U.S. announces sweeping reforms to protect coal miners from black lung disease

By Chris Hamby

Surrounded by coal miners, U.S. Labor officials announce reforms including a new rule limiting the disease-causing dust allowed in mines.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Institute":

"… hat led to Wednesday’s announcement has a long and tortured history. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the government research agency known a …"

White House seeks to chip away at severe Labor Department judge shortage, case backlog

By Jim Morris

The White House is requesting an additional $2 million from Congress for its overworked, understaffed Office of Administrative Law Judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Secretary":

"… ublic by the Center, from Chief Judge Stephen Purcell to then-Acting Labor Secretary Seth Harris. Purcell wrote that “we are fast reaching a point where the …"

Congressmen call for federal investigation of black lung benefits program, citing Center-ABC reports

By Chris Hamby, Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk

IMPACT: Two congressmen called on the Labor Department's IG to investigate whether miners have been wrongfully denied benefits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Johns Hopkins School of Medicine":

"… light of the recent troubling reports, NIOSH applauds the decision of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to investigate its [black lung X-ray reading] service and offers whatever …"

FEC nominees win Rules Committee endorsement

By Dave Levinthal

Senate Rules Committee endorses nominations of Lee Goodman, Ann Ravel

Excerpts from this story referencing "Patton Boggs":

"… gned from the FEC late Tuesday night and will become a partner at law firm Patton Boggs. This leaves the FEC with four active commissioners.     …"

Worker suffocations persist as grain storage soars, employers flout safety rules

By Jim Morris and Howard Berkes

The 2010 deaths of a 14-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man in an Illinois grain bin highlight unsafe practices, spotty enforcement.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… ed and die in the corn,” Piper told investigators with the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Grain storage in the U …"

"… asbach by proposing a $555,000 fine for 25 alleged safety violations. The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division tacked on a $68,125 fine for the ill …"

"… to $200,000. The Justice Department declined to prosecute, according to a Labor Department document provided to the Center in response to a Freedom of Inf …"

"… ntity,” beyond OSHA’s jurisdiction. Under questioning by Department of Labor lawyer Denise Hockley-Cann, however, he acknowledged that no crops or live …"

Labor secretary leaves legacy of worker protections and unfinished business

By Chris Hamby

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis leaves behind a department advocates say increased enforcement but left worker safety rules unfinished.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… es recover from the financial crisis.  …"

"… ment employees that she planned to return to California, where she grew up.Labor advocates credit her with restoring the department’s commitment to prote …"

Warehouse worker lawsuit targets Walmart

By Jim Morris and Adithya Sambamurthy

Warehouse laborers, citing oppressive conditions and unpaid wages, contend Walmart is among those responsible.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chicago":

"… 1990s. Today, similar clusters of blocks-long buildings anchor sections of Chicago, northern New Jersey and other urban areas. Some serve only Walmart; other …"

BP to pay $13 million for safety violations at Texas refinery

By Alice Su

Oil giant BP has agreed to pay $13 million to settle safety violations at a Texas refinery that blew up in 2005.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Secretary":

"… at a Texas refinery that suffered a catastrophic explosion in 2005, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Thursday.The violations stemmed from a 2009 inspection of …"

Contribution limits at risk in states thanks to Supreme Court

By Amy Myers

Illinois and other states may eliminate contribution limits to candidates to offset unlimited outside spending.

Excerpts from this story referencing "candidate":

"… egislature voted last month to repeal limits on corporate contributions to candidates when super PACs or individuals spend more than $250,000 on a state race o …"

"… on a local race.The move would balance spending between outside groups and candidates, say supporters. But it could also lead to far greater spending in electi …"

"… eld as best I can manage,” Currie said. She says that her bill will help candidates who face opposition from wealthy super PACs.With the current limits on ca …"

"… tes who face opposition from wealthy super PACs.With the current limits on candidates and unrestricted spending by super PACs, Currie said, “you’re basical …"

Energy-backed firms award bonuses, file bankruptcy

By Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk

The DOE financed green energy companies that later fell into bankruptcy — but not before the firms awarded big executive bonuses

Excerpts from this story referencing "renewable energy":

"… project the department said would “ensure the reliable delivery of renewable energy to the electricity grid.” It hopes to build a second plant in Pennsylvan …"

Anniversary of 'Citizens United' decision draws protesters

By Corbin Hiar

'Citizens United' decision attracting legal challenges, protests

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… ment project, Amend2012. The effort is being led by Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich. “Our goal is to have as many states as possible …"

Pension insurer criticized for switching investment strategies too frequently

By Alexandra Duszak

Insurer of traditional pensions has changed investment strategies too often

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… of operating procedures and guidelines for its investment activities.” Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who is also chairman of the PBGC board, said she ag …"

