A life-and-death struggle for asylum in America

By Susan Ferriss and Amy Isackson

Teens' tortured road to asylum in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform":

"… aims are controversial. San Diego-area GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, downplayed the role of gang violence in creating the recent surge among c …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "St. Lucie County":

"… in California. Last year, when her son was sentenced to 20 days in jail in St. Lucie County, Florida, for reckless driving, Linda wanted to buy him a second pair of u …"

"… t that the county was stealing the money.” Capt. William Lawhorn of the St. Lucie County sheriff’s office said that inmates are charged a $25 initial booking fee …"

Afghans don’t like soybeans, despite a big U.S. push

By Alexander Cohen and James Arkin

Washington ignored warnings that Afghans were unlikely to embrace protein-rich soy products.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Africa":

"… ood aid projects since its creation in 2000, mostly in Central America and Africa — albeit at a comparatively low annual budget of around $2 million. The …"

Federal complaint challenges Texas town's new ban on housing any border kids

By Susan Ferriss

Civil rights groups are challenging ordinances that prohibit cooperation with federal officials if they ask to shelter kids in towns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "council member":

"… aliens, designated as ‘refugees,’ or otherwise.” Heidi Theiss, the council member who wrote the ordinance, talked to KPRC television in Texas about why  …"

Trains, amputations and the roots of why kids are on the run

By Susan Ferriss

Reports have long warned of chaos in Central America many minors say they want to escape.

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… ice report in February of this year surveyed the gang problem in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and the struggle to address it. The U.S. Departmen …"

"… ited States,” the report says, “sided with conservative governments in El Salvador and Guatemala, labeling its actions anticommunist, and invested billions o …"

Class-action suit: Wrong to put kids into immigration court with no lawyers to help

By Susan Ferriss

Kids whose dad was killed by gangsters are among the plaintiffs in a suit arguing that children should have lawyers in immigration court.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Law":

"… in favor of young children benefitting from counsel in immigration court. Lawyers said the suit—one of the plaintiffs is originally from Mexico—was …"

Herbicide ban on hold in Sri Lanka, as source of deadly kidney disease remains elusive

By Sasha Chavkin

After Sri Lanka's announced ban on a Monsanto herbicide, opponents challenged the action and convinced the president to put the ban on hold.

Excerpts from this story referencing "prosecutor":

"… hez-Cerén’s office did not respond to ICIJ’s inquiries. In Brazil, a prosecutor recently requested a ban on glyphosate and other agrichemicals because he …"

Sri Lanka bans Monsanto herbicide citing potential link to deadly kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

Sri Lanka orders ban on glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, citing kidney disease outbreak; Monsanto said the evidence is unproven.

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… t dramatic measure taken to date to combat the illness. The legislature in El Salvador approved a ban on dozens of agrochemicals including glyphosate last Septem …"

"… at 65 percent of patients’ urine samples also had traces of glyphosate. El Salvador has also identified traces of heavy metals in a small number of affected c …"

"… phosate is used widely in the country. Dr. Carlos Orantes, the director of El Salvador’s national research program into the epidemic, said his team is working …"

"… id his team is working on developing a map of areas with hard water within El Salvador’s borders. “Our primary principal is to protect human lives,” said …"

CDC launches industry-financed studies of deadly kidney disease in Central America

By Sasha Chavkin

The CDC launches industry-funded research into a kidney disease killing thousands of Central American agricultural workers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chronic kidney disease":

"… al Consortium of Investigative Journalists has examined how a rare type of chronic kidney disease, CKD, is afflicting agricultural workers along Central America …"

Money, research target mystery kidney disease in Americas

By Sasha Chavkin

Escalating a search for the cause of a mysterious kidney disease, health ministers from the Americas target money and research to CKD.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chronic kidney disease":

"… al Consortium of Investigative Journalists has examined how a rare type of chronic kidney disease is afflicting agricultural workers along Central America’s Pac …"

"… nd for PAHO, which in 2011 rejected a proposal by El Salvador to recognize chronic kidney disease in agricultural workers as a distinct new form of illness and designate it …"

"… disease, and contended that agrochemicals are the primary culprit. Today, chronic kidney disease is the leading cause of hospital deaths in El Salvador, the PAHO resolutio …"

"… aid. “The science advanced together with political advocacy. People with chronic kidney disease of non-traditional causes are people who are not recognized, who are exclu …"

Countries target pesticides as suspected link to rare kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

Governments from El Salvador to Sri Lanka explore the role of pesticides in a malady killing laborers, as other scientists eye heat stress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Monsanto":

