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SPECIAL REPORT: Charter schools put parents to the test

U.S. charter schools are touted as open to all but in fact aggressively screen applicants. Under embargo for release Friday, Feb 15, 0700ET/1200GMT.



Thursday, 16 Jan 2013

SPECIAL REPORT - China's military hawks take the offensive

PDF http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/13/01/ChinaHawks.pdf

video link http://link.reuters.com/geq44t

graphic link http://link.reuters.com/fyh35t

HONG KONG - Senior officers in China's military have become increasingly hawkish in their rhetoric, amid heightened tensions with China's neighbours over disputed isles in its coastal seas. It is uncertain if the hawks represent a majority opinion in the 2.3 million-strong People's Liberation Army or exercise real influence over foreign policy. But one generally agreed explanation for their prominence: The PLA now has something to talk about. The military budget has soared to an estimated $200 billion - the world second-highest behind the U.S. For the first time in its modern history, China has the firepower to back up the fiery rhetoric.

CHINA-HAWKS/ (SPECIAL REPORT), by David Lague, pix, TV, graphic, 2,800 words

Thursday, 10 Jan 2013

SPECIAL REPORT-The next act in the foreclosure horror show: zombie titles

PDF http://link.reuters.com/keh25t

Five years after the U.S. real-estate crash, thousands of homeowners are finding themselves legally responsible for houses they had no idea they still owned -- some of them being prosecuted and even facing threat of jail -- as banks walk away from foreclosures.


Wednesday, 9 Jan 2013

SPECIAL REPORT-How Mario Draghi is reshaping Europe's central bank

PDF link is: http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/13/01/Draghi.pdf

As president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi has proved ready to intervene in the markets and try policies that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. At the same time within the bank has introduced a much freer, more hands-off culture that relies on delegation and people making their own decisions rather than kicking them up to the board.

DRAGHI-ECB/INSIDE (SPECIAL REPORT, PIX, GRAPHIC), by Andreas Framke, Eva Kuehnen and Sakari Suoninen, 2,500 words

Monday, 7 Jan 2013

EXCLUSIVE-U.S. nuclear lab removes Chinese tech over security fears

A leading U.S. nuclear weapons laboratory recently discovered its computer systems contained some Chinese-made network switches and replaced at least two components because of national security concerns, a document shows

(HUAWEI-ALAMOS/), pix, by Steve Stecklow, 940 words)

Sunday, 30 Dec 2012

SPECIAL REPORT - OKADA-PHILIPPINES -"Casino tycoon's big bet on a Philippine fixer"

pdf: http://link.reuters.com/rut84t

Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada was facing a crisis: work on his dream casino by the bay in Manila was going nowhere. Instead of a world-class resort packed with Chinese high-rollers, Okada, 70, was sitting on a $300-million patchwork of reclaimed and undeveloped land in November 2009 that was threatening to become a money pit. He needed help from the administration of then President Gloria Arroyo and it came through. But payments of $40 million to a local fixer known as "Boysie", first disclosed by Reuters, is now the subject of potential bribery investigations in the United States and the Philippines.

(OKADA-PHILIPPINES/ by Nathan Layne, Taro Fuse and Kevin Krolicki, pix and graphics, around 3,000 words)

Friday, 28, Dec 2012

SPECIAL REPORT-Behind the sanctions on Iran

pdf link: http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/12/12/IranSanctions.pdf

WASHINGTON - In interviews, senior U.S. and European officials describe the intense diplomatic maneuvering they undertook to enact new sanctions against Iran without causing an oil shock. Obama warned allies that oil sanctions were the only way to avert a new war between Israel and Iran. U.S. envoys pressed Iraqi, Libyan and, above all, Saudi officials to pump up their own crude supplies. Washington and its allies massaged skittish oil markets with carefully calibrated messages. U.S. diplomats journeyed to southern Iraq to inspect plans for new oil terminals that could help blunt the loss of Iranian shipments. The challenge, American officials said, was to clamp down on Iran's oil exports while mitigating the risks of an oil crisis.

(IRAN-SANCTIONS/ (SPECIAL REPORT, PIX, GRAPHICS) by Arshad Mohamed, Justyna Pawlak and Warren Strobel, 3500 words)

Thursday, 27 Dec 2012

SPECIAL REPORT: Myanmar's deep mine of old troubles

pdf link: http://link.reuters.com/jyq84t

map graphic: http://link.reuters.com/far84t

Myanmar's crackdown on protests against a mine owned by military and Chinese investors sparked nationwide outrage. It dented the reformist credentials of President Thein Sein, a former general whose quasi-civilian government replaced a decades-old dictatorship in 2011 and underscored how, after a year of often breathtaking change, the bad old Myanmar still looms over the new.