Campaign cash: The independent fundraising gold rush since 'Citizens United' ruling

By Peter H. Stone

For many powerful GOP operatives and allied fundraisers, the luncheon last April felt like one part reunion and one part strategy summit for

Excerpts from this story referencing "health insurance industry":

"… ’s box are the financial services industry, the energy industry, and the health insurance industry,” Reed said.Other older groups that can protect donors’ identities, su …"

BP to pay record fine, spend $500M to upgrade Texas refinery

By Jim Morris and M.B. Pell

UPDATED BP will pay a $50.6 million penalty and spend at least $500 million to upgrade its Texas City, Texas, refinery where a 2005 explosio

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… led 15 workers.The record fine was negotiated after the U.S. Department of Labor last year found BP “failed to live up to several extremely important ter …"

"… of the penalty rightly reflects BP’s disregard for workplace safety,” Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a conference call with reporters.The Center …"

"… t they call BP’s cavalier attitude toward worker safety.Deputy Assistant Labor Secretary Jordan Barab told reporters the agreement gives OSHA an “unpre …"

"Brown down" in Australia

By Marian Wilkinson, Ben Cubby and Flint Duxfield

Business interests thwart carbon controls on the hottest, driest continent

Excerpts from this story referencing "steel":

"… kers’ Union, was a crucial player. Representing workers in the aluminum, steel, and gas industries, Howes echoed industry arguments that the government …"

Hidden Chamber of Commerce hand behind anti-Solis ad

By Aaron Mehta

There’s a new ad floating on the “BlogAds” network, and it’s quite a doozy. In giant font, the ad warns of “Obama’s ETHICAL Problem,” which

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… ine is followed by a picture of the President’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, Rep. Hilda Solis. The text of the ad reads:“Three Strike Solis is wholl …"

"… against unions would be against the nomination of a pro-union Secretary of Labor. What was interesting was that the tipster who pointed this out to PaperTr …"

Commentary: Political mugging in America

By Charles Lewis

Anatomy of an "independent" smear campaign

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… y, Rep. Richard Gephardt, and retired General Wesley Clark—all piled on. Labor unions that had publicly endorsed Gephardt accounted for a fifth of the mo …"

"… of the money—the International Longshoremen's Association ($50,000), the Laborers' International Union of North America ($50,000), the International Asso …"

Trading in favors

By Alex Knott and Aubrey Bruggeman

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2003 — Legislative favors, increased access to federal lawmakers and instructions on how to use loopholes to evade feder

Excerpts from this story referencing "Representative":

"… energy deregulation, Entergy CEO Edwin Lupberger wrote a letter asking for Representative Tom DeLay’s (R-Texas) assistance in the repeal of existing regulations.T …"

"… media reports connecting a quid pro quo between Westar, DeLay, Republican Representatives Joe Barton (Texas) and Billy Tauzin (La.) and Senator Richard Shelby (Ala …"

"… on energy company included House Committee on Energy and Commerce chairman Representative Billy Tauzin, R-La.; Senator Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska; Senator Don Nickle …"

The adventure capitalist

By Mungo Soggot and Phillip van Niekerk

Niko Shefer's takeover of Africa

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sierra Leone":

"… or U.S. $1.3 million and then moved into trading and mining in Liberia and Sierra Leone.By the end of 1999, Shefer was on the road to respectability. He had insin …"

"… ort for the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a rebel group in neighboring Sierra Leone that was waging a particularly nasty war to gain access to that country's …"

"… to the markets of Europe. Liberia's diamond sales rocketed in the 1990s as Sierra Leone's diamonds were laundered through Monrovia.In Liberia itself, the economy …"

"… orps that has been linked to the rebel fighters and the war in neighboring Sierra Leone. In 2000, Richard Holbrooke, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, t …"

Enron top brass accused of dumping stock were big political donors

By John Dunbar, Robert Moore and MaryJo Sylwester

WASHINGTON, January 9, 2002 — Twenty-four top executives and board members at Enron Corp. contributed nearly $800,000 to national political

Excerpts from this story referencing "presidential election":

"… ate. He also chipped in for Bush’s Florida recount battle after the 2000 presidential election.In addition, Lou L. Pai, chairman and CEO of Enron Accelerator, former CEO …"

New types of health care delivery are improving the 'patient experience'

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: eliminating role of insurers could improve health care delivery.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… s in It for Me? What Everyone Needs to Know About the Affordable Care Act. …"

"… fact, in some ways they have been part of the problem. Providence-Swedish Health Alliance, a not-for-profit, hospital-based accountable care organization ( …"

"… he Health insurance market are hiring companies like Chicago-based Valence Health, a fast-growing firm that offers services ranging from claims adjudication …"

"… in: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans and Obamacare: What’s in It for M …"

Health insurers turning into who knows what?

