Howard Berkes

Howard Berkes appears in the following:

The Turkish Mine Disaster: How Could It Happen?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has enraged families of the victims of the Soma mine disaster by characterizing mining accidents as "ordinary things."

In fact, the disaster appears to have ordinary causes familiar to mining experts, who note that well-known precautions exist to prevent the kind of explosion ...


Past Disasters Haunt Modern-Day Coal Mining Accidents

Thursday, May 15, 2014

More than 280 miners have died in Turkey with another 150 still missing. It's hard to imagine how so many can perish in a mine accident in modern times.


Regulators Couldn't Close U.S. Mine Despite Poor Safety Record

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The West Virginia mine where two workers were fatally injured on Monday consistently violated federal mine safety laws, but federal regulators say they were unable to shut it down completely.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration confirmed that two workers were killed on May 12 when coal and rocks burst ...


2 Die In W.Va. Mine With Troubled Safety Record

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Two coal miners died in a mine accident in Boone County, W.Va., Monday night, in a mine with a troubled safety record.

The accident occurred at the Brody Mine No.1, which is owned by Patriot Coal. In a statement, the company says the deaths were caused by "a severe coal ...


Mine Dust Rules Could Slow Production, Coal Mining Companies Say

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced new regulations reducing the amount of coal dust miners can be exposed to in underground and surface mines.


U.S. Olympic Committee Plans To Examine Speedskating's Woes

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

For American speedskaters, this Winter Olympics has been defined by controversy over racing suits and disappointment over a lack of podium finishes. Now comes word that the U.S. Olympic Committee will "leave no stone unturned" in looking at how the high hopes of US Speedskating collapsed in Sochi.

The news ...


Supreme Court Halts Gay Marriages In Utah

Monday, January 06, 2014

This post was last updated at 1:42 p.m. ET.

The United States Supreme Court has put same-sex marriages on hold in the state of Utah.

The order issued by the court on Monday halts same-sex marriages until an appeal is decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the ...


House Lawmakers Seek Federal Probe Of Black Lung Program

Friday, November 08, 2013

Two Democratic congressmen have formally asked the Labor Department's Inspector General to investigate "allegations of misconduct by doctors and lawyers working on behalf of the coal industry" and their roles in the denials of benefits for coal miners stricken with black lung disease.

In their letter, Rep. George Miller ...


Johns Hopkins Halts, Reviews Black Lung Program

Monday, November 04, 2013

Johns Hopkins Medicine says it will suspend and review its black lung program, following joint investigative reports last week from the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News that found the program "helped coal companies thwart efforts by ailing mine workers to receive disability benefits."

The medical ...


Report Details Industry's 'Cutthroat' Fight Of Miners' Claims

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My investigative reporting colleague Chris Hamby at the Center for Public Integrity has a compelling and troubling follow-up to our jointly-reported series last year on the resurgence of the deadly coal miners' disease black lung.

Hamby has spent the last year investigating the system that awards compensation to miners ...


Theme Park Called 'Insensitive' For 'Miner's Revenge' Attraction

Monday, October 28, 2013

Update at 8:45 p.m. ET:

Kings Dominion spokesman Gene Petriello says the theme park is dropping the Miner's Revenge maze from its Halloween lineup in the future.

"At the completion of each season, all Halloween attractions are reviewed to allow for new themes," Petriello says. "As part of its ...


Boy Scouts Eject Leaders Who Toppled Ancient Rock

Monday, October 21, 2013

The two men involved in the destruction of an ancient rock formation in a Utah state park have been stripped of their leadership positions in the Boy Scouts of America and drummed out of scouting altogether.

A terse statement issued by the Utah National Parks Council of the BSA ...


Former Massey Exec Gets 42 Months In Mine Disaster Case

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

David Hughart is now the highest-ranking former executive of Massey Energy to go to jail for crimes related to the worst coal mine disaster in 40 years.

On Tuesday, a judge in West Virginia sentenced Hughart to 42 months in jail and three years of supervised release.

Hughart, ...


Sabotage Prompts Two-Year Bans For Olympic Skater And Coach

Monday, August 26, 2013


That's how a disciplinary panel at the International Skating Union (ISU) describes the behavior of former U.S. Olympic short track speedskating coach Jae Su Chun during a contentious international meet in Poland in 2011.

American Olympic medalist Simon Cho confessed last Fall to sabotaging the skate of a ...


Wildfire Forces Kick Into Highest Gear

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The 2013 wildfire season hit a milestone Tuesday: Preparedness Level 5, an officious way of saying resources are stretched thin and it could quickly get worse.

Preparedness Level 5 is the highest on the national wildfire preparedness scale, which the National Interagency Fire Center uses to chart wildfire activity, ...


2013 Wildfire Season Proving To Be More Mild Than Wild

Thursday, August 15, 2013

With 15,000 firefighters deployed and three dozen major wildfires currently burning in five Western states, this would seem to be a wildfire season for the record books. And in one tragic aspect, it is. But by most measures, 2013 is the second-mildest fire season in the past decade ... so ...


Brawl Puts 'Bad' Back Into Badminton

Monday, July 22, 2013

A year after an embarrassing match-fixing scandal at the London Olympics, badminton is back in the news for being unexpectedly badass.

As the Vancouver Sun reports, former Olympic doubles partners Bodin Issara and Maneepong Jongjit of Thailand got into a racket-swinging, fist-pounding, shirt-ripping brawl Sunday during the final ...


Talk Of Boycotting Russian Olympics Stirs Emotions

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., sent a shudder through the Olympic world Wednesday when he told American Olympic network NBC that the United States should consider boycotting the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics if Russia grants the asylum request of "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden.

"I love the Olympics but I ...


Wildfire Season So Far: Tragic, Destructive And Below Average

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

It may seem like wildfire Armageddon out there, given the tragic deaths of 24 wildland firefighters this year, more than 800 homes and businesses burned to the ground, nearly 1.6 million acres scorched and over 23,000 blazes requiring suppression.

But as dramatic as it's been, the 2013 wildfire season has ...