watchdog

19 Stories

Feds Built $43M Gas Station in Afghanistan: Watchdog

And it's not clear if it's still operational

(Newser) - A watchdog report has some thrilling news for taxpayers: $43 million of your hard-earned money went toward building a single gas station in Afghanistan with an initial budget of $3 million. If that's not bad enough, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says the Department of Defense has... More »

This Year's Craziest Restaurant Meal: 3.5K Calories

Watchdog group lists diet-annihilating dishes from US chains

(Newser) - Nearly 3,550 calories for a burger, fries, and shake sounds about right—if it's one of the meals called out on a watchdog group's annual list of fatty, sugary, calorie-heavy foods served at US chain restaurants. The Center for Science in the Public Interest pored over nutritional... More »

Media Matters Boss Drives the News

David Brock is manic, systematically influences liberal media: Tucker Carlson

(Newser) - The right-leaning Daily Caller last night published the first in an investigative series about Media Matters for America, alleging that the liberal media watchdog is in bed with the Obama administration, as well as a number of media organizations and bigwigs, and that founder David Brock systematically attempts to influence... More »

States Asked for Foreclosure Probe—3 Years Ago

Federal regulators turned down request, put off matter

(Newser) - State regulators suspected that there was something fishy about banks' foreclosure procedures as far back as three years ago, but federal regulators forbid them to take action, the Washington Post reports. The federal comptroller told the states his office was already planning an investigation, and that banks should only respond... More »

Zhu Zhu Pet Maker: Get Off Mr. Squiggles!

Watchdog site used cheap equipment to back chemical claim

(Newser) - The maker of Zhu Zhu Pets is aggressively defending one of its toy hamsters against claims by a watchdog group that Mr. Squiggles contains unsafe levels of a dangerous chemical. Tests by an independent lab show the toy does not contain dangerous levels of antimony, as claimed by the GoodGuide... More »

Lay Off Israel, Human Rights Watch: Founder

Group founded to light closed societies has gone astray

(Newser) - Human Rights Watch has lost its way, writes founder and chairman emeritus Robert L. Bernstein. The once even-handed organization has launched a jeremiad against Israel—a liberal democracy with a “vibrant free press”—while effectively ignoring abuses in closed, autocratic societies in the region it was created to... More »

Small Banks May Need More Fed Aid

(Newser) - The Treasury may have to expand its toxic asset programs and repeat stress tests, particularly for smaller banks, a US bailout watchdog panel finds. While larger banks have begun to recover, smaller financial institutions remain exposed to billions in losses from outstanding commercial property loans and are still unable to... More »

Toothless Watchdogs Not Sure Where TARP Money Went

(Newser) - Anybody seen $700 billion? The government watchdogs charged with overseeing TARP spending don't seem able to answer even basic questions about where the money went, Chris Adams writes at McClatchy. A special inspector general, a congressional panel, and eight other inspectors general are supposed to be keeping track of the... More »

Crash Renews Focus on Developing World's Air Safety

Yemen crash prompts concerns

(Newser) - After yesterday’s Yemeni Airbus crash, international watchdogs are taking a closer look at airline safety in developing countries, Bloomberg reports. The European Union may add Yemen to a list of more than 90 dangerous airlines from around the globe. Regulators in developing countries “tend to be under- supported... More »

As With Bush, Obama Won't Release WH Visitors List

(Newser) - Despite President Obama’s promise of transparency, the administration is blocking requests for the White House visitors list, MSNBC reports, defying two federal court rulings that the lists are public record. In addition to denying MSNBC’s request for a list of all visitors since Jan. 20, the Secret Service... More »

CNN Fiddled While Tehran Burned

Twitter users blast network's paltry coverage during riots

(Newser) - Twitter has already become a go-to place for breaking news, but the micro-blogging site assumed the role of media watchdog over the weekend, reports the New York Times. As riots protesting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory began to heat up in Tehran—and CNN aired a Larry King repeat about American ... More »

Hasbro, Discovery Join to Launch Kids Channel

Toy maker plans to use kids network to promote merchandise

(Newser) - Hasbro and Discovery have struck a deal to revitalize the flagging Discovery Kids Network, the Los Angeles Times reports. Hasbro, manufacturer of Transformers and GI Joe, will buy a 50% stake in Discovery Kids for $300 million. The company plans to emphasize merchandise based on programming on the network, which... More »

Hidden RAT Spoils Obama's Stimulus Bill

New board has powerful sway over federal watchdogs

(Newser) - Hidden away in the $787 billion stimulus bill is a lousy provision that threatens to inject politics into the jobs of supposedly independent government watchdogs, writes Byron York of the Washington Examiner. The bill creates something called the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board—the RAT board to the few who... More »

'Predatory' Funeral Industry Comes Under Fire

Big industry players take advantage of the bereft, says watchdog

(Newser) - The funeral industry preys on bereft customers, artificially raising prices and taking custody of bodies it has no right to handle, argues a watchdog group. The Funeral Consumers Alliance aims to push fair and environmentally friendly death-care practices, Newsweek reports. “Funeral corporations use predatory sales tactics and aggressive marketing... More »

White House Emails Can Stay Missing: Judge

Watchdog group outraged by ruling about lost missives

(Newser) - Records on millions of missing White House emails can stay secret after all, a federal judge ruled today. US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rejected a watchdog group's lawsuit, saying the records are kept in an agency exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. A probe, lawsuit, and appeal are all... More »

Global Action Urged on Kid Abuse Sites

Watchdog calls for international body to wipe out 3,000 sites

(Newser) - Britain's Internet Watch Foundation is calling for the creation of an international body to help stamp out internet sites profiting from images of child sex abuse, the BBC reports. There are nearly 3,000 such sites worldwide, a number that has stayed constant over the last three years as sites... More »

US Stores Riddled With Unsafe Toys

Lead, choking hazards could be home for the holidays

(Newser) - Despite massive recalls, hazardous toys still crowd US shelves, warn consumer watchdog organizations. Dozens of toys pose choking hazards, contain toxic chemicals, or use dangerously strong magnets, according to an annual toy survey by the US Public Interest Research Group released yesterday. Nine of 100 toys tested by the Center... More »

Buyer, Beware of Recalled Goods on EBay

Online auction stalwart warns users to screen carefully

(Newser) - After the recent recall of 21 million toys, eBay has cautioned its shoppers about buying tainted goods—and warned sellers of them they may be kicked off the site. The internet phenom says it’s unable to police all items in its marketplace, but will be providing tip sheets and... More »

Panel to Shield Journal Editors

In latest deal, hybrid board would hire and fire key staffers

(Newser) - A watchdog committee, not would-be owner Rupert Murdoch, would hire and fire editors under a tentative pact to protect the editorial independence of the Wall Street Journal,  a source familiar with details of the deal tells MarketWatch. Members of the panel would be chosen by Murdoch's News Corp., Dow... More »

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