(MAYNMAR-REFORMS/ by Andrew Marshall, pix, graphic, 2,600 words)

Thursday, 27 December, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT - Chesapeake, McClendon endure rocky year, more uncertainty ahead

The stock price of his energy company is down nearly 30 percent. The board stripped him of his chairmanship amid scandal. Today, his estimated billion-dollar personal fortune has shrunk by more than half. Aubrey McClendon, 53, endured a trying year running the second-largest natural gas producer in the United States, Chesapeake Energy Corp. But as corporate, state and federal probes into McClendon and the company continue, 2013 isn't looking much easier.


Thursday, 27 December, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT - How the UK tax authority got cozy with big business

pdf: http://link.reuters.com/juk84t

LONDON (REUTERS) - Big companies in Britain now pay less tax than they did 12 years ago despite a big jump in profitability, a Reuters analysis of official data shows. Tax campaigners say the trend is the clearest signal yet that tax avoidance has blossomed under a more business-friendly strategy at the UK tax authority Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

TAX-HMRC/ (SPECIAL REPORT, PIX, GRAPHIC), by Tom Bergin, 0900gmt, 2700 words

Sunday, 16 December, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT - Stalking the Taliban's banker

PDF: http://link.reuters.com/deb64t

video: http://reut.rs/Td8HTO

graphic hawala trade: http://link.reuters.com/huz54t

graphic Opium prices: http://link.reuters.com/juz54

KABUL - Haji Khairullah Barakzai is the ultimate Afghan success story. An illiterate village boy-turned-currency tycoon who became fabulously rich thanks to a lifetime of hard work, unerring street smarts and God's favour. To the U.S. Treasury Department, he is one of the biggest bankers to the Taliban, the architect of an underground network that converts opium grown in the poppy fields of his native southern Afghanistan into cash. The showdown between Khairullah and his pursuers opens a rare window into another kind of war, where financial intelligence trumps firepower, and captured territory is measured in frozen accounts. It is a war which, so far, the West has been losing. (By Matt Green, pix, tv, graphics around 2,700 words)


Thursday, 20 December, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT - "The deserving poor" - Part 3 in the income-inequality series.

pdf: http://link.reuters.com/jaq64t

In an era featuring one of the highest degrees of income inequality on record in the United States, Indiana stands out in two ways. It has seen the second-sharpest rise in poverty levels of any American state in the past two decades, and it has undertaken one of the most aggressive efforts to change the system of benefits for the poor, with mixed results.


Wednesday, 19 December, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT - The end of the "great equalizer" - Part 2 in the income-inequality series.

Pdf: http://link.reuters.com/haq64t

Why Massachusetts, home to America's best schools and universities, has seen income inequality soar: the "great equalizer" in society, education, isn't working the way it's supposed to.


Tuesday, 18 December, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT - Redistributing up - Part 1 of series on income inequality.

Pdf: http://link.reuters.com/faq64t

In Washington DC, the city where America launched a war on poverty in 1968, the rich are getting richer because of government and the poor are getting poorer in spite of it.


Monday, December 17

SPECIAL REPORT-Greece's triangle of power

PDF: http://link.reuters.com/xet64t

A nexus of media, business and politics lies behind the country's crisis, say critics, and the interwoven interests hinder efforts to reform the economy. A look at how the country's media operate. (GREECE-MEDIA (SPECIAL REPORT, PIX, GRAPHIC)

Sunday, December 16

SPECIAL REPORT-EU threat spotlights perfume makers' secrets

PDF: http://link.reuters.com/cuh64t

PARIS - Luxury perfume brands fear the European Union is about to introduce measures that could cripple the $25 billion industry in the name of protecting consumers against allergies. New laws could severely curb or ban natural ingredients used in vintage best-sellers and put some perfume makers out of business. But Brussels' proposed legislation is also causing a stir for another reason. It sheds light on the best-kept secret in the trade: many big brands have been tweaking their formulas for years. (FRANCE-PERFUME/ (SPECIAL REPORT, PIX, GRAPHICS) moving at 0700gmt, by Astrid Wendlandt, 1850 words)

SPECIAL REPORT-Jane's Jihad: a four-part series

In this four-part reconstruction of the case of Jihad Jane, Reuters found the plot to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks proved far more farcical than frightful, far more absurd than ominous.

