This Weekend's Top MuckReads: Soldiers' Suicides and Big Bailouts 

Plus 9/11 charity failures and child identity theft.

Here are this week's top 10 must-read stories from #MuckReads [1], 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 MuckReads@ProPublica.org [2]. The best submissions are selected by ProPublica's editors and reporters and then featured on our site [3] and @ProPublica [4].

 

U.S. Aid Implicated in Abuses of Power in Colombia [5], Washington PostAmerican aid to Colombia officials funded more than a counterinsurgency campaign. Colombia's former president used U.S. aid and assistance to spy on and smear opponents.Contributed by @ProPubPR [6]

 

2 Elizabeth School District Officials Suspended in Lunch Program Probe [7], The Star-LedgerTwo high-ranking school officials in Elizabeth, N.J., were suspended after revelations they signed up their children to receive taxpayer-funded lunches despite earning too much to qualify for the program.Contributed by @CharlesOrnstein [8]

 

Morgan Stanley Speculating to Brink of Collapse Got $107 Billion From Fed [9], BloombergAn analysis of government records reveals Morgan Stanley received $107 billion in emergency loans from the Fed. Investors were never told how perilously close the bank came to running out of cash.Contributed by @PaulKiel [10]

 

With CIA Help, NYPD Moves Covertly in Muslim Areas [11], APSince 9/11, the NYPD has transformed its intelligence operations with help from the CIA. The Associated Press concludes that the partnership has "blurred the bright line between foreign and domestic spying." Contributed by @MichaelRoston [12]

 

The Housing Commissions's 'Trojan Horse' [13], Voice of San DiegoSome San Diego City Council officials claim they were tricked into granting the city's Housing Commission greater authority.Contributed by @AndrewDonohue [14]

 

Child Identity Theft Takes Advantage of Kids' Unused Social Security Numbers [15], The Huffington PostChildren are increasingly becoming victims of identity thieves who often steal the kids' Social Security numbers from health-care providers and schools. Contributed by @PeterSGoodman [16]

 

Some 9/11 Charities Failed Miserably [17], AP The AP identified dozens of 9/11 charities with shady dealings and questionable expenses. One charity raised about $700,000 for a memorial quilt that's yet to be made. Another charity that claims to have raised $4 million has failed to file annual tax returns since 2001.Contributed by @amichel [18]

 

EPISD Investigation: Simple Posters in Costly Contract [19], El Paso TimesThe El Paso Independent School District used taxpayer money to pay a company more than $300,000 for simple math posters and they're now the subject of an FBI investigation. The school's superintendent awarded a no-bid contract for the posters to a woman with whom he had a personal relationship. Contributed by @elpasotimes [20]

 

Army Silence and Censors Bring Agony [21], The Star TribuneIn the latest installment of their series on soldiers' suicides, the Star Tribune hears from the families of deceased soldiers who feel the military doesn't do enough to provide answers.Contributed by Mark Brunswick

 

Terrorists for the FBI [22], Mother JonesMother Jones' investigation of post-9/11 prosecutions details the greatly expanded role of informants in the FBI's counter-terrorism efforts, particularly the use of informants.

 

These stories and many more can be found at ProPublica [1]. You can also subscribe to a daily #MuckReads email [23], or follow ProPublica on Twitter [4]. Reader submissions are key to making #MuckReads a success -- please contribute! [24]

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