"… y, including leading products such as glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, and 2-4,D, produced by Dow Chemicals. The proposed law would …"

"… paper. “We would be giving a very severe blow to all of agriculture.” Monsanto confirmed it sells glyphosate in El Salvador and across Latin America …"

"… ding to label directions there is no concern of harm to the kidneys," said Monsanto spokeswoman Erika Campuzano. "This herbicide has been thoroughly reviewed …"

World Bank approves loan to sugar plantation amid concerns about kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

World Bank approved $15M loan to Nicaraguan sugar plantation, even as industry is ravaged by disease.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chronic kidney disease":

"… al Consortium of Investigative Journalists has examined how a rare type of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is killing thousands of agricultural workers along Central America …"

Center kidney disease series honored by Society of Environmental Journalists

A CPI examination of a rare kidney disease that has afflicted laborers and vexed researchers across continents is honored.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… ontinents was honored this week with a reporting prize from the Society of Environmental Journalists. Mystery in the Fields, a 3-part series published in Septem …"

New urgency targets mysterious kidney disease in Central America

By Sasha Chavkin

In El Salvador, health ministries formally recognize a kidney disease killing laborers — and vow deeper scrutiny of its causes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health Minister":

"… amaging to renal health,” said the declaration adopted by the Council of Health Ministers of Central America. The ministers pledged potentially meaningful new ste …"

Federal initiative to help schools recognize youth sex trafficking

By Susan Ferriss

Students can be exploited more if they are suspended or expelled for misbehavior and left unsupervised alone.

Excerpts from this story referencing "cell phones":

"… other kids, or flash around money, or become fiercely protective of their cell phones because they contain information about pimps. One girl, Littrell said, ult …"

In Sri Lanka, new steps target mysterious kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

In Sri Lanka, the president vows controls on chemicals potentially linked to chronic kidney disease, as hospitals take steps for patients.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chronic kidney disease":

"… id growing concern the chemicals are helping fuel a mysterious epidemic of chronic kidney disease devastating its north central region.In September, in Mystery in the Field …"

"… in the Fields, the Center for Public Integrity explored how a rare form of chronic kidney disease is killing agricultural workers in Sri Lanka, India and Central America. S …"

"… re “causative factors” for the ailment – which they have named CKDu, chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology. Despite prior warnings from the WHO to reduce farmers …"

Separated by law: Families torn apart by 1996 immigration measure

By Susan Ferriss and Amy Isackson

Immigration measure has split husbands from wives, children from parents.

Excerpts from this story referencing "energy":

"… Los Angeles, another three hours. Every penny he makes and nearly all his energy goes into managing this separation, Chris said. He can’t get a job in Ti …"

In India, verdant terrain conceals clues to a fatal kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

How a rare kidney disease is killing laborers and vexing researchers in three countries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nicaragua":

"… ounts, the seemingly idyllic region has become stigmatized. In contrast to Nicaragua’s “Island of the Widows,” which is named for the alarming rate of ch …"

As kidney disease kills thousands across continents, scientists scramble for answers

By Sasha Chavkin

How a rare kidney disease is killing laborers and vexing researchers in three countries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "India":

"… cept a kidney donation that offers his only chance of survival.In Uddanam, India, a reed-thin farmer named Laxmi Narayna prepares for the grueling two-day …"

"… cting thousands of people in rural, agricultural communities in Sri Lanka, India and Central America. The struggle to identify its causes is baffling resea …"

"… n cause, though other sources put the number more than double that. In the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, more than 1,500 have been treated for the ailmen …"

"… logist at Harvard Medical School who is leading a study of the epidemic in India. “Our premise should be to first look for common causes.”The response …"

About the 'Mystery in the Fields' project

By Ronnie Greene

About the Project: Mystery in the Fields

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sri Lanka":

"… crippling communities in three different regions, from Central America to Sri Lanka to India. As death tolls mount, researchers remain puzzled, unable to defi …"

"… in discovered that the disease had also developed in clusters in India and Sri Lanka. Over several months this year, he and video journalist Anna Barry-Jester …"

"… in news outlets including PRI’s The World, the BBC, The Sunday Times of Sri Lanka and The Week in India.Project staffReporter: Sasha ChavkinPhotographer/vid …"

Support our new investigation into a deadly disease killing agricultural workers

By Ellen Weiss

Support our investigation of a disease that is killing workers around the world.

