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Stories by Michael Grabell

The hidden fees making your bananas, and everything else, cost more

As ballooning costs hit the wallets of American families, the global ocean shipping industry is enjoying its most profitable period in recent history - and some of the shipping companies may have created the situation they are now profiting from.... Read more»0

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'Gold mine' for predators in shelters for migrant kids - including Tucson's SW Key

We obtained police reports and call logs from more than two-thirds of the shelters housing immigrant children. Here’s what they show — widespread reports of inappropriate and illegal behavior, including a Tucson worker convicted of molestation.... Read more»0

A modern day ‘harvest of shame’

Half a century ago, the legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow came to this pancake-flat town in central New Jersey to document the plight of migrant farmworkers for a television special called “Harvest of Shame.” Today, many of Cranbury’s potato fields have been built up with giant warehouses that form a distribution hub off Exit 8A of the Jersey Turnpike. But amid this 21st century system of commerce, an old way of labor persists.... Read more»0

The expendables: How the temps who power corporate giants are getting crushed

In cities all across the country, workers stand on street corners, line up in alleys or wait in a neon-lit beauty salon for rickety vans to whisk them off to warehouses miles away. Some vans are so packed that to get to work, people must squat on milk crates, sit on the laps of passengers they do not know or sometimes lie on the floor, the other workers’ feet on top of them. ... Read more»0

Temp agencies and ‘raiteros’ in immigrant Chicago

Some of America's best-known companies and largest temp agencies benefit from the underworld of labor brokers, known as raiteros. As companies increasingly turn to temp workers to pack their products and stock their shelves, it's the workers who pay the price.... Read more»0

The inactivation of the body scanners

X-raying passengers for airline security became a lot less common in 2012.... Read more»0

TSA to commission independent study of X-ray body scanners

The Transportation Security Administration will have the National Academy of Sciences study the health effects of X-ray body scanners used in airports.... Read more»0

TSA X-ray body scanners sit idle in warehouse

Last month, the Transportation Security Administration said it was moving nearly half its X-ray body scanners from some of the nation's biggest airports to smaller ones. But it turns out that more than 90 of the controversial machines will sit in a Texas warehouse indefinitely, agency officials said Thursday.... Read more»0

TSA removes X-ray body scanners from major airports

The Transportation Security Administration has been quietly removing its X-ray body scanners from major airports over the last few weeks and replacing them with machines that radiation experts believe are safer.... Read more»1

TSA reveals passenger complaints... four years later

From intrusive pat-downs to body scans to perceived profiling, the Transportation Security Administration always seems to be the target of complaints. Here's another one: It took the TSA almost four years to tell me what people complained about — in 2008.... Read more»1

How the stimulus revived the electric car

One success the Obama administration can claim is the rebirth of the electric car industry in the United States. The question: Will it last?... Read more»0

Drive-by X-rays: Security screeners expanding radiation use

U.S. law enforcement agencies are exposing people to radiation in more settings and in increasing doses to screen for explosives, weapons and drugs. In addition to the controversial airport body scanners, X-ray devices have proliferated in prisons, on the streets of New York and at our borders.... Read more»0

Just how good are the TSA's body scanners?

How effective the machines are at thwarting terrorism is critical for evaluating whether the TSA is making airline passengers more secure or wasting taxpayers' money -- and possibly jeopardizing their safety.... Read more»0

Sweating bullets: Body scanners see perspiration as potential weapon

While X-ray body scanners used in airports face concerns about potentially increasing cancer cases, a safer type of scanner has been plagued by another problem: a high rate of false alarms. France and Germany have decided to forgo using the scanners because of false alarms triggered by folds in clothing, buttons and even sweat. ... Read more»0

Almost half of Americans oppose body scanners

Even if X-ray body scanners would prevent terrorists from smuggling explosives onto planes, nearly half of Americans still oppose using them because they could cause a few people to eventually develop cancer.... Read more»0

Analysis

Economic Myths: Separating fact from fiction

The federal stimulus package passed in 2009 was either a deficit-busting failure full of wasteful projects or an unparalleled rescue that would have been more successful if it had only been bigger. ... Read more»0

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