Reuters Investigates

Insight and investigations from our expert reporters

Tea Party redux

Nick Carey was invited on MSNBC last night to talk about his Tea Party special report. Here’s what he had to say:

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Hell hath no fury like a Tea Party scorned

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Here’s what Nick Carey had to say today about his special report “Stuck between the Tea Party and a hard place.”

By Nick Carey

Not long after the battle over the 2011 fiscal budget in Washington ended in mid-April, I received a few emails from Tea Party groups expressing frustration with the apparent failure by the Republican Party establishment to follow through on promises that they would cut spending in that budget by $100 billion.

A Philadelphia story

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Tyrone Gilliams is a commodities trader who likes to party hardy but is now being sued by an investor for fraud.

In terms of dollars, this case isn’t the biggest–the investor claims Gilliams misappropriated some $4 million and spent it on personal expenses. But the lawsuit reveals that apparent investment schemes continue to proliferate, even after the implosion of Bernard Madoff’s giant Ponzi scheme.

Bin Laden “wanted to be a martyr.” U.S. obliged.

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Today’s special report ”The bin Laden kill plan” is based on interviews with two dozen current and former senior intelligence, White House and State Department officials. It explores the policies and actions of the United States in its 13-year hunt for Osama bin Laden. 

Richard Armitage, who was deputy secretary of state in Bush’s first term, voiced the view that prevailed through two presidencies. “I think we took Osama bin Laden at his word, that he wanted to be a martyr,” Armitage told Reuters.  

Why a Greek default wouldn’t be news

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“From 1800 until well after World War Two, Greece found itself virtually in continual default,” write Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff in “This Time Is Different” — it’s a point Nouriel Roubini underlines in our latest look at Europe’s mess, from Noah Barkin.

In other words, for Greece over the long term, default is more steady-state than news.

With Chinese small caps, it’s buyer beware

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Today’s special report “Chinese stock scams are the latest U.S. import” shows again that when it comes to a bargain, it’s buyer beware. In this case, when a small-cap Chinese stock seems to promise outlandish growth, it might be worth finding out more before you buy.

Some of the questionable companies made their way onto U.S. exchanges via reverse mergers — a private company buys enough shares of a public firm to essentially become publicly traded.

Argentine president keeps nation on tenterhooks

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Helen Popper reports today from Buenos Aires, where President Cristina Fernandez is keeping voters and financial markets guessing on whether she will run for a second term. See our special report “Widowhood, Peron nostalgia and Argentine politics.”

President Fernandez’s approval rating is now running at more than 50 percent, about the same level as when she was elected to suceed her late husband, former President Nestor Kirchner.

Greece’s unsteady privatisation

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 Scepticism in financial markets about how effective the EU bailout of Greece will prove has long been mounting . One reason is concern that the country cannot deliver on its privatisation schedule. We checked out Greek efforts to sell off real estate, which are supposed to make up the bulk of funds raised there, and found little doing

A local mayor’s campaign to block the flagship Hellenikon airport project looks like building up into a major psychological battle.  He’s used hunger strikes in his past campaigns, and appears to be morally fortified by the bust of Lenin that he keeps on his desk.

Where was your new medicine tested?

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That’s what today’s special report by Ben Hirschler, “Big Pharma’s global guinea pigs,” is all about. If you live in the United States or Western Europe, you might be surprised to learn that most of the patients who took it in clinical trials probably lived in another part of the world altogether.

For the $850 billion-a-year pharmaceuticals industry, the globalisation of clinical trials into Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe has cut costs and opened new markets. Today, all new big drugs — whether for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or depression — are tested in one emerging economy or other, and in many cases trials are scattered across dozens of countries.

The spies next door to OBL

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Our special report “Why the U.S. mistrusts Pakistan’s powerful spy agency” examines in the history of the ISI, and what led President Obama to make the decision to keep his supposed allies in the dark about this week’s raid on bin Laden’s safe house.

The killing of bin Laden exposes just how dysfunctional the relationship has become. The fact that bin Laden seems to have lived for years in a town an hour’s drive from Islamabad has U.S. congressmen demanding to know why Washington is paying $1 billion a year in aid to Pakistan. Many of the hardest questions are directed at the ISI. Did it know bin Laden was there? Was it helping him? Is it rotten to the core or is it just a few sympathizers?