By Margaux Stack-Babich and Bill Dedman
Today's reading from the world of investigative reporting.
Story of the day: For the past few years, a panic has been rising over the cause behind a mystery chronic kidney disease epidemic sweeping Central America, taking a toll on people in the sugarcane regions of Nicaragua and El Salvador, among other countries. PRI's The World and the Center for Public Integrity investigate the many plausible contributing factors, including interaction with pesticides illegal in most Western countries, abuse of alcohol and painkillers, or the most recent theory: People are simply being worked to death.
- Frontline, PBS: How the drone war plays out in Pakistan's tribal areas: proponents insist on their efficacy while locals' photos speak to a messy, grisly reality
- BBC News Magazine: 'Cleansed' Libyan town spills its terrible secrets
- The Blotter, ABC News: Private security firm Blackwater renames itself for the second time in three years, tries to win back the right to do business in Iraq
- The Texas Observer: As Texas suffers through one of its worst droughts, utility records show that Texas' business and political elites are using up to 19 times more water than the average Texan
- The Denver Post: Colorado anesthesiologist being sued defends practices that defy guidelines
- California Watch, Center for Investigative Reporting: Top 100 delinquent taxpayers owe $419M
- Marketplace, American Public Media: As Egypt embarks on its second phase of elections, continuing coverage of the food policy crisis, its role in the revolution, and how the new govt. could tackle it
- Center for Public Integrity: Banned in other countries, little-known soda chemical has cloudy heath history
- Mother Jones: How many innocent Americans are in prison? The exact number is unknown—but is likely in the tens of thousands.
- Tulsa World: When Edie King's body was found hanged, she was in possession of a letter that detailed sexual abuse of inmates at Delaware County jail. Her death was ruled a suicide, but her family believes otherwise.
- OpenDemocracy: Journalists as terrorists? An Ethiopian journalist speaks out against Zenawi's "stifling" laws against political dissent – even for journalists
- Center for Public Integrity: GOP assault on regulations could undermine air pollution protections
- Center for Responsive Politics An overview of the personal finances of the ten richest members of Congress
- The Star Tribune: Two Minn. state agencies granted thousands of exemptions to people convicted of disqualifying offenses, allowing them to work with state's most vulnerable people
- Orlando Sentinel: Fla. water agency proposes changes to ethics policy to better shield employees from intimidation
- The New York Times: As Newt Gingrich emphasizes openness with his past to the media, his spokesman reveals that Gingrich was in fact the source of a detailed criticism of Mitt Romney in a NH paper, though initially attributed to "a senior aide in the Gingrich campaign"
- New Jersey Watchdog: Series continues on double-dipping by state employees who stay on the job while collecting retirement
Keep up on the latest investigative reporting with the Twitter feed of the same name.
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Margaux Stack-Babich writes about investigative reporting for msnbc.com. Bill Dedman is an investigative reporter for msnbc.com.