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This Weekend's Top MuckReads: Corporate Chicanery and Corruption in Football

Rule-breaking at the University of Miami, boardroom secrecy and the stolen children of Sierra Leone.

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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].

Renegade Miami Football Booster Spells Out Illicit Benefits to Players [5], Yahoo! SportsA colorful picture of rampant NCAA rule-breaking within the University of Miami football team emerges from 100 hours of jailhouse interviews, 20,000 pages of financial records, and 5,000 pages of cell phone interviews.Contributed by @txtianmiller [6]

 

The Bonds That Turned To Dust [7], ReutersIn the latest installment of their series on corporate secrecy, Reuters tracks a deal across four countries to illustrate how international shell companies can scam investors by temporarily turning phony assets into real ones.Contributed via email by Kelly Carr

 

In California, Much Is Officially Secret [8], The Orange County RegisterThe OC Register highlights how much important government information is off-limits to the public, and runs down some of the ways the lack of transparency affects people's lives.Contributed by @charlesornstein [9]

 

Taxes Wither On the Vine [10], The Philadelphia InquirerAn analysis of city data shows that Philadelphia has one of the worst systems for collecting late property taxes, compared to other American cities. It's keeping much-needed money from local schools, and leaving poor neighborhoods with abandoned buildings.Contributed by @PhillyInquirer [11]

 

The Makeni Children [12], SlateTheir adopted families believe they saved their lives; their birth families say they were stolen. A story of the dark side of international adoption.Contributed by @michaelblanding [13]

 

Deadly Secrets [14], Colorlines and The Investigative FundA 2006 California Supreme Court ruling made individual law enforcement officers' records off-limits to the public. Colorlines reports on the ways this rule shelters bad apple cops.Contributed by @theIFUND [15]

 

Corruption, Murder, and the Beautiful Game [16], GrantlandESPN's Grantland examines FIFA's history of corruption, its root causes, and why it matters.Contributed by @jeffromeo313 [17]

 

Indiana State Fair Received 3 Days of Bad-Weather Alerts Before Sugarland Stage Collapse [18], The Indianapolis StarDocuments suggest that Indiana State Fair organizers and state police have regularly ignored bad weather warnings, including a serious warning 10 minutes before the stage collapse that killed 5 people and injured 45. Fair organizers maintain that the collapse was "a freakish act of God."Contributed by @katie_foody [19]

 

$360 Million Lost to Insurgents, Criminals in Afghanistan [20], The Associated PressWith corruption still a big problem in Afghanistan, the U.S. military has ended up losing hundreds of millions of dollars to "the Taliban, criminals and power brokers with ties to both." Contributed by @iDiplomacy [21]

 

A Businessman in Congress Helps His District and Himself [22], The New York TimesRep. Darrell Issa oversees a "remarkable array of outside business." He has also helped pass legislation and earmarks that have benefitted those businesses. Contributed by @srubenfeld [23]

 

These stories and many more can be found at ProPublica [1]. You can also subscribe to a daily #MuckReads email [24], or follow ProPublica on Twitter [4]. Reader submissions are key to making #MuckReads a success -- please contribute! [25]

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