Special Report

Journalist spotlight: Dan Flynn on his special report on Areva and Niger’s uranium fight

REUTERS/Joe Penney

Last week, Reuters published an extensive Special Report that offered an in-depth look at how Niger – the world’s fourth largest uranium producer but one of the poorest countries on earth – is demanding a better deal from France’s state-owned nuclear company Areva. The story, by West and Central Africa Bureau Chief Dan Flynn and EMEA Utilities Correspondent Geert De Clercq, reports that Areva’s mines pay no export duties on uranium, no taxes on materials and equipment used in mining operations, and pay a royalty of just 5.5 percent on the uranium they produce. Niger’s president says the deals are a throwback to the post-colonial era and he now wants to cut the tax breaks and raise the royalty rate to as much as 12 percent. In a Reuters Best: Journalist Spotlight Q&A, Dan offers a look at the reporting behind their revealing Special Report.

Q. How did you get started on this story? (more…)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Armed agents from Brazil’s environmental protection agency, backed by police and military units, have cracked down on illegal lumber mills in remote regions of the Amazon rainforest. Reuters correspondent Paulo Prada rode along with them.

Read the full special report.

Read the Journalist Spotlight Q&A with Paulo Prada.

Financial Regulation in 2014: The Dust Hasn’t Settled For Compliance

The year 2013 saw a raft of new legislation stemming from regulators worldwide and 2014 looked like the year in which the dust would settle and that compliance professionals could spend focusing on implementing those changes. However, this has not been the case and compliance staff are still operating in a changing environment, where political pressures and cultural inertia mean that it is hard to pause for breath.

This year will still be one of implementation in a world that in some respects has not changed over the past seven years. A number of serious challenges will have to be tackled in 2014. They range from the international reach of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, the Volcker rule and cross-border derivatives regulations, to the minute complexities of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation.

Read this in-depth special report from Thomson Reuters that looks at an array of regulatory initiatives and their impact on the current global economy and political world. Gain a better understanding of what 2014 will bring to market participants and how businesses should prepare to face the regulatory changes.

Download the Special Report: State of Regulatory Reform 2014.

Journalist spotlight: Paulo Prada on the work of the police who protect Brazil’s rain forests

In late September, Reuters accompanied agents from the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, known as Ibama, for the start of a month-long sting against people felling the Amazon rainforest. During the operation, Ibama shuttered and leveled numerous unlicensed facilities, levied more than $1.7 million in fines, seized machinery and confiscated roughly $2 million worth of lumber. Most of that wood came from a nearby Indian reserve, a swath of virgin forest that, like much of Brazil’s protected woodland, is increasingly besieged. In a Reuters Best: Journalist Spotlight Q&A, Senior Correspondent Paulo Prada discusses his special report published last week, in which he explored the cat-and-mouse game being played between those tasked with protecting the rainforests and those who profit by clearing them on the wild-west-like frontiers of Brazil.

Q. How did you find this story?

A. I have always been fascinated by the Amazon and troubled by the problem of deforestation. One of the benefits of reporting in Brazil for me has always been the opportunity to go there and look into it further. Some basic reporting over the past two years led me to understand that the destruction is on the rebound and I wanted to show the challenge Brazil faces trying to stop it. That meant profiling the folks who battle deforestation out on the front lines.

Q. What types of reporting/sourcing were involved? (more…)

Thomson Reuters inaugural survey highlights companies’ uncertainty around conduct risk


By Chris Perry, Managing Director, Risk at Thomson Reuters

Since the financial crisis, regulators have been working to put policies in place to improve the behavior of risk management within firms. Although there is no universal definition of conduct risk, it is generally agreed that the concept encompasses the risks associated with the way in which a firm and its staff conduct themselves. It incorporates matters such as culture, tone from the top, governance, employee activities outside the office including philanthropic activities, how customers are treated, remuneration of staff and how firms deal with conflicts of interest.

Our new survey shows that although conduct risk has become one of the highest priorities for regulators worldwide, there is still great disparity in how firms are defining conduct risk and similarly how regulators are referring to the concept. The Thomson Reuters Conduct Risk Report 2013 reveals that firms, in response to an increasing volume of regulatory change, demands and priorities, are placing increased importance on conduct risk while working to establish what the concept means for their organizations.

Conduct Risk Survey (more…)

Missed targets – graphic of the day

The Pentagon has spent billions of dollars over the past decade to modernize its accounting systems, but many of these projects have ended in failure or fallen short of expectations. Today’s graphic looks at seven major Pentagon projects, how long they took and how much they cost.

Pentagon

Read the Reuters special report on the Pentagon’s waste.

Watch Reuters Investigative Reporter Scot Paltrow visit the military warehouses where the waste is on display.

See how the Pentagon’s spending has grown rapidly.

Billions in Pentagon spending down a black hole

The U.S. armed services are spending billions of dollars to store – and sometimes destroy – excess equipment and outdated materiel. Reuters Investigative Reporter Scot Paltrow visited the military warehouses where the waste is on display.

Read the full special report and check out infographic we posted on Facebook.

Journalist spotlight: Steve Stecklow on his investigative series on the assets of Ayatollah Khamenei

Last week, Reuters published a startling investigative series on the economic empire behind Iran’s supreme leader and a little-known organization that he controls, which was created to help the poor and has morphed into a business juggernaut worth tens of billions of dollars. The three-part series, the result of six months of work by Reuters Senior Correspondent Steve Stecklow and team, exclusively reveals that the organization called Setad – which holds $95 billion in assets, according to Reuters calculations – built its empire on the systematic seizure of thousands of properties belonging to ordinary Iranians. In a Reuters Best: Journalist Spotlight Q&A, Steve offers an inside look at the extensive reporting behind the series.

Q. How did this story get started?

A. This story actually began during a dinner with Global Enterprise Editor Mike Williams in London back in March when I mentioned, almost in passing, that I had heard that Iran’s supreme leader may control tens of billions of dollars. He insisted I do the story. I then began recruiting people to help me. (more…)

Journalist spotlight: Megan Twohey on her investigative series on “The Child Exchange”

This week, Reuters published a stunning investigative series on “private re-homing” in America – an alarming practice where parents unload unwanted children whom they previously adopted. The series, the result of 18 months of work by Reuters investigative reporter Megan Twohey, exclusively reveals America’s underground market for adopted children, where parents are advertising their children in online forums and transferring custody with little to no regulation or oversight, leaving the children highly vulnerable to abusive situations.

In partnership with NBC News, the series was featured on multiple segments on NBC’s Today Show and Nightly News. Megan has also been interviewed by Voice of Russia Radio, PBS Newshour and multiple NPR programs, among many others – and the story has gone viral online, with dozens of mentions from news outlets around the world.

In a Reuters Best: Journalist Spotlight Q&A, Megan offers an inside look at the extensive reporting behind her series. (more…)

Adopted, then abandoned online

An 18-month Reuters investigation uncovered an underground network where adopted children are handed off to strangers via the Internet.

Read the full special report, “The Child Exchange”.