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California keeps a secret list of criminal cops, but says you can’t have it

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The IRP’s Jason Paladino and Investigative Studio’s Robert Lewis report for The Mercury News and KQED News that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has warned the reporters that a list of cop criminal convictions they obtained through a Public Records Act request must be destroyed. The IRP and Studios are contesting the demands, as the obtained documents provide a rare glimpse at the volume of officer misconduct at a time of heightened interest in police accountability.

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Nastya Rybka and Alex Leslie on the Oleg Deripaska affair

Nastya Rybka and Alex Leslie

The Bell, published by IRP fellow Elizaveta Osetinskaya, spoke with escort Nastya Rybka and her sex coach Alex Leslie after their return from Thailand and their release in Russia. Rybka has previously claimed she holds evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election campaign, allegedly obtained through her acquaintance with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire.

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A Private Army for the President: The Tale of Evgeny Prigozhin’s Most Delicate Mission

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A story in The Bell, published by IRP fellow Elizaveta Osetinskaya, details how Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin — whose ties with the Russian president have earned him the nickname “Putin’s Chef” — played a leading role in the rise of the private military company (PMC) Wagner. The report brings together the two decades-long history of Prigozhin’s involvement.

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Update: Lodi man convicted of terrorism in 2006 should go free, judge says

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A judge has recommended charges against Hamid Hayat, the infamous figure in the “sleeper cell” case, be dropped on grounds that Hayat’s lawyer failed to represent him fairly. The IRP began reporting on Hayat in 2006 for PBS Frontline. Former IRP reporter Abbie VanSickle continued coverage in her 2016 series with the IRP for The Intercept.

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Probe Into Corrupt Cops in Kern County Deepens

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In partnership with KQED, journalist Robert Lewis, who works with the IRP as part of its California Corruption Project, reports on corruption among Bakersfield-area law enforcement. Narcotics squad officers have pleaded guilty to stealing about 30 pounds of marijuana. A grand jury is continuing to investigate and the corruption scandal is still growing.

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Cracking Down on Political Corruption in Merced County Doesn’t Come Easy

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Former IRP student Brian Krans’s report on local political corruption in Fresno County ran on KQED’s The California Report. He explored how a district attorney charged two important local officials with bribery. However, the breadth of this issue is much wider than just a few indictments. Click the “more” link below to hear the story in full:

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The Navy’s Terrible Accident Record Is Now Hidden From Public View

A U.S. Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter flies over U.S. and U.K. Navy ships during a U.S. and U.K. Mine Countermeasures Exercise (MCMEX) taking place at the Arabian Sea

The IRP’s Jason Paladino writes for The Atlantic about the secret removal of safety data on Navy accidents. Although there have been previous reports of high-ranking officials hindering the disclosure of Navy documents, a representative from the agency insists that the removal decision was part of a website redesign.

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Why Did No One Save Gabriel?

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The Atlantic has published an investigation that exposes the failure of Los Angeles County child-protective caseworkers to protect Gabriel Fernandez, an eight-year-old under their watch who was murdered by his mother and her boyfriend in 2013 after suffering months of torture and abuse. Garrett Therolf, who reported on Gabriel’s death for The Los Angeles Times, spent the past year retracing the details of this case.

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Former Fugitive Pablo Duran Sr. Pleads Guilty in Trafficking Case

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Pablo Duran Sr., a central figure in the IRP’s and Investigative Studio’s Frontline documentary Trafficked in America, has pleaded guilty to encouraging illegal entry of Guatemalan nationals, some of them minors, for financial gain. The IRP’s Daffodil Altan and reporter Catherine Trautwein report on the case for Frontline.

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For the Love of the Local Newspaper

A copy of the Capital Gazette is displayed in a newspaper box the day after a gunman killed five people and injuring several others at the publication's offices in Annapolis, Maryland

In the wake of a shooting that left five staffers dead at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, IRP Director John Temple writes for The Atlantic about the important role local newspapers play in reporting on their communities.

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Years of abuse allegations reported at Lancaster home before boy died

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IRP and Common Sense News reporter Garrett Therolf’s story in the Los Angeles Times explores the death of 10-year-old Anthony Avalos from head injuries. The boy was never removed from his home despite years of severe abuse allegations against family members by teachers, a counselor, school administrators and relatives.

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