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Special Reports Briefs

Special Reports Stories


Feb 28 2007 Americans at Risk of Financial Crime

U.S. Senate declares March ‘Go Direct Month’ to shed light on safety and security benefits of direct deposit for Social Security payments
WASHINGTON — Financial crime is a widespread concern among Americans, with four in 10 saying in a new Treasury Department-commissioned survey that they have been victims of identity theft or know someone who has. […]


Feb 23 2007 Legal Immigrants Protest Proposed Filing Fee Increase

HOUSTON - A proposal by the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services would increase filing fees for more than two dozen forms that are part of the US naturalized citizenship process. Legal immigrants seeking citizenship and many immigration attorneys say the fee hike is an unfair burden on people who are following the […]


Feb 10 2007 Pre-War Intelligence Called Dubious

WASHINGTON - The controversy over the Bush Administration’s pre-war intelligence on Iraq was further fuelled Friday by an internal Pentagon critique of the work of a little-known Defense Department office.  The report underscores the bureaucratic rivalries among the intelligence agencies and the danger of politicizing intelligence analyses.
When Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith disseminated […]


Jan 26 2007 Immigration Raid in Cactus Texas Stirs Turmoil

CACTUS, TEXAS - On December 12, the United States government carried out the largest nationwide operation against illegal immigrants at their workplaces in U.S. history, arresting 1,300 people at six meat-packing plants owned by the Swift Company. The government later charged some 200 of the people detained with identity theft and other charges, but most […]


Dec 25 2006 Iran, North Korea Nuclear Ambitions Concerns World

WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) – The spread of nuclear weapons continues to be a major concern for the world community, and events in 2006 did little to dampen fears. The main crises are over the purported nuclear-arms ambitions of Iran and the known nuclear-weapons program of North Korea.
And, as stalemates over both situations continue, many worry that […]


Nov 11 2006 Profile of Former CIA Director Robert Gates

WASHINGTON - Robert Gates, President Bush’s nominee to become the new U.S. Defense Secretary, is a former CIA Director with decades of experience in the national security field.  He has also served as the president of a major university in Mr. Bush’s home state of Texas. 
Robert Gates began his career with the Central Intelligence Agency […]


Nov 3 2006 Cluster Bombs Overwhelmingly Kill, Maim Civilians

Study: Cluster Bombs Overwhelmingly Kill, Maim Civilians 
GENEVA - A new study finds civilians account for 98 percent of those killed and maimed by cluster bombs.  The humanitarian organization, Handicap International, has just launched the first worldwide study on the impact of cluster munitions.  The study, called Fatal Footprint describes the affect of cluster munitions on […]


Oct 25 2006 Women from China, Lebanon, Mexico and US Honored as Champions of Free Press

Women from China, Lebanon, Mexico and US Honored as Champions of Free Press 
NEW YORK - The International Women’s Media Foundation has given its 2006 Courage in Journalism award to an American reporter held in captivity in Iraq for 82 days, a Chinese journalist jailed for six years, and a Lebanese broadcaster who survived a bomb […]


Oct 25 2006 Reporters Without Borders Names Worst Violators of Press Freedom

Reporters Without Borders Names Worst Violators of Press Freedom 
LOS ANGELES - The organization Reporters Without Borders says North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Eritrea remain the most repressive countries for journalists.  The annual ranking sees a worsening of press freedom in three major democracies - the United States, Japan and France.
The annual survey says North Korea remains […]


Oct 5 2006 Muslims Observe Ramadan Around The World

WASHINGTON - The month of Ramadan, the  ninth month in the Muslim calendar and the holiest month of Islam, has begun. Muslims the world over have embarked on a month of abstinence from eating and drinking,reflection, purification and soul searching.  
More than 1.2 billion Muslims, one sixth of humanity, have started this year’s Ramadan under highly […]


Oct 4 2006 Report finds upward trends in youth voting, volunteering

By:  Kirsten Brown
Scripps Howard Foundation Wire 
WASHINGTON - A study released Tuesday found political participation by young Americans has increased just in time for next month’s midterm elections.
According to a report by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement, 72 percent of young Americans said they follow governmental and public affairs at […]


Sep 22 2006 Commerce Department Review of Potential Breaches of Personal Identity Data

WASHINGTON - The Department of Commerce today announced information from its recent department- wide reviews of missing, lost or stolen laptops and potential breaches of personal identity data. The department continues its review and is not aware of any data being improperly accessed or used. The information gathered from the reviews indicates that the Census Bureau […]


