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Sep 24, 2014

Exclusive: Oil company rewrites its history, may aid founder’s divorce case

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – Oil driller Continental Resources Inc has been revising its corporate history in ways that diminish the publicly traded company’s accomplishments under CEO Harold Hamm, part of a legal strategy that might help Hamm avoid the largest divorce award in U.S. history.

Downplaying his role in Continental’s success is central to Hamm’s chances of minimizing the financial blow from his divorce, lawyers say.

Sep 16, 2014

U.S. lawmakers want to curb antibiotic use on farms

By Brian Grow and P.J. Huffstutter

(Reuters) – Two U.S. lawmakers are calling for action to rein in antibiotic use in livestock in response to a Reuters investigation showing how top U.S. poultry firms have been administering drugs to their flocks.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY), said she plans to introduce new legislation authorizing the Food and Drug Administration to collect data on “farm-level antibiotic use.” The pledge was part of a letter Gillibrand sent Tuesday to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. In the letter, Gillibrand said that “the scale of injudicious use” of antibiotics in poultry production documented by Reuters “was staggering.”

Sep 15, 2014

Special Report: Poultry firms systematically feed low-dose antibiotics to flocks

ATLANTA/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Major U.S. poultry firms are administering antibiotics to their flocks far more pervasively than regulators realize, posing a potential risk to human health.

Internal records examined by Reuters reveal that some of the nation’s largest poultry producers routinely feed chickens an array of antibiotics – not just when sickness strikes, but as a standard practice over most of the birds’ lives.

Sep 15, 2014

Poultry firms systematically feed low-dose antibiotics to flocks

ATLANTA/CHICAGO, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Major U.S. poultry
firms are administering antibiotics to their flocks far more
pervasively than regulators realize, posing a potential risk to
human health.

Internal records examined by Reuters reveal that some of the
nation’s largest poultry producers routinely feed chickens an
array of antibiotics – not just when sickness strikes, but as a
standard practice over most of the birds’ lives.

Jun 5, 2014

Michigan AG charges Chesapeake with racketeering and fraud

ATLANTA, June 5 (Reuters) – Michigan’s attorney general
filed felony racketeering and fraud claims against Chesapeake
Energy Corp. on Thursday, alleging the company canceled
hundreds of private land leases under false pretenses following
a short-lived oil and gas boom in the state in 2010.

The charges, filed in Michigan state court in Cheboygan,
allege Chesapeake, through its leasing agents, victimized
private landowners in northern Michigan by falsely claiming
mortgages on their properties were a legitimate basis for the
lease cancellations. Landowners were previously told the
mortgages were not a problem, the state alleged.

Jan 27, 2014

Drug critic slams FDA over antibiotic oversight in meat production

By P.J. Huffstutter and Brian Grow

(Reuters) – The Food and Drug Administration allowed 18 animal drugs to stay on the market even after an agency review found the drugs posed a “high risk” of exposing humans to antibiotic-resistant bacteria through the food supply, according to a study released Monday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The study by the NRDC, a non-governmental group that criticizes the widespread use of drugs in the meat industry, is the latest salvo in the national debate over the long-standing practice of antibiotic use in meat production. Agribusinesses say animal drugs help increase production and keep prices low for U.S. consumers, while consumer advocates and some scientists raise concerns over antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Dec 10, 2013

Despite warnings, Pentagon kept ties to controversial helicopter firms

Washington (Reuters) – After almost four years of allegations that two related helicopter companies in Lithuania and Russia were doing substandard work and should be banned from new contracts, the Pentagon continued to give them business, according to interviews and documents seen by Reuters.

As recently as last month, an Army planning document shows, the service was weighing contracting helicopter overhauls from the firms, which have been the subject of multiple internal warnings and two Defense Department Inspector General reports.

Dec 10, 2013

D.R. Horton to return mineral rights to Florida homeowners

Dec 10 (Reuters) – D.R. Horton Inc is temporarily
suspending its practice of reserving mineral rights beneath new
homes it sells in Florida, according to a letter from the
company to the office of the Florida Attorney General.

D.R. Horton, the largest U.S. homebuilder, also said it
would offer to return to Florida homeowners mineral rights that
it had kept in the past, according to the letter, which was sent
on Friday.

Dec 10, 2013

Exclusive: Despite warnings, Pentagon kept ties to controversial helicopter firms

Washington (Reuters) – After almost four years of allegations that two related helicopter companies in Lithuania and Russia were doing substandard work and should be banned from new contracts, the Pentagon continued to give them business, according to interviews and documents seen by Reuters.

As recently as last month, an Army planning document shows, the service was weighing contracting helicopter overhauls from the firms, which have been the subject of multiple internal warnings and two Defense Department Inspector General reports.

Oct 9, 2013

Special Report: U.S. builders hoard mineral rights under new homes

NAPLES, Florida (Reuters) – Robert and Julie Davidson fell hard for the gleaming new house at the Valencia Golf and Country Club in Naples, Florida. They loved the way the palm-fringed, Spanish-style home backed up to the fifth-hole fairway. And they were taken with the three-bedroom’s high ceilings and open plan. Plus the neighborhood – with its power-washed driveways, blooming hibiscus and guarded gatehouse – seemed all “dressed up.”

But when the Davidsons paid $255,385 in 2011 for the house on Birdie Drive, they didn’t know that they had, in essence, bought only from the ground up, and that their homebuilder, D.R. Horton, had kept everything underneath.