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 "Obama":

"… d be nearly a third of the total. A special auditor appointed by President Obama the following year said he discovered nearly $7 billion worth of Afghanist …"

"… ministrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service, who signed it. She’s an Obama political appointee and former registered lobbyist for the International D …"

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 "Colombia":

"… t these injustices, and so we put our fate in the hands of God.” …"

"… Florez served as a local president of Sintramienergetica, a labor union in Colombia that represents the employees of Drummond Company, a U.S.-based coal-minin …"

"… ted, “Drummond has never paid or otherwise assisted any illegal group in Colombia, whether paramilitary or guerilla [sic].” Nonetheless, Drummond has bee …"

"… ham, Alabama, with revenues that reached $3 billion last year—has helped Colombia become the world’s fourth-largest coal exporter. Heman Drummond started …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… growing, but scientific debate still churns. Government-backed studies in El Salvador and Sri Lanka have found pesticides and fertilizers to be the primary caus …"

"… ysterious ailment has become a political Rorschach test. The left-leaning El Salvadoran government, backed by Cuban doctors, blames pesticides imported by Weste …"

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 "World Health Organization":

"… ral pesticides following a multi-year study by its health ministry and the World Health Organization, which concluded that the heavy metal cadmium had entered the food supply …"

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 "Sri Lanka":

"… gricultural workers along Central America’s Pacific Coast, as well as in Sri Lanka and India. Scientists have yet to definitively uncover the cause of the pa …"

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 "Sri Lanka":

"… s victims have much in common with those of the unexplained epidemics in Sri Lanka and Central America. They come from farming communities and are mostly poo …"

"… raphic and humanitarian scope is more contained than in Central America or Sri Lanka.“Our hypothesis is that an exposure to something in the environment, whe …"

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 "World Health Organization":

"… ths increasing more than threefold since 1990, according to an analysis of World Health Organization data. In Sri Lanka, the WHO says at least 8,000 people suffer from chronic …"

"… e country, and estimates of the number of patients range from 8,000 by the World Health Organization to nearly 19,000 in a tally based on hospital records compiled by independ …"

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 "Nicaragua":

"… decade. The disease has so decimated one community of sugarcane workers in Nicaragua called La Isla, or The Island, that it is now known to locals is La Isla d …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… ple died each year — mostly manual laborers in harsh sugarcane fields of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. As the death toll rises, those in a position to …"

About this project

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "BP":

"… ProPublica, where his reporting on disabled borrowers with student loans, BP oil spill damage claims and BP cleanup workers helped prompt changes in fe …"

"… g on disabled borrowers with student loans, BP oil spill damage claims and BP cleanup workers helped prompt changes in federal and private programs. He …"

Methodology

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nicaragua":

"… ies and our interviews and observations indicated the ailment was present: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Studies have indicated the disease …"

"… this increase pales compared to men in Central America. In El Salvador and Nicaragua, the countries where data is complete from 1990 to 2009, male death rates …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… e Journalists‘ analysis of the latest World Health Organization data. In El Salvador and Nicaragua alone over the last two decades, the number of men dying fro …"

"… dy should die of kidney disease,” said Ramon Trabanino, a physician from El Salvador who has studied the epidemic for a decade. The surge of kidney disease is …"

"… dgets, and leaving a trail of widows and children in rural communities. In El Salvador, CKD is the second leading cause of death for men. In the province of …"

"… ltural nephropathy” or “sugarcane nephropathy.” The director of El Salvador’s national CKD program has written of a “Mesoamerican Regional Nephrop …"

Miles de trabajadores de caña de azúcar mueren ante escasez de acción oficial

By Sasha Chavkin and Ronnie Greene

Miles de trabajadores de caña de azúcar mueren ante escasez de acción oficial

Excerpts from this story referencing "Venezuela":

"… llevar a estas naciones a depender de las importaciones de petróleo de la Venezuela de Hugo Chávez. En el 2007, el entonces embajador Paul Trivelli notific …"

"… ones acerca de los efectos políticos de las importaciones de petróleo de Venezuela, y patrocinaron una conferencia para la promoción de biocombustibles. Mi …"

Assessing RNC police tactics, part I

By G.W. Schulz

Intelligence-led policing played a starring role in 2008's Republican National Convention, and eight political activists stand accused of co

Excerpts from this story referencing "judge":

"… porting.Critics say many of the police actions were unconstitutional and a judge called one seizure illegal after the fact. Law enforcement officials a yea …"

"… RNC Welcoming Committee and other protest groups. Authorities later told a judge the film depicted “significant property damage” and “violence toward …"

"… rotesters when after the RNC he was arrested in an unrelated case. A local judge found him guilty of assault in March after he kicked down the door of a ho …"

Exporting prices

By M. Asif Ismail

Drug makers' trade group makes the industry's priorities U.S. trade policy

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… ral American Free Trade Agreement involving the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, have incorpora …"

Marketing the new 'Dogs of War'

By Duncan Campbell

Sri Lankans hire Tim Spicer, a man already involved in global mercenary activities

Excerpts from this story referencing "Army":

"… t to be summarily executed. Police found he was carrying $400,000 in cash. Army chiefs accused his company, Sandline, of having made corrupt payments thro …"

"… SAS on an exercise in Germany. In 1974, after failing to pass the British Army officer's selection board, he contemplated trying to enter the SAS world s …"

"… se his father. The Dhofar operation involved a continual stream of British Army officers, especially from the SAS, swapping in and out of their British un …"

"… the Gulf. Spicer, who had spent the Gulf War as a lecturer at the British Army's staff college, heard that de la Billiere would need a military assistant …"

Party machines, lobbyists and special interests: Part five

For months, disarray was the hallmark of Vice President Al Gore's campaign. Last October 6, he moved his campaign to Nashville from Washingt

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York":

"… eschewed the inside-the-Beltway mentality. In a January interview with the New York Times Magazine, Gore noted that his earlier decision was a big mistake: "I …"

"… o Senate legislation in 1998. As recently as last spring, according to The New York Times, he was helping Phillip Morris test advertisements opposing the Just …"

"… In the mid-1990s, he was a vice president of Fannie Mae, and then moved to New York to head up investment company Morgan Stanley’s lobbying and public relat …"

"… o help write speeches and develop policies. He has stopped writing for The New Yorker, where he was a staff writer. Gates is the author and editor of several …"

Open your mind

By Stephen Engelberg

NEW YORK, March 1, 1999 — Day-to-day, investigative reporting is about sweat and perseverance. Forget about the widely held view that govern

Excerpts from this story referencing "Maryland":

"… ernet and search engines, and so I turned to my secret files, the suburban Maryland phone book, to find the phone number. Ledeen turned out to be a somewhat e …"