Friday, December 7


PDF: http://link.reuters.com/seg54t

Saturday, December 8


PDF: http://link.reuters.com/teg54t

Sunday, December 9


PDF: http://link.reuters.com/veg54t

Monday, December 10


PDF: http://link.reuters.com/weg54t

Thursday, December 6

SPECIAL REPORT-Amazon's billion-dollar tax shield

PDF link: http://link.reuters.com/fyx44t

Reuters looks at how Amazon uses its Luxembourg businesses to avoid tax, and highlights the way multinationals reduce their taxes by parking intellectual property in tax havens and charging affiliates big fees for using it. (TAX-AMAZON/ (SPECIAL REPORT, PIX, GRAPHIC), by Tom Bergin, moved, 2,000 words)

SPECIAL REPORT - The music banker's big score

PDF: http://link.reuters.com/jef44t

This story reveals the business of making loans against music royalties. Specifically, we profile the business of one music lender in Beverly Hills that has made a decades-long career by providing fast-cash to musicians against their royalties. His clients include the songwriters behind big-name hits, but some of those clients also have big gripes. Reuters found numerous high interest loans and lawsuits where musicians complain about his business practices. (MUSIC-BANKER(SPECIAL REPORT-PIX,GRAPHICS), moved, by Robin Respaut and Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, 2,620 words)

** CORRECTED VERSION FILED - Corrects name of Advanced Royalty Tracking. Corrects identity of person who signed fax sent to Robert Besser

Wednesday, 5 Dec 2012

SPECIAL REPORT-How foreign firms tried to sell spy gear to Iran

PDF link: http://link.reuters.com/xus44t

LONDON - Documents show that a partner of Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei offered to sell Iran a Huawei-developed system that could enable monitoring of the internet.

SPECIAL REPORT, PIX) by Steve Stecklow, subscribers to Special Reports expect at 0800gmt on Wednesday, 2,300 words

Tuesday, 04 December, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT-Behind US race cases, a little-known recruiter

Sometime in the next few months, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide two cases that could fundamentally reshape the rules of race in America. In one, a young white woman named Abigail Fisher is suing the University of Texas over affirmative action in college admissions. In the other, an Alabama county wants to strike down a law that requires certain states to get federal permission to change election rules. If they win, the names Fisher and Shelby County, Ala., will instantly become synonymous with the elimination of longstanding minority-student preferences and voting-rights laws. But behind them is another name, belonging to a person who is neither a party to the litigation nor even a lawyer, but who is the reason these cases ever came to be. He is Edward Blum, a little-known 60-year-old former stockbroker.

USA-COURT/CASEMAKER (special report/pix)

SUNDAY, 2 December, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT-Why some new countries are more equal than others

PDF link is here: http://link.reuters.com/wym34t

A Reuters examination of more than a dozen key indicators in the 31 nations founded or reconstituted since 1990 shows just how steep a climb South Sudan, the world's newest country, faces.

(SPECIAL REPORT, PIX, GRAPHICS) by Peter Apps, subscribers to Special Reports expect at 0700 gmt on Sunday Dec. 2, 1,500 words)

FRIDAY, 30 November, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT - Greece's pension crisis


While foreign investors were dumping Greek government bonds, the country's pension funds - part run by the national bank - kept holding them, and even bought a few more. The purchases may have helped the Greek government, but they have left pension funds and pensioners with big losses. Who is to blame and what should be done about it?


Thursday, 29 Nov, 2012 @ 8 pm EDT

SPECIAL REPORT: Bank of Japan at the Crossroads

pdf link: http://link.reuters.com/pew34t

Rating Shirakawa: http://link.reuters.com/nah34t

Ballooning balance sheet: http://link.reuters.com/fan93t

Japan's deflation: http://link.reuters.com/dan93t

The Bank of Japan is at crossroads. The institution that pioneered zero-rate quantitative easing policy a decade ago has adopted a cautious approach under its chief Masaaki Shirakawa, one of QE architects who over the years grew increasingly skeptical about its merits. But it is nearly certain that when Shirakawa's term ends next April he will be replaced with someone more willing to listen to politicians' calls for more action.


Tuesday, 27 November, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT: In youth-crazed Silicon Valley, older execs face age bias

pdf: http://link.reuters.com/daz24t

Older executives in the U.S. tech industry say they increasingly face age bias in a culture that extols fresh ideas and young programmers willing to toil through the night. Chief executives in their 20s, led by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, are lionized, in part because of their youth. Many investors state bluntly that they prefer to see people under 40 in charge. Yet the youth worship undercuts another of Silicon Valley's cherished ideals: that anyone smart and driven can get ahead in what the industry likes to think of as an egalitarian culture. To many, it looks like simple age discrimination - and it's affecting people who wouldn't fit any normal definition of old. Some are resorting to hipster outfits, hair dye and cosmetic surgery. 1900 words.


Tuesday, Nov. 20

SPECIAL REPORT-Plunder preserves fragile peace in South Sudan

pdf: http://link.reuters.com/kud24t

JUBA- Just 16 months after breaking away from its old masters in Khartoum, South Sudan seems caught between principles and pragmatism. The rulers of the world's newest nation have fostered a system of patronage and rewards to provide stability, but that has fuelled rampant corruption that undermines the ideals of the country's liberators and its foreign backers


SPECIAL REPORT-How Libor fixing became business as usual among traders

Pdf: http://link.reuters.com/gew93t

The Libor manipulation scandal has centered on a few traders at a handful of banks, but as a Reuters investigation shows, fudging the numbers to achieve the desired rate had become the m.o. for trading desks since the '90s.


