Here are this week’s top 10 must-read stories from #MuckReads, 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. The best submissions are selected by ProPublica’s editors and reporters and then featured on our site and @ProPublica.
Cutbacks Force Retreat in War on Meth, the Associated Press
Budget cuts are making it hard for law enforcement officials to bust as many meth labs, even as the meth trade is flourishing.
See all #MuckReads on the war on drugs
Japan Held Nuclear Data, Leaving Evacuees in Peril, the New York Times
Japanese officials kept vital information from evacuees during the Fukushima disaster, allowing them to take shelter in an area directly in the path of radioactive winds. Contributed by @dancow
California Medical Board Fails To Discipline 710 Troubled Doctors, the Los Angeles Times
The California medical board is letting large numbers of doctors who’ve been cited for misconduct by their own organizations continue to practice without any disciplinary action, potentially threatening patient safety. In 2009, ProPublica found similar problems with California’s nursing board.
Contributed by @KYWeise
Mistakes in Scientific Studies Surge, the Wall Street Journal
The number of scientific studies that have been retracted has increased 15 times since 2001. An analysis by the Journal of Medical Ethics estimates that more than one-quarter of the retracted studies they reviewed were withdrawn due to fraud, rather than error.
See all #MuckReads on medical ethics
New Square Flouts Building Codes, the Forward
In a Hasidic enclave in upstate New York, most of the buildings are in violation of fire codes. A retired New Square fire chief told the Forward that “it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed.”
Contributed by @jdforward
Crime Lab Finds Another 3,000-Plus Untested Rape Kits, the Houston Chronicle
A recent inventory revealed that the Houston Police Department is in possession of thousands more untested rape kits than it had previously admitted, bringing the total of untested kits to about 7,000.
Contributed by @Jake_Bernstein
The 111th Congress and the Lobby, the New York Times
One hundred and twenty legislators left Congress last year. This New York Times infographic tells you what former members are up to these days, including the number who now work for organizations that lobby Congress.
Contributed by @kleinmatic
News Corp. DirectorLeading Phone-Hack Probe Has Personal Ties to Murdoch, Bloomberg
It turns out that Rupert Murdoch and Viet Dinh, the News Corp. board member tasked with leading the company’s internal phone-hacking probe, go way back. Dinh is godfather to one of Murdoch’s grandchildren. A Murdoch paper helped free Dinh’s sister from a refugee camp in 1992.
Contributed by @KYWeise
Medicare Costs for Hospice Up 70%,USA Today
The cost of end-of-life care has grown rapidly since 2005, at a time when some of the country’s largest hospice providers face investigations and lawsuits.
Contributed by @rlocker12
Missouri’s Top Public Salaries: Doctors Get Paid While Sleeping, the Associated Press
The AP scrutinizes the salary of Missouri’s highest-paid public official: a doctor who gets paid more than $300,000 per year, in part for the time he’s at work overnight, sleeping.
Contributed by @josephkyerardi
These stories and many more can be found at ProPublica. You can also subscribe to a daily #MuckReads email, or follow ProPublica on Twitter. Reader submissions are key to making #MuckReads a success—please contribute!