Excerpts from this story referencing "epidemic":

"… las Viudas — The Island of the Widows. That first story about the epidemic prompted the Costa Rican government to launch a study and a leading Costa …"

"… you to support this team to travel and report, for the first time, on the epidemic’s scope, and expose the risky working conditions and international negle …"

"… llery and video illustrating its human consequences. Each year this deadly epidemic is killing thousands of the world's poorest citizens — please help make …"

Costa Rica to study kidney disease afflicting sugarcane workers

By Sasha Chavkin

In Costa Rica, health officials and one company step up against a disease that's claimed thousands of lives in Central America

Excerpts from this story referencing "epidemic":

"… estigative Journalists that explored the mysterious and largely overlooked epidemic of chronic kidney disease — or CKD — that is killing thousands of suga …"

"… cally sensitive questions surrounding what regional health experts call an epidemic: whether the illness should be classified as an occupational disease. Many …"

"… rdas, a nephrologist at Costa Rica’s Hospital Mexico who has studied the epidemic in Guanacaste. “If it proves this, the government will say to the manage …"

"… American scientists that has played a pioneering role in the study of the epidemic. In Guanacaste, doctors who last year described being overwhelmed by the f …"

The weekly watchdog: Dec. 12 - Dec. 16

By Bill Buzenberg

In case you missed them, catch up on this week's top investigations from iWatch News

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ead devastating whole communities, according to a new investigation by the Center for Public Integrity’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Between 2005 an …"

"… udents on a fast track to failure, according to a new investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. California’s Kern County is at the leading edge of the debate over wher …"

"… y fired. Center website wins National Press Foundation award The Center for Public Integrity’s iWatchnews.org website received the Excellence in Online Journalism Aw …"

Thousands of sugar cane workers die as wealthy nations stall on solutions

By Sasha Chavkin and Ronnie Greene

Mysterious kidney disease has killed thousands of men in an isolated region of Central America, but why?

Excerpts from this story referencing "dialysis":

"… vince of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the regional hospital had to start a home dialysis program because it was overwhelmed with so many CKD victims that it began …"

About this project

A look at the reporting process behind 'Island of the Widows'

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… ein (CPI) …"

"… 2005 to 2009, CKD claimed more than 2,800 men each year in the region; in El Salvador it is now the second-leading cause of death among adult men.This was the p …"

"… heehy for Public Radio International’s The World. Sheehy is based in the El Salvador offices of El Faro, an investigative website edited by Carlos Dada, a memb …"

"… )Univision (television)El Nuevo Herald, MiamiLa Nacion, Costa RicaEl Faro, El SalvadorSemana, NicaraguaHoy, ChicagoAl Dia, DallasLa Opinion, Los AngelesProject e …"

Methodology

A note of the data and analysis for 'Island of the Widows'

Excerpts from this story referencing "dialysis":

"… r some of the increased mortality. In the United States, overall deaths of dialysis patients increased 175% from 1990 to 2009, according to statistics from th …"

Hotter, drier, meaner: Trends point to a planet increasingly hostile to agriculture

By Douglas Fischer

A host of data point to one conclusion: Our increasingly hotter, drier planet is going to be a tough place to farm

Excerpts from this story referencing "Hudson River":

"… said. And shorter, more intense droughts have driven sea water far up the Hudson River, past towns such as Poughkeepsie that depend on the river for drinking sup …"

Cartels carve new drug routes in Central America

By Nick Miroff

In a Belizean town known for its trade in contraband, illicit drugs cast a new shadow

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… , Belize — I met Bobby on my last night in Belize, the night before this Central American nation celebrated its 30th anniversary of independence.I was standing out …"

"… try. Mexico’s powerful drug cartels have recently muscled their way into Central America, looking to open new smuggling routes for the multi-billion-dollar cocaine …"

"… vernment had pledged more than $200 million in new security assistance for Central America. But politicians in the region want more, saying sovereignty and stability …"

"… in fast boats, traffickers can dodge Mexico’s army and navy patrols. As Central America’s least-populated and least-defended country, the worry was that Belize …"

FACT CHECK: Paul ‘stood with Reagan,’ but not long

By FactCheck.Org

Attempting a jab at Perry's support of Al Gore, Paul highlights his relationship with Reagan, but not the fair-weather part

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tennessee":

"… no evidence that Perry was a leader of his 1988 campaign. Tom Jurkovich, a Tennessee lawyer who served as Gore's Texas coordinator in 1988, told Poli …"

Child advocates say more should be done to assist immigrant minors crossing the border

By Susan Ferriss

Child advocates say assistance needed to keep young border crossers away from criminals

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jennifer Podkul":

"… er drug traffickers with border ties. …"

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