November 16, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT-Myanmar military's next campaign: shoring up power

pdf: http://link.reuters.com/fuk93t

graphic http://link.reuters.com/rym93t

NAYPYITAW - Aung Thaw was a teenager when he joined Myanmar's armed forces, which seized power in 1962 and led a promising Asian nation into half a century of poverty, isolation and fear. Now 59, he has a new mission as deputy minister of defense: explaining why the military intends to retain a dominant role in a fragile new era of democratic reform.

two sidebars: "In Myanmar, a monument to military conceit" and "Massacre allegations haunt Myanmar's Christie Island"


Thursday, 15 November, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT - The other new Sudan

pdf: http://link.reuters.com/vuk93t

KHARTOUM - The birth of South Sudan last year created two new nations: the south itself and a new, smaller version of Sudan, the state from which the south seceded. Sixteen months on, the Arab-dominated north and its president are grappling with huge challenges, not least widening splits within the ruling party.


Wednesday, 14 November, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT-South Sudan's Chinese oil puzzle

pdf: http://link.reuters.com/qeb93t

JUBA - As South Sudan's leaders shift from waging war to running a state, the country's oil is proving one of the trickiest puzzles. How South Sudan uses its oil, which accounts for almost all of the country's income, and how it builds its relationship with China, will largely determine whether or not it prospers.

SOUTH-SUDAN/OIL (SPECIAL REPORT, PIX, GRAPHIC), moved at 0630GMT, by Alexander Dziadosz, 3,300 words

Tuesday, 13 November, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT - How a prosperous California exurb turned itself into a basket case

PDF link: http://link.reuters.com/keh73t

San Bernardino's decades-long journey from prosperity to bankrupt, crime-ridden basket case is surprisingly straightforward-and alarmingly similar to the path travelled by many cities around America's largest state. A Reuters examination of city data finds that little by little, over many years, the salaries and retirement benefits of city workers-and especially its police and firemen-grew richer and richer, even as the city lost major employers and gradually got poorer and poorer. Unions poured money into city council elections, and the city council poured money into union pensions. Calpers, which manages pension plans for many cities including San Bernardino, encouraged ever-sweeter benefits. Investment bankers sold clever bond deals to pay for them. Last August it all blew up.


Monday, 12 November, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT - Greece's far-right party goes on the offensive

pdf link is here: http://link.reuters.com/rut83t

ATHENS - In Greece the nationalist party Golden Dawn has risen from fringe group to third in the polls. The party combines welfare for impoverished Greeks with a pledge to remove all illegal immigrants. An examination of how Golden Dawn operates, what it stands for and how far its influence now reaches (SPECIAL REPORT, PIX, GRAPHIC) by Dina Kyriakidou, subscribers to Special Reports expect at 0900 gmt, 2,300 words)


Sunday, 11 November, 2012

Special Report - Witnesses tell of organized killings of Myanmar Muslims

pdf link: http://link.reuters.com/jav83t

The story has exclusive material on the origins of the recent violence against Myanmar's Rohingyas and who is instigating it.


Friday, 09 November, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT - Elkann's Fiat

PDF link http://link.reuters.com/meh73t

As controlling shareholder of Italian carmaker Fiat, John Elkann faces a harsh choice. The rules of economics dictate that Fiat should shut one of its five Italian auto factories, since demand for cars in Italy may never reach pre-crisis levels again. But Elkann, 36, is under intense pressure from the Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (who happens to be a family friend) to find a way to keep making Fiat cars in Italy. How long can Fiat's sense of "owing" Italy oblige it keep it making cars in its native land even when it's losing money here?


Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT: Why Germany backed out of BAE/EADS: the inside story



TOULOUSE/BERLIN - We trace German Chancellor Angela Merkel's veto on the proposed tie-up back through internal documents and accounts to decades of resentments and clashes about Germany's secondary role to the French and UK in an industry synonymous with national strategic ambitions.


November 1, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT- Starbucks's European tax bill disappears down $100 million hole


Reuters continues its investigation into Starbucks and the coffee chain's relationship with the tax man. Starbucks told investors it made a $40 million profit in Europe in 2011, but accounts filed for its UK, German, and French units, which make up 90 percent of European revenues, showed a loss of $60 million. Did the coffee giant lose $100 million in the year prior to filing its tax returns? Far from it. An examination of Starbucks accounts in Germany and France shows the firm employed the same tactics there that Reuters recently showed it uses in the UK: reporting losses to the taxman while boasting healthy cash flows to investors.


(Created by Chris Kaufman)