed credit for includes studies with no connection to veterans issues, material published in non-peer-reviewed publications and research authored by people not employed by the facility. — Austin American-Statesman via @JinATX

Time Warner Center, a tower of secrecy. The New York Times' five-part examination of America's most expensive residential real estate found that anonymous shell companies purchased nearly half the top properties. Foreign investors are fueling a real estate boom, with little scrutiny of their identities and backgrounds, the Times found. At the Time Warner Center, the newspaper found at least 16 foreign owners tied to government investigations. — New York Times via @brizzyc

MuckReads Local, Rhode Island:Once considered a conflict, Providence clears state lawmakers to serve as local judges— WPRI News via @DanMcGowan


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