Sep 18 2006 Princeton Report Questions Electronic Voting Machine Security

WASHINGTON - Researchers at Princeton University have conducted research into the security of electronic voting machines. They have created a virus that could breach voting machines and change votes. The creators of the voting machine say the research was unrealistic.
Edward William Felten, a professor of computer sciences and public affairs at Princeton University, and two […]


Sep 15 2006 US Religion Report Targets Uzbekistan, Iran, China

STATE DEPARTMENT - The U.S. State Department’s annual report on religious freedom worldwide, issued Friday, is sharply critical of the record on that issue of Uzbekistan, Iran and China among others.  But it credits several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Vietnam with improvements.
The State Department report is mandated annually under the International Religious Freedom […]


Sep 7 2006 U.S. Lags in Race to Educate Its Young Population

SAN JOSE, Calif.  - Long the world leader in higher education, the United States has fallen behind other nations in the race to educate its young adults and workers, says a new report. Moreover, college affordability continues to deteriorate for most American students and their families.
The study, Measuring Up 2006: The National Report Card on Higher […]


Sep 1 2006 Consumer Reports Warns Your Privacy is For Sale

YONKERS, N.Y.  – The practices of commercial data brokers can rob consumers of their privacy, threaten them with identity theft and profile them as dead beats or security risks, according to an investigative report in Consumer Reports October Issue.
Choice Point, LexisNexis and Acxiom are among the largest of the horde of data brokers that generate […]


Aug 26 2006 Consumer Reports Finds Benzene in Some Beverages

YONKERS, N.Y. - Consumer Reports (CR) tested 14 drinks containing both Vitamin C and sodium benzoate for benzene, a potent carcinogen and found at least 2 parts per billion (ppb) of benzene in some samples of Fanta Pineapple soda, Kool-Aid Jammers Orange juice drink (the maker recently eliminated sodium benzoate), and Sunkist Grape and Orange […]


Aug 17 2006 Combating Nuclear Terrorism

WASHINGTON - Experts say the international community must continue efforts to ensure that nuclear weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands.

“Loose nukes” is a colloquial term referring to nuclear bomb material — or actual nuclear weapons — that are not adequately secured or accounted for. Experts say the danger is that these materials could be […]


Aug 2 2006 Profile of Fidal Castro Ruz

WASHINGTON - Fidel Castro Ruz was born August 13, 1926, on a sugar plantation in eastern Cuba, the son of a Spanish immigrant landholder and a household servant. An intellectually gifted student, he attended Jesuit schools and later enrolled at the University of Havana where he received a law degree and also became active in […]


Jul 24 2006 Iran’s Weak Economy Woes

WASHINGTON - The biggest problems facing elected officials in Iran are economic ones, particularly double-digit unemployment and inflation. These factors dogged President Mohammad Khatami during his term in office (1997-2005), and the reformists’ focus on civil-society development resounded poorly with people who often could not afford meat with their meals.
Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s campaign promise that Iran’s […]


Jul 20 2006 Securing America’s Borders

WASHINGTON - Border security in the United States has traditionally focused on the United States’ southern neighbor, Mexico. But the emphasis at the borders has shifted radically since September 11, 2001, with a new priority on terrorism and more attention than before being given to the northern border with Canada.In March, the Government Accountability Office […]


Jul 13 2006 Judge Removed From American Indian Trust Fund Mismanagement Case

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Court of Appeals decision to remove Circuit Court Justice Royce Lamberth from the Indian trust fund mismanagement case presents a new challenge for efforts to win justice for Native Americans, the Friends Committee on National Legislation said today.
Over a century ago, in 1887, the federal government insisted on collecting money owed […]


Jul 7 2006 Does Taepodong-2 Missile Pose A Threat?

WASHINGTON - Just a few days ago, North Korea triggered an international furor when it conducted several ballistic missile tests.  This Report looks at whether the largest missile tested - the Taepodong-2 - poses a serious threat to the United States and other countries. 
On July 4 - America’s Independence Day - North Korea test launched […]


Jul 2 2006 Caspian Sea Oil Stems Rivalry Between Russia, U.S.

WASHINGTON - The Caspian Sea sits atop one of the world’s largest oil and natural gas fields, but its full exploitation only began about a decade ago. Since then the resource-wealthy region has become the center of rivalry between Russian and western, mainly United States, interests.
About a third of the world’s undeveloped natural gas and oil […]


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