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: health insurers are transforming themselves — but into what?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… at insurers with well-known brands like Aetna, Blue Cross, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare have been around forever and likely will always be with us as they are …"

"… profitable than other business lines that once defined them. As for UnitedHealthcare and WellPoint, few people had even heard of them 25 years ago. But tha …"

"… 30 countries in which we operate around the world.” According to UnitedHealth Group’s website, it is “the most diversified Health care company in th …"

"… in: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans and Obamacare: What’s in It for M …"

Taking insurance companies out of health care

By Wendell Potter

If Boeing experiment flies, health care system could be transformed.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… lth system,” Dr. Elliott Fisher, director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, was quoted as telling The Seattle Times. “ …"

"… Health insurers are quickly diversifying. Just two weeks ago, Modern Healthcare noted that because Health insurers are now required to spend at l …"

"… expect to realize higher returns. The magazine cited as an example UnitedHealth Group’s Optum division, which works in technology and population Health …"

"… th in operating earnings. Meanwhile, in its core insurance business, UnitedHealth saw its 2013 operating margin decline to 6.4 percent, down from 7.6 percen …"

Contractor, Hispanic worker deaths up in 2013, BLS says

By Talia Buford

The number of contractors and Hispanic workers who died on the job increased in 2013 even as the overall tally of worker deaths declined.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… uck drivers, security guards or groundskeepers. Several states, including Massachusetts and Illinois, have passed laws in recent years strengthening employer liab …"

Defeat of California initiative would protect insurers' profits

By Wendell Potter

Proposition 45 would allow California's insurance chief to block insurance rate hikes; insurers are spending millions to kill it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… millions of dollars to an organization called Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs. If you think the companies’ CEOs opened their personal check …"

"… that are paying for the propaganda campaign. Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs (CAHHCC) is not a grassroots, consumer-led organization as the …"

"… the state: Anthem/WellPoint; Blue Shield of California; Kaiser Foundation Health Plan; Health Net; and UnitedHealthcare. Of $37.9 million donated to CAHHC …"

"… nthem/WellPoint; Blue Shield of California; Kaiser Foundation Health Plan; Health Net; and UnitedHealthcare. Of $37.9 million donated to CAHHCC as of Augus …"

Koch-funded think tank offers schools course in libertarianism

By Chris Young

Koch-backed think tank wants to educate young minds on the benefits of the free-market system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Education":

"… nimum Wage,” a video produced by the libertarian Foundation for Economic Education and featured on EDvantage. “But it doesn’t. It gets them fired.” Ac …"

Is this U.S. coal giant funding violent union intimidation in Colombia?

By Rosalind Adams

Lawsuits allege Alabama-based Drummond Co., which mines coal in Colombia, has financial ties to groups that have threatened union leaders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… not just for those with Sintramienergetica. According to the National Labor School, an organization based in Medellin that researches Labor issues, be …"

"… agreement because of Colombia’s poor Labor rights record. In response, a Labor Action Plan was signed in 2011 to pressure Colombia’s government to crea …"

Insurers following 'the playbook' in opposing California ballot initiative

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: multi-faceted effort to defeat California ballot initiative.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kaiser Permanente":

"… itself, and has been joined by other insurers, including UnitedHealthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield and Health Net. Published reports show that they have been s …"

Koch brothers, major corporations sponsor pension reform seminar for judges

By Chris Young

Judges who may decide fates of public pension reform disputes to attend seminar sponsored by pro-business interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George Mason University":

"… siness. The three-day gathering in a Charleston, S.C., hotel is hosted by George Mason University’s Law & Economics Center. The “Judicial Symposium on the Economic …"

"… uests for comment. As the Center for Public Integrity reported last year, George Mason University’s Law & Economics Center regularly organizes business-friendly judic …"

"… debate. Two of the conference’s featured lecturers — Todd Zywicki, a George Mason University law professor, and Eileen Norcross, a senior research fellow at George Mas …"

"… University law professor, and Eileen Norcross, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s conservative Mercatus Center — co-wrote a 2010 op-ed headlined “Ho …"

How watchdog journalism makes a difference

By Bill Buzenberg

Impact from 'Breathless and Burdened' a textbook example of the power of relentless reporting.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… end result of our investigation is a fact. We know this because the U.S. Labor Department said so specifically, which is unusual for a government agency. …"

"… ual for a government agency. In the first line of an official Solicitor of Labor memo, the Center for Public Integrity’s published articles are cited as …"

"… lic Integrity’s published articles are cited as the reason  for the Labor Department’s review of the black lung compensation program, and for the …"

"… ese reform initiatives, effective immediately, represent an attempt by the Labor Department to create a more level playing field for coal miners navigating …"

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