Reuters Investigates

Insight and investigations from our expert reporters

WikiLeaks, OpenLeaks, GreenLeaks and more leaks

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A Reuters exclusive details the emergence of two anti-corporate, WikiLeaks-style websites in Europe, both called GreenLeaks. The sites promise to leak confidential documents regarding environmental abuses by a host of industries.

The report by Mark Hosenball also reveals the rise of other possible WikiLeaks copycats that would focus on specialized topics or regions — from Russia and the European Union bureaucracy to international trade, the pharmaceutical industry and the Balkans.

GREENLEAKS/The two rival GreenLeaks sites were set up by Mads Bjerg (left) in Copenhagen (greenleaks.org) and Scott Millwood (below) in Berlin (greenleaks.com) — and neither is happy about the competition.

Over lunch in a Berlin sushi bar, Millwood told Reuters his group acquired the domain name GreenLeaks in 36 countries where it also has registered GreenLeaks internet addresses under the “.com” and “.biz” designators. Millwood said he also has applied to the European Union to register “GreenLeaks” as a trademark, but recently learned that Bjerg’s Denmark-based group had made a similar move within days of Millwood making his own application.

In Gatsby country, tea and red ink

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TAXES/NASSAU-TEAPARTYLocated just east of New York City and the setting for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby,” Nassau County makes an unexpected backdrop for a fiscal crisis. It is one of America’s wealthiest counties and, according to Forbes, it has the highest concentration of affluent neighborhoods in the United States.

But on Wednesday, New York state took control of Nassau’s finances, dealing a huge blow to Tea Party Republican County Executive Edward Mangano and a black eye for the Tea Party, the grassroots movement built around the core principles of constitutionally limited government, free-market ideology and low taxes. The county, which has vowed to battle the takeover in court, must now come up with a new budget.

A peek inside our layer

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We stepped into the new new Media Universe for our report on Augmented Reality, creating our own app which will alert anyone using it (iPhone or Android-phones only so far) when they are near one of the new movers and shakers of the business. It wasn’t so hard — you can see how we did it here.

But for anyone who jtarmo betterust wants an overview, here’s the contents of the layer we made and published through Hoppala (on a Firefox browser) and AR browser firm Layar. It’s our take on the movers and shakers in the AR industry, mainly linking to Twitter feeds, and Tarmo Virki is happy to learn of any updates. These entries are unadorned:

Boeing’s extreme outsourcing

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Today’s special report from Kyle Peterson takes an in-depth look at the development of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. Boeing went further than ever before in outsourcing much of the work on the plane, upsetting its unionized workers in the Seattle area. This graphic shows why.

So what’s the result?

A revolutionary, light-weight aircraft that is nearly three years behind its delivery schedule.

Vietnam’s Capitalist Roaders

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A woman dressed in the traditional Vietnamese “ao dai”costume serves tea to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (front R) during the opening ceremony of the 11th Party Congress in Hanoi January 12, 2011

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Vietnam’s ruling communists  opened an eight-day party congress on Wednesday with a candid  admission the fast-growing economy had become unstable, as  delegates began the process of reshuffling leaders and  charting new policies. 
   As leaders sang the national anthem to begin the  five-yearly event, streets in the chilly capital Hanoi were  festooned with red and yellow banners, some bearing the iconic  hammer and sickle. Propaganda posters bore the smiling  likeness of revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh or of proud,  uniformed workers. 
   The economic backdrop is less festive. Inflation surged to  a 22-month high in December, the government is struggling to  bring down a hefty fiscal deficit, the currency has been  depreciating for three years and the trade deficit remains  stubbornly high.  

Somebody’s been making money on Ford

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Here’s a line from our special report on Ford from Detroit today, by Bernie Woodall and Kevin Krolicki, who spent some quality time with Bill Ford earlier this week.

A $100,000 investment in the company’s stock at the bottom in late 2008 — when its cross-town rivals GM and Chrysler were nearing government bailouts — would be worth $1.8 million today.

Congratulations to Murray Waas

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WAASMurray Waas is picking up the prestigious Barlett & Steele award today in Phoenix for his special report on health insurers dropping patients after they were diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Reynolds Center is holding a panel discussion with Murray and silver medal winner John Fauber of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which will be streamed live here.

Solar energy vs wildlife

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Sarah McBride reports on brewing battles between environmentalists in her special report: “With solar power, it’s Green vs. Green.”

It turns out the perfect place to build a big solar plant is often also the perfect place for a tortoise or a fox to live. This means developers of large-scale solar plants are running into legal challenges from people who one would expect to be natural allies of alternative energy providers.

Let’s be ethical, economists say

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Last month’s special report “For some professors, disclosure is academic” has been making waves in the academic world, as this story shows:

Economists urge AEA to adopt ethics code: letter

By Kristina Cooke

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Almost three hundred economists have signed a letter to the American Economic Association “strongly” urging it to adopt a code of ethics requiring disclosure of potential conflicts of interests.

Jerry Brown is back

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The new year brings a new set of politicians into office, including California Governor Jerry Brown. As Nichola Groom reports, he has his work cut out for him.

As this graphic shows, politicians are in low regard and pessimism is high